1. Bucs

Glennon no better, worse than Freeman in debut

Published Sep. 30, 2013

Most familiar result

Here's the thing: I don't think Josh Freeman would have done any better.

Or, come to think of it, much worse.

New quarterback. Same results. Although, at least this quarterback showed a few signs of life.

Hey, give him this: it was exciting to watch. When rookie Mike Glennon wasn't winning the game for the Bucs in the first three quarters, he was losing it for them in the fourth.

The Bucs appeared to have removed all but two or three pages of their playbook for Sunday's game plan. Some teams are known for their elaborate passing games. The Bucs might quickly be known for the ever-deadly check-down pass to the running back.

So, yes, Glennon looked like a rookie. Know what else he looked like? Freeman.

Check out the numbers: 24-for-43, 193 yards, one TD, two interceptions. Those sound like Freeman numbers.

The difference is Glennon will get better. Freeman was only getting worse.

And, from all accounts, Glennon was on time for the team photo.

Most depressing start

It's stunning, really, just how futile this franchise has been. This is the Bucs' 38th season, yet this is the 10th time that they've started a season 0-4. The best they've ever finished after such a start was 6-10 under Tony Dungy in 1996. In fact, after that 0-4 start, the Bucs went on to win 16 of their next 28 games. Don't expect that to happen this time.

Best defense

It's hard to blame the Bucs defense for this mess. Sure, they gave up 13 points in the fourth quarter, but Arizona's scoring drives were 26, 13 and 29 yards. So far, the only game in which the Bucs defense has struggled was against the Patriots, and it is hardly the first defense to struggle against Tom Brady. Throw out the Pats game and a safety in the first game against the Jets, and the Bucs defense has surrendered 16, 16 and 13 points. In today's NFL, that should add up to a win, a win and a win.

Worst call

Bucs safety Dashon Goldson was called for another personal foul hit after he laid out another receiver with another big-time hit. But unlike his two previous penalties this season, he didn't deserve this one. If you can't make the hit Goldson made, then it really is time to stop playing tackle football and just make it two-hand tag.

Three things that popped into my head

1. Hey, at least Greg Schiano, for sure, made one right call this week: sticking with kicker Rian Lindell, who booted a 50-yard field goal.

2. I'm all for trying to make plays, but what in the world was Bucs returner Jeff Demps thinking about when he tried returning a kickoff from 9 yards deep in the end zone? He got to the 10 and, three plays later, the Bucs were punting from the 1. This isn't track, Jeff. There is more than just air in front of you.

3. You don't know what you got till it's gone. Notice how badly the Bucs missed Mark Barron after he left with a hamstring injury?

Final thought

Several readers sent in e-mails beating me to the punch on this line: Is it possible for the Bucs to reinstate the blackouts?


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