By Max Luckan
While benched quarterback Josh Freeman was allegedly forced to watch the game from a suite, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterback Mike Glennon was on the field playing, well, like a rookie.
There’s no shortage of talent on this Bucs roster. Essentially, the Bucs have multiple Pro Bowl-caliber players both on offense and defense, and a good mix of young and veteran players.
But the Bucs currently have deep-rooted issues, which have led to this 0-4 start, and the blame can’t fall on one person at the moment. It’s a combination of errors, from the coaching staff to the players on the field, that is the main cause of the Bucs collapse.
Glennon is now the starter for the foreseeable future, but he was only a little better than Freeman against the Arizona Cardinals. For most of the game, Glennon was sharp, but then came the interceptions that essentially sealed the win for the Cardinals in the final 90 seconds or so.
“It’s just an unfortunate way to end the game,” Glennon said. “The defense played great the whole game. The offense looked good in the first half. And then at the end, I just can’t make that throw.” At times, Glennon looked like he was the answer, making some very accurate throws and looking in command of the offense. But the rookie mistakes were inevitable, and the rookie mistakes won’t help the Bucs as they search for their first win.
Meanwhile, Freeman watched the loss from a suite at Raymond James Stadium in what head coach Greg Schiano called a “mutual decision.” However, one of Freeman’s agents, Erik Burkhardt, told the Tampa Bay Times via text message that Schiano’s claim was a “lie, obviously.” Another person close to Freeman echoed Burkhardt’s message, saying that the Bucs made the decision to keep Freeman off the sideline for now.
Putting the feud between Freeman and Schiano aside, it’s interesting to note that Schiano and the rest of the coaching staff have escaped much of the blame so far this season. But now with Glennon at the helm, they won’t be able to do so for long.
At times this season, the Bucs simply haven’t looked prepared on offense. Schiano has done a fantastic job on the defensive side, but the offense has been dreadful. Now, with a new quarterback, it’s slowly becoming more apparent that the coaching staff isn’t in sync and isn’t functioning properly.
For some reason, every time Schiano is asked about something that happened in a game, such as safety Dashon Goldson’s hit on Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown, he tells reporters that he didn’t see it. So what exactly is Schiano doing on the sideline? If that happens once or twice, then that’s understandable because a head coach has plenty of things to juggle at once. But too often Schiano himself tells the media he missed a play and doesn’t know what happened. This could be a non-issue, or it could be a small sign that the coaching staff isn’t prepared on game day.
If Glennon plays at a high level in these next games, and the Bucs still lose, the pressure on the Bucs coaching staff will only increase.
It is, by the way, reasonable to see Schiano being fired during the season at this rate, although Bucs ownership has never fired a coach during the season, there’s always a first time for everything.
Freeman likely won’t be with the team much longer, as the Bucs are looking to trade him. And if they can’t trade him, then Freeman will likely be released.
But if any more signs that the Bucs aren’t prepared arise, Schiano, and maybe the entire coaching staff, could follow Freeman out the door.
For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.