Thursday during OTAs an interesting thing was witnessed. Jameis Winston, the number one overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was not practicing with the starters. Instead, 3rd year backup Mike Glennon was taking the first team reps while Winston was relegated to the second team.
When asked about this by the media after practice, Lovie said:
“Jameis and everybody else have to earn their position. Jameis is getting his first-team reps. You guys are here on Thursday, and Wednesday he was with the first group then. Don’t look too much into that. We just want the guys we think can play to get reps, and we want them to work with a lot of different combinations. Jameis is right on schedule. We’re not disappointed or anything like that in him.”
Lovie seems to be setting everyone’s mind at ease about Winston being the starter for week 1 but something seems odd about this. The media has only had access to two OTAs so far. One on May 28th and the other last Thursday on June 4th. Everyone on staff is aware that the media is going to be present for these practices. So why would they have Jameis practice with the second team on this particular day when they knew that the media would be there to report on it?
Dirk Koetter, the new offensive coordinator for the Bucs has gone on record stating how much he likes Mike Glennon. On the day he was hired he had this to say about Glennon:
I’ve watched Mike from afar – from the other side of the ball here in Atlanta – and from afar, I thought he had some of the same attributes as Matt Ryan.
Glennon has also gone on record as saying he tries to emulate Matt Ryan’s style of play. It is no secret that Koetter’s best success with quarterbacks came in Atlanta with Matt Ryan. He has two receivers here in Tamp who are similar to Julio Jones and Roddy White in Atlanta. Vincent Jackson and Michael Evans both have similar play styles to the receivers in Atlanta. If Glennon is like Matt Ryan, Jackson and Evans are like Jones and White in Atlanta, and Atlanta is where Koetter had his best success, wouldn’t it make sense that Koetter would rather start Glennon than Winston?
One thing that has been interesting to me is who is going to be coaching up Jameis Winston. We have no coaches on the coaching staff who have successfully coached a rookie quarterback. Both Koetter and our defensive coordinator Leslie Frasier have both coached rookie quarterbacks with not so great results. Koetter coached up Blaine Gabbert in Jacksonville while Frasier was in charge of Christian Ponder in Minnesota. Both projects became abject failures. Both coaches might be a bit gun shy about having a rookie quarterback starting this soon. It has never worked out for either of them before.
Wouldn’t it make sense that, if you were going to start a rookie quarterback, that you would want to give them every single snap under center with the first team that you possibly could? He is going to need as much practice as possible so having him practice with the second team does not make any sense.
It might be possible that Jameis Winston is not quite ready to start on week 1. Mike Glennon may be the week 1 starter. If Winston is not ready or the coaches do not feel he is the best player to put on the field to give us a chance to win, are they going to have the moxy to keep him on the bench? The fans want to see Winston. They have already seen Glennon. Lovie and crew may have let the media see and report on this so that the fans could start the conversation and be prepared for the fact that Winston just might not be the field general when Tampa plays the Titans on September 13th.