Buccaneers: Backup QB plan

Assessing the Buccaneers’ backup QB situation if Josh Freeman is injured and misses time.

It didn’t draw nearly as much attention as when Tampa Bay signed guard Carl Nicks, receiver Vincent Jackson and cornerback Eric Wright, but the Bucs believe adding Dan Orlovsky as a free agent was significant. He is by no means a threat to challenge Freeman for the starting job. But Orlovsky is an upgrade over former backup Josh Johnson. Orlovsky is more of a traditional drop-back passer than Johnson, plus he has more experience, coming into the league in 2005. Orlovsky has only 12 career starts. But five of them came last season when Peyton Manning’s neck injury created a desperate situation. The Colts got their only two wins in games Orlovsky started and that raised his stock a bit. There’s nothing in Orlovsky’s history that says he’s going to dazzle anyone. But he can throw the deep ball and coach Greg Schiano repeatedly has talked about how his offense wants to take some shots down the field.

Confidence rating (out of 100) if Freeman goes out for an extended period: 55