"Josh is our starter."
Perhaps no four words irritate Bucs fans more.
Of course it was last season that Greg Schiano echoed these words during Josh Freeman's tenure. Eventually, Freeman was not the starter and in fact, he is now out of the league.
Lovie Smith uttered those four words on Friday following Thursday night's blowout loss to the Falcons and before knowing McCown's injury status.
“Josh is our starter," Lovie Smith said. "We’re looking at one game right now. It would be simple if Josh was the only guy to play bad and it seems like that’s the only guy I’m asked about: ‘Is Josh your starter?’ You could ask that about quite a few people, starting with me: am I still the head coach based off of that effort? But a little bit more goes into it than that.”
Josh McCown is not the team's starter... at least long term. In fairness, the Bucs probably don't have a true starting quarterback on their roster. Despite what the coaching staff will tell you about McCown, the simple facts remain. He's a career backup who has a tendency to turn the ball over. McCown is here because Lovie Smith feels more comfortable with a veteran quarterback leading his team. Instead, McCown has made the Bucs and their fans uncomfortable with his recent play. Smith preaches protecting the football, yet, that hasn't happened with McCown as the starter.
Mike Glennon will likely play this weekend against the Steelers. Glennon looked decent last year during some difficult times. It doesn't say much for Glennon's future prospects when the team anointed McCown as the starter immediately after he signed his contract with the Bucs. McCown is hardly Dan Marino. No competition in training camp at the quarterback position is inexcusable.
In today's NFL, the really good teams have a franchise quarterback. Many would argue the Bucs don't have one on their roster. For Mike Glennon, proving that he is a franchise quarterback begins this Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Catch Greg Linnelli every Sunday from 11a-1p on 98.7 The Fan as the host of "Gameday Uncensored" with former Bucs TE John Gilmore.
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