Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Breakdown: Complete Position Evaluation

Caleb AbnerContributor IIIMay 15, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18:  Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 18, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

On the team's official website, you'll see four players listed as quarterbacks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

They are, in order of predicted ranking of the depth chart: Josh Freeman, Mike Glennon, Dan Orlovsky, and Adam Weber.

Out of all these guys, Freeman is the player most fans are familiar with. Drafted out of Kansas State in 2009, "Free"  has been the club's starting quarterback for the last three seasons, missing just one game in that span.

His best season was in 2010, when he threw for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

2011 was a step back, as his interception total skyrocketed to a whopping 22 picks in 15 games.

2012 was a mixed bag, as Freeman broke 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, but had a ridiculously low completion percentage of 54.8. His 17 interceptions on the season look very bad taken out of context, but eight of those picks came in two games, which happened to be part of the team's five-game losing streak, so one can attribute them to Free trying to do too much to force a win.

Freeman has good height at 6'6'' and is fairly athletic, though he doesn't run often. His strong arm allows him to be very effective throwing the deep ball, but inconsistent mechanics lead to him frequent;y missing open receivers. 

When Freeman's hot, he's hot. With his tools, he can be an elite quarterback, if the coaches can fix his mechanics, and his tendency to try to force plays.

There is no reason to believe that Freeman will not be the team's starter entering 2013. But should he struggle, the coaches will not hesitate to bench him and play third-round draft pick Mike Glennon.

Glennon is a signal-caller not too unlike the Bucs' incumbent starter.

The following quotations from Mike Glennon's scouting report highlight the similarities:

Still, Glennon gets a little lazy at times with his footwork. He can be observed locking his front leg, raising his back foot and transferring his weight improperly. Too often, he will resort to throwing flat-footed on crossing routes.

His ball placement is generally good, allowing receivers to gain yards after the catch, but he leaves the ball inside too often on passes outside the numbers. Glennon flashes the ability to throw with nice touch downfield, but sometimes sails passes in the intermediate level.

His arm may not rank among the strongest in the NFL, but he can fit the ball into tight windows and flashes impressive velocity.

The NC State product has a stronger arm than Freeman and is an inch taller, but lacks the athleticism, which is why not a lot of scouting reports compared the two of them.

The athleticism, though, is beside the point. Glennon has the arm, the size and the deep accuracy necessary to run Greg Schiano's vertical offense. At this point in his career, Glennon is not ready to carry an NFL offense and should ride the bench this year. He has starting potential.

Behind Glennon on the depth chart will be Dan Orlovsky. He's the consummate game-manager, the guy who won't push for starting time, won't elevate his football team beyond the talent around him, but will win a few games if the starter is injured.

Bottoming out the depth chart is Adam Weber. ESPN's scouting report on him says it best:

Weber needs more exposure in order to be evaluated.

So, to sum it all up, the Bucs will begin 2013 by starting Josh Freeman, will have Mike Glennon ready as his backup should Free struggle, and have Orlovsky and Weber for further depth.

Tampa's success in 2013 depends on how far its quarterback can take the team. On paper, the rest of the team is set at virtually every other position.

Come September, the franchise will rest on the shoulders of Josh Freeman.

Will he be able to hear the weight?