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Schiano leans toward Glennon for long term

Bucs quarterback Mike Glennon has been intercepted just once in his past six games, in which Tampa Bay has gone 3-3.
Published Nov. 26, 2013

TAMPA — Assuming Greg Schiano remains Bucs coach, the long-term answer at quarterback will likely be Mike Glennon.

"I think this is a guy that certainly, as long as he continues on this trajectory, is a guy you'd love to have as a quarterback for a long time," Schiano said.

Monday, in giving his strongest endorsement yet of Glennon, Schiano highlighted two aspects of Glennon's play well beyond his years: Protecting the football and completing passes downfield.

In the past six games, Glennon has 10 touchdown passes and one interception and completed 64 percent of his passes.

He leads all rookies with 13 touchdown passes, two more than Josh Freeman's club rookie record in 2009.

Glennon's lone interception during the six-game stretch came Nov. 11, in a 22-19 win over the Dolphins. His only other turnover during that period is when he was sacked by Atlanta safety William Moore, and Thomas DeCoud returned the fumble for a touchdown in a 31-23 loss to the Falcons on Oct. 20.

If the season ended today, the Bucs would own the fifth overall draft pick behind Jacksonville, Houston, Atlanta and Minnesota in a class that could have as many as half a dozen quarterbacks taken in the first round.

Glennon, a third-round pick from North Carolina State, took over from Freeman after an 0-3 start. Freeman was eventually released and signed with the Vikings, where he is their No. 3 quarterback.

Meanwhile, Glennon set an NFL rookie record by averaging 45.25 passes in his first four games. But since Schiano brought some balance back to the offense by re-emphasizing running, Glennon has flourished. While winning three of his past four games, that average has fallen to 22 attempts a game.

Sunday, Glennon completed 14 of 21 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns to Tiquan Underwood, including an 85-yarder. His 138.4 passer rating was a career high and the best by a Bucs rookie, surpassing the 137.5 rating he had last week against Atlanta.

"I know this about Mike: He is a rookie quarterback for sure and there are still some rookie things he says and does that makes you realize, oh, yeah, this guy is a rookie," Schiano said. "But I think he has accelerated his progress since the day he got here by how hard he's prepared and worked. And if there's such a thing, I think he's taken a rookie season and condensed it into eight or so games, if that makes sense, because he's playing at a higher level that you would expect as a rookie."

The Bucs have won three in a row after an 0-8 start. Glennon has thrown at least one touchdown in eight straight games, the longest streak by a rookie since the Seahawks' Russell Wilson did it in nine straight in 2012.

"And the things that are hard for rookies is to let a bad play die," Schiano said. "Don't get greedy. That's what Mike does the best job of. In six games, he's thrown one interception. He's now throwing the ball down the field with more confidence, because he's always been able to do it. Just pulling the trigger. That is the development and maturation of a quarterback and we're all seeing it right in front of our eyes."

Bucs players don't need much convincing. Glennon has won over teammates with his production and calm under pressure on an offense missing running back Doug Martin, receiver Mike Williams and guard Carl Nicks,

"He's one of the most poised rookies I've seen at quarterback," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "He doesn't get rattled much. There were times (Sunday) when he got hit and he could've just gone down. But guys were just kind of bouncing off of him and he would extend the play. There were times where I talked at some of the offensive linemen and said, 'I think that was kind of a bad time to for him to take the sack.' And they were kind of like, 'Would you rather he take a sack or make an impulse ball throw and and a bad throw to turn the ball over?' "

Fewest INTs, last six games

Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown just one interception in his last six games, a stretch that has the Bucs with the fewest picks in the NFL during that span. The league average is 5.3 interceptions over the last six weeks — by comparison, the Jets and Bengals have each thrown 10 interceptions in their last six games, with three other teams getting nine each.

1. Tampa Bay 1

t2. Houston 2

t2. Kansas City 2

t2. Seattle 2

t5. Chicago 3

t5. San Diego 3

t5. San Francisco 3

t5. St. Louis 3

t9. Carolina 4

t9. New England 4

t9. New Orleans 4

Fewest INTs, last 6 games

Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown just one interception in his last six games, a stretch that has the Bucs with the fewest picks in the NFL during that span. The league average is 5.3 interceptions over the last six weeks -- by comparison, the Jets and Bengals have each thrown 10 interceptions in their last six games, with three other teams getting nine each.

1. Tampa Bay 1

t2. Houston 2

t2. Kansas City 2

t2. Seattle 2

t5. Chicago 3

t5. San Diego 3

t5. San Francisco 3

t5. St. Louis 3

t9. Carolina 4

t9. New England 4

t9. New Orleans 4

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