The Buccaneers will have to turn to Mike Glennon to run the show on offense if this Fox Sports report is true.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers named Josh McCown the starter at quarterback after signing him earlier this year, and Lovie Smith reaffirmed that McCown is his starter after a dismal display against Atlanta on Thursday night.
But if a report from Fox Sports proves to be true, the Bucs will be without McCown for "several weeks" as his thumb injury is apparently more serious than was initially reported.
McCown struck his hand against an opponent's helmet during Thursday night's game, but stayed in to run the offense for a bit longer, before hitting his hand on a shoulder pad of a Falcons' player and leaving the game to have his hand wrapped up.
Initial reports indicated nothing was broken, but a severe sprain on the throwing-hand thumb of a quarterback would be enough to sideline him for quite a while.
Mike Glennon would start in McCown's place, with games against the Steelers and Saints on deck for the Buccaneers. Glennon filled in for McCown against Atlanta, and looked very shaky, seeing three passes dropped by Falcon defenders.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to find a way to get back their home field advantage.
Lovie Smith said today that things would have to change. One of those key things to change would be the (lack of) home field advantage the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have enjoyed over the past decade.
I don't know how to best say this, but the Bucs have always been bad at home. Over their existence, they're 146-160-1 at home. Sicne winning the Super Bowl, they're 42-50 at home. Since firing Jon Gruden, they're 14-28 at home. 13-28! They haven't even won one in three home games since 2009. The lone redeeming split: since 1995, when the Glazers bought the team, they're 90-69 at home. Oh joy.
In fact, the Bucs are actually slightly better away than at home: they're 14-27 on the road since 2009, half a game better than their performance at home over the same span. They'll get a good chance to make up that difference in the next two weeks when they head to Pittsburgh and New Orleans. Can't wait for that!
It's no big surprise that the Bucs have been bad at home in recent years: they've just been bad, period. But there's been no home field advantage whatsoever, even in 2010 when they went 10-6. Being a season ticket holder hasn't exactly been rewarding in recent years, which should make it no surprise that actually sold out games are still rare -- even though the Bucs have taken to buying up tickets to prevent blackouts.
This has to change at some point. A win is a win is a win, but they're easier to come by at home. If you want to do well, you'd better start by winning your home games. It's not like the Bucs don't have an advantage in being used to the heat and lightning storms, either.
The Bucs aren't switching to Mike Glennon as the starter, at least for now.
After last night's debacle, we've seen a lot of calls for Mike Glennon to take over as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting quarterback. When a team performs as badly as it did yesterday, calls for change are natural, and the need to see whether Mike Glennon can be the future is understandable. But Lovie Smith isn't having it. "Josh [McCown] is our starter", the Bucs head coach said today.
Smith also downplayed McCown's interceptions, noting that all of those "weren't even his" and that every quarterback in the NFL throws interceptions. Which is absolutely true -- they just get magnified when the quarterback isn't super-productive outside of those interceptions.
That's not unexpected. Lovie Smith is always loyal to his players and his coaches, just like Tony Dungy was back in his day. And it's also somewhat understandable: while McCown was truly awful yesterday, Glennon really wasn't that much better. He completed a few more passes but didn't fare any better in terms of yardage, and while he did get a touchdown -- he also had three would-be interceptions dropped. McCown was bad, but Glennon wasn't all that good himself.
In the end this may just be some philosophical nonsense, as McCown is undergoing an MRI on his thumb today. A thumb is kind of important for throwing a football, and it may keep McCown out for significantly longer than just the second half of last night's game. If so, we'll see plenty of Mike Glennon going forward.
While Mike Glennon certainly has his faults it's time to see if all "the quarterback of the future" talk has any merit. There is absolutely no reason to keep trotting the journeyman McCown out there hoping he can relive the magic of his season with the Bears in 2013.
I know Mike Glennon is a very divisive player for us Buccaneers' fans, especially those of us here at Bucsnation, but we're all in agreement here right? Josh McCown has proven to be extremely ineffectual at the helm of this football team. For a guy who was supposedly going to come in here and take care of the football, he's thrown four interceptions in two and a half games. Glennon threw his fourth interception last year in his sixth start, as a rookie. He didn't throw his fifth interception until his ninth start. There's not a doubt in my mind that McCown would have thrown another pick or two if he had played in the second half last night. (And I know Glennon got away with a couple as well.)
The point is Glennon takes better care of the football. This isn't something new with McCown. This is exactly the type of quarterback he's been for his whole career with the exception of his magical run in Chicago last season. He's only twice completed a season with a positive touchdown to interception ratio in his career: last year with his phenomenal 13:1 and in 2004 in Arizona with 11:10.
Maybe we can't agree that Glennon is a better quarterback, but I will hope that we can at least agree that they're somewhat comparable to each other. If you take that viewpoint, I hope that you also believe it's time to start Glennon. The Bucs were supposedly so high on Glennon this offseason they turned down multiple trade offers for him in the 2013 draft. They repeatedly call him the quarterback of the future. Well, the future is now. Just three games into the 2014 season and it's obvious to everyone that this team couldn't fight it's way out of the paper bags that are already adorning the heads of fans in RayJay.
It's time to see what the Bucs have in Glennon. He should get these thirteen games to audition for "quarterback of the future". Depending on how he looks we'll get to gauge whether or not we're going to take a quarterback with our top three pick (yeah, I said it) in 2015. If he plays terribly we'll know it's time to panic. If he plays decently we'll know we have a solid backup. If he plays phenomenally we'll know we can go with the best player available and get a stud.
No matter what happens with the rest of this season, there are absolutely ZERO reasons to keep trotting out Josh McCown. He is a 35 year old QB with 61 starts that has averaged just 151.6 yards per game in those starts with a 52:49 touchdown to interception ratio. He isn't the answer for the future and he doesn't even give the team a better chance to win now.
I hope we're all in agreement here, but I look forward to hearing your opinions below in the comments section.
Well, the plane didn't crash. That's something.
It crossed my mind to turn off the game. I would have if it wasn't my job to write about this team today. I will admit it now, I was fooled by the hype. I was bamboozled by Lovie's declaration that they wanted to win now, that this isn't a rebuilding project. My brain knew that believing in Josh McCown was a fool's errand, but my heart said "Hey Mr. Brain, Lovie knows what he's doing. Maybe McCown will find a magic elixir and be a late bloomer."
I wondered what I'd write for 10 Things today other than, "1. The Bucs suck, 2. The Bucs really suck, 3. The Bucs are horrible."
I'm not going to do that to you, my fearless reader. You're here reading these articles because you care about this team. We're all embarrassed by the performance last night. There's nothing we can do about it now. You just have to move on.
Did we truly learn anything yesterday? Absolutely.
1. I heard driving in this morning fans calling for Lovie's job. No, that's not going to happen folks. As ugly and terrible as last night was, there is no way the Bucs are going to pull a Browns and do a one-and-done with Lovie Smith. No, coach Smith will be given the time to build his program here in Tampa Bay. His five year contract says so. Schiano got two years, but trust me he was fired for the fiasco off the field more than the team's on the field performance.
I think we all believed the so-called experts and analysts when they told us that Tampa Bay has a lot of talent on both sides of the football. No, they don't. They may have a guy here or a guy there but overall this is a terrible football team. Schiano didn't hold the Bucs' talent back. The Bucs' lack of talent held the Bucs' talent back.
Make no mistake, this is a REBUILD. We know what it is now. We need to accept that and let Lovie build his team. His track record says if we give him the time he needs, he can return the Bucs to relevance. It's just not going to happen overnight.
It's clearly why when L & L came in, they decided to nuke this roster from orbit. After all, it's the only way to be sure.
2. Josh McCown is what we feared he was. A backup quarterback. If we know anything about Lovie, we know he hates changing QBs mid-season. He'll stubbornly keep rolling McCown out there until it's clear the Bucs are completely out of it. Newsflash to Lovie. This season is over. We're out of it. Time to hand the ball to the kid.
Sure, Jeff Tedford has been down for the count. Maybe things will get better when the actual offensive coordinator calls his plays instead of Marcus Arroyo trying to make chicken salad out of...well, you know. But frankly, I don't care if Chip Kelly or Sean Payton is calling the plays. You can't have a QB who keeps putting your team in horrendous situations.
McCown was brought in because he was brilliant under pressure last season. They brought him in to be the "game manager". Instead, he's gone full Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson (look that one up, kiddies).
Nope. I've seen enough. Coach Smith should have seen enough. Give the kid the ball. At least the one thing you can say about Glennon is he will try to push the ball down the field and get it to his playmakers. He's also pretty careful with the ball. Either the Bucs will discover they have a quarterback or they'll be in a great position to get one in the draft next year.
3. The other thing bandied about on talk radio this morning is, "Is the Tampa Two dead?" No, of course not. It is as relevant today as it has been since the 1970's. If you don't have the players to execute the defense, the good passing teams will pick you apart. Period. But the Tampa Two was pretty damned good in Chicago in Lovie's last season...and last I checked, Lovie wasn't out five years. He just missed last year.
If you don't have pass rushers. You're screwed in this defense. If your linebackers constantly hit the wrong gaps (I'm looking at you Johnathan Casillas and Dane Fletcher) You're screwed in this defense. If your linebackers can't pick the right guy to cover or get sucked in by play action (same two), you're screwed in this defense. If your safeties can't read the QB or cover worth a damn, you're screwed in this defense.
If you have the players to execute the defense, the defense can be dominant. Ask the Seahawks. When Richard Sherman plays man, he's very human. Put him in Cover 2 or Cover 3, have a pass rush like the Seahawks and safeties like the Seahawks, Sherman can be the playmaker he is and your defense will dominate the league.
I know its been three games and he's been hurt for most of them, but I'm calling it now - Michael Johnson is a bust. A bad signing by Lovie and company.
There's also something to be said for timing. The Tampa Two is not an easy defense to learn. In Tony Dungy's first season, with two future Hall of Famers (and potentially two more) on the field, the Bucs gave up 25 points a game in their first five games before the team finally figured it out and understood what Dungy was trying to get across. Many fans called for Dungy the same way they're calling for Smith. Many believe his defense wouldn't work.
Lovie's first stint in Chicago started out the same way. His first year in Chicago was a defensive disaster. They had games of surrendering 30's and 40-burgers. Many fans called for his head, said his defense would never work.
I'll admit, I thought with the return of the Tampa Two with two key kogs in Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, the Bucs were ready made for this defense. They probably still are. It doesn't mean it's not going to take some time.
4. I have to say, I don't think I've ever seen as complete a loss as I did last night. Offense. Defense. Special Teams. Coaching. There was NOTHING postive. Nothing. In this day and age in the NFL, you don't see stuff like this.
5. What's thoroughly terrifying? The Falcons are an awful defensive team. Downright putrid. Their defense forced four turnovers (not including Devin Hester's strip of Mark Barron) and sacked Buccaneer QB's 3 times while limiting the offense to just 217 yds. No, that's not the 85 Bears out there, folks. That was the Atlanta Falcons, a team that gave up 472 yds in each of their first two games.
6. I think Bobby Rainey had a chance to take Doug Martin's job but fumbled it away last night. Rainey's propensity to not protect the pigskin is going to limit his opportunities, which is a shame because he's a hell of a runner. Someone needs to teach the kid to "eat the ball". Where's Schiano?
7. Speaking of the former Bucs coach, didn't this game look an awful lot like the end of his tenure? He was probably in his Tampa home chuckling. "Buc fans wanted me out, there you go. I never lost like that." No, he just lost 41-0 and 42-17.
8. We learned why the Bucs don't get many nationally televised games. THAT is why. At the same time, America learned why there's so many empty seats at Raymond James Stadium.
9.Tweet of the night. (Sorry, running out of things to talk about).
I had a few gems myself but none of them were family friendly. Okay, maybe this one.
NFL to @NFLonCBS. "You have to take a Tampa Bay gm." CBS "We don't want one." NFL "You have to." CBS "Fine, give us their gm against ATL. At least those are competitive."— JC De La Torre (@jcdelatorre) September 19, 2014
10. I learned hockey season starts in a couple weeks. Go Bolts.
Here's your open thread for today.
A Night to Forget: Bucs Fall to Falcons in Prime Time
Tampa Bay dropped to 0-3 Thursday night in Atlanta with a 56-14 defeat, the third-most lopsided loss in franchise annals…An already depleted team lost QB Josh McCown to a thumb injury before halftime
Top Stats to Know: Big win for the Falcons - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN
AP Photo/David GoldmanKemal Ishmael's interception return TD was one of eight Atlanta TDs Thursday night.
Lovie Smith doesn't look like defensive guru - Tampa Bay Buccaneers Blog - ESPN
ATLANTA -- There has long been a belief in NFL circles that Lovie Smith is one of the brightest defensive minds in the game. Now that's just a myth.
QB controversy coming in Tampa Bay? - Tampa Bay Buccaneers Blog - ESPN
ATLANTA -- Josh McCown had a brace on his right hand and his tone was far more dejected than at any time since he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Most Disappointing Buccaneers at Falcons | Pewter Report
Which Buccaneers really disappointed in Tampa Bay's ugly, 56-14 defeat at the hands of the Falcons in Atlanta? Find out right here.
Buccaneers vs. Falcons Unit Game Grades | Pewter Report
The Bucs were drubbed by the Falcons 56-14 on national television on Thursday night and Bucs fans are wondering when they will win their first game.
It's Mike Glennon time again for Bucs | Tampa Bay Times
It was just about this point in the program that another losing coach handed him another desperate situation.
Bucs routed by Falcons 56-14 | Tampa Bay Times
ATLANTA — As Devin Hester neared the goal line on his 62-yard punt return for a touchdown Thursday night, he decided to high-step his way into the end zone. It was a nod to his boyhood idol, Deion Sanders, who smiled in approval as he watched at the Georgia Dome.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers observations: Many to blame for disaster in Atlanta | FOX Sports
The Atlanta Falcons' 56-14 spanking of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday turned ugly fast, and there are so many to blame. But in the end, a spectacle this bad and brutal at the Georgia Dome falls on the coach.
Mike Evans: Football Player, Father, and a Better Man in the Making - YouTube
Mike Evans went from having just 10 college football scholarship offers to being Heisman trophy candidate.Here's your open thread for today.
So this game was horrible and I want to never ever watch another second of it, except these ones.
Both hilarious and somehow a perfect summary of the game.