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Wednesday Notes: Getting Behind Glennon

Posted Sep 25, 2013

After Wednesday's practice, in which Mike Glennon took all the first-team reps, the rookie quarterback's teammates reacted to his promotion to starter...Plus injury updates and more

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mike Glennon's teammates are working to help the rookie QB succeed in his first starting opportunity
  • Starting WRs Vincent Jackson (ribs) and Mike Williams (hamstring) were held out of practice Wednesday
  • The Cardinals are practicing in nearby Bradenton in advance of Sunday's game at Raymond James Stadium
Davin Joseph says he didn't see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' change at quarterbackcoming, but that only underscores what a difficult and potentially-season-changing choice it was for Head Coach Greg Schiano and the rest of the team's management to promote Mike Glennon over Josh Freeman.

“Coach expressed that to us – it was a tough decision – so I really didn’t have an inkling of whether he was or was not going to replace Josh," said Joseph, the two-time Pro Bowler and 2013 team captain.  "But he made a decision, and we’ve just got to move forward.  I was surprised, but it’s a performance-based league. We’ve got to move forward and just really come around him and make Mike the best quarterback he can be.”

Joseph and the other team captains got the news Wednesday morning, shortly after Schiano had spoken with both Freeman and Glennon.  Shortly thereafter, the decision was relayed to the rest of the team, and in the afternoon Glennon was under center with the starting crew, preparing for the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and beginning to establish himself as the new offensive leader.

That's how quickly things move in the NFL, even when it involves a radical change in the lineup.  For Joseph and the rest of the Bucs' offensive players, the most useful reaction was to get behind Glennon immediately and get right back to work.

“They made the decision for a reason," said wide receiver Mike Williams. "They didn’t make the decision for us to keep losing. So, hopefully it’s a great decision. We’re all behind it, and we’re going to go out and try to get the rest of these wins.  You get guys that come in as rookies and take your team almost to the Super Bowl and things like that. Hopefully that’s what he can do, he can learn from those guys and we can get wins.”

Indeed, the concept of a rookie starting quarterback in the NFL has gotten a new shine in recent years with an influx of immediately successful passers, a trend that went to a new level last year with the arrivals of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill.  That's certainly encouraging, but Glennon is more concerned with how his own teammates will respond to him in this new role.  He was encouraged by the reaction he got on Wednesday.

“So far, everyone’s been extremely supportive and coming up to me and congratulating me and smiling and all that," said Glennon.  "It’s great to have my teammates support. But I’m my own player. All those rookies that have really excelled the past few years, their situations may be different – I’m not really sure – but I’m just going to come in here and do everything I can and be myself.”

- G Davin Joseph believes Mike Glennon will fare well as the Bucs' new starting QB

Glennon has the confidence of the men providing him with his protection up front, including both Pro Bowl guards, Joseph and Carl Nicks.

 “I think Mike is really going to do a great job," said Joseph.  "His attitude today in practice was different.  He really came out there on fire, really throwing some nice balls today, getting the offense set, doing some really good things. So, I think it’s really going to be a positive thing for us.”

Added Nicks: "Today was his first day taking all the reps with the ones, and he looked crisp.  He looked good.  Everybody knows it's different on Sundays, but Coach has faith in him and so do I. The kid's got a strong arm, he's smart, he's athletic, he's tall. Those are all good attributes to have as starting quarterback in the NFL, so I think he can do it."

Of course, when it's all said and done, no team can truly know how well a new starting quarterback – especially a rookie – is going to perform until he gets his chance.  Glennon's teammates know this, but they're confident in him and hoping for the best.

"You're going to have guys like that that don't have any time to learn the system, they're just thrown into the fire and they do good," said Nicks.  "And you have guys that don't.  We'll see what we've got."

* Glennon may have taken the first-team reps on Wednesday, but he didn't throw any passes to the Bucs' first-team receivers.  Both Vincent Jackson (ribs) and Mike Williams (hamstring) were held out of the first practice of the week after sustaining injuries in Sundays' game at New England.

Receiver wasn't the only position at which the Bucs were shorthanded on Wednesday.  It was fortunate that Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was able to participate fully in the afternoon field session because the team's two reserve DTs, Derek Landri (knee) and Gary Gibson (back), were not.  Landri is expected to miss several weeks with his injury, while Gibson was hurt on the first play of Sunday's game and did not return to action.

Cornerback Michael Adams (knee) has already been ruled out for Sunday's game and is not expected back until at least after the bye week.  Tackle Gabe Carimi remains ill and was sidelined again Wednesday after missing all of last week's work, as well.  The full injury reports for both teams are below:

Buccaneers:

Player

Injury

Practice Status

CB Michael Adams

Knee

Out

T Gabe Carimi

Illness

Did Not Participate

TE Tom Crabtree

Ankle

Limited Participation

DT Gary Gibson

Back

Did Not Participate

WR Vincent Jackson

Ribs

Did Not Participate

DT Derek Landri

Knee

Did Not Participate

DT Gerald McCoy

Ankle

Full Participation

CB Rashaan Melvin

Hamstring

Full Participation

WR Mike Williams

Hamstring

Did Not Participate

 

Cardinals:

Player

Injury

Practice Status

WR Larry Fitzgerald

Hamstring

Full Participation

S Rashad Jones

Finger

Did Not Participate

RB Rashard Mendenhall

Toe

Limited Participation

LB Kevin Minter

Hamstring

Did Not Participate

DE Ronald Talley

Wrist

Full Participation

DT Dan Williams

Not Inj. Related

Did Not Participate

 

* After playing in the Louisiana Superdome on Sunday, absorbing a 31-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Cardinals elected to continue their NFC South tour without going home to Arizona.

The Cardinals are spending the week at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, about an hour's drive from Raymond James Stadium, where Arizona and Tampa Bay will do battle on Sunday.  The decision saved the Cardinals players from a large amount of wearying travel, though it did expose them to the same rainy weather the Bucs have been dealing with.

"We felt like staying East would benefit our guys from staying off six-and-a-half, seven hours on a plane going back to Phoenix and then coming right back," said Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians.  "So, we felt like that was the best thing for us – maybe get back into a little bit of a training camp mode.”

The Cardinals' coaching staff did the same thing in Manatee County that they would have been doing back in the Phoenix valley on Monday and Tuesday: They broke down film of their upcoming opponents from the previous three weeks.  At 0-3, the Bucs are struggling even more than the 1-2 Cardinals, but Arians notes that Tampa Bay is only a few last-second plays from being 2-1 and having a win over the same team that just dominated Arizona on Sunday.

“They look like a team that’s lost two games in 10 seconds," said Arians.  "They should be 2-1.  I think they know that. We’re preparing for that team. There’s a ton of talent, I love watching their defense play.  I like the way they play defense – explosive high-energy and they’re very talented. It’s going to be a great challenge for our offense against their defense. I think they have one of the best young running backs in the game [Doug Martin] and loved him coming out and think the world of what he could be.  He reminds a lot of Edgerrin James when we had him as a rookie.”

Today was his first day taking all the reps with the ones, and he looked crisp. He looked good. Everybody knows it's different on Sundays, but Coach has faith in him and so do I.
-- G Carl Nicks

If the players are preparing themselves for Sunday and the coaches are scouting the opposition, the Arizona personnel professionals are busy trying to patch up a brand new hole in the lineup.  Both of the team's starting outside linebackers, Sam Acho and Lorenzo Alexander, to season-ending injuries in Sunday's game; Acho fractured his leg and Alexander suffered a Lisfranc injury in his foot.  With starting middle linebacker Daryl Washington not due to return from a suspension until after Sunday's game, the Cardinals will essentially be replacing 75% of the middle level of their 3-4 defense.  Arizona's current depth chart lists holdover starter Karlos Dansby along with Jasper Brinkley on the inside and Dontay Moch and Matt Shaughnessy on the outside.  Moch was just promoted from the practice squad.

“I’ve had to replace two out of three running backs but never all three linebackers," said Arians.  "You can find football players, you can find bodies to put out there that’ll play hard. What we lost was two of our heartbeats. Sam Acho and Lorenzo Alexander were huge, high-energy players, high role models on our football team. That’s the part we’re going to miss more so than the football. We’ve got young guys that I think are going to play really well. Can they match that character level, that high-energy level, that those guys brought every game – not only on defense but they were core special teams players?"