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. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  3. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.

  4. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Twice the talent: IMG football expands to two teams this fall


    BRADENTON — When IMG Academy fielded its first varsity football team in 2013, there were 51 players on the roster. Since then, the roster has nearly tripled. With no junior varsity, it was difficult for some to find playing time, and players do not come to IMG to sit the bench.

    The solution? Start another …

    DL Tre’von Riggins 
(6-4, 240) is a Lakewood transfer.