Mike Glennon and Josh Freeman: Tale of Two Franchise QBs

NFL NEWS: Mike Glennon

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon‘s finds himself in a similar position again as his predecessor once did, sit on the bench and take over when he’s finally ready.

Glennon and the man he replaced in Josh Freeman were both rookies when they took the helm sooner than expected. Glennon was drafted in the third round (73rd overall) in the 2013 NFL draft while Freeman was in the first round(17th overall) in 2009.

When Freeman was drafted by head coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik, the Bucs signed Pittsburgh Steelers backup Byron Leftwich to a two-year $17 million contract to start for the team after his five-game successful run replacing an injured starter Ben Roethlisberger. Leftwich completed 21 of 36 passes for 303 years and two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 104.3 passer rating.

The Bucs traded Luke McCown to the Jacksonville Jaguars leaving them with Leftwich, Josh Johnson and Freeman.

The Bucs stumbled to 0-7 to start the season and 11 straight since 2008. Desperate for a victory, Leftwich and Johnson were benched. It was time for the rookie to suit up as Freeman delivered against the Green Bay Packers in Week 9. Freeman would finish the year completing 54.5 percent of his passes for 1,855 yards, 10 TDs and 18 INTs.

Freeman blossomed his next year throwing 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions topping over 3,400 years passing and over 60 passing completion percentage with a 95.9 passer rating (a franchise record) leading the team to a 10-6 record.

Freeman topped his passing numbers in 2011 with a 62.8 passing completion percentage, 3,592 yards thrown, but threw 16 TDs and 22 INTs. The Bucs finished 4-12 and Morris was gone.

When Greg Schiano was brought in, Freeman didn’t slow down, earning career and franchise highs in passing yards with 4,065 and touchdowns with 27 despite finishing the season with a 7-9 record.

When Glennon was drafted the following year, speculation was rampant about why Schiano did this despite Freeman’s status with the team.

Then reports started circulating on his off-the-field issues and team activities. Glennon took over for Freeman in week 3 loss against the New England Patriots. Despite an 0-3 start, why would you bench a quarterback who’s setting franchise records?

Freeman in his four years accomplished so much like tying Super Bowl-winning QB Brad Johnson in game-winning drives with five (2010), most consecutive 3,000+ passing yards with three and most career passing touchdowns.

Whatever was plaguing Freeman during his tenure with Schiano lead to his release where he finished the year with the Minnesota Vikings, who only gave him one game to show what four years in the league has done for him so far.

Leslie Frazier, who was head coach of the Vikings when Freeman was brought in, is the current defensive coordinator of the Bucs. Players noted how unprepared Freeman was in his brief stint with the team. Freeman was not retained and the New York Giants gave him a shot, which unfortunately didn’t even get to training camp.

What happened? How messed up is Freeman? When did he suddenly become the Lindsay Lohan of the NFL? Someone whose stock was once so high, now can’t even put himself together to attend a full training camp? This is not isolated to just Freeman, just ask Da’Quan Bowers how bad an influence Schiano was.

Despite Freeman’s unraveling, Glennon did finish the year with 2,608 yards, 19 TDs, nine INTs and a 83.9 passer rating. Despite being a “Schiano man,” Glennon is getting rave reviews from head coach Lovie Smith by giving him the bode of confidence of not getting another QB in the 2014 draft.

Smith called Glennon, the “future of the franchise,” now backing up new acquisition and starter Josh McCown after the journeyman caught fire in place of an injured Jay Cutler for the Chicago Bears. McCown posted better numbers than Leftwich did prior to coming to this team completing 66.5 percent of his passes and throwing for 1,829 yards, 13 TDs and one INT in eight games.

While Glennon didn’t have to wait as long as Freeman did, who knows what his future holds under Smith? Will he get his proper rearing he never got last year which resulted in the 32nd ranked passing offense?

It will be a long three weeks before we can see the starting roster for the regular season. Glennon’s ego boost might mean something if the Josh McCown experiment fails.

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