It makes absolutely no sense that Mike Glennon is still not the Buccaneers’ permanent starting quarterback. This isn’t just a reaction to Glennon’s performance in one game against the Steelers last Sunday. Glennon is just flat out a better quarterback than Josh McCown. He gives the Buccaneers a better chance to win now and in the future.
Head Coach Lovie Smith did acknowledge during the offseason that Glennon is the quarterback of the future. The present, however, would belong to Josh McCown, who was brought in to help a revitalized Tampa team win now by playing smart, turnover-free football. Yet through the two and a half games he played before injuring his thumb, McCown was horrible. He pressed, tried to do too much, and made terrible decisions. His interceptions were absolutely inexplicable. He played like a 2nd-year quarterback, not a veteran.
Against the Steelers on Sunday, Mike Glennon showcased exactly why he should be the quarterback of the present and the future. To start with, he’s 6’6”, so seeing the field from a physical perspective isn’t an issue. He displayed a very strong arm. You wouldn’t call it a cannon, but it’s strong enough to make every throw and then some. Maybe more importantly, Glennon has an easy and compact motion. He doesn’t have to step into his throws to get the ball out. Instead, he throws as if he’s in a phone booth. There aren’t a lot of moving parts to his motion, and he doesn’t need a lot of space in the pocket.
Take this play below, for example. Glennon had just started his delivery with a defender closing in on him. His compact motion enabled him to get the ball out of his hands quickly before he was hit. The result was a 21-yard completion.
The below screen shot shows the same play from the sideline angle. This lets you get a feel for Glennon’s ability to anticipate. Again, at this point in the play, Glennon had started his throwing motion. Look where his receiver was in his route.
That’s anticipation at its finest, and it helps make both the offensive line and receivers better. This is the definition of succeeding from the pocket, and Glennon made several throws like this against Pittsburgh on Sunday. He even mixed in a little bit of last second heroics. This didn’t get much attention because it wasn’t very colorful – had he run around the field, dazzled with his athleticism, and made SportsCenter as a result, he would have been heralded as the next big time quarterback in this league. Because he did it from the pocket with timing, rhythm, and within the framework of the designs of the offense, it wasn’t considered spectacular.
Glennon wasn’t perfect on Sunday. Against the Saints this week, he won’t be perfect either, that much is a guarantee. However, through his 14 NFL starts, he has exhibited the traits that lead to consistent quarterback play. His anticipation, arm strength, and ability to throw with little room to maneuver are all attributes in which he has a distinct advantage over Josh McCown. Glennon can be a successful quarterback in this league. In our opinion, if he was on the Bengals, Andy Dalton would not be the starter. Considering how poorly Josh McCown has played, and how much better Glennon’s tools are, committing to Glennon show be a no-brainer for Lovie Smith.