Every NFL team stands or falls with their quarterback, and that's as true for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as it is for any other team. The Bucs have some question marks at the position, but they have a lot of pure talent as well. With Josh Freeman and Mike Glennon the Bucs have two strong-armed passers, but the question is whether Freeman can become a consistent passer, or whether
The fifth-year quarterback had an up-and-down 2012 season. Or rather: a down-up-and-down 2012 season. He started off slow as he was still learning the new system, but quickly improved and looked like a star during the middle of the season. But two four-interception games and persistent issues with accuracy have led to questions about his future with Tampa Bay.
If Freeman can eliminate the inconsistencies from his game and gain a better understand of the offense, the Buccaneers could have an explosive and productive offense and we'll see Freeman as the Bucs' franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. If Freeman instead continues to struggle with his accuracy and reads, the Buccaneers could easily let him walk in free agency, or even turn to Mike Glennon during the season.
A third-round draft pick, Glennon is not here to displace Josh Freeman. He is here as insurance, however. We've compared him to Matt Ryan, but he's not nearly at the Atlanta quarterback's level -- not yet, at least. Glennon's role this season will be to learn the offense and step in in case of injury to Freeman. He has the physical tools to excel as a pocket passer and is well-fit to the offense, but he was a bit inconsistent with his accuracy in college, struggled under pressure and made some bad decisions.
Glennon will "compete" with Dan Orlovsky and Adam Weber for the backup job, but the Bucs aren't going to make their third-round draft pick inactive week after week.
Dan Orlovsky & Adam Weber
Orlovsky is a veteran backup the Bucs don't hold in high regard. They cut the quarterback before the draft and then re-signed him to a much cheaper contract in an effort to save half a million in cap space. They guaranteed Orlovsky $300,000 under his new contract, which may keep him on the roster. That may keep him on the roster as a third quarterback, but it seems unlikely the Buccaneers waste a roster spot on a third QB after they didn't do so last season. Adam Weber is really just a camp body and is maybe a candidate for the practice squad.
Projected opening day players: Josh Freeman (starter), Mike Glennon