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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Lovie Smith: McCown starts with edge

By Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- It didn't take long for Josh McCown to be named starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On the same day McCown agreed to a two-year deal, coach Lovie Smith was asked if the veteran was his quarterback.

McCown
"Yes, he is," Smith said.

Wow, that didn't take long. Smith already has placed McCown ahead of Mike Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie for the Bucs last season. While acknowledging there will be a competition, Smith said McCown will be the first-team quarterback the first time the team takes to the practice field.

"Every position there's competition," Smith said. "We have starting rotations. [All-Pro defensive tackle] Gerald McCoy is at the top of the depth chart with our starting rotation and then you have to have a certain level of play for guys to stay that way. That's the way it's always been with me. There has to be a starting spot, a starting point, a starting person to go out there first and that would be Josh."

There are other signs that point to McCown being the starter. He was with the Chicago Bears when Smith was their head coach, so there's familiarity. Then, there's the contract. McCown got a two-year deal that averages $5 million per season. That's more than standard backup money.

I wouldn't go writing Glennon off just yet. He could light things up in the offseason program and training camp. But, at least at the start, McCown is in the lead.