NFC Quarterback Reality And A Defensive FocusJanuary 29th, 2014
The Bucs’ conference is loaded with quarterbacks, 14 of 16 NFC teams have established starters with guaranteed jobs.
Twelve have legitimate accomplishments under their belts.
Tony Romo (63-45 record as starter, 3 Pro Bowls)
RGIII (Division Champ)
Eli Manning (Two Super Bowls)
Nick Foles (Division Champ, Pro Bowl)
Aaron Rodgers (Super Bowl)
Jay Cutler (56-48 as a starter, Division Champ)
Drew Brees (Super Bowl)
Cam Newton (Division champ)
Matt Ryan (60-34 as a starter, division titles)
Colin Kaepernick (Super Bowl, Pro Bowl)
Russell Wilson (Super Bowl, Pro Bowl)
Carson Palmer (Division titles, Pro Bowls)
That leaves former No. 1 overall picks Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford, guys with massive talent that have yet to reach their potential, though Stafford did have one phenomenal season in 2011 and one the NFL’s comeback player of the year award.
And then there’s the mess in Minnesota — and Mike Glennon.
This is what gnaws at Joe’s core. The Bucs need to improve at quarterback. They need big time competition for Glennon — at least. It’s a quarterback league, and the Bucs are lacking.
Joe talked a lot about offense yesterday with former Giants Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara of NFL Network.
O’Hara had the mindset that the Bucs should be dialed into establishing their defensive identity and not worrying about firepower to match what’s in their division. Rather, O’Hara said, the Bucs should be looking to match up defensively with those teams and not force finding a franchise quarterback.
In O’Hara’s eyes, there will be one key criteria for Lovie Smith’s 2014 Bucs QB.
“You have to have a quarterback that can take care of the football. Because if you turn the ball over against those NFC South teams and you’re down early, it’s too tough to come back from consistently,” O’Hara said.
Often seen as an analyst on the Xs-and-Os-heavy show Playbook, O’Hara said he could see a clear difference between Glennon and Josh Freeman.
“It was obvious to me as the year went on, and as Mike Glennon got more comfortable, that Josh Freeman struggled a lot with some of the protections and reads because Glennon was doing a much better job getting them protected and picking up the blitzes.”
O’Hara went on to say defenses caught up to the Bucs after their midseason run of wins. O’Hara credited the Bucs’ late-season struggles on the offensive line to injuries and Glennon and the offense’s inability to counter the multitude of blitzes and looks thrown at Glennon.