TAMPA — The ability to throw the deep ball was among the traits that made former North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon so attractive to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the draft last April.
Glennon’s ability to complete those deep throws is something he is still trying to master.
Through six starts, Glennon has completed just six of 20 attempts of 21 yards or longer, a 30-percent success rate. But Bucs coach Greg Schiano believes that trend will eventually change.
“He does it out there in practice all the time, so I do think we’re going to see it in games,” Schiano said. “He’s a very accurate passer with a good touch and he understands placement, and that’s why we keep trying.”
Glennon’s struggles completing the deep ball haven’t always resulted in wasted plays. In the past two games, the Bucs drew three defensive pass interference calls.
“Those don’t necessarily show up in the stats, but they’re still big plays for the offense,’’ Glennon said. “So, we’re going to keep firing our shots, and when the opportunity presents itself we’ll let it rip.”
Glennon has been more effective throwing short and intermediate routes. He’s completed 128 of 205 passes of 20 yards or shorter, a 64-percent success rate. Schiano is pleased with Glennon’s success on the deep, outside comeback routes by WR Tiquan Underwood.
one route in particular.
“He can rip those,” Schiano said. “Some of those throws are really good rips, so we’ll keep doing that.”
Credit where credit is due
The majority of the credit for the resurgence of the running attack has gone to the surprisingly deep corps of running backs and various members of the offensive line.
At least one member of that line, however, thinks someone behind the scenes deserves at least as much credit as the ball carries and blockers.
“Our running backs have a great coach in their room (in) Earnest Byner, and he’s awesome,’’ RG Davin Joseph said. “You see how he prepares those guys and gets them ready for the game and how committed he is to their success.
“You plug guys in and they just take off. That’s really just a reflection on how good of a coach (Byner) really is. It’s good to have a guy like that on your staff.”
Revis in the zone
The Bucs have taken a lot of heat for working CB Darrelle Revis in zone coverage. There’s a good chance Revis will spend most of Sunday’s game against Atlanta in zone coverages again.
Though Revis has proven the past couple games he is capable of locking down top-level receivers in man coverage, the Falcons often force teams into playing zone, Schiano said.
“They’re not going to let you play a lot of man,’’ Schiano said. “They’re going to run a lot of pick routes, a lot of clusters, a lot of bunches, so you really have to be on your Ps and Qs as far as how you’re playing your matchups with them.’’
P Mike Koenen shanked a punt for the second time in as many games during the Bucs victory against the Dolphins on Monday. Even with that miss, he turned in what the Bucs consider one of his best efforts of the season.
Koenen, who also handles kickoffs, had three touchbacks. He also dropped three punts inside the Dolphins 11-yard line, including one that forced Miami to begin its final drive from their 5.
“That was pretty impressive,’’ Schiano said.
RB Mike James had surgery Thursday to repair a broken left ankle and RB Doug Martin had surgery Friday on his left shoulder. Both are out for the season.