Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs like depth that Glennon, Griffin bring at quarterback

Bucs quarterback Ryan Griffin was picked up off the Saints’ roster before last season and has stuck around on the third string.


Bucs quarterback Ryan Griffin was picked up off the Saints’ roster before last season and has stuck around on the third string.

TAMPA — The worst thing, if you are general manager Jason Licht, and you lose a starting quarterback like Jameis Winston to injury, is to have to face the Bucs owners before a game on Sunday and answer this question:

Do we have a chance to win today?

That answer this season is yes.

Tampa Bay is among the teams with the best quarterback depth in the NFL. In addition to Winston, a budding star and the 2015 rookie of the year in fan voting who was durable enough to play 16 games last season, the Bucs have an experienced backup in Mike Glennon, who has started 18 games in his career but none since 2014. Ryan Griffin, acquired off waivers from the Saints a year ago, is sort of the backup in waiting since Glennon will become a free agent at the end of the season.

How comfortable is coach Dirk Koetter about the quarterback position?

"I feel great about that room. I think we have good depth," Koetter said. "If it was a perfect world, we are getting to the point where it would be better for our football team if we could keep two quarterbacks because we're going to have to let some guys go that we don't want to let go. And I think the perfect set-up with the way the NFL is structured right now, is two quarterbacks and one on practice squad. But if you have a good one and you try to put him on practice squad, the league is so short of quarterbacks, he'll get scooped up like that.

"We had two guys we were waiting on last year and Ryan Griffin was one of them. We had two guys that we had our eye on, only one of them came open (and) we snapped him up. And we invested a year and it just so happens that Mike's (Glennon) deal's up (after the season). If we didn't have that situation with Mike, then maybe things would be different. I believe in keeping two and a developmental guy, but we're just not in that situation right now."

Consider the alternative. The Vikings lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to what appears to be a season-ending left knee injury during a non-contact drill Tuesday. Their backup is 36-year-old journeyman Shaun Hill with a career record of 16-18.

Griffin, a former Tulane standout, should see a lot of playing time tonight against Washington. He has completed 20 of 36 passes for 239 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in preseason. And by the time Griffin has gotten into games, he's playing with third and fourth-string offensive linemen and receivers, most of whom won't be in the league after tonight.

Griffin says he doesn't focus on what might happen when the Bucs trim their roster to 53 players by Tuesday.

"I think just being in the NFL, you never know what's going to happen, especially when it comes down to getting to the 53; there's so much that goes on with injuries and all that stuff so you can't really think about it," Griffin said. "I know I've gotten to the point where I just get out there and give it my all."

Glennon hasn't exactly lit up the scoreboard this preseason. He's 20 of 40 passing for 216 yards with one touchdown one interception playing exclusively with the No. 2 offense. However, Glennon should get an opportunity to at least compete for a starting job in the NFL next season. So why wouldn't the Bucs entertain trade offers for him?

First, it costs the Bucs nothing to listen. But unless they were blown away by an offer — say a second- or third-round pick — his value is greater to them as a backup to Winston who can win games in a pinch. When Glennon leaves via free agency, the Bucs will receive a low-round compensatory pick for him.

"I think it's safe (to say) that we're probably going to keep three quarterbacks," Koetter said.

Of course, you need some luck to keep a starting quarterback healthy for 16 games. But if he gets hurt, that miracle teams hope for is often a mirage.

Bucs like depth that Glennon, Griffin bring at quarterback 08/30/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 1:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation


    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  2. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead


    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  3. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  4. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  5. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.