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Op-ed: Glennon and the 7th Overall Pick

Let me start with a brief sidebar to kind of catch you up with a bit of soul searching I've done about my fandom. As a Bucs fan, I've kind of lost my way since the start of the Schiano regime. There is no need to rehash that mess, but to keep things short, the past two years have made myself and many other Bucs fans a lot more negative than we should be. The Glazers get some heat from the fans for a lot of different topics (sometimes deservedly so), but the firing of Greg and subsequent hiring of Lovie was a ball they hit out of the park. I've decided to turn over a new leaf, to revert my mindset back to where it was at the end of the 2010 season, before the 2011 debacle and the Schiano catastrophe that occurred shortly after and I'd recommend that you all do the same if you haven't done so yet.

Now, onto the QB position. You all know how I feel about Glennon, he's a project and is far from "the guy." I've been hard on him and many other players who I've felt haven't performed up to my standards the past two seasons. Most of it, in my opinion, has been fair but not to the extent I alluded to when talking about those players. I'm going to try to be a bit more positive regarding Glennon and I'll get to why next.

No one should be happier about the hiring of Tedford than Glennon himself. Tedford's system is a much better fit than the one Glennon was drafted into. I would have said it was a perfect fit for Glennon if Tedford didn't run as much of the read option as he did in his later years at Cal. This new offense will give Glennon the best chance to succeed in the NFL and if he can't turn into "the guy" with Tedford, then he won't do it anywhere. And, you know what? That's fine because he was a third round draft pick who never should have been the guy anyways. If he becomes a capable back-up, that's still a win for the Bucs in my book. On the chance he becomes anything more than a back-up (viable starter or Mallet/Cousins type trade piece), then that is just icing on the cake. For that reason, I do hope be becomes a franchise guy because that makes the Bucs a better team. Do I think that's probable? No, but I do believe that Tedford's offense will give him a chance and that's all we can ask for at this point.

Giving Glennon a year to prove himself in a system that caters to his strengths is a reasonable argument that makes some sense to me. At the same time, we can't put ourselves in the same position that we did with Josh. We waited for too long for him to prove himself as the franchise guy and if we don't learn from our mistakes, we won't improve as people or as a team. Fortunately, we have hindsight and the draft position to prevent that from happening again. Greg was right about one thing (and that's about it). Competition at the QB position is vital until a clear cut franchise QB emerges. When I talk about competition, I'm not advocating the addition of a guy like Henne who is a stop gap at best. A legitimate QB with franchise level potential should be added. I don't want to watch another version of the Cardinals' Lindley versus Skelton showdown, where everyone loses. QBs with franchise level talent can be found in the rounds following the first, but the likelihood dramatically decreases after the first round as DraftPhantom has laid out for us. So we can take a guy in the fifth with the hope he may be a Brady or a Wilson or even a Brad Johnson, but he is a lot more likely to be a Josh Johnson or a John Skelton.

My argument above is for why we should draft a QB, but it wasn't an argument depicting why we have to draft a QB. You shouldn't reach on a QB just because. Drafting a QB depends on a lot of variables and drafting a QB just to draft one could turn out to be a fools errand if we pass on other talented players just to provide competition. We may have to ride with Glennon for another year and that isn't the end of the world. We have Lovie, the guy who famously led his team the the Super Bowl with Orton on Grossman as his QBs. Another year will also give us a clearer picture of Glennon along with a shot at some more talented QBs next year.

We should draft a QB to compete with Glennon. Maybe we end up in a Patriots situation where we have a franchise QB and a valuable trade piece in our pocket when we need another draft pick; but if the draft doesn't provide us favorable options at the quarterback position, then we can ride the Glennon wave and hope we don't have to look at the 2015 draft the same way we are looking at the 2014 draft, with a QB as a possible pick at the top of our draft.

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