|FOOTBALL Regular Season|
|Sept. 8||At Jets||
|Sept 15||Vs Saints||
|Sept 22||At Patriots||
|Sept 29||Vs Cardinals||
|Oct 13||Vs Eagles||
|Oct 20||At Falcons||
|Oct 24||Vs Panthers||
|Nov 3||At Seahawks||
L 24-27 OT
|Nov 11||Vs Dolphins||
|Nov 17||Vs Falcons||
|Nov 24||At Lions||
|Dec 1||At Panthers||
|Dec 8||Vs Bills||
|Dec 15||Vs 49ers||
|Dec 22||At Rams||
|Dec 29||At Saints||
By Tom Krasniqi
The numbers on offense are downright ugly through three games. The 0-3 Bucs are ranked next to last in passing yards and next to last in total offense. Quarterback Josh Freeman is 29th in the NFL in Total QBR (total quarterback rating) and has completed just 45% of his passes so far this season.
The offense has scored just 10 points over the last two games. You had an idea a change at quarterback might be coming. Not many thought it would happen this soon.
Freeman has been benched. Rookie Mike Glennon will start Sunday’s game against Arizona at Raymond James Stadium. Boom.
During his Monday press conference, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said Freeman was his starter. Then, Schiano met with GM Mark Dominik and the Glazers to discuss the quarterback change. Schiano says Dominik and the owners signed off on the decision. So what changed between Monday and Wednesday?
Schiano called it “a performance-based decision.” Since going 10-6 as the starting quarterback back in 2010, Freeman’s record is 11-23 and that includes going 1-8 over his last nine starts.
“We felt at this time that Mike Glennon gives us the best chance to win and that’s why we did it,” Schiano said.
“Mike’s a smart, tough football player who loves the game,” Schiano said of his rookie signal caller. “I think he works extremely hard. He will go out and try to do what we’re coaching him to do. He’s not gonna be perfect. No one is. But I think he’s going to try and execute to the best of his ability, what we’re asking him to do in the game plan. I think he’ll be accurate and I think he’ll go out and do it.”
Schiano says the change wasn’t just about the team’s 0-3 start. He points back to the last nine games, where the Bucs are 1-8 going back to last season. In that nine game span, Freeman threw 8 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
“I look at our offense in the last nine games. I don’t think that we’ve performed up to the level of our expectations. There’s a lot of reasons for that,” Schiano stated. “As I said, it’s not one guy but that is a critical guy in the operation.”
Glennon says Schiano informed him on Wednesday morning that he would be the starter. The third round pick out of N.C. State will make his first NFL start on Sunday and he’s excited.
“Yeah, this is what I’ve prepared my whole life for. I’m excited about it, can’t wait,” Glennon said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’ve prepared ever since I can remember. Growing up, this is what I dreamed of doing, this what I worked for and I’m really excited about it.”
Even though he’s a rookie, Glennon is confident that he can adapt to offensive coordinator Mike Sulivan’s offense.
“The thing I was most fortunate with is I ran a pro-style offense in college[at N.C. State], so I have five years of an NFL-like offense under my belt,” Glennon said.
The Bucs need him to mature quickly. The team is 0-3 and in dire need of win to save their season. Schiano believes Glennon gives them the best chance to win. He had better be right. The next job that could be up for grabs might be Schiano’s.
As for the Wednesday injury report, the starting wideouts did not practice as Vincent Jackson (rib) and Mike Williams (hamstring) sat out. OL Gabe Carimi (illness), DT Gary Gibson (back) and DT Derek Landri (knee) also did not practice. TE Tom Crabtree (ankle) was limited. DT Gerald McCoy (ankle) and CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring) practiced in full. CB Michael Adams (knee) is out.
Notable injuries for the Cardinals, WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) practiced fully on Wednesday. RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe) was limited. DT Dan Williams (not injury related) and safety Rashad Johnson (finger) did not participate.
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