TAMPA, Fla. -- After a lackluster outing in the preseason opener, some fans already are saying Josh McCown isn't the right quarterback for the Buccaneers.
Don't tell that to Evan Dietrich-Smith. The center went into a lengthy defensive of McCown when told about the criticism from fans.
"It's all knee-jerk reaction stuff," Dietrich-Smith said. "Josh is a great leader. The guy's been around the league for a long time and he's been around the league for a long time for a reason, because the guy can play football. He knows what he's doing, he's a savvy guy, he knows where he's going with the ball. What happened out there was us as a front not giving him time to work. We had some positive plays that were negated by penalties on our part. That hurt us and we were never on schedule."
Dietrich-Smith said the limited first-team work in the preseason opener was not a good gauge of what McCown can do and what type of leader he is.
"To sit there and all of the sudden say that this guy can't do his job, I think is a little out of control and a little ludicrous," Dietrich-Smith said. "For me, I have complete and utter trust in the guy. I think we have great chemistry out there. He's one of those guys that you sit in the huddle and when he's talking to you, you can tell he's loose, he's relaxed. That's the kind of stuff you need from a leader."
The defense didn't stop there.
"The guy studies his butt off," Dietrich-Smith said. "He's usually the first guy in, last guy out. Just grinding film, talking to the (offensive coordinator), pulling ideas off me. I could go on and on about the guy. But I'm just letting you know that the guy is the right guy for the spot."