Player With Local Ties Gets Nod for 1st NFL Start

USD alum Josh Johnson named starter for Bucs for Week 4

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Johnson will get the nod for Week 4 start.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will start former USD quarterback Josh Johnson against the Washington Redskins.

    Anyone who had the opportunity to see Josh Johnson play at the University of San Diego knows that what is about to happen next weekend was inevitable.

    Johnson will be the Buccaneers' new starting quarterback when they play the Washington Redskins on Sunday, according to the team’s  Web site. He is in his second year in the NFL after being drafted by the Bucs in the fifth round of the 2008 draft.

    While playing for USD from 2004-08, Johnson became one of the most prolific passers in NCAA FCS history by showcasing his athleticism, strong arm and scrambling ability. As a senior, he posted an incredible 43:1 touchdown-interception ratio while also rushing for 726 yards for the Toreros.

    Johnson will replace veteran Byron Leftwich. Tampa Bay's offense struggled to one of its lowest yardage and first-down outputs in franchise history in Week 3.

    Rookie Head Coach Raheem Morris made the announcement just one day after a 24-0 loss to the New York Giants that put the Bucs at 0-3 on the season. Johnson came into the game in the fourth quarter and directed the team's only sustained drive of the game, completing four of 10 passes for 36 yards while scrambling for a key 15-yard gain.

    Morris is hoping for more of the same from Johnson this weekend to deliver his first win as a NFL coach.