Josh Freeman is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting quarterback right now. Let's get that straight before we go any further in discussing the possibility that rookie Mike Glennon could win the job. Tampa Bay isn't like other places like Jacksonville up the road or Cleveland where quarterback battles are as open as they can possibly get. The Buccaneers aren't looking for a guy to beat out Freeman.
Still, Tampa Bay isn't an open and shut book either. Josh Freeman has had a rocky, up-and-down career, and he's left the door ajar for someone to step in and win the Bucs' starting job.
Head coach Greg Schiano seems to have a grasp of that reality, telling Dan Pompei of the National Football Post that Glennon will be able to take over for Freeman if need be, even opening the possibility that Glennon could win playing time moving forward.
"But our situation will be only if he’s needed," Schiano told Pompei. "Or if he wins the job. Look, I’m not against that. We have a starting quarterback. It’s not like we’re looking to find a starter. But competition is competition. Mike Glennon is a fierce competitor. I knew that when he was coming out of high school. Now being able to work with him a little, you can see it on the practice field."
The catch is that it will be difficult for Glennon to overtake Freeman if he's taking snaps with the second team offense against the second team defense. The best case scenario for Glennon is to impress his coaches enough to get a small chunk of first team time. If he continues to impress, he'd continue to get more snaps with the first team units. Regardless of what he does on the practice field, preseason action will be huge for Glennon if he hopes to be anything more than a backup in Tampa Bay.
The big weakness that Freeman exhibited a season ago was his inability to connect with wide receivers, completing just 54.8% of his passes a season ago. Although it's comparing apples to oranges, Mike Glennon didn't exactly excel in that department at NC State, completing just 58.5% of his passes in his final year with the Wolfpack. For reference, Josh Freeman ranked 29th in the category out of 32 qualifying passers, and Glennon's percentage, had he been in the NFL, would have only put him at 22nd overall, just in front of Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert.
There's no doubt that there's an opening for Mike Glennon, but there's also a steep learning curve in the NFL, and for a rookie to walk in and take a veteran's job, that player must be an exceptional prospect. "Exceptional" just isn't how most people would describe Mike Glennon coming out of the draft.