By Max Luckan
Despite having arguably his worst game as a pro on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie quarterback Mike Glennon still made progress in the victory, according to head coach Greg Schiano.
Overall, Glennon did not perform well and threw two interceptions. He didn’t even manage to pass for 100 yards, managing only 90. But still, Schiano has been impressed by his body of work.
“You have to look at his body of work, especially as a rookie quarterback,” Schiano told the media. “He’s been grinding really, really hard. Even in the bye week, this guy didn’t take off. I just want him to take a breath. He’ll come back [today] ready to go. I told him I don’t want to see you in the morning. Stay out of here. Do what you do. Sleep. Whatever. We’ll get cracking in the afternoon.”
Schiano was referring to how he gave Glennon a day off after the victory in order to recover and rejuvenate. While Glennon went 9-25 for 90 yards against the Bills, overall, he has been playing at an extremely high level, better than most, if not all, rookie quarterbacks in the NFL.
Of course, the Bucs struggled mightily in the second half against the Bills. They only managed 28 total yards in two entire quarters. That doesn’t all fall on Glennon, as the running game was also stagnant in the second half. However, Glennon does have four turnovers in his past two games. To be fair to the quarterback, though, he is still a rookie and he has faced two of the better defenses in the league the past two weeks.
Bucs pass rush has come to life
The Bucs have struggled over the past couple of seasons in the pass rush department, often unable to generate much pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
However, something has changed this season.
Against the Bills, the Bucs were able to rack up an astonishing seven sacks of Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel. This means that they moved up the ranks to 18th in the NFL in sacks with 31 on the season. And of course, they still have three games left to improve that number.
Actually, the defensive line has been somewhat of a strong point for the Bucs this season, with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy leading the way. They have also gotten solid production out of defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and William Gholston.
“Whether it was our three-man [rush], our four-man [rush] or our blitz pressures, the guys executed the [pass rush] plan really well,” said Schiano.
“The other thing the guys did a good job with was eye discipline. That’s something we’ve been talking about, just putting your eyes on your work and doing your job. And we did that pretty well on Sunday.”
Linebacker Lavonte David, who continues to improve week by week, also has registered six sacks this season. The Bucs certainly don’t have any sack masters on the defensive side, at least not yet, but they have been able to generate a somewhat consistent pass rush this season.
And in turn, that has led to improved play by the secondary, which was of course by far the defense’s worst unit last season.
At 4-9, the Bucs could still match their 7-9 record from last season, but that seems unlikely to happen. What is certain, though, is that they cannot improve upon their record, and that is still a key issue that has to be concerning for Bucs fans.
If there is a glimmer of hope, it is that the Bucs have dealt with myriad distractions practically all season long and have been playing much better lately.
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.