Mike Glennon was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' third-round draft pick last year. He started 13 games after the team benched Josh Freeman, and his production was a mixed bag, but certainly not without problems. He had his issues, but there's still a decent chance he'll continue to develop and turn into a quality player. Somehow, it seems the Buccaneers don't agree.
When the Bucs signed Josh McCown to a two-year deal, Lovie Smith immediately declared him to be the starter. "There has to be a starting spot," Smith said, via the Tampa Tribune. "A starting point, starting person that goes out there first and at quarterback for us, that's going to be Josh."
Granted, that's only a starting point for an offseason competition, but it does say something about the way the team views Glennon. The Bucs' coaching staff and front office at minimum seem to view Mike Glennon as a worse player than Josh McCown right now, and he'll have to have a very good offseason to change their minds. They left the door open for Glennon to continue to develop behind McCown, but other comments suggest they're already preparing to move on.
"What better person to have here to help Mike Glennon develop than Josh McCown?" Jason Licht said, via the Tampa Bay Times. "We win on both ends. That's the way we're looking at it. Any quarterback who would be here would benefit from Josh. (McCown) is eager because he's naturally a mentor on and off the field, with anybody he comes across."
While that sounds good, it seems unlikely that he'll actually get a real chance to develop, given the fact that the team seems to still want to draft a quarterback. At the scouting combine, Lovie Smith certainly said that there would be a quarterback they could draft at the seventh overall pick.
"I know enough about that draft to know, yeah, there's someone that would be worthy of the seventh pick because everything is on the board right now,'' Smith told the Tampa Bay Times. "Whenever you have a chance to get a franchise quarterback, you have to consider that.''
General manager Jason Licht reiterated that view after signing McCown.
"You can never pass on a franchise level quarterback," Licht told Booger McFarland and Marc Ryan of 98.7 The Fan. "I do [see franchise quarterbacks in the draft]. I'm not going to give you what round I think they're going to go in. We found one in the sixth round in New England, so it might not be the guys you're talking about."
If the Bucs do draft someone they see as a franchise quarterback, it's hard to see where Mike Glennon would fit. The coaching staff doesn't see him as the best short-term answer with McCown's signing, while Licht's insistence that they can find franchise quarterbacks in the draft suggests they don't view him as a solid long-term answer, either.
Even when discussing quarterback traits, Glennon doesn't really fit what the team is looking for.
"You look at quarterbacks and what you ask them to do," Lovie Smith said to the Tampa Bay Times. "First, they have to make good, sound decisions most of the time. He can do that. You have to have an arm to get the ball where you need to. He can do that. I want a guy who is mobile, a guy who can scramble to throw the ball or get a first down. He has most the things you want."
Decision making, arm strength, functional mobility. None of those things are particular strengths of Mike Glennon, although hey aren't real weaknesses, either. He avoids interceptions, but fails to pull the trigger on open receivers and takes too many sacks. He has enough arm strength to make every NFL throw, but not much more than that. He can get outside the pocket and throw on the move, but he'll hardly make things happen with his legs.
Overall, there's very little to suggest that the Bucs view Mike Glennon as anything more than a career backup. That makes for a swift fall from grace for a quarterback who Greg Schiano anointed as his future starter just hours before getting fired. New coaching staff, new rules, new players. And that means we may already have seen the last of Glennon as a starter in Tampa.