“Risky Business”

March 18th, 2019


At the moment, when Jameis Winston peers over his shoulder pads, he sees a big fat zero.

That’s zero, as in the number of passes Ryan Griffin has thrown for the Bucs in games that count. Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken his skills to South Beach, leaving Griffin as Winston’s untested backup.

The only other quarterback on the current Tampa Bay roster is Joe Callahan, whose lone NFL experience came for the Packers in the 2017 season finale, when he completed five passes for 11 yards.

For two seasons, Fitzpatrick’s veteran presence gave Dirk Koetter a sense of security behind Winston. Buc fans will not forget how Fitzpatrick outdueled Drew Brees on the road and shredded the Eagles to help Tampa Bay to a 2-0 getaway while Winston served a suspension.

And while Koetter kept gushing about Griffin’s potential, here comes Bruce Arians, who wouldn’t know Griffin if he fell over him. If history is our judge, Arians won’t feel comfortable going into the fall without a veteran backup. During his five years in Arizona, Arians always had an experienced quarterback behind Carson Palmer. Drew Stanton was in the desert for all five seasons and in 2017, Blaine Gabbert came along to join Palmer and Stanton.

When players report to One Buc Place for voluntary workouts in two weeks, you best believe Arians and his staff will be watching Griffin like a hawk. His play and his poise will need to speak loudly to the quarterback whisperer if Griffin intends to stick around at No. 2.

Plan B

Should Arians decide he’s uncomfortable with an untested backup, there are still free agents out there to be signed.

The Titans just released Gabbert after grabbing Ryan Tannehill as Marcus Mariota’s backup. Gabbert has shown very little since the Jaguars made him the 10th pick in the 2011 draft, but he has familiarity with Arians — and that counts. After all, three of the nine players selected by the Cardinals in the 2013 draft are currently on the Tampa Bay roster — Kevin Minter, Earl Watford and Andre Ellington.

The VP of Player Personnel for Arizona that year was a guy named Jason Licht.

And it wouldn’t shock anyone if the Bucs end up signing free-agent guard Jonathan Cooper, chosen by the Cardinals with the seventh overall pick in 2013.

Gabbert isn’t the only experienced quarterback on the market. You’ve also got Mike Glennon, Trevor Siemian, Blake Bortles, AJ McCarron, Matt Cassel, Robert Griffin and Colin Kaepernick.

Let’s get this out of the way quickly … Kaepernick isn’t coming here. This is a military town and besides, Kaepernick doesn’t fit the profile of a backup who won’t threaten Winston but can win a few games in his place, if necessary.

Adding Glennon makes some sense. At the age of 29, two years removed from his first stint in Tampa, Glennon is mature enough to realize his days as an NFL starter are over. He has the perfect temperament to offer Winston support and he won’t cause division in the locker room.

It’s not a stretch to think there were a few prominent Buc players who wanted Koetter to stick with Fitzpatrick last year heading into Atlanta after the bye week. Instead, Koetter replaced Fitzpatrick and stuck with Mike Smith.

The rest is history.

Going with Ryan Griffin as Winston’s backup seems like risky business.

Glennon has proven to be a terrific teammate and he has thrown 35 touchdown passes as a pro. That’s 35 more than Griffin.

If Winston can’t handle Mike Glennon behind him, how’s he going to handle Cameron Jordan in his face?

56 Responses to ““Risky Business””

  1. Dapostman Says:

    Mike Glennon has had shots from 3 teams Bucs, Bears and Cardinals. Mike Glennon like Fitz is a quality backup QB. I can’t imagine Winston feeling threatened by Mike Glennon especially after Winston’s last 6 1/2 games. The ball is in Winston and Arian’s court. My gut says Winston will play like he did down the stretch. His best 6 game stretch of his career.

  2. 813bucboi Says:

    draft tyree jackson-QB-buffalo-5th-6th round…..let BA & leftwich mold him…..


  3. MadMax Says:

    Yep, and Glennon could do a team friendly contract instead of pricing himself out of our reach. He’s made some $$ so he could do that and come back to th team that drafted him.

  4. MadMax Says:

    Or Minshew in the 4th…

  5. Not there yet Says:

    I really don’t get all the negativity in this town something only the newspaper were accused of but your catching up quickly. Why are people so comfortable with starting a rookie quarterback in this town but afraid of Ryan Griffin. They come in with zero experience yet only concerns are about nerves and skills. Doesn’t matter who’s back if they’ll be running for their lives like fitz and Winston last year

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    Raise your hands if you feel secure knowing that Griffin is Jameis back-up? Me either!
    We can’t keep coddling players though. That I do know. If Winston can’t take a little competition, is he really the “franchise QB” we need?

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    Not there yet- You have a valid point though, from my perspective, it’s not entirely a “negative” as it is so much about the availability of other experienced QBs.
    If you watched this O-line play, as you mentioned, it’s a matter of WHEN not if, a backup will play.

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I could see BA drafting Jackson from Buffalo. he drafted Logan Thomas a 6’7 Qb from Va Tech. Didn’t work out and got switched to TE.

  9. rrsrq Says:

    Oh they resigned Ryan Griffin, not Robert Griffin (RGIII). I was looking forward to the RGIII VS. VHIII battles in cramp

  10. Not there yet Says:

    I do think they’ll be a backup quarterback signed and a couple because you go into training camp with like 4 of them anyway. I remember during hard knocks Ryan Griffin was on his way beating out fitz before getting hurt. Only loser teams like us are so concerned with the backup quarterback.

  11. GhostofSchiano Says:

    If anything happens to Winston the Tulane Bomber (Griffen) will secure the ball. manage the game and secure the victory. GO BUCS

  12. donuts Says:

    Whats is the worst thing Griffin can possibly do???? I mean he could throw a pick 6 for his first NFL pass like someone else we know… I dont think I will ever forget that Buc moment. When Winston is all done, it will be one of the lasting memories of his failed NFL career. I dont see it or have not seen it yet but am hopeful this kid wont bust. We are gonna know real quick this year how much of a QB whisperer BA really is….probably after the first 3 games it will be obvious.

    While I wish for the best like most Buc fans, I do call it as I see it on the field and in NFL biz reality. This team has done plenty of losing. Fans should be hesitant to get on any big stick bandwagon BS. We did that once too.

  13. JimmyJack Says:

    If I’m the Glazers I am wanting Bruce to develope a QB behind Winston. It’s just plain stupid to have the QB whisperer running your team and not utilize him.

    I was expecting him to draft a QB but maybe Griffen is the guy he wants to work with. If that’s the plan I’m down………and so what if he never played in a NFL game. Can say the same about any QB we potentially draft.

  14. Kyle Says:

    bucs better draft a qb at some point in the draft. unfortunately, cant rely on winston at this moment. I hope he proves me wrong.

  15. Lunchbox Says:

    Out of the FA quarterbacks you listed, personally, I would prefer AJ McCarron most. I feel like he might have the least dropoff in the event of an injury.

  16. D-Rome Says:

    This team has been so bad that every position on the field needs to have competition, including QB.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You have to ask yourself this question:

    If Ryan Griffin can’t be the backup QB then why in the hell has he chewed up a roster spot for three years?

    Not concerned at all that he is the backup until we can establish that we can win with our primary.

  18. Bobby M. Says:

    Odds are they sign one that’s been in Bruce’s system…as well as draft one. We have to get more bodies for preseason and prepare in case one guy goes down.

  19. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    No thanks to Glennon. Just looking at him is brutal…and his play isn’t much better.

  20. catcard202 Says:

    I have a feeling the Bucs will have a #2 QB on a Rookie NFL Contract…Could easily see the Bucs take a flier on QB in this draft, just in case JW3 regresses.

    Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t be opposed to snagging Drew Lock with the #5… There’s a TON of DEF talent in this draft…But likely only 1-2 true Franchise QB’s. (D.Lock / D.Jones).

    Lock would be valuable trade commodity down the line or a cheap #2 should JW3 stay in TB after 2019.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … B-I-N-G-O !!!

  22. TOM Says:

    Does anyone really care who the backup QB? I think they have a lot bigger worries than that.

  23. SCBucsFan Says:

    If JW isn’t driving this bus then we are sunk. Don’t waste money on a player that will never see the field. It’s money we don’t have.

  24. tickrdr Says:

    Unless he has been banned, I am somewhat surprised that tmaxcon has not been here yet to remind everyone that the heartless, career-loser, Mike Glennon is only 6 – 16 for his NFL career. But maybe then some wag might remind everyone that America’s QB, ProBowler, #1 overall pick, Jameis Winston is only 6 – 16 for his last two years (3rd and 4th years in the NFL).


  25. Mr Lucky Says:

    Until and unless you shore up the O-Line does it really matter?

    Glennon vs. Griffin means you’re happy with the Bucs going 6-10 vs. 4-12?

    Given all the Bucs problems I would rank this as #27

  26. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Glennon? Bortles?
    If Jameis gets hurt, those other 2 aren’t winning diddly.

    Might as well use cap money on defensive depth

  27. Loyaltotheend Says:

    Can’t draft a QB or sign a capable QB or Jameis will get scared they play better than him next time he’s out with Ronald Darby

  28. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Grier or McSorley in the draft…

  29. Pickgrin Says:

    Draft a rookie QB that BA likes in the 5th or 6th Rd and roll into camp with Winston, Griffin and the rookie….

  30. Steven007 Says:

    Brice signed. Will compete for a starting spot at safety. Also good depth. Low-risk one year signing.

  31. Gambelero Says:

    Doesn’t anybody remember two years ago as the final preseason game or two was rolling around that the general consensus on JBF was that Ryan Griffin had won the backup battle. We expected them to trade Fitz (or outright release him) and roll with Griffin as the backup.

    Then he got hurt, Fitz stayed as the two, won two games while Jameis was injured and got all the reps last year in training camp/pre and early season because of the suspension.

    I’m also with TBBF. If he isn’t good enough to be a backup, why was he given a valuable roster spot, even when he was hurt.

  32. BrianBucs Says:

    It’s pretty sad when you can’t have a quality and talented backup because your starting QB has such a fragile ego and is so weak mentally that it affects his play and attitude. And he may be gone after next year anyway. Plus, that starter will spend the 2nd half of his career as a backup QB himself. Sad

  33. foodman97 Says:

    Joe Callahan was the quarterback that the Browns traded 3 – 1st round picks for in the NFL movie “Draft Day”. No, it was “Bo” Callahan.

  34. tickrdr Says:

    More than an hour later, and still in moderation?


  35. AlteredEgo Says:

    Remember when Glennon beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh…wonder how many road games the Bucs have won since then because they are few and far between on a team when wins in general are few and far between…anyway that was a fun game to watch

  36. BuccOff Says:

    McCarron on a 1 year $3 mill deal as backup would be better than Griffin.

  37. 813bucboi Says:

    bucs signed a safety!!!!!….


  38. 813bucboi Says:

    k.brice will be a good veteran presence in the secondary…..

    does this mean j.evans injury is worse than they thought?…..or is it just a good depth signing?….im thinking a little bit of both…..


  39. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Sure did 813 and he’s a thumper. BA wasn’t playing when he “this defense is going to be more physical”. Kentrel checks that box. Funny thing is these cats choosing Tampa. Him after visiting the Texans and colts. Must be the BA effect.

  40. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Another one year deal. They finally seeing the light.

  41. Defense Rules Says:

    Jamaal … “Another one year deal” is a risky & potentially expensive signing. If he plays great, big bucks due next year. If he plays crappy, well, it means he didn’t help us one bit on the field … and potentially hurt us by giving up big plays (he is the last line of defense as a safety). Personally I’d rather see us sign quality starting talent with a history of winning instead of bargain basement guys.

  42. 813bucboi Says:


    its all about DEVELOPMENT…..

    k.brice is similar to bradley mcdougald…..not comparing skill set but potential…..with good coaching and proper development he’ll become a quality starter in no time….just like BM…..seattle felt good about letting ET walk….they had already developed his replacement…..

    not sure why you thing its a “risky” signing…..if he cant cut it, he’ll be depth, a ST player or cut during TC…..if he balls, then we’ll pay him accordingly……i doubt in 1year under bowles he’ll all of a sudden become earl thomas or landon collins…..

    plus he balling is what you should be hoping for….that means we have coaches that can turn 1 teams trash into our treasure….something that teams have done with our trash for so long…..

    imo, its a great signing…low risk high reward…..we’ll cross the resigning bridge when we get there…..he has to earn it first….

    when bradley first signed with seattle they gave him a 1year 2mil deal…..he balled and they signed him to a 3year 14mil deal with 6guaranteed…..that aint bad for a quality starting safety…..

    if KB balls out, bucs will sign him to a similar deal…..


  43. tickrdr Says:

    MG8 = 6 – 16 for his career.
    JW3 = 6 – 16 for last 2 years. (3rd and 4th seasons in NFL)


  44. 813bucboi Says:


    he may have picked the bucs because he knows he has a good shot at starting…..plus the BA and TB effect of course….lol….


  45. Darin Says:

    I could see Arians and Lefty tightening up Bortles. Definitely not a good idea to draft a qb late and have him as the backup. Then again if any teams backup plays alot kiss the season bye bye.

  46. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I wouldn’t want to come back here if I were Glennon. He owes us nothing. There were some pretty mean crap said about him and to the fans who thought he got hosed.

  47. Buccnbeliever Says:

    “this is a military town.” Jesus. You imply everyone in the military is an idiot with that line.

  48. JimmyJack Says:

    Jean you would come back cause the fans were mean? You must be kidding.

    Guess he made a mistake going to Chicago. Those fans are much meaner then Tampa Bay fans.

  49. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree with your comment. As a Vietnam Vet and a white guy I have no problem with Kaepernik politically. I’m tired of watching unarmed black dudes getting gunned down…shot sometimes in the back. I’m not black so I can’t truly empathize but I do understand how that would p them off.

    But he does not fit the mold of what BA is looking to find to back up JW. He’s already outplayed JW by a LOT in terms of actual achievements. He led the Niners to a SB when Smith got concussed and next year he led them to the NFC championship.

    Get back to me when JW finally reaches the playoffs which should be this year IMO. If Fitz frightened JW imagine what Kaepernik would do!!!!

  50. Defense Rules Says:

    @813bucboi … “imo, its a great signing…low risk high reward.” Bucs (most likely) will retain FOUR safeties on our roster this year. Right now we have Justin Evans (19 games starting experience Safety), Jordan Whitehead (11 games starting experience), MJ Stewart (newly converted to safety), Isaiah Johnson (4 games starting experience) and now Kentrell Brice (14 games starting experience). Those are your Safeties right now.

    Point being that Safeties are our last line of defense & experience counts. For example, 6-year starter Tyrann Mathieu has 73 starts. 8-year starter Chris Conte had 93 starts. Learning-on-the-job is great & necessary … but we’ve got a whole Secondary that’s still learning-on-the-job, and that Secondary got eaten alive last year. It needs some excellent coaching, but it also needs some FIELD LEADERSHIP. I HOPE that they all shine & that we go 16-0 in the regular season & go on to win the Super Bowl. But HOPE isn’t a strategy, at least when it comes to football. We NEED to add some experience to our Secondary.

  51. gotbbucs Says:

    I’d rather stay blissfully ignorant with Ryan Griffin at backup, at least no teams have any tape on him.

  52. WillieG Says:

    If emotionally fragile and immature Winston couldn’t handle having a quality back up, how we he handle playing for millions of dollars? I’m thinking that pressure will be a lot worse than having Fitz as a backup.

  53. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Jameis will be a hall of famer. Can’t wait for Ira to get him on the ballot

  54. Bucsace Says:

    Ha, Yeah……Glennon is brutal to look at !!!!!!

  55. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Give it up Willie G. The Dolphins are now saddled with FitzTragic. The Bucs get Famous Jameis under center with nobody in the rear view mirror to take them to the promise land!

  56. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Donuts 🍩. Winston’s first pass wasn’t his fault. The receiver ran the wrong route. Jameis has played quite well when not bothered by injuries, Goodell, or djax. According to EV Stats and Info, he’s been a top 5 qb with the potential to be an all-time great and perennial pro-bowler.