Buccaneers Can't Afford to Overlook Mike Glennon in Quarterback Competition

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystMay 20, 2014

Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers raised a few eyebrows earlier this offseason when they signed veteran quarterback Josh McCown.

Once the dust settled, the prevailing school of thought was that McCown was brought in to start, while second-year pro Mike Glennon would head back to the bench after starting 13 games as a rookie.

It appears that school may have been using Common Core. Oops.

At least, that's the latest from Rotoworld's Evan Silva:

If Schefter's report is true, then new Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith has reversed course a bit from his statements at the NFL draft. Back then, Smith told Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk the future belonged to Glennon, but the present was all McCown:

Just talking about our quarterback position: our quarterback position is as strong as, to me, any quarterback position I’ve had when I’ve been a head coach. You know how much I like Josh McCown as our starter here, but I love Mike Glennon. Mike Glennon is our quarterback of the future here.

At the time, Smith's statements made sense. After all, while Glennon had his moments as a rookie, he also had more than his fair share of struggles. McCown, on the other hand, had the best season of his 12-year career.

Mike Glennon vs. Josh McCown 2013
Per NFL.com

Still, it makes a ton of sense for the Buccaneers to at the very least keep their options open.

Yes, McCown was impressive in five starts in place of an injured Jay Cutler in Chicago last year. He threw 13 touchdown passes against only one interception, keeping the Bears in the playoff race in the process.

However, we're not talking about a young pro taking the next step. We're talking about a 34-year-old journeyman who has played for five teams and had an upside-down touchdown-to-interception ratio until last year's outburst.

Also, Glennon wasn't awful as a rookie, despite being thrown to the wolves three games into the season. He threw 10 more touchdowns than interceptions in his own right, and Glennon's 83.9 passer rating was higher than Eli Manning's and Joe Flacco's.

Glennon, for his part, has also been picking the veteran's brain, according to Greg Auman of The Tampa Bay Times:

It's been great so far. He's just so far advanced in his knowledge. He's been around the game for, I don't know what it is now, 12 years. ... Me only being in 1, I can compare notes. He offers a lot advice that not many guys know. He's really like another coach out there for me, a coach that's been through this for a long time now. He genuinely wants to help me, and that's what's great about him.

Ultimately, the Buccaneers have absolutely nothing to lose by not rushing to make a decision in this regard. Let McCown and Glennon compete on equal footing in training camp.

Worst-case scenario? The Bucs wind up where they started, with McCown starting and Glennon holding a clipboard.

Best case? The future is now.


Gary Davenport is an NFL Analyst at Bleacher Report and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Gary on Twitter @IDPManor.