Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano may have sparked an outright May quarterback controversy. In an interview with the National Football Post, he suggested that rookie Mike Glennon has a fair shot of winning the starting job over incumbent Josh Freeman.
Schiano said he believes Glennon "can play quickly" if he is needed. "But our situation will be only if he's needed," he said. "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."
In the process of touting Glennon as a potential immediate contributor, Schiano simultaneously affirmed that Freeman's spot is secure atop the depth chart. The contradiction is driving Buccaneers fans slightly crazy as they try to parse out truth from coach-speak. It's safe to say that Schiano really likes Glennon, however. He said recently that Glennon was his top-rated quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft.
That said, Freeman should be considered the overwhelming favorite to reprise his role running the Bucs' offense. Sander Philipse at Bucs Nation ran down several reasons why.
The Bucs like Glennon, but they did pass on him in the second round to take Johnthan Banks. Obviously, they didn't feel he was an immediate franchise quarterback, either. Add in the fact that this team desperately wants to win now, and rookie quarterbacks tend to stand in the way of winning now (Glennon is no RG3) and Freeman is almost certain to remain the starting quarterback.
Schiano, like many coaches, subscribes to the idea that every starting job is an open competition, and will say so at every opportunity, even if there is a Hall of Fame player returning. His open praise of Glennon suggests that he is paying more than lip service to the rookie's playing chances, however. Freeman is the likely starter, but should he struggle, Glennon could see a lot of playing time this season.