Commentary | Tampa Bay Bucs' new backup QB Mike Glennon holding up just fine

adell@bradenton.comApril 9, 2014 

Buccaneers Seahawks Football

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon walks off the field after the Buccaneers lost 27-24 to the Seattle Seahawks in overtime of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)



Mike Glennon was the last of five players the Tampa Bay Bucs trotted out to meet the media Tuesday.

So this is what dead man walking looks like up close.

This was Glennon's first meeting with the media since he was demoted to backup quarterback after new Bucs head coach Lovie Smith signed Josh McCown.

Give Glennon credit. He didn't need a flak jacket.

He was bombarded with questions about his new role and held up well, a lot better than when the 49ers were introducing him to the turf at Raymond James Stadium.

The rise and fall of Mike Glennon might set a record for brevity.

He started 13 games as a rookie last season replacing Josh Freeman, who had an argument with his alarm clock and was living on Alaska time during the sunless winter.

Back when Glennon took the reins from Freeman, the N.C. State alum said he didn't know if he could handle a demotion as well as the guy once considered a franchise quarterback.

Glennon has already done it better than sleepy Freeman, who has yet to get serious interest from any NFL team after finishing the season with the Minnesota Vikings.

With the NFL Draft slated for May 8th, this is the dating season and the Bucs

are playing the field. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was at One Buc Place on Monday; Eastern Illinois Jimmy Garoppolo was there Tuesday for his second meeting with the team.

If Bridgewater is available when the Bucs pick Smith, would not be able to pass him up. He is Lovie's love.

Rumors are running rampant.

Someone swears he saw Johnny Unitas, but the great Baltimore QB left because Lovie Smith's real offensive coordinator, Jon Gruden, wouldn't let him call the plays.

The ghost of Johnny Manziel has taken up residence at numerous franchises, the Bucs included.

So no matter how much Smith tells Glennon the best players will play, the die has been cast.

Right now, Glennon is Smith's best friend. He doesn't mope, says the right things and is keeping his trade value high as can be expected.

Lovie made it clear he doesn't want to carry more than two quarterbacks during the season. McCown is entrenched, and all signs point to the Bucs selecting a quarterback with their first or second pick.

"I am just going to compete whatever my role may be and help the team any way I can. That is my nature," Glennon said.

Glennon's numbers were better than fellow rookies Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel, but he can't get out of Greg Schiano's shadow.

Shortly after the Bucs signed McCown, Smith called Glennon to tell him about his demotion.

"I don't exactly remember what was said. I just realized I have to continue to work hard and prove myself," Glennon said.

One Buc Place has not offered comfort.

Blake Bortles and Derek Carr sightings are being reported regularly.

Carr has a history with Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, who coached his brother, David.

The Bucs lead the free agency market with 16 signees.

Nobody's job is safe.

But things happen. People get hurt; quarterbacks throw interceptions. McCown is not a bellwether quarterback.

Glennon did his best to promote himself without looking egotistical.

"I need to make better decisions, work on my feet and throwing under the pressure," said Glennon as if that demotion conversation was more than a 30-second phone call.

Teams have called the Bucs about Glennon. It is in Smith's best interest to make everyone believe his signal-caller is a cusp away from being a starter.

The plan could hold up until draft day, which is all the Bucs need.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.

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