Losers Need Not Apply

May 5th, 2017


Everyone from Dirk Koetter to Port Richey Lou is aware of the potential doomsday scenario for the 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In the immortal voice of Howard Cosell: “Down goes Winston, down goes Winston.”

Buc fans don’t even want to think about the consequences if their franchise quarterback is sidelined this fall, but the movers and shakers at One Buc Place are paid a lot of money to consider all options.

And right now, as the Bucs head into their spring conditioning programs, Winston’s two backups have combined to attempt exactly seven passes at the NFL level.


Mike Glennon chose the money and the opportunity to start in Chicago rather than carry a clipboard on the Tampa Bay sidelines — and who can blame him? Although Glennon barely got on the field in the past two seasons as Winston’s backup, his departure has created a comfort void.

Tampa Bay’s depth chart lists Ryan Griffin and Sean Renfree behind Winston, and if those two names don’t ring a bell, that’s understandable … they’ve never answered the bell at the pro level.

Popular Danger

Griffin, signed by New Orleans in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of local college Tulane, is still hoping to throw his first NFL pass. Renfree, selected by Atlanta in the seventh round of the 2013 draft out of Duke, signed with the Bucs three months ago.

Renfree’s seven pass attempts for the 2015 Falcons represent the sum of pro experience for Winston’s would-be replacements.

This is a dangerous game the Bucs are playing, but they are not alone.

Ben Roethlisberger is backed up by untested Landry Jones. Brett Hundley sits behind Aaron Rodgers, Veteran scrub Chase Daniel is No. 2 to Drew Brees, and Scott Tolzien is the man if Andrew Luck goes down.

“Having a quality backup is an insurance policy,” says former quarterback Boomer Esiason.

Winston has been quite durable through two seasons, taking virtually every snap, and he now has an enviable set of weapons at his command. But look what happened to the Raiders late last year when Derek Carr went down.

Oakland appeared poised for a deep playoff run before Carr broke his fibula in Week 16. Matt McGloin was injured in the regular-season finale and rookie Connor Cook was forced to start the playoff opener against Houston.

The Raiders were eliminated in a 27-14 setback as Cook threw three interceptions, completing only 18-of-45 passes.

“I mean, we’d all love to have a backup quarterback who we can win 12, 13 games with,” says Colts GM Chris Ballard. “But we all know that’s not realistic.”

Comfort Level

Dirk Koetter knows Renfree well, having served as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator for Renfree’s first two seasons as a pro. The Falcons cut Renfree last August after signing veteran Matt Schaub.

“Sean’s one of the toughest guys I’ve been around,” says Atlanta coach Dan Quinn. “Mentally tough, physically tough. When you have as much respect for a guy, even for me over a short time, he earned that respect. He’ll always have a fan in me, that’s for sure.”

At this point, the Bucs would rather rely on Renfree and Griffin to develop rather than sign a more experienced backup who has already proven he can’t get the job done.

Would Buc fans truly feel more at ease with Blaine Gabbert, who is 9-31 as an NFL starter? I think not.

With so many teams still looking for a No. 1, landing a quality backup is risky business. The common wisdom across the league is that you’re doomed any time your starting quarterback goes down for an extended period.

That might not be the case in New England, where Matt Cassel went 10-5 after Tom Brady was sidelined in 2008, but we all know rules don’t apply in Foxborough.

The Bucs could try to sign a veteran quarterback before heading to Miami for the season opener, but it would have to be the right guy.

Losers need not apply.

28 Responses to “Losers Need Not Apply”

  1. TvD head ball coach Says:

    What the hell is wrong with you Irv. Never speak the words “down goes Winston” ever again!

  2. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Luck…luck…luck. How lucky are we going to be this year. Injuries are a large part of how our season will shape up.

    I don’t think there is any backup that could replace #3 for a significant period…as in more than a half dozen games.

    The hope with MG8 was always that he could step in and get us through that six game stretch 3-3 or maybe even 4-2 and then let #3 close the show.

    So it not only depends on the severity of the injury…timing is also critical..if injury occurs early #3 could come back and save the day…IF the backup hasn’t left us in too deep of a hole.

    Bottom line for me…there is NO backup that gives me comfort. My O/U is 3.

    If #3 misses more than three games we’re toast.

  3. uckinator Says:

    Yup – You look like an Irv.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Point well-taken Ira … Bucs don’t have an experienced QB backing up Jameis. But the same could be said of other key positions. Who’s Kwon’s experienced backup right now at MLB? Or Donovan Smith’s experienced backup at LT? Far as Griffin & Renfree go, one of them I think will be an adequate backup. Will either be as good as Jameis? Probably not (or they’d be starting). Would Koetter have to skinny-down the playbook if either had to come into the game? Probably yes. But in an age when so many other NFL teams need starting QBs, quality backups are at a premium to be sure.

  5. tdtb2015 Says:



  6. Brandon Says:

    I watched 5-6 games of the undrafted rookie free agent from Colorado… not going to try to spell his name right now… i was impressed. Nearly 6’4 230+ lbs… strong runner, pretty good arm, he’s a gamer and is extremely tough, hangs tough in the pocket to throw a ball and take a big hit. He reminds me a tad of a collegiate Josh Freeman. Big, strong, can move around a little… this guy is tougher though and not quite as fast. He had strong tape.

    Anyways, I can see him winning the 3rd QB job this summer… and I can see him eventually sliding into the #2 role. He has the look of a guy that can play in the NFL.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Not like there were a lot of good draft picks at QB to get a decent backup with potential. Pickings are slim on FA.

  8. Capt.Tim Says:

    If you lose Winston
    Or Brees, or Ryan, or Newton
    For more than 3 games
    Might as well just start tanking, to get a high draft pick.

    You cant replace those guys.

    And For us, Gerald McCoy is the same.
    Lose him, and our defense is shot

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    The Steelers took the Tennessee QB in the 4th round as a backup. Landry looked mediocre when Roethlisberger was out.

  10. Capt.Tim Says:

    Still rocking the Articles, Ira
    Top notch stuff!
    And coming from me, that should carry some weight, as Im the only poster who knows what the heck hes talking about !!!! Lol

  11. Leighroy Says:

    Capt Tim is right. Was it worth it for the vikings to ship away a first round draft pick to the Eagles for captain check-down and an 8-8 season last year? As bad as he is, Bradford was likely the best plan B option in the league last year. And we’re talking the best case scenario there!

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    It is what it is. Good NFL caliber QBs are hard to come by.

    Glennon left for more $ and an opportunity to start on another team – as expected. We will get a decent comp pick next year as a result. But we are left without an “experienced” back up QB for now.

    IMO – Better to let a braintrust like Koetter, Moken and Bajakian develop a couple young guys they like and know – than pick through the NFL scrap heap.

    There’s a reason we used up an extra active roster spot for Ryan Griffin for almost 2 full years worth of games… That reason is NOW. Hope he steps up and proves worthy of the franchise’s trust in him to be a capable and solid NFL back-up QB. 3rd year in this offense for Griffin – just like Winston (minus the initial TC and preseason). We shall see.

    We are in the enviable position now of only needing to be on the lookout for QBs to develop. Not start now like a bunch of teams want/need – but nurture and develop. Guys like that come a lot cheaper – and when you hit on one and do a good job of development – you get rewarded with 1st and 2nd round draft picks when you eventually trade those guys you could afford to spend the time to develop without pressure to perform right away – and they turn into good QBs. It Happens. We will have this opportunity to be QBUniversity for the next dozen years or so.

  13. shouldhavedraftedefiert Says:

    Gabbert wouldn’t be too bad an option. I’d take him.

  14. DB55 Says:

    Man we can sign Kap, but I’m sure he’s in the “loser” category. Smdh. Blake Sims is at rookie try outs and he’s better than our current crop of back-ups.

    But if the Bucs are cool with giving Reilly Cooper a try-out there should be no problem bringing in Kap. Oh wait my bad forgot about the Bucs booster club, my bad.

  15. Steve from Oregon Says:

    You read my mind DB55, offer Kap the same amount they were going to offer Glennon to be the highest paid back up.

  16. Couch Fan Says:

    Kap isnt very good, which is why nobody has signed him… The league is yearning for good young QBs. You really think no team will sign him simply because he took a knee? LoL. Give it a rest.

  17. Ysosyria Says:

    How about cutler for a back up? He’s better than what we have as back up

  18. DB55 Says:

    It’s stupid chit like what couch just said that makes me lose faith in humanity. We had 2 back-ups with 7 career passes between the two and somehow you think Kap would be worse or unable to compete? Give me a fckn break.

    It was made very clear on these heat boards and TB radio that his actions are unwelcome to say the least.

    #ConfederacyIsMyHeritage #IhaveBlackFriend #ImNotRacist #Thug

  19. BoJim Says:

    Couch Fan Says:
    May 5th, 2017 at 3:01 pm
    Kap isnt very good, which is why nobody has signed him…

    Bet we could get a few wins from him if Jameis goes down.

  20. DB55 Says:

    Carl R Says:
    March 25th, 2017 at 8:44 am
    If the Bucs brought in Kaepernick I would cease being a Buc fan and cancel my NFL package. End of story.

    Louis Says:
    March 25th, 2017 at 8:48 am
    Hell freaken no to that idea of signing kaepernick, we don’t need any distraction on our bench and would rather maintain team unity. Let him Neal on some carpet elsewhere like Canada. Side Show Bob is not wanted here.

    Billy Buc N Brazil Says:
    March 25th, 2017 at 8:52 am
    Big pass on Karl Kaepernick. Never going to happen, the guy is poison. I would be surprised if he ever plays another down in the league. I would give J football a shot at backup before this unpatriotic loser!!!

    Buc1987 Says:
    March 25th, 2017 at 8:59 am
    “Bucs should sign Colin Kaepernick.”

    …. Good enough to be a back up, sure. Did the kneeling hurt him? Certainly did, and it will certainly hurt him here in Tampa with so many of us far-righters. Back up or not.

    The NFL don’t ef around. You make them look bad, you’ll never be heard from again.

  21. mrcajones Says:

    capt.tim says…..the only poster who knows what he’s talking about……okay bro

  22. Stu Says:


  23. Couch Fan Says:

    You can say the samething about all 32 teams in the league. But amazingly not a single one wants to touch Kap. But the all knowing DB55 knows better than all the pros. LMAO. For someone who thinks he’s so smart, your comments just arent adding up. But keep advocating for us to sign a garbage QB that we would have to change our offense for if he were to ever come in to play. Makes perfect sense.

  24. DB55 Says:

    the all knowing DB55
    Now you’re making sense. Delete everything else this is all you need to know.

  25. Capt.Tim Says:

    Damn, I thought I was gonna sneak that one by, for a couple a post there!!

  26. Capt.Tim Says:

    Still not as bad as that S+** Db55 is trying to run!!
    Lol its tough being experts!!, Right DB?

  27. teacherman777 Says:

    Jay Cutler would have made a great backup.

    EJ Manuel also.

    Kap would be an all-star backup.

    Fitzpatrick not a bad option.

    Griffin is a good QB.

    But we should have signed someone else to compete.

    In regards to Kaepernick,

    Of course he is being black-listed.

  28. JameisDungy Says:

    Yea I don’t know why we didn’t sign EJ. He mentored Jameis at FSU his redshirt season.

    I’d be for Fitpatrick as a backup. Kaep would be great, but Bucs probably won’t take that chance.