Will Darrelle Revis and Doug Martin get healthy and back to being among the best at their positions? How many changes need to be made to a talented but inconsistent offensive line? How will the pass rush be upgraded? These are just a few examples, but the most important one, by far, is aimed at the game’s toughest position:
Who will be the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback in 2014?
A lot of Buc fans would say that Mike Glennon, the rookie from N.C. State, deserves a shot to prove that he is a franchise quarterback. Many believe he already is. On the other hand, some say a signal caller should be the first priority in the draft, and that Glennon should be regulated to the role of backup quarterback. Needless to say, there is a lot of mixed debate on this topic.
Obviously, Glennon’s future with Tampa will be determined by two main things: his play down the stretch, and the preferences of his (hopefully) new head coach. However, if I had to base it off of his play this season and what I believe his potential to be, here’s my take:
After watching the first few games of Glennon’s season, I wasn’t particularly a fan of the tall, lanky signal-caller. I thought he was too immobile in the pocket, and I didn’t think he had the accuracy and consistency to be a quality NFL quarterback. I thought he didn’t make his reads particularly well, and would normally stare down Vincent Jackson the entire time. To me, those attributes were not a recipe for success.
His last few games, on the other hand, paint a different picture. While he is not particularly quick, he showed a willingness to scramble when it was needed, either to gain yards on his feet or to buy more time in order hit an open receiver. He also improved his scanning abilities, going through his second and third reads much more often. Glennon’s touch on deep balls, his ability to play mostly mistake-free football, and the fact that he gets rid of the ball quickly have given me some hope that he is the answer in Tampa.
Unfortunately, his inconsistency still remains an issue. In the games against the Seattle Seahawks, the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions, Glennon played outstandingly. He completed over 66 percent of his passes, with two touchdowns and no interceptions in each of those contests. His efforts against the Lions and Seahawks were particularly impressive, as the both teams boast premier front sevens. However, in matchups against the Carolina Panthers (twice) and the Miami Dolphins, Glennon looked lost. He struggled getting the ball to his receivers and was unable to get any offense going. The flaws I had mentioned earlier returned in those games and raised more causes for concern. Ultimately, his hot-and-cold streaks make it hard to gauge his overall talent.
What many people fail to remember is that Glennon is still a rookie. He has exceeded expectations, and that’s remarkable considering how the team was when he took over. Also, he is playing on a team decimated with injuries. The fact that he has won games despite all this should be factored heavily when considering his future. He’s still developing, so there’s a good chance those consistency issues could eventually be fixed. Unless he completely botches down the stretch, I believe that he has earned the right to be Tampa Bay’s starting quarterback of 2014. With a year under his belt, we’ll see what Glennon’s made of and whether or not he has the tools to be the franchise quarterback that Tampa Bay has been seeking for decades.