Glennon's status rides on Bucs' 1st draft pick
Posted April 23
If Mike Glennon’s NFL future with Tampa Bay wasn’t sealed when new coach Lovie Smith brought in Josh McCown three months ago, it almost certainly will be if the Bucs take another quarterback with their first pick in the upcoming draft.
Glennon, a standout at N.C. State, started 13 games last season as a rookie under then-coach Greg Schinao and was one of the few bright spots on a 4-12 team.
With 19 touchdown passes (nine interceptions) and 2,609 yards passing, the 3rd-round pick generally was impressive throughout.
But when Schiano was fired and Smith immediately hired Jeff Tedford as his offensive coordinator, there was every reason to believe a veteran quarterback would be added as insurance.
That turned out to be McCown, 34, who threw 13 TD passes (one interception) as a reliever in Chicago last season. Smith, as the Bears coach from 2004-2012, obviously is comfortable with McCown.
But dating back to his rookie season with Arizona in 2002, McCown has never been a full-time pro starter. His most active season was 13 starts in 2004, when the Cardinals went 6-10. Otherwise, McCown’s been a career reliever – including two uneventful seasons with the Carolina Panthers in 2008 and ’09.
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Smith named McCown the starter entering preseason, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll start when the regular season opens.
The other quarterback in off-season workout camps has been Mike Kafka, 26, whose only experience was a sub for Philadelphia in 2011.
Glennon has accepted McCown’s arrival and sudden promotion to starter with the same grace and class he displayed at State.
"It's a great opportunity to work every day with a guy who has so much experience," Glennon told reporters before the start last week’s volunteer training sessions. "At the same time, just by my nature, I'm going to go out there and compete. Whatever my role might be, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability."
Over the course of a 16-game season and given McCown’s history of injuries and uneven production, Glennon should get his share of game time as the situation stands now.
But Smith and Tedford frequently have said they might use their seventh overall draft pick to add another quarterback.
They’ve brought in Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Derek Carr (Fresno State), Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) and Jim Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) for individual workouts during the past 5-6 weeks.
If the Bucs do go with a quarterback in the first round, Glennon likely will be traded. It’s about that simple. McCown was given a 2-year, $10 million contract and pro teams no longer take QBs in the first round for the purpose of toting clipboards and charting plays for two or three seasons.
On the other hand, Smith and the Bucs need wide outs, offensive linemen and linebackers.
Some of the draft analysts predict that once May 8 (Smith’s 56th birthday) rolls around and the draft actually gets underway in New York, the Bucs will pick Sammy Watkins (Clemson WR), Mike Evans (A&M wide out) or Jake Matthews (A&M offensive tackle).
If either of those three is the choice, it would be a plus for Glennon and an indication that he’s still the team’s QB of the future. The team’s top catcher, Vincent Jackson, is about to start his 11th season.
But regardless of how the Tampa Bay drama unfolds, Glennon’s NFL future should be bright and maybe even brighter if he does get traded. He proved last season that he belongs in a lineup somewhere.