While it’s still a mystery as to when it’ll happen, rookie Mike Glennon will be the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at some point this season.
Why, you ask? Well because Josh Freeman is the current starter, and he will slip up at some point this upcoming season. When that time comes, Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano won’t hesitate to bench the 2009 first-round pick who has yet to live up to his billing.
Since becoming the Buccaneers’ starter, Freeman has been the epitome of inconsistency. One week, he looks like a Top 10 NFL quarterback. The next week, he’s throwing numerous interceptions, taking unnecessary sacks and playing scared. Schiano gave him a year to work out the kinks, but play time is over in Tampa Bay. The uncertainty Freeman offers just isn’t acceptable for a team that has improved greatly in other areas over the last two offseasons.
Even with a revamped offense – Vincent Jackson was signed, Doug Martin was drafted, the offensive line was upgraded – Freeman struggled to take advantage of the surrounding talent in 2012. While he amassed 4,065 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, he completed only 54.8 percent of his passes and threw 17 interceptions. He took too many unnecessary sacks and fumbled 10 times. Not exactly the type of numbers you want from a former first-round pick and three-year veteran.
All last season, Schiano waited for Freeman to come out of his shell and evolve into a vocal leader. While offseason reports made it seem as if progress was made, the Buccaneers appear far from satisfied with Freeman as their No. 1. They brought in Glennon, who many believe has the most long-term potential of the 2013 quarterback class. I don’t know about you, but it looks like a “preparing for the future” pick to me.
What’s worse for Freeman is that he’s entering a contract year. If his play starts to slip and the Buccaneers’ record starts to suffer, Schiano won’t hesitate to cut the cord and see what he has in Glennon. There’s no reason to keep starting Freeman if his future with the team is already decided.
We’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again. Freeman just hasn’t done enough to lock up his spot with the Buccaneers, and Schiano isn’t going to accept any excuses this season. One too many slip ups and it’s to the bench for the former No. 17 overall pick. That’s where Glennon will step in and get the opportunity to show off that rocket of an arm.
Glennon isn’t ready to get the starting nod – at least, not yet. When the time comes, though, the 2013 third-round pick will rise to the occasion and give the Buccaneers the boost at quarterback they never quite got from Freeman.
It’s not a matter of if, but when.