Quarterback Josh McCown didn't receive just a $10 million contract from the Buccaneers on Wednesday; he also got a starting job.
Head coach Lovie Smith put any notion of a competition between McCown and second-year QB Mike Glennon in the dirt with three little words during a press conference. When asked if McCown is his quarterback, Smith simply replied, "Yes, he is."
I have no problem with a new head coach hand-picking his QB. However, that announcement is just a tad surprising, no? Glennon wasn't awful in his first year. He went through growing pains as rookies do. He completed about 60 percent of his passes, put up a 19:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 13 games. He faltered late in the season, but there was a stretch during the middle portion -- Week 6 through Week 12 -- where he was putting up high-end QB2 fantasy numbers. Yet, it looks like Smith really doesn't want anything to do with him.
Instead, he is going with McCown right away. Yes, he was great in relief of an injured Jay Cutler last year. But McCown had been basically forgotten since the mid-2000s before his breakout in Chicago. Before that, he most notably spent some time as the Cardinals' starting quarterback from 2002-2004 and was pretty brutal. I know that was a long time ago, but the Bucs are putting a lot of confidence into a quarterback coming off of the first good year of his career, and he turns 35 in July.
First-year offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has received worthy praise for his work with quarterbacks in the college ranks. Aaron Rodgers is his most famous pupil, but he has coached six QBs who became first-round picks. Can he get the same results out of McCown that the Bears, with head coach/QB guru Marc Trestman, got in 2013? I am skeptical. The good news for McCown is that he will be helped out by a nice trio of weapons in Vincent Jackson , Mike Williams , and running back Doug Martin . But I would not draft McCown off of his 2013 numbers. He will be the Bucs' No. 1, but he should be your fantasy backup at best.
Tampa Bay's general manager Jason Licht stressed competition a few weeks ago, especially at the quarterback position.
"New coach, new regime, you just can't hand the keys over and say this guy is our starter."
That's pretty much exactly what Lovie Smith did Wednesday.