TAMPA, Fla. -- In his first public comments as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lovie Smith wasn't about to name Mike Glennon his starting quarterback. But he also wasn’t about to rule out Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie.
“I had a chance to watch growth from Mike from the time he started until the end of the season,’’ Smith said.
Glennon was drafted by former coach Greg Schiano, who unsuccessfully tried to recruit the quarterback to Rutgers out of high school. One of the knocks on Glennon is that he’s not very mobile, but Smith indicated that might not be a problem.
“If you look in the league right now, there are quarterbacks leading their team that aren’t as mobile as others,’’ Smith said. “[Philadelphia’s] Michael Vick was on the sideline, a mobile guy, where the starting quarterback Nick Foles was different. You can win with different [styles of quarterbacks]. If we have other things around, we’ll be able to win with whatever gifts our quarterback has.’’
The Bucs hold the No. 7 overall pick in the NFL draft and have room under the salary cap to pursue a free agent. But Smith wasn’t ready to say the Bucs will follow either of those routes.
“Do I believe in a franchise quarterback?’’ Smith said. “Well, you’re going to have to explain franchise. I believe you need to have a very good player at that position. Do I think you need to have a Hall of Fame guy to be able to win in the NFL? No, I don’t think you need that. But the better the quarterback the more games you’re going to win. I think you can still win with a good quarterback.’’
Is Glennon good enough? That’s something that will be sorted out by Smith and his staff -- once it’s in place.