“Moving forward” has been the mantra at One Buc Place as of late, and it is happening in more ways than one. Two key pieces of the offense are out of commission: Offensive Coordinator Jeff Tedford and QB Josh McCown. Tedford, who has taken a medical leave of absence from the Buccaneers after undergoing a medical procedure last month, will have his duties taken over by QB Coach Marcus Arroyo. Arroyo has been calling plays all season with the help of the offensive staff.
“Yeah, in comparison to with the job that we’ve all done,” Head Coach Lovie Smith responded when asked if he was happy with Arroyo’s performance as play caller. “None of us has done our jobs good enough, coaches, players and all. I think Marcus and the rest of the offensive staff, I need to say the rest of the offensive staff, this is the way we work throughout the season and so it’s not like we have to change an awful lot. Yes, I’ve been pleased with how we’ve been getting plays in and out, we just need to execute a little better.”
Arroyo coached under Tedford at University of California for two years and is familiar with how Tedford worked. The Buccaneers are proceeding as if Tedford is not coming back this season. The team does not have the intention of bringing in additional reinforcements, opting instead to stay the course with the “collaborative effort”.
“I want it to keep building on the identity that Jeff put us forth with, and that reason is because we’ve had so many reps in that direction,” Arroyo said. “Collectively, that’s what we know right now, that’s what our guys are comfortable with. Until we feel that there’s another direction we need to go – which I don’t know if you can do that, if it’s a smart decision in the middle of a season, to change direction – that’s not a plan at all. Our plan is to stay the course and to give our guys a chance to continue doing what they’re doing and get good.”
The Buccaneers will have to continue building that identity without McCown, at least for now. McCown sprained his thumb Week 3 against Atlanta and his return is undetermined. Surgery may be imminent. McCown saw a hand specialist this week who recommended a weeks to see if the thumb may require surgery. In the meantime, Smith has stated QB Mike Glennon (#8) is likely to start this Sunday against Pittsburgh. Glennon says he is prepared to for the opportunity.
“I think last year this exact time was when they announced me the starter,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect then. I know what it’s like to play now. I know what it’s like to go out there and get hit by those defensive linemen, I know what it’s like to throw a touchdown, and everything in between. So [I’m] a lot more confident, a lot more comfortable than I was a year ago today.”
The team has reiterated throughout the week that it would like to put its ugly 0-3 start, and in particular the embarrassment that was the Atlanta game, behind them.
“Our mindset last year and mindset this year is just stay the course and get that first win,” Glennon said. “And once you get that first win, things kind of get rolling. And I think that’s the mindset we’re taking again this year and we’ll work ourselves through it. It’s a long season; 13 games left in the season. Ten weeks from now, we won’t even remember this. We’ve just got to focus on going up to Pittsburgh and getting our first win.”