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Dungy: QBs will co-exist this season

By RICK STROUD

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2001


PALM DESERT, Calif. -- Bucs coach Tony Dungy said that though he would like to keep quarterbacks Brad Johnson, Shaun King and Ryan Leaf for more than one season, it's unlikely all three will play for Tampa Bay beyond 2001.

"Financially, I think we'll be fine. The only reason we wouldn't, in my opinion, is that one of the guys has a problem being No. 3," Dungy said. "That's what you can never assess. I don't think the guy who's No. 2 will have a problem.

"Ideally, we'd like to have three good players there. But if you look at it historically, it's never happened for a long period of time. Green Bay had (Brett) Favre, (Mark) Brunell and (Ty) Detmer, and you can't keep all three guys."

Dungy said he expects Johnson, King and Leaf to co-exist this season, no matter what order they fall on the depth chart. "For me, to let one of those guys go because they're uncomfortable being the third quarterback doesn't make sense," Dungy said. "I expect them to be uncomfortable with it, but it's still a job."

INSTANT REPLAY LIVES: Instant replay was enacted for three more seasons in a vote by owners.

The vote to extend the system utilized the past two seasons was 25-5, with one abstention. The Jets, Cardinals, Chiefs, Bengals and Bills dissented.

It's the first time in 16 years that owners installed the replay system for more than one season. "The purpose of this was to allow the system to be looked at, analyzed and improved," said Bucs general manager Rich McKay, competition committee co-chairman.

The league also ruled that bandanas violate the uniform code, although skullcaps may be worn if they bear the team colors.

"We've had standard uniforms from the shoes through the neck," McKay said. "We're just raising it to the top of the body."

Bandanas will be allowed for players who need them to help with medical problems. Baltimore team officials say Ray Lewis has a scalp condition that he needs to protect with a bandana.

YOU COULD JUST BLOCK BETTER: Owners asked officials to protect quarterbacks more vigorously. Last season there were a record 84 roughing the passer penalties. The annual average is about 50.

"When in doubt about roughing the passer, we're telling them to throw the flag," McKay said.

The only major rule changed enacted was the momentum rule. It stipulates that the ball be given to the defensive team at the spot where the team took possession, even if the player's momentum carries him into the end zone.

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