Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) is pressured out of the pocket by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley (98) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Is Mike Glennon the Franchise Quarterback the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Have Been Waiting For?

Over the last 20 years, these are the men who have started at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This season, Mike Glennon joined that list after Josh Freeman failed to show any indications that he was capable of running an NFL offense.

So can Glennon set himself apart from the long list of quarterbacks in recent history for the Buccaneers, and become a consistent, “franchise” type of quarterback? Or will he, like every other Buccaneer draft pick to line up under center, flame out before he even reaches his second contract with the team?

Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

We don’t have an answer yet, but the signs are pointing in the right direction.

Early in his career (which seems weird to say considering he’s played eight games in the pros), Glennon was very erratic with his throws. His deep passes were blatantly uncatchable, and his short throws were often off target or very poorly placed.

But fast forward just two months later, and Glennon has posted three games with a QB rating of over 120 in his last four starts, and has steadily improved his completion percentage and yards per attempt as the season has gone along.

But it’s still too early to crown Mike Glennon as the future of the franchise. And it’s not because of anything he has done, or hasn’t done.

The fact remains that Glennon still has the remainder of this season to continue to show the improvements he has made. There should be no rush for anyone, inside of One Buc Place or in the stands at Raymond James, to crown Glennon as the savior at quarterback or to damn him to a life on the bench. He has shown positive traits and improved some of his weaknesses so far in his career, and has the remaining five games of this season to show whether his progress is legitimate, or if he’s inconsistent or unreliable.

Games against Carolina and San Francisco will test Glennon’s toughness and poise in the pocket. A game against St. Louis will truly test his ability to manage the pass rush, and exploit a poor defensive backfield. There are plenty of tests left for Glennon, and his future will be determined by the evaluation of his entire season, not just his recent spell of success.

Josh Freeman was capable of stringing together a nice set of games at multiple times in his career, and it’s obvious that he did not turn out to be a franchise quarterback. So slow down on naming Mike Glennon as anything more than he is.

He’s an improving, talented quarterback with every chance to become the “franchise guy” the Buccaneers have been waiting for. Now it’s up to him to continue to improve and earn that job for 2014 and beyond.

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