Over the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to spend time among Buccaneers fans in the Tampa area at practices and a preseason game. And unlike most of the rational fans I get the pleasure of dealing with here at The Pewter Plank, there were some ridiculously unreasonable fans out and about and unafraid to share their thoughts.
“Josh Freeman sucks.” “I think Glennon is the answer for this team.” “Why do they let Freeman throw? They should have kept Martin in.”
Even the local radio station felt the burden of these fans calling in to give their absurd takes:
Yep… we’re already getting calls for Mike Glennon. And calls wanting to know if Schiano is the guy. http://t.co/DPA0NdFkgv
— WDAE 620 AM/95.3 FM (@620wdae) August 9, 2013
And while I certainly understand the lingering frustration of the fanbase after the awful performances from Josh Freeman to end the 2012 season, there has been nothing this offseason that indicates there is any sort of quarterback controversy in Tampa Bay. In fact, Josh Freeman has been improving and growing this offseason and putting more room between himself and Glennon.
In last night’s preseason game, fans should have been able to see more of the same. Here are three reasons why fans can be confident there is no quarterback controversy in Tampa:
- Mike Glennon was not good enough last night. He showed flashes of being capable of running the same kind of offense as Josh Freeman, but he’s not as sharp as Freeman, and doesn’t seem to run the same plays that the Bucs deploy with Josh in the game. Mike Glennon has the tools to be an NFL quarterback, but last night only showed that he’ll be capable to spell Josh Freeman in an emergency, but that he’s not ready to be a starting quarterback.
- Josh Freeman wasn’t given a long look. If there was a quarterback controversy, Freeman would have been allowed a longer stay in the game to see how well he’s doing. Instead, Josh Freeman was gone as soon as all the other starters left the field, and Mike Glennon was left to play alongside backups. There was no hint of allowing Glennon a chance to play with starters to see how he does with the first team. He was being groomed as a backup.
- Josh Freeman continued his good form from training camp. Josh Freeman has been sharp since the night practice, and he continued that into the preseason game. He was playing behind a makeshift offensive line, and still managed to make a few plays, including negotiating a picked-up blitz to extend a drive. He threw a perfect pass to Vincent Jackson in the red zone despite good coverage, and Jackson was simply unable to hold on. Freeman had a better first preseason game than many of the NFL’s “elite” quarterbacks (which doesn’t mean much, but for those willing to overreact and name Mike Glennon the starter, perhaps they should consider how Joe Flacco and Peyton Manning performed on Thursday evening).
So if you’re a Buccaneers’ fan who doubts Josh Freeman, you have like-minded company. But there is absolutely no way that Freeman loses the job to Mike Glennon this offseason. Josh Freeman is going to get his chance to prove himself to the Buccaneers in 2013, and there is nothing that can happen between now and week one against the Jets that will change his status as the starter.