The Freeman era is over and the Mike Glennon era, however long it may last, has begun. Sunday the Buccaneers franchise will take a step in a new direction when they take the field against Arizona. Though this is a big game for the current team and the future of the organization, there are certain players your eyes should be on a little more more often than others.
It’s pretty clear Glennon will be the guy most of us will be watching in his first start in the NFL. He’ll have to take over an offense that has sputtered since the preseason began, and may be without his two best receivers.
A lot has been made about the move and the impact it will have on the Buccaneers going forward, but there’s no doubt that Glennon will have to impress quickly if he wants to stick around as the starter in Tampa Bay. I expect the play calling to be much simpler than it has been with Freeman and there will be a reliance on Doug Martin. But this is the NFL in 2013, Glennon is going to have to make some plays. Not many truly seem to believe in Glennon at this point. He can change that with a good first impression, or he can confirm many’s suspicions and continue what has already been a very difficult season.
This is the first chance since joining the Buccaneers that Revis will be matched up with an elite receiver. Darrelle will be expected to shadow Larry Fitzgerald for much of the game and his success against Fitz will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game. Revis Island appears to be reincarnated here in Tampa, but this is it’s first real occupant. Carson Palmer will challenge Revis a lot because Fitzgerald is really his only option. In previous battles Revis has fared well against the Cardinals’ star, the Bucs need him to do so again.
Where have you been Kevin Ogletree? He scored a touchdown against the Saints but other than that he’s been a ghost. With both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams ailing, Ogletree will have to have an impact to help Mike Glennon not fall on his face in his first start. Even if Jackson plays, he’ll be shadowed by Patrick Peterson the entire afternoon, so Ogletree will have to get open to release some of the pressure. He’s been a huge disappointment thus far, but with a new quarterback at the helm, he’s got another shot to show up. He better, cause the Bucs need him.
The Honey Badger has surprised many with how well he’s played thus far in his NFL career. But he gambles on plays all the time and the Buccaneers have a chance to take advantage of it. Mathieu will likely be told to take some shots against the rookie QB, and if Glennon can recognize when he’s cheating, he could exploit it.
The Buccaneers are thin at wide receiver right now. With both Jackson and Williams possibly out or at least hampered with nagging injuries, the Cardinals dynamic DB could have his way against whoever he’s matched up with. But I point out Peterson for another reason. He’s a dangerous player that can get you at any time. They put him on kick return, he’s all over the place on defense, and he even occasionally plays on the offensive side of the ball. The Bucs have to watch where #21 is on the field no matter the circumstances. Forget about him for an instant, and he could be scoring points on you in a hurry.