TAMPA — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith surprised a lot of his team’s followers when he announced on the first day of the draft two weeks ago that he had crowned Mike Glennon the Bucs’ quarterback of the future.
It didn’t surprise Glennon, though.
The second-year pro out of North Carolina State revealed Tuesday he has known for months — since the team signed free-agent quarterback Josh McCown in March — that he would carry that title.
“They communicated that to me from the moment they signed Josh,” Glennon said. “Lovie told me that he knows Josh and has a real comfort level with him, but that moving forward, I’m his guy.”
Speculation regarding Glennon’s future with the Bucs circulated for weeks prior to the NFL draft, with many suggesting the team would draft a quarterback to replace him or trade him. Glennon went 4-9 in 13 starts last season,
Smith and general manager Jason Light made sure on more than one occasion, Glennon said, to tell him he needn’t worry about his status.
“When all that stuff was going on, Lovie called me twice to tell me that wasn’t the case and that he didn’t know where that stuff was coming from,” Glennon said. “It was nice to hear that, but they even told me that after our first minicamp. So, I didn’t think there was any reason to question anything. They were both straight up with me from the start.”
That included telling Glennon he would take a back seat to McCown as the starter, at least for now. Glennon still isn’t sure he agrees with that, but won’t let it hinder his progress.
“I do believe I can go out there and start and lead this team to victory, but at the same time, whatever situation or role I’m in, I can benefit from that, too,” Glennon said. “I’m going to go into this with a positive attitude and whatever the situation is, whether it’s starting or learning from Josh or whatever, I want to make the most of it and use it to my advantage.”
Glennon made a lot of the situation he was thrust into a year ago.
After taking over for the faltering Josh Freeman as the starter in Week 4, Glennon completed 247 of 416 passes (59.4 percent) for 2,608 yards and 19 touchdowns. The latter two are franchise rookie records.
Glennon, who threw nine interceptions, had a passer rating of 83.9 — third-best by a rookie through 13 starts since 2010. Only Washington’s Robert Griffin III (104.2) and Seattle’s Russell Wilson (94.9) had better starts to their careers the past four years.
Glennon was flattered by reports of teams wanting to trade for him, but never thought a deal would happen because of what Smith and Licht told him.
“This is where I want to be, so it was really kind of irrelevant,” Glennon said. “This is where I’m happy, and I really think there’s a bright future ahead here.”
EVANS TWEAKS HAMSTRING: Receiver Mike Evans, the team’s first-round draft pick, tweaked a hamstring early in Tuesday’s on-field workout as the Bucs began Phase III of their offseason program. Evans was hurt while going up for a pass against cornerback Mike Jenkins, who got the wind knocked out of him when he fell to the ground after leaping to knock the ball away.
Neither player returned to the workout.
It was the continuation of a tough week for Evans. He vomited after the conditioning portion of last weekend’s rookie minicamp.
“It’s not what you want, but from my experience, (rookies) aren’t in the best of shape and that’s a universal thing around the league,” Smith said. “So, guys do get tweaks from time to time.
“But at the same time, Mike got here last Tuesday and we’ve gone straight through since then, so there’s a lot of reps he’s gotten in. And as much as anything, what a rookie needs now is the mental part of it, and he’s getting that.”