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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Glennon trade talk scares Koetter but likes Griffin at No. 2



The trade winds are swirling around Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon and general manager Jason Licht says they will consider dealing their backup to Jameis Winston all the way up until the NFL draft.

First-year coach Dirk Koetter says that type of talk scares him but he is prepared to move forward with No. 3 quarterback Ryan Griffin, who was claimed off waivers from the New Orleans Saints at the start of last season.

Griffin got to spend a year in Koetter's system working with quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian, but he has never taken an NFL snap.

Does the thought of trading Glennon, who has started 18 games in the league but didn't take a snap last season, make Koetter nervous?

"Yeah, a little. Because I'm on record as saying I think Mike is a starter in the NFL," Koetter said. "I'm a huge Mike Glennon fan. I'd love to have Mike Glennon on our football team, but it's a business and if something happens that he's not with us, that's why we acquired Ryan Griffin last year to hopefully ascend into that spot at some point. We're in good position at that spot, we're definitely in the top few teams in the league with our depth at quarterback. But we're just going to have to see how it plays out. Jason is going to have to see if the right opportunity presents itself, Jason is going to have to make a decision about what's best for the team.

"The calls for Mike Glennon, that would be more of a question for Jason. But it's out there. That's one of the reasons we brought Ryan Griffin in at the start of last year because we think Ryan is a guy who has a chance to be an ascending player at quarterback. Mike Bajakian spent a lot of time working with him extra days, extra meetings. Ryan has worked hard. There's a little bit of an unknown because he hasn't played very much other than some preseason games in New Orleans, so he doesn't have the experience Mike Glennon has. But that's what's hard about developing young quarterbacks in the NFL today. Young backup quarterbacks especially. Jameis played every snap last year. After you get out of preseason, those other guys don't get much of a chance to play. We're excited about Griff but there's still some unknown."

Of course, losing Winston for any period of time for injury would be unsettling no matter who replaces him. For that matter, no team wants to play their backup quarterback.

But Griffin has a strong arm and a decent football I.Q., Koetter says. Again, what he lacks is experience.

"First, most teams in the NFL, take Mike Glennon out of this, most teams in the NFL if they put their backup in there, they're nervous," Koetter said. "There's no one out there going, "Man, I hope our backup gets to go in there and play today. Mainly because you just haven't prepared him. But you know what we've seen from Ryan Griffin, he's been well-coached before we got him, in college, well-prepared. The fact that he spent some time in New Orleans around their quarterback who is one of the best and their coaching staff which is outstanding. I think that needs to be noted. He spent a lot of time with Mike (Bajakian). He really throws the ball well. He's got nice touch, we call it ‘turn the ball over.‘ He turns the ball over nice. We're always looking for guys who can ‘turn it over,' is how we say it. He works at it every bay. We're in our game plan meetings and this guy is asking as many questions as Jameis. Sometimes I have to say, "Griff, relax a second.' But we have a limited amount of film to look at in the preseason (with the Saints) but we like what he did."

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 10:46am]


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