Buccaneers 'surprised' at how Mike Glennon was seen in NFL

Gregory Shamus

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to keep Mike Glennon after an offseason full of speculation about the second-year quarterback's future with the team. What changed, if anything, and why were the Bucs 'surprised' this weekend?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were very surprised at how the NFL viewed Mike Glennon. That's the word from both Pewter Report and Shaun King (via JoeBucsFan). Pewter Reports notes that the Bucs were "surprised at  how highly he was valued", which made the Bucs think twice about trading him for a second- or third-round pick. Shaun King said on 620 WDAE that "other teams' interest in Mike Glennon elevated his status within in the Bucs' organization" and that "a lot of teams really view Mike Glennon as a legitimate starter down the line."

That NFL teams view him that way shouldn't be a massive surprise. While we like to make fun of Greg Schiano, he was an NFL coach with plenty of NFL connections, and he adored Glennon. Mark Dominik thought highly enough of Glennon to select him in the third round, and Greg Cosell and Cian Fahey as well as other national analysts seem to think highly of the Bucs' signal caller as well. 

It's no secret that some of us here (at least Leo, Gur and I) don't think Mike Glennon's play last year was good enough to earn him the starting job this year. That doesn't mean we don't think he can improve and develop into a quality starter down the road, though. As I wrote way back when he was drafted, Mike Glennon has the potential to turn into someone like Matt Ryan -- a quality starter who can be a top-ten quarterback if surrounded by good weapons. 

Still, the consensus among national and local analysts before the draft seemed to be that Mike Glennon was going to be traded, and that the Bucs would draft a quarterback. We were certainly convinced of that. Where did we go wrong, and why did the Bucs really decide to keep Mike Glennon? 

Theory one: The Buccaneers always liked Mike Glennon

This theory is perhaps the most controversial, and it doesn't really fit the evidence we have. While the Bucs were never openly negative on Mike Glennon, their focus on finding an athletic quarterback and their signing of Josh McCown seemed to at least indicate that they didn't think Glennon was the guy for this year. 

But perhaps they do like Mike Glennon -- but just like Josh McCown a little more, at least in the short term. Perhaps they just want to see Glennon develop and think sitting him behind McCown will help him be a better passer. It's not out of the question that most of the offseason talk of finding a trade for Mike Glennon was an elaborate smokescreen. 

The development theory was to some extent confirmed by Lovie Smith today, in an interview with 620 WDAE"In an ideal situation you don't want young players to have to come in and play right away. You want them to be around an established veteran, so this is the best situation for Mike Glennon to be in," Smith said. In the same interview, Lovie noted that his opinion of Glennon really hasn't changed since January. 

Whether you take those comments at face value is up to you.

Theory two: The Bucs liked Glennon a lot more after mini-camp

The Bucs initial comments on Mike Glennon weren't overly positive. They never said anything negative about the second-year quarterback, but one of the first things they did was pursue a replacement in Josh McCown, who they immediately named the starter. But since rookie minicamp, their comments have been more positive -- and never more so than on Thursday, when they named Glennon their quarterback of the future. 

That change in tone may reflect a real change in perception after mini-camp. Pewter Report and Shaun King both think the Bucs were surprised by the interest in Mike Glennon around the league, and that that shifted their own evaluation of Mike Glennon. There's also the possibility that he simply looked better in mini-camp than they expected. 

Theory three: The Bucs love Josh McCown as their quarterback of the future

This appears to be Pewter Report's working theory, and Lovie Smith seemed to affirm that on today's interview with 620 WDAE too. "Josh is our starter, which he is, and hopefully for quite a few years he will be."

Pewter Report thinkgs the Bucs feel Josh McCown's performance at the team's first mini-camp was so good, that the Bucs now see him as their quarterback of the future for four or five years, despite his turning 35 years old this season. Apparently, the Bucs think he can be one of the late-blooming quarterbacks, like Rich Gannon, Chris Chandler, Brad Johnson and...Steve Beuerlein? I guess? 

That would mean the Bucs don't need a quarterback of the future, for now -- they just need a quality backup. And Mike Glennon is more than capable of being a quality backup. That's a dangerous road to travel, though. McCown succeeded last year because of the system, because of the talent surrounding him and because of the easy schedule he faced. While he certainly showed positive traits, seeing him as a quality starter for four or five years could blow up in their face. 

Of course, if it does blow up, they do still have Mike Glennon. 

Theory four: The Bucs still don't like Glennon, but they didn't like their trade offers

This is the Glennon-hater theory. We've tried to figure out what the Bucs want in a quarterback, and that was reinforced a bit by their signing Wyoming's Brett Smith as a priority free agent. But a set of guidelines or preferences like that isn't set in stone (if they're even correct), and there are exceptions to be made, too. After all, Lovie Smith and Jason Licht wouldn't say no to Tom Brady, presumably. 

Still, this is a realistic possibility. Perhaps they figured out they weren't going to get what they wanted for Mike Glennon, or they didn't think they'd be able to find a better backup quarterback with the picks offered for their second-year passer. This theory would mean Lovie Smith is praising Glennon mostly to keep his possible trade stock high, looking toward the future. 

Of course, Pewter Report claiming the Bucs were surprised by how highly Glennon was valued across the league conflicts with this theory. That suggests they actually received trade offers beyond what they expected. 

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