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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Martin Fennelly Columns

Fennelly: Bucs need competition at QB in 2014

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Published:   |   Updated: December 23, 2013 at 11:29 PM

TAMPA — Mike Glennon hasn’t earned the right to be annointed, only to try again — more than his head coach, in fact.

But this rookie is still just a guy trying to be The Man.

You might be done with your Christmas shopping. If so, we salute you. I consider it a successful shopping season when I don’t buy anything I saw on a plane in SkyMall magazine — though the elegant end table that also serves as a cat litter box was enticing.

But the Bucs need to shop for another quarterback — in the name of competition.

You remember competition, right?

That’s what still Bucs coach Greg Schiano said after last season, after going 7-9. Despite Josh Freeman’s 4,000 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, Schiano said, and I quote: “The one thing I do believe in is competition at every spot, including quarterback, so I want to have as many good players on our football team as we can at every single position.”

We’re going to hold him to that if he’s back as head coach.

I’d have a long shopping list if I was the Glazers, a new offensive coordinator at the least, a new coach and GM at the most — then on to the roster.

We’re going to hold Schiano to his word.

Freeman wasn’t his guy, especially after he flopped down the stretch, interceptions everywhere, including four at New Orleans, where the Bucs end another dreary season Sunday.

Is Mike Glennon really soaring right now?

The Bucs need competition at quarterback.

There’s no reason he couldn’t stand being pushed by a veteran presence, who could help Glennon along even if Glennon wins out. I’m not talking Jay Cutler or Philip Rivers or $20 million per season. I’m talking about a veteran, like Alex Smith was before joining Kansas City.

I know Schiano is locked in on Glennon. He has to be. The kid is his umbilical cord to another season, any promise he has shown.

Throw in the fact that the Bucs are on like their fourth running back, have little more than Vincent Jackson, really, and an offensive line that has been abysmal. Glennon has been sacked 21 times over the past four games. It’s hard to assess someone when they’re under a pile of pass rushers.

Schiano hinted at all those mitigating factors Monday, when he said Glennon “has been pretty good when he’s been able to play the position.”

But is there any way around Glennon’s descending numbers at this point? He’s off the map. The Bucs’ offense the past five games: 229, 206, 246, 183, 170. Here is Glennon’s passing the past four games: 140, 81, 144, 158. Here are his past four QB ratings: 73.5, 40.4. 75.5, 78.7. Oh, and here is the Bucs’ record: 4-11. You don’t win NFL games scoring 13 or 14 points.

Glennon isn’t completely to blame. And he’s a rookie. He never looks like this is all too much for him. But does he look like a guy who can make it happen all by himself if need be, make something from nothing? Not even close.

His shortcomings are there for us to see. He can’t avoid many sacks. He has lost four fumbles. His arm strength hasn’t consistently blown me away.

One of things that marked Josh Freeman’s rookie season were those comeback flashes, those moments when he grabbed games late. His ceiling seemed so high. Glennon hasn’t shown that kind of ceiling. There are times when it looks like there’s a sideline and a clipboard in his future.

Yes, I could say that about a lot of NFL quarterbacks.

But this is the Bucs quarterback. This is Greg Schiano’s guy.

I’d want insurance, with or without the same head coach.

Hey, they wanted it with Freeman, didn’t they?

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