TAMPA — Bucs coach Greg Schiano likes the way Mike Glennon has thrown the football, but he believes the team has asked its rookie quarterback to drop back too much.
"I think we've put Mike in a bad spot," Schiano said. "We're throwing the ball. He's thrown too many passes."
If Glennon is asked to pass less, it might be good because he is running out of suitable targets.
On Monday, the Bucs placed receiver Mike Williams on injured reserve with a torn right hamstring that will require surgery and force him to miss the remainder of the season.
"Mike had a hamstring injury that he tried to play through but it just wasn't effective doing it," Schiano said. "He'll get surgery now and be repaired and he'll be fine. It's just going to be a little bit of a recovery. So after getting all the information from the doctors, he was allowed to try. He did for two weeks but wasn't really himself and couldn't do the things he needs to do to be effective."
Williams, who signed a six-year, $40.25 million contract before training camp, injured his hamstring Sept. 29 in a 13-10 loss to the Cardinals. After a bye, he missed the next game against the Eagles before returning vs. the Falcons and Panthers. In his last two games, Williams was unable to create separation or leap for the football and was limited to seven catches for 52 yards. For the season, Williams produced 22 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
Without him, the Bucs will rely on receivers Vincent Jackson, Tiquan Underwood, Chris Owusu, Eric Page and Russell Shepard. The latter three have a combined 11 career receptions and no touchdowns. Underwood has 43 career catches for 619 yards and two touchdowns.
"Man, Mike Williams is such a competitor," Underwood said. "I love being in the huddle with him. And then from a numbers aspect — the amount of catches and yards and touchdowns that you get from a guy like that, we have Vincent Jackson 1 and Mike Williams 1A. As a collective group, we have to step in and try to shoulder the load."
Schiano said he met with coaches over the weekend and decided Glennon was shouldering too much of the burden. Glennon has averaged 45.3 passes in his four starts, completing 58.6 percent for 997 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.
Glennon attempted 51 passes in Thursday's 31-13 loss to the Panthers, a lot even when considering the Bucs trailed most of the game. He made 43 attempts in his first start, a 13-10 loss to Arizona.
"Even the last game, you can say we had to throw at the end of the game," Schiano said. "Yeah, we did. But within the first three quarters, we should've run the ball more and I'm disappointed in myself for not making sure that happened. … So we re-evaluated that and we're going to try to play a little more balanced.
"We are very comfortable with the way Mike reads things out. So it's you excited and it's like having a new toy. But it's not the best thing for us to win football games."
Rick Stroud can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs. Follow him on Twitter at @NFLStroud.