The Tampa Bay Buccaneers replaced Josh Freeman today as they're moving on to the Mike Glennon era. The Glennon era doesn't appear to be much better than the Josh Freeman era, though, as the rookie struggled against the Arizona Cardinals. Of course, Glennon is a rookie, and rookies are supposed to struggle. It's what they do.
Mike Glennon showed quite a bit of good in this game. He was generally accurate with the football, especially in the first half. He led the Buccaneers to three points in a two-minute drill at the end of the first half. He threw a touchdown to Mike Williams. He only got sacked twice, and generally seemed to play at a decent speed, which is not something I expected. He had a number of third down conversions, too, with the Bucs ending 7 of 18 in that area.
Overall, despite a few rookie mistakes, I thought Mike Glennon looked like a professional quarterback. Not a good one, mind you, but he found the open receiver, was accurate with the football and hit the checkdown when he had to hit it, generally. It wasn't great, but it was an okay debut -- at least, until the end of the fourth quarter.
Mike Glennon may have looked good in general, but his statistics were pretty bad. He was 24 of 43 for 193 yards, two sacks, one touchdown and two interception -- and an intentional grounding penalty. Some of that wasn't his fault, just as some of Freeman's bad statistics weren't his fault, either. Overall, though, those statistics aren't remotely good enough.
The worst stat is his yards per attempt. Glennon had 45 dropbacks and couldn't even get to 200 yards passing. 4.5 yards per attempt isn't good enough as a passer -- that's barely good enough as a runner. It is, incidentally, a significantly worse number than Josh Freeman has put up in any of his previous three games.
Still, a part of that was the fact that Kevin Ogletree dropped a couple of balls. A part of it was that Glennon got hit throughout the game. A part of it was the fact that the Cardinals were relentless with their blitzes. Those statistics should get better as The Bucs go forward.
Two interceptions to end the game, both of them really ugly. The first one was a result of bad ball placement -- an issue with accuracy that suddenly cropped up in the second half, after a good first half. Glennon threw the ball behind Vincent Jackson on a deep crossing route, which is just not something you can do. That ball is going to get picked off almost every time, and in this case it led directly to the loss.
The second interception wasn't as bad given the desperate situation for the team, but it wasn't pretty either. It was just a bad throw into a crowd under pressure -- but that one I can forgive, because the Bucs had to get into field goal range there.
The moral of the story is that Mike Glennon is a rookie, and he looked like a rookie. He wasn't very productive, and the Buccaneers offense wasn't very good. Given the fact that many of these issues appear to be structural, we shouldn't expect a lot of improvement over the season, either. The upside is that the Bucs have a bye week to fix some of these problems, and for Glennon to learn from his mistakes.