The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making a change under center after an 0-3 start to the season. Rookie Mike Glennon will replace a largely ineffective Josh Freeman as the team's new starting quarterback. Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the news:
Bucs have made the move: Benching Josh Freeman for Mike Glennon, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 25, 2013
Source tells me Bucs HC Greg Schiano finally lost patience with Freeman & decided to make move with Glennon now before season slips away— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) September 25, 2013
Shortly after these reports came to light, Schiano spoke about his decision to name Glennon the starter in a press conference. From Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune:
Bucs coach Greg Schiano says team now believes Mike Glennon gives the team the best chance to win.— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) September 25, 2013
Schiano said Schiano and Dominik met with ownership and decided the QB switch is best for the team at this point.— Pewter Report (@PewterReport) September 25, 2013
From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers official Twitter feed:
via @ScottSBucs "Coach says this very firmly: Mike Glennon is our QB now and going forward. We're not looking back."— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) September 25, 2013
From the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud:
Schiano says he talked to the leadership group of players before he told the team of the change at QB.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 25, 2013
Although the move doesn't come as a complete surprise given Freeman's poor play, it does represent a sudden shift in thinking from the second-year head coach. Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times points out that Schiano called Freeman the starter as recently as Monday:
If Schefter report about starting Glennon is correct, something changed in last 48 hours. Schiano was adamant Monday: "Josh is our starter."— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 25, 2013
Here's the transcript from the team's official site when Schiano responded to inquires about his quarterback situation:
(On the quarterback position)
"Josh [Freeman] is our starter."
(On what it would take for him to consider a change at quarterback)
"Josh is our starter. That’s where we are."
(On how confident the team is in Josh Freeman)
"Josh is our guy. We're going to ride-or-die with Josh. He's the starter, he's always been the starter. We support him 110 percent."
The Bucs drafted Glennon in the third round (73rd overall) of April's draft. He failed to impress during the preseason, completing less than 50 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions. However, with Freeman struggling and the team clearly needing a spark after a lackluster start, Schiano must have decided now was the time to make the switch.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports the team was told during a meeting Wednesday, and it didn't come as a shock.
#Bucs told players in a team meeting this morning that Mike Glennon was now their starter, per source. My sense? Locker room not surprised— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 25, 2013
Freeman is in the final year of his contract, and benching him strongly suggests his time in Tampa Bay is quickly winding toward its conclusion. Andrew Brandt of ESPN passed along the details of his deal.
Josh Freeman is in the final year of $26 million rookie contract. Seems evident that next contract will not be with @TBBuccaneers— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) September 25, 2013
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported earlier in the month that Freeman was likely going to seek a trade due to his deteriorating relationship with Schiano. Freeman was not voted team captain to start this season after three years in the position.
With the relationship between Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Josh Freeman and coach Greg Schiano seen by league and team sources as beyond repair, Freeman is likely to ask for a deal ahead of next month's trade deadline.
Ed Werder of ESPN adds that Tampa Bay is now willing to listen to offers for him.
If some team interested in trading for Josh Freeman, Bucs willing to consider but now he's No 2 behind Mike Glennon, says source— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) September 25, 2013
Whether any team will be interested remains up in the air. Freeman has a quarterback rating below 60 through three games, per Pro Football Focus:
Josh Freeman has the lowest adjusted accuracy percentage (counting drops as completions etc) of all QBs so far (Peyton Manning tops)— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 25, 2013
With Freeman's future now a major question mark, the Bucs will begin the Glennon era. Will Brinson of CBS Sports reports Schiano has a history with the NC State product:
Said it a million times but remember: at Rutgers Greg Schiano recruited Mike Glennon heavily out of high school.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 25, 2013
Glennon has all the physical tools to succeed, but it's very likely going to take awhile for him to adjust to the NFL. The 23-year-old will make his first start against the Arizona Cardinals (1-2) on Sunday.