The 2014 season hasn’t even started yet; new coach Lovie Smith has already doomed his Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Normally, it’s the plays and decisions decided during the battle on the field that cost the most, but Smith has sentenced his team to doom without even coaching a single game. Mike Glennon, the rookie who shined during Tampa Bay’s gloomy 2013 days, will not be the starter for the team.
Yup, Smith apparently knows offense. This is the same coach who possessed lethal players on the Chicago Bears like receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, tailback Matt Forte, and Jay Cutler, who can bomb the ball down field with ease, and managed to rank 28th in total offense in 2012. He has no offensive pedigree. Smith attempting to solve offensive issues is equivalent to an English major trying to crack Calculus problems; he doesn’t have the mentality needed. Smith isn’t necessarily a bad coach, he just can’t be trusted with an offense.
Bears’ new coach Marc Trestman turned the wheel, shifting to an 8th ranked offense in 2014. In just one season, Trestman made the Bears’ offense as explosive as anyone else’s, with much less time than Smith was granted. Smith benching Glennon is a mistake by all means.
Prepare yourselves Tampa Bay, as the the 34-year old Josh McCown will take the reigns of the offense. Apparently, Smith seems to believe that someone at 34 has more fuel left in the tank than a fresh, blooming 24-year old player with tremendous upside. Of course, McCown played like a stud for the Bears, subbing eight games for Cutler, tossing 13 touchdowns and just one pick, while attempting to push the Bears into the playoffs — which they barely missed out on. Still, he’s 34. He’s peaked. He was with Trestman, a man who’s highly regarded with quarterbacks, having an excellent offensive mind. He had more weapons in Chicago than he’ll have in Tampa Bay.
Glennon was a diamond in a pile full of rocks last season. Even through the turmoil Tampa Bay was enduring, suffering from locker room dilemmas of a losing season, a franchise quarterback being thrown out, and a coach like Greg Schiano who set his team up for failure, Glennon played like a poised veteran. In 13 games, he passed for 19 touchdowns, having just nine interceptions. His completion percentage was almost at 60 percent. This was the same kid who was an inch away from giving the undefeated Seattle Seahawks at the time their first loss, delivering solid play at the hostile CenturyLink Stadium. He has nice poise in the pocket, and has good command of an offense. Glennon also has wonderful arm strength and beautiful accuracy; he can be a good starter in the NFL.
Smith still hasn’t learned from his days in Chicago. Even if McCown plays well, that isn’t enough. McCown’s old; Smith shouldn’t be coaching to have a few successful seasons. The NFL is about long-term success, that’s why Smith should continue developing a young and promising quarterback like Glennon, rather than pumping fuel out of a quarterback who’s out of the league in a few years. Testing Glennon out his first season would be the perfect time to do so, as a coach wouldn’t get canned if he had a mistrial after just one year. Glennon may not start for Tampa Bay, but he will for someone else. The 2014 season hasn’t started, but Smith has already put his Buccaneers in an unfair position, even for years down the road.