The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially made a decision that many observers thought was coming, benching quarterback Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon. Freeman has been the Bucs’ starter since he was drafted in the first round in 2009, but his play has declined and recently and he has clashed with head coach Greg Schiano.
Freeman is completing just 45.7% of his passes this season with just 2 TDs and 3 INTs. There have been questions about his maturity and leadership since he was not voted captain by his teammates, an extremely rare occurrence for an established starting quarterback. Freeman’s last straw may have been sleeping through a meeting last week, which drew the ire of Schiano.
The Bucs drafted Glennon in the third round in April, high enough to make him appear to be the quarterback of the future for the team. Glennon has absolute cannon, and he threw for 4,031 yards and 31 touchdowns in his final season at North Carolina State. However, Glennon is very raw and has a lot to learn.
The Bucs are one of the more disappointing teams in the NFL at 0-3, after many believed that the offseason additions of Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson and the return to health of Davin Joseph would make this team a playoff contender. At this point, the playoffs seem very unlikely, and there is almost no chance that Freeman would be able to get them there.
By going with Glennon, the Bucs are hoping that the team will rally around the rookie in a way they didn’t for Freeman, and they think that Glennon can bring the best out of an offense that has quite a bit of talent on paper. There will certainly be growing pains, and this move probably symbolizes the Bucs waving the white flag on the season. However, this is absolutely the correct move for the future of the franchise.
If Glennon can develop throughout the rest of this season, it will give the Bucs hope for the future, and maybe set them up to be the playoff team that so many thought they could become.