Sunday, November 19, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

How much do you believe in Mike Glennon?

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You like the way the kid stands in the pocket, calm and strong. Even after nine games, he looks like he fits there. When he drops back to pass, you can imagine possibilities.

You like his efficiency. The ball seems safe under his guidance. He hits his receivers often, and he rarely throws it to the guys in the wrong-colored jerseys.

You like his attitude. He seems sincere when he talks about getting better at his job. He owns up to his mistakes which, for a quarterback, is a bigger deal than it sounds like.

Yeah, you like a lot about Mike Glennon.

But do you love him?

As the Bucs enter the final quarter of their season, this is one of the most important questions that remain. Are you willing to put the Bucs' future in hands of Glennon? Have you seen enough to believe that Glennon could become this team's Andrew Luck, this team's Russell Wilson, this team's Robert Griffin III (still iconic despite a bad year)?

Or would you prefer that the Bucs come out of this season with a chance to draft a quarterback whose skills make the scouts drool?

Teddy Bridgewater, anyone?

Marcus Mariota, though he said Tuesday he will stay in school?

Maybe even Johnny Manziel?

Look, this isn't meant as a jab at Glennon. To a great degree, he steadied the ship at quarterback for the Bucs after Josh Freeman pouted his way out of town, and he may well end up as the NFL's offensive rookie of the year. He has certainly been better than expected.

That said, it seems fair to ask if you see a blossoming star in Glennon. Can he develop into a top 10 quarterback in the NFL? Otherwise, aren't the Bucs simply spinning their wheels?

Yes, Bucs coach Greg Schiano seems to be enamored of Glennon. If Schiano is back, the odds that Glennon will be the quarterback seem to be high.

On the other hand, a chance to get a top-flight quarterback doesn't come along very often. Think of it like this: The Bucs haven't been very good for a decade, and they haven't had a lot of chances at one. To draft a potentially great quarterback, a team has to be pretty bad in just the right year.

It could happen this year. The Bucs have won only three times, and Houston, that underachieving mess of a team, has won twice. Because of strength of schedule, the Bucs would pick fifth if the draft were today. But with a testy December schedule, they could end up drafting higher.

And, if so, wouldn't it be hard to pass up a quarterback?

The NFL is a quarterback's league. There is a reason that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers do so much of the winning in the league. A bad team with a chance to get that kind of quarterback is fooling itself if it does not. Do that, and you spend the next 15 years watching that guy play somewhere else.

I know, I know. If the Bucs lose enough to get to South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, he certainly would be tempting. The Bucs need a dominating pass rusher as much as they need anything. And those aren't easy to get, either.

Aside from Clowney, who else are you going to take? An offensive tackle? An outside linebacker?

Or, maybe, a quarterback.

Here's the deal. Like most people, I like Glennon. And if the Bucs can surround him with enough talent, I think he can get his team into the playoffs.

Then there is this: Glennon sort of controls this argument. If he really wants to be the quarterback next year, a win or two down the stretch wouldn't hurt. If he's successful enough, then the Bucs won't be in position to consider a top quarterback.

Still, there was a reason that Glennon went 73rd in last year's draft. He's still fairly slow in the pocket, and so far, his deep passes often seem to land with a thud. There are better athletes.

So where would Glennon go in this draft? Not 73rd. But not in the top 15, either.

Let's face it. Glennon isn't a fireworks show. The Bucs still have the 31st-ranked offense in the league. Glennon is tied for 30th on plays of 20 yards or more. He's 32nd on average yards per play.

Just asking, but is that so good the Bucs should pass on a passer?

Bridgewater? I take Bridgewater in a second. Supposedly, he isn't the second coming of Luck, but he's an accurate, talented quarterback.

Mariota? He has struggled a little bit during the second half of the season. Still, he's an explosive player. I would take him, too, if he enters the draft.

Manziel? He's a great college quarterback. But at 6-1, 210, you wonder if he'll be able to stay healthy. I'd pass.

Yes, you can throw other names out there. Fresno State's Derek Carr. UCLA's Brett Hundley. Georgia's Aaron Murray.

That's not the point. The Bucs shouldn't just take a quarterback. But if they have a chance to get a rare one, they should jump at it.

Yes, they have a pretty good quarterback.

What they could use, however, is a great one.

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