Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Lovie Smith sees Josh McCown as leader, mentor

TAMPA — Coach Lovie Smith's anointing of new Bucs signee Josh McCown as his starting quarterback is tough news for incumbent starter Mike Glennon, but GM Jason Licht said Thursday 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, 24, in recent days as the signing of McCown unfolded. Glennon, a third-round draft pick last year out of N.C. State, started 13 games as a rookie after the team released Josh Freeman, setting franchise rookie records with 19 touchdowns and 2,608 yards. Because McCown, 34, has started more than nine games in a season just once — 13 in 2004 for Arizona — his career highs are 13 touchdowns (last season in Chicago) and 2,511 yards (in 2004).

On Thursday, Smith was once again unequivocal in showing his confidence in McCown as a starting quarterback and team leader. McCown played two seasons in Chicago as a backup under Smith in 2011-12 and was an obvious choice for Smith as he sought a veteran quarterback 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, Smith has had only 10 games where his starting QB is age 30 or older, and all with backups pressed into duty.

"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.

DIFFERENT WORLD: McCown will make at least $10 million in two years with the team, but just four years ago, he was playing for the Hartford Colonials of the now-defunct United Football League. He turned down an offer to join Smith in Chicago because he had committed to the UFL, but it wasn't easy.

"I don't want to make it sound like I'm some super-faithful guy. Every inch of the way in Hartford, I was like, 'What was I thinking?' " he said. "The bus breaks down going to practice, I'm like, 'Oh, my gosh.' You go to the equipment room and say, 'Hey, I need a pair of shorts.' They say, 'Well, there's a Dick's Sporting Goods down the road.' It was a different experience, but I treasure it."

Not Everyone: It might seem like it, but the Bucs aren't getting every free agent they target. WR Ted Ginn, who visited the team Wednesday, signed a three-year deal with the Cardinals, and Panthers DB Captain Munnerlyn, who was to visit with Tampa Bay, signed a three-year deal with the Vikings.

Comments
Bucs release Doug Martin and Chris Baker, two of their most disappointing players in 2017

Bucs release Doug Martin and Chris Baker, two of their most disappointing players in 2017

TAMPA – Early in his rookie year, Doug Martin was told he was losing his balance because he was dropping his head as he hit the hole in a game at Oakland.He quickly corrected that mistake and wound up rushing for a career-high 251 yards against...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs release defensive tackle Chris Baker

Bucs release defensive tackle Chris Baker

Hours after they parted ways with running back Doug Martin, the Bucs continued their initial wave of roster cuts Tuesday afternoon, releasing defensive tackle Chris Baker.Baker, 30, lasted only one season with Tampa Bay, managing just a half-sack aft...
Published: 02/20/18
Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

Bucs release two-time Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin

TAMPA — After six up and mostly down seasons, Doug Martin's run with the Bucs is over.The two-time Pro Bowl running back was released by Tampa Bay Tuesday, a move that was expected after he failed to rush for less than 500 yards in four of the ...
Published: 02/20/18
Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

Some big Bucs roster decisions are looming

The Bucs plan to release running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Chris Baker sometime before the NFL scouting combine which begins Feb. 27 in Indianapolis.There likely will be more, but they still are undecided on the future of defensive ends R...
Published: 02/20/18
Defensive linemen who could follow Brentson Buckner to Bucs

Defensive linemen who could follow Brentson Buckner to Bucs

Now that the Bucs have announced that Brentson Buckner is their new defensive line coach, could his connections help shape Tampa Bay's search to upgrade their pass rush this offseason?The chance to play for a familiar position coach can be a major fa...
Published: 02/20/18
Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Bucs agree to terms with Brentson Buckner to be their defensive line coach

Brentson Buckner didn't need to bring his resume when he interviewed for the Bucs' job as defensive line coach. No references were needed, either.All the Bucs had to do was ask quarterback Jameis Winston whether the Arizona Cardinals defensive line w...
Published: 02/19/18
On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

On the mend: Bucs’ Noah Spence posts workout pic

Defensive end Noah Spence, whose two NFL seasons have both been limited by injuries to his right shoulder, is getting himself healthy for the 2018 season.Spence has kept a low profile since the Bucs placed him on injured reserve in late October, a mo...
Published: 02/19/18
Video: Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gives advice to Little Leaguers

Video: Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick gives advice to Little Leaguers

Ryan Fitzpatrick is an unrestricted free agent, and his future with the Bucs remains uncertain. But the veteran quarterback is still very much here in Tampa and still sharing his wisdom with younger athletes.In this case, they're much younger —...
Published: 02/19/18
Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

Jameis Winston is about to get a big pay raise. It will cost the Bucs more than money

TAMPA – Jameis Winston is heading for a big payday with the Bucs. He's played well enough to make that an easy decision.But what impact will that have on the type of players they surround him with?The Bucs are expected to exercise the fifth-yea...
Published: 02/16/18
Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

Bucs interview Brentson Buckner for defensive line job

The Bucs continue to move quickly with the defensive line opening on Dirk Koetter's coaching staff, interviewing former Cardinals assistant Brentson Buckner.Buckner, 46, spent the last five years as Arizona's defensive line coach, leading the unit to...
Published: 02/16/18