Bucs not ready to hand starting job to Glennon just yet

Mike Glennon
Mike Glennon
Published Sept. 30, 2014

TAMPA — Quarterback Mike Glennon posted the first victory of the season for the Bucs on Sunday, but he hasn't won the starting quarterback job.

Not yet, anyway.

With Josh McCown still out with a ligament tear in his right thumb and his status unknown for Sunday's game at New Orleans, coach Lovie Smith was noncommittal in his choice of quarterbacks despite Glennon's last-second feats in a 27-24 win at Pittsburgh.

"You asking me to name our starting quarterback right now? What I do is I look at who's available at the time and who gives us our best chance to win at all positions," Smith said. "We'll do the same thing when Josh gets back. He's not back yet, though."

Perhaps, but Glennon has a pretty good case after passing for 302 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, including the winning strike to Vincent Jackson with seven seconds remaining. The Bucs took over at the Steelers' 46-yard line, trailing 24-20 with no timeouts and 40 seconds left. Glennon hit Louis Murphy on a 41-yard pass to set up the winning score.

Smith was effusive in his praise of Glennon's performance but said he did not regret naming McCown the starting quarterback when McCown signed a two-year, $10 million contract in March. The Bucs were 0-3 and McCown had two touchdowns and four interceptions as the starter in the first three games.

McCown hopes to test the thumb this week but if it doesn't improve, surgery is an option.

"I don't have any regrets," Smith said. "We let things play out. I tell guys you start off with a group and wherever you belong, that's where you will end up. I don't have any regrets at all.

"As far as (Sunday's) game, it was good to see. But I saw the same guy I've seen with everything we've asked him to do: Poised, confident player that can play football. When you label the quarterback of the future, that's what you're supposed to do when you come out there. The future was in front of us a little bit earlier than the initial plan but you need to be ready at all times. Again, how he handled it there right at the end, to make that final throw, kind of said it all."

The Bucs only had the football for 9:06 in the first half before Glennon got hot. He passed for 245 yards in the second half, including 148 in the fourth quarter.

It was redemption for Glennon, who felt passed over when Smith arrived as coach. As a rookie last season, taking over in Week 4 when Josh Freeman was released, Glennon went 4-9 as a starter, winning half of the team's final eight games while throwing 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Smith was impressed with Glennon's poise and arm strength. But what really stood out was his decision making. Glennon's only interception Sunday came late in the third quarter when Mike Evans pulled up on a route with a groin strain. Evans is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.

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"All week I asked him, did he need a sleeping pill to sleep this week?' Smith said of Glennon. "And he assured me he didn't. Then before the game (I asked him), 'Hey, Mike how far can you throw the ball?' He has a great arm, so he's confident he can get the ball wherever. But that can get you in trouble sometimes — you feel like you can force any ball anywhere. And that's what I like about him. He didn't take a lot of chances. He threw the ball away when he needed to.

"(Not) taking that sack late in the game, that was a big play. … That's a good game to build on, but he'll tell you there's a lot of plays we left on the field, too."

Contact Rick Stroud at and listen from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-AM 620. View his blog at Follow @NFLStroud.