Lovie Smith: Buccaneers Will Consider a Quarterback With Seventh Pick in 2014 NFL Draft

Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles runs into the end zone for a fourth quarter touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lovie Smith and other members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ staff and front office will be at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, checking out the talent available to them in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Smith spoke with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times from the Combine, and his comments about his quarterback situation stand out from conventional wisdom about what the Buccaneers will do with their seventh pick.

Stroud quotes Smith as saying “Do I think we can win games with Mike Glennon? I’m going to say, ‘yeah, we can win games with Mike Glennon.’ If you ask me would you like to upgrade the position? I’m not running around the question. That’s a yes, too.” He also said that he believes this draft holds multiple options at quarterback, and one will be worthy of the seventh pick because “Whenever you have a chance to get a franchise quarterback, you have to consider that.”

So is Glennon out of Smith’s plans for the team? Not at all. Smith said that he “like[s] (Glennon) on the football team as one of our quarterbacks right now.” So even if the Buccaneers add a passer in this draft, Glennon still figures to be in the mix as a backup or as a competitor for the starting job.

Glennon has made a good first impression on Smith, as the Bucs coach said “You just like the things he brings to the table. Strong arm. Great guy. He is a guy that seems like he doesn’t have an off-season because he has been working his butt off in the facility.” But that isn’t enough to secure him a “20-year contract,’ in Smith’s words.

This is a topic we discussed here at the Pewter Plank in our latest podcast, as we don’t believe Mike Glennon is “the guy” for the Buccaneers long-term. It’s encouraging to hear that the coaching staff is keeping all options open, and not blindly sold on Mike Glennon in the lead up to a draft that holds multiple options at the quarterback position.

Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel all represent possible top-10 options at quarterback, and you can read our thoughts on these players by clicking on their names. If any of these players are available with the seventh pick, it sounds like Lovie Smith and his staff are prepared to pull the trigger, as they’d like to see an upgrade at the position.

Smith also said that he’d like to bring in a veteran to compete with the younger quarterbacks the Buccaneers will have in camp, so expect the team to enter the preseason with four or five players lining up under center and competing for roster spots.

Lovie Smith’s coaching history is littered with disappointments on offense, and his year off from football likely left him with time to consider where things went wrong. Despite making it to a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman under center, Smith knows that offense, and the quarterback in particular, are an important part of a successful franchise.

That’s why Smith hired Jeff Tedford, a quarterback guru, as his offensive coordinator, and that’s why he’s open to taking a quarterback early in the draft. He recognizes the importance of the position, and he’s prepared to win at the quarterback position in Tampa, a position he lost at while in Chicago.

Topics: 2014 NFL Draft, NFL Draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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