“He Is A Vagabond Quarterback”

June 30th, 2014

Veteran columnist Gary Shelton is not sold on QB Josh McCown taking the Bucs to the promised land.

Bucs quarterback Josh McCown “is the epitome of a journeyman.” Joe will never forget those words delivered by he “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, when he recently appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

And yes, Joe also finds it hard to believe that a quarterback, in but five games last year, can completely turn his career around at the ripe age of 35, which is what McCown will be when the regular season begins.

Yes, McCown is a good dude and hosannas sung about McCown’s intangibles from everybody from Bucs coach Lovie Smith to All-World wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Joe also has seen how McCown’s Bucs teammates have rallied around him with practices away from One Buc Palace, which is cool (but, by the way, how did those Josh Freeman-led workouts in Bradenton a few years ago turn out?).

But Joe is willing to buy what the Bucs are selling about McCown, maybe because of that four-letter word, “hope.” Veteran sports column Gary Shelton, however, isn’t quite willing to swallow the sale.

Shelton hoped the Bucs would have drafted a quarterback last month. He told his Tampa Bay Times readers the Bucs have an “embarrassing” history of quarterbacks and he isn’t willing to believe quite yet the Bucs have the next Rich Gannon on the roster.

Right now, however, you have your doubts. Of course you do. Despite the offseason grades, despite the growing optimism, the Bucs still have the least-impressive quarterback situation in the NFC South Division.

There is nothing reassuring about McCown, nothing that puts your concerns at ease. He is a vagabond quarterback on a franchise that has a history of them. Doubts and question marks are scattered around him. Even now, you can find an argument that suggests it will be a matter of a few games before Mike Glennon replaces him.

And why wouldn’t there be doubts? McCown is a 34-year-old passer who has started only 38 games in 11 years, and he has won only 16 of them. Yes, McCown was very good last year, but from 2008-12, he threw all of 61 passes. Over his career, McCown has watched a great many other options play quarterback.

Shelton later types that the history of Bucs quarterbacks is a “horror show that never ends.” And yes, Joe agrees that watching the Bucs offense has often felt like an eye rake from Freddy Krueger, only without the hot nubile (often, wet) young babes running around screaming in various stages of undress, unless you factor in the Bucs cheerleaders sweating on a steamy September afternoon.

But Joe is willing to see what type of magic Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford can muster with his quarterbacks.

Sadly, until proven otherwise, Joe still believes the Bucs have the fourth-best quarterback in the division. That’s just not a good thing.

46 Responses to ““He Is A Vagabond Quarterback””

  1. DallasBuc Says:

    The absolute truth. There is no reason for any fan to believe we can win with McCown behind center except for the fact that Lovie put him there. But let’s face it, Lovie has a poor record putting talent at that position during his career. What are we doing?

  2. SAMCRO Says:

    Whatever. …Leave it to another one of Tampa Bays local media to trash our team again. You’d think we were in N.Y. the way they try to carve up our team, and ? and trash every single move. Evidently, Sheldon is still butt-hurt over Manziel and can’t get over himself. If all I did all summer was read and listen to local print media and radio, I wouldn’t ever go to a game much less waste my time on season tickets. ..all this garbage, and we haven’t even played a significant game yet. I just wish at the end, if our QB’s perform admirably, I could shove those black birds down all those local antagonists throats, feathers and all.

  3. Louis Friend Says:

    The Panthers won 12 with a highly overrated quarterback and a superb defense. There’s absolutely no reason to think a team can’t win with McCown under center and a good supporting cast. Not every team they face is going to the Super Bowl, and after some growing pains I expect them to formidable by the middle and end of year.

  4. Dean Says:

    There are several factors that go into success or failure at the QB position for the Bucs. First of all, can the QB avoid mistakes. It sounds like Josh has that ability. Is he required to be a Peyton or Brady? Not in the least. He just has to protect the ball, not making mistakes that cost us games and make a few plays along the way. No one is working harder to learn to read defenses (something the other Josh never could do). Does he have the talent around him to succeed? Absolutely. This is the best (on paper) WR and TE corps the Bucs have ever fielded. Can the Bucs be aggressive with their offensive scheme and adjust during games? We’ll see…but it seems Tedford has just that mentality. Let’s just sit back and watch this whole thing develop…it’s gonna be fun guys!

  5. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    “But Joe is willing to buy what the Bucs are selling about McCown, maybe because of that four-letter word, “hope”

    Which is what Lovie naming Glennon the future franchise QB should give JBF readers…hope

  6. mpmalloy Says:

    I really respect the fact that Shelton is not parroting
    any owner-fueled, sunshine-and-flowers, BS agenda.
    He tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    That said, I think McCown will be OK.

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    Oh, why does’nt Shelton just throw in the towel right now for crying out loud. Go ahead and bow down to the glorious Aints, stinking panthers and dizzy chicks. And the mainstream media wonder why readers have fallen off the cliff.

  8. Tom Edrington Says:

    In order to put this preseason in context, you have to compare this team to where the Bucs were last year.

    How much better off are they now than last season. This time last year, everyone was pinning their hopes that Josh Freeman would become a solid quarterback. Instead, he’s just a guy with mush for brains.

    So, all things being considered, it’s not all that bad to have a sharp guy like JM starting the Bucs off going into camp. Better weapons, better defense, real coaching.

    So really, ask yourself “How much better off are the Bucs than this time last year?”

    And if I were referring to someone as a “Vagabond” quarterback, it would be the scrambled eggs-for-brains Josh Freeman.

  9. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Shelton is basically just stating what any sane Buc’s fan has seen for the last, what 30 years or so. Our QB’s usually blow. I’m not going to be shocked if McCown does too. But we’ll get to see if McCown turned the corner last year or if it was Trestmen’s offense that led to his success.

  10. Eric Says:

    He’s longing to stray…..

    Well played, Frank. –Joe

  11. Bucwild007 Says:

    I am so tired of Shelton’s schtick. We get it you are an old curmudgeon and aren’t happy with anything…. blah blah blah. He is so boring and uninteresting anymore it isn’t funny.

    This is bad but I would rather listen to Bayliss than read anything from Shelton.

  12. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    I have a different view…

    Shelton says, “McCown is a 34-year-old passer who has started only 38 games in 11 years, and he has won only 16 of them. Yes, McCown was very good last year, but from 2008-12, he threw all of 61 passes. Over his career, McCown has watched a great many other options play quarterback”.

    No ware and tear on his body
    Massive knowledge to read defenses

    What seem to turn McCown around?
    Marc Trestman’s, Chicago Bears Offense

    What makes me confident on our offense?
    With McCown as QB, this offense has similarities to Chicago’s offensive personnel. And as a bonus we have blended into this offense a possible the Patriots Tight End attack. Tedford has many weapons. Lets see how the o-line plays together on this system.

    The glass is half full from my view.

  13. biff barker Says:

    Gotta remember that many of these media minnions were the very same clamoring to resign Freeman.

    And they that all wrong too.

  14. 1sparkybuc Says:

    90% of the QBs in the entire league would be the 4th best QB in the NFCS. The real question is where the Bucs rank as a TEAM. IMO at worst the team is second behind the Saints simply because of Drew Brees. When Brees is done the Saints will return to their old ways, while the Bucs will transition to Glennon. The Bucs have size and speed on both sides of the ball, and they have great leadership on the field, on the sidelines, and in the front office. There’s a great balance with this franchise for the very first time in history. I expect they will be in the playoffs on a regular basis with the 4th best QB. Lovie attracts talented players. This team is going to be loaded with talented players for a very long time……and professional coaching will make the best use of them.

  15. Buc the Haters Says:

    Gary Shelton’s takes are pretty much worthless these days(and anyone’s who agrees with him). He just tries to get exposure by manufacturing controversial opinions. If we can’t trust L & L’s judgement on signing McCown & naming him starter, then how can we have faith in any of their other roster moves?!? IMO, every single offseason move we’ve made has been spot-on (except for Zuttah & maybe Penn). Bucs are going to the Superbowl this year. Herm Edwards & Gil Brandt are geniuses (unlike Shelton).

  16. tiny tim Says:

    Since when did having the 4th best QB in the division mean you are regulated to finish last? I mean, I thought the best team win the Super bowl and not merily having the best QB. Let me know when that changes and then I will start being concerned about having the fourth best QB in a division.

  17. Louis Friend Says:

    @Buc the Hater

    Yeah, but compared to Tom Jones over there he’s extremely optimistic

    Heck, even Joe is. That’s saying something.

  18. Legarrettes Blunt Says:

    Got to say, what he points out is starting to make me worry about this year. How many wins can we expect with the worst qbs in our division, no matter which one starts? We can’t expect our defense to be that elite in their first year playing in the new scheme. They can be great but are they going to be at a Seahawks level year 1? The Seahawks defense had been together for a few years, they just added some edge rushers like Bennett and Avril.

  19. mpmalloy Says:

    “Longing to stray”? That sounds like NYNY.
    Is McCown going to the Giants?
    Maybe he wants to go to the Gints?
    OHHH……vagabond….shoes…..are longing to stray.

    Whew! For a minute I thought McCown was going to NY

  20. DallasBuc Says:

    Shelton is merely highlighting McCown’s career production (unimpressive at best) and basing a reasonable opinion on that. He is also correct that this franchise has always fielded garbage at the QB position. Gonna argue with that too? You don’t have to like Shelton but McCown’s career speaks for itself. I hope McCown can change his spots too and become a pro bowler that carries the Bucs to a championship but it is delusional to expect it!

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “…but, by the way, how did those Josh Freeman-led workouts in Bradenton a few years ago turn out?” – Joe

    Shhhhhh! Don’t you know that most of the fringe fans here don’t even know he did that???

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I personally think we have the worst quarterback situation in the conference, or among the worst.


    …Josh McCown’s leadership skills are amazing so far. Mike Glennon is learning how to be a pro from him. How to prepare.

    So I’m okay with McCown being the starter for now. We’ll see if he can be that leadership example when things go bad.

    My only issue is that I wish we had a third QB that could also learn from him, someone that would be great competition for Glennon. Carr would have been perfect, especially because he could have been had in round 2 by moving up 3 spots.

    Imagine, we could have two potential starters in the wings. A true competition. I admit I COULD be wrong about Glennon, but what if I am not? What if he ends up sucking?

    Carr had a lot of upside. He even runs his offense with hand signals in a pinch (and misleads defenses with them). Ah well, what is done is done.

    But I still wish we had good competition for Mike Glennon. Someone young enough and good enough to make us all wonder which would win out. Right now, he is a lock without earning it.

  23. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Brad Johnson…that is all!

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    On Dereck Carr, Matt Schuab is starting over him this year. BUT…he has Greg Olson as his OC 🙁

  25. Buc the Haters Says:

    @ DallasBuc
    My expectations for the team is to win the Superbowl (bcuz we’re loaded with talent & should have solid coaching)… My expectations for McCown are to be just good enough to distribute the ball effectively to our playmakers & limit the mistakes. We don’t need an all-world Qb. Just someone effective. I don’t think any aspect of that is delusional, buddy.

  26. Buc the Haters Says:

    @ Louis Friend

    Omg, don’t get me started on Tom Jones. That guy is a serious tool. He better hope I don’t see him around town somewhere or we will have a pretty heated debate. (possibly aggressive negotiations lol)

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    Ohhh, the sky is falling! We didn’t draft a QB with zero pro experience to lead the 32nd ranked offense from the depths! Give me a break. McCown is better than ANY rookie drafted this year. That’s a fact. Upside? Well, let’s just say the ceiling is lower. Step back from the ledge, we have seen far worse!
    Be reasonable people. A QB combination of McCown/Glennon is better than any combo of rookie/Glennon.

  28. Stanglassman Says:

    I think it’s more realistic to expect McCown latest performance results than years ago when he was on a poor team/system.

    Dallasbuc- The real question is WHO would you pick start for the Bucs this year? Would you of Traded our entire 2014 draft for Mallett? Bridgewater? After that pro day? Glennon? You have to have someone better in order to complain about the choice.

  29. DallasBuc Says:

    Stanglassman/BucHaters- no matter who I suggest it is not proveable so your question is inherently loaded. It is perfectly reasonable to state that the current QB situation blows without positing an alternative. I am not a GM and am not privy to the resources that would have been at hand when the new regime took over. What I am certain of is that what we have now scares no one in this division or league with serious post-season aspirations. You guys seem fine with mediocrity behind center with no serious hope for the future at the position. I obviously feel differently. At least the browns, Vikings and raiders set themselves up for a chance at greatness in the future. On the other hand we set ourselves up with 2 backup QBs to keep the standards as low as possible.

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Dallas- Your argument is well stated. However, how can you be sure of the aspirations of rookie Qbs leading their teams to the postseason? It’s the same argument in reverse. With McCown and Glennon you can argue that at least you know what you have. I’m just giving it a different perspective.
    Who’s to say what either can do with the additional weapons? If they don’t perform then clearly we’ll be looking for help. It’s the same as if you drafted somebody.

  31. buddha Says:

    Professional football is the ultimate team game. Buccaneers had arguably the third best QB in the division the year they won the Super Bowl. Why not just say, we don’t know whether McCown will be the answer? Instead, we get, he can’t possibly be any good, though most Bears fans wanted him back. He has experience; he has accuracy. The question is how he will function in making his reads and delivering the ball. For that, we just have to wait and see. Glennon will get another chance. My hope is that it’s not this year, because that will mean McCown is playing well.

  32. DallasBuc Says:

    Bucsfanman- I didn’t say anything about the aspirations of rookies leading their team to the post-season…

  33. Buc the Haters Says:

    @ DallasBuc

    I understand that Qb is the most important position on the field & we would all love to have a proven super stud back there. But, the reality is that if we have super studs everywhere else on the field, all the Qb really needs to do is make good reads & get the ball in the hands of our ELITE playmakers. I think McCown or Glennon could both accomplish that. If we didn’t have basically the most talented offense in the league, like we do now, then we would have the need for a superstar Qb.

  34. Buc the Haters Says:

    For the record, the argument FOR the Bucs having a successful year is much stronger than the weak-a$$ argument against it. Man up & be positive, time to stop being scared little girls.

  35. Buc the Haters Says:

    @ DBuc

    Oh, and I guarantee ‘what we have now’ scares alot of teams, playoff-bound or not. I mean seriously. How the hell is anyone going to have a prayer of stopping us?!??

  36. DallasBuc Says:

    Hah! “…basically the most talented offense in the league…”, and my arguement is weak? Completely delusional…buddy!

  37. Buc the Haters Says:

    This is gonna sound silly, but I guarantee that if our current team was on Madden already, I could simulate seasons and we would probably win the Superbowl 5 years in a row… Why? Bcuz we are absolutely loaded with talent on both sides of the ball & our Qb’s should be ‘just good enough’.

  38. Buc the Haters Says:

    Sorry, but anyone who doesn’t think we have one of the most talented offenses in the league is delusional. I mean, do u even know who we have? Maybe your too far away to stay in touch, bro…. Lol, SMH.

  39. Buc the Haters Says:

    I think u should change your name to DallasBuc Hater.

  40. Jason Says:

    I’m not convinced that Gary Shelton is’nt a talking walrus

  41. MadMax Says:

    SAMCRO, what you posted Sir was OUTF*CKINGSTANDING!!!

  42. Chris Says:

    This guy is right. So many here are thinking McCown is this next great qb. Fans need to calm down because of what was mentioned in the article. I’ve said long before I would not be surprised if glennon takes the job in TC/preseason. Our qb situation has been ugly for years now and no talent evaluator has succeeded in drafting A long term franchise guy. Lovie might be hoping glennon is that but from last year, he didn’t do much when the defense was 5th in to ratio and last in scoring offensively. He didn’t show much ability to brig a team back either.

    We’ll see how it plays out. 25 days til TC. Little over a month til the first game preseason all.

  43. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Dallas- I’m not trying to give you a hard time dude but doesn’t this statement infer what I said:
    “At least the browns, Vikings and raiders set themselves up for a chance at greatness in the future.” Those teams all have rookie QBs. McCown/Glennon have as much chance if not more than Manziel(who won’t be starting anytime soon), Bridgewater, and Carr. Those rookies still have to prove themselves. That’s all I’m saying.
    Don’t be so sensitive. Everybody has different opinions on the subject.

  44. Pruritus Ani Says:

    9 teams in 12 years. It’s not a job history that is conducive to success. However, let’s be fair and give the guy a shot as it’s a new team and a new system. He has shown some flashes of greatness but, to be honest, at 34 you pretty much are at the mid point or the latter stages of your career. Old habits die hard and the fact he’s never really been with anyone long enough to really learn an offense is a concern.

    We’ll see what happens.

  45. DallasBuc Says:

    Bucsfanman- first of all I value your opinion and said nothing to the effect that you shouldn’t have one or share it. And to your point about sensitivity don’t look at me. I showed zero sensitivity to anything you brought, just didn’t think your restatement of my point was accurate. Now, regarding the other rookies vs our QBs, no I don’t think there is any similarity because we know what we have and the ceiling is kinda low. I think those QBs and therefore their fan bases have a higher ceiling and greater opportunity for success. To your point about them having to prove it, well, that goes for all players and coaches alike. If McCown shows up this year and proves me and all the odds wrong then great! But that would not be what you would expect based on a well documented mediocre career. Doesn’t mean I won’t be pulling for him on Sundays as long as he suits up for the good guys! Go bucs!

  46. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Dallas- I like how you end your post: Regardless, McCown/Glennon are OUR guys and we all should be rooting for them.
    This may or may not pertain to our conversation, but, as a long time Buc fan I have grown weary over the years at the amount of negativity surrounding this team. In particular, we are NEVER pleased with our QBs. Even in our Super Bowl run, people were crying over Brad Johnson. The season after, he had a couple of bad games and we ran him off, the season after he WON the Super Bowl!!!
    Now, I agree that we need that “franchise” guy. But, what exactly IS a “franchise guy”? Wilson? Cam? RGIII? Mobile guys? Or is it Brady? Manning? Ryan? Have we become too accustomed to rookies hitting the field in year #1 and succeeding? Is it fair to ask, can Glennon become that guy?
    I know this, there are lofty expectations this year for a team that completely rebuilt itself through jouneymen and a rookie OC. It truly will be difficult for any player, rookie or veteran, to prosper given this situation.
    Time will tell. Hopefully, this time next year we’ll be bantering over whether we’ll be repeating as Champions.