Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht caused a stir recently when they said “Mike Glennon is our quarterback of the future.”
Licht took it a step further this week in a national radio interview, saying “toughness, intelligence, and accuracy” are the three top quarterback traits the Bucs value. Arm strength was listed a distant fourth, with leadership and decision making inexplicably left out.
Look, I’m not here to bag on Mike Glennon. For a rookie, 19 touchdown passes to nine interceptions on THAT ’13 Bucs team is admirable. Very admirable. But I’m not ready to crown him as the quarterback of the future, either.
The conservative approach to offense Lovie exhibitied in Chicago, where his units AVERAGED a ranking of 26/32 teams during his nine years there, will not win big in today’s NFL. Running backs are becoming extinct, 400 yard passing days are common, and a diverse skill set is key.
If quarterbacks were a flavor of ice cream, Mike Glennon would be vanilla, but not just any vanilla. The store brand generic vanilla that comes in the cardboard box. Sure, he can make all the throws. Few in the NFL cannot. Yet, his mobility resembles stone art, and I have yet to see any of the leadership qualities I look for in a galvanizing huddle presence.
Now I’ll say something that will shock you…I hope I’m wrong here. Really. I’d love for Mike Glennon to succeed. Unfortunately, this feels to me like a secret I’ve been exposed to that will take the team years to figure out.
How long will Glennon have to prove Lovie’s faith in him right or wrong? Will we be suffering for the next 3-5 years as fans while Lovie goes down with his sinking ship, or will Glennon flourish?
I picked up the first college football preview magazine to hit the shelves this week, Lindy’s SEC highlighted publication. Inside is a feature which serves as an interesting look into the future – next year’s top draft prospects.
UCLA’s signal caller, Brett Hundley is listed as the #15 prospect on the board, or right around where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be selecting. He’s the third ranked college quarterback, with FSU’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota likely long gone before Tampa selects, and Lovie exhibiting a draft history that’s reticent to moving up.
Hundley has been the dual threat NFL teams crave today. The junior has almost a 3:1 TD to INT ratio (53 to 20) in the nation’s second best conference, completing 67% of passes during BOTH of his campaigns in La La land. Yet perhaps most importantly, he’s contributed 1,100 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. The value of mobility under center cannot be understated in today’s NFL. He’s also the league prototype – 6’2 and 220+ pounds.
I invite you to make the call, Bucs fans, as to Tampa Bay’s quarterback of the future. It’s likely to come down to Mike Glennon or Brett Hundley. If I’m Lovie Smith, my decision’s already made, and I’m daydreaming about the potential of tomorrow.
Follow Marc on Twitter – @MarcRyanOnAir