The Buccaneers' 2013 Season Still Rides on Josh Freeman

Jason KannoContributor IIISeptember 17, 2013

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 15:  Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sets to pass against the New Orleans Saints September 15, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

If backup quarterback Mike Glennon starts a game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, consider their season over.

The Buccaneers already find themselves fighting the odds to make the playoffs. Every 0-2 team has been reminded ad nauseam that only 12 percent of teams in their position make the playoffs.

There is plenty of blame to be shared for the Bucs' current predicament. Greg Schiano deserves the lion's share for his complete failure to have his team prepared to play the past two Sundays.

The 2013 Buccaneers are a talent-laden but undisciplined wrecking ball. Every time they look as though they have broken out, they haplessly swing back and break the hearts of the Buccaneer nation.

Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman deserves blame as well, though not nearly as much as he's getting on the message boards right now. Pro Football Focus' review of the game lays out how Freeman was a victim of bad luck and circumstance against the Saints.

More and more people are writing off Josh Freeman as the Bucs' QB of the future, but what is the alternative, and how much of the offense's woes fall on Freeman?

The Buccaneers employ a run-and-shoot-style offense similar to the New York Giants. This offense entails a strong run game and shots down the field. It also means a higher rate of incompletions due to the higher reliance on the receivers' ability to decipher defenses during their routes and come to the same conclusions as the QB.

When you look at Eli Manning's completion percentage over his career, five out of nine years were spent passing below 60 percent, the general benchmark for an accurate pocket passer. So, for all those "analysts" who think Schiano wants a game manager, take a look at the actual offense the Bucs run and reevaluate your opinions.

The typical reaction fans have when their QBs struggle is to call for the next guy. Well, the next guy was not even good enough to keep Dan Orlovsky off the roster. Mike Glennon looked overwhelmed when he took the field during the preseason despite taking most of the snaps.

Glennon has never been considered a high-accuracy passer dating back to his days at NC State. In fact, he was criticized for having the same kinds of mental lapses as Freeman is lambasted for by the critics.

Past performance aside, the main reason Glennon under center would end the Bucs' season is he is a third-round rookie. He is not Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III and cannot use his accomplishments in college to earn him any goodwill in a locker room filled with veterans.

Starting Glennon will signal to the older guys that the plans for this season have gone so far off the rails that Schiano would rather invest in the future than play for the now.

Schiano indicated on his 620 WDAE-AM radio show this week that he is willing to be patient with Freeman. While the Bucs' head coach has looked out of his depth this season, his word remains law in the locker room, and he will remain in charge so long as he keeps Freeman on the field and Glennon on the bench.