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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Licht: McCown can help Glennon develop as QB



Lovie Smith's anointing of new Bucs signee Josh McCown as his starting quarterback is tough news for incumbent starter Mike Glennon, but Bucs general manager Jason Licht said Wednesday that the second-year passer should benefit from having a veteran to learn from.

"What better person to have here to help Mike Glennon develop than Josh McCown?" Licht said. "We win on both ends. That's the way we're looking at it. Any quarterback who would be here would benefit from Josh. (McCown) is eager because he's naturally a mentor on and off the field, with anybody he comes across."

Licht said that Smith has been in communication with Glennon in recent days as the signing of McCown unfolded. Glennon, a third-round draft pick last spring, started 13 games as a rookie after the Bucs released Josh Freeman, setting Bucs rookie records with 19 touchdowns and 2,608 yards. Because McCown has started more than nine games in a season just once -- 13 in 2004 -- his career highs are 13 touchdowns (last year in Chicago) and 2,511 yards (in 2004).

Smith was again unequivocal Thursday in showing his confidence in McCown as a starting quarterback and team leader -- he played two seasons in Chicago as a backup under Smith in 2011-12 and was an obvious choice for Smith as he sought a new veteran QB to lead the Bucs.

"Josh is exactly what you're looking for in a leader, to get that 4-12 taste out of our mouth," Smith said.

And while Smith has familiarity and trust in McCown, his history as an NFL coach has not been to turn to veterans at quarterback -- in 144 games as an NFL head coach, he's had only 10 games where his starting QB is age 30 or older, and all with backups pressed into duty. Brian Griese was 32 when he went 3-3 as Bears starter in 2007 after Rex Grossman opened the year with one touchdown and six interceptions, and rest are spot starts due to injury -- Todd Collins once in 2010, McCown twice in 2011 and Jason Campbell once in 2012.

"From Day 1, we've been transparent about our goal to get a veteran, seasoned quarterback on this roster that's playing his best, and that's Josh McCown," Licht said.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:52pm]


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