Mike Glennon, new Tampa quarterback.

NFL Thursday Night: Niners to Win, Bucs Will Start Glennon

By Scott Taylor and Dave Petrishen

TAMPA – The kid’s name is Mike Glennon. As of Wednesday afternoon, he became the third North Carolina State quarterback to be a starter in the NFL joining Phillip Rivers and Russell Wilson.

He’s in great company. But is he good enough? We’ll find out quickly when the Buccaneers play host to the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday at The Big Pirate Ship.

Mike Glennon, new Tampa quarterback.

Mike Glennon, new Tampa quarterback.

Yesterday here in Tampa, Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano has decided to bench Josh Freeman as the team’s starting quarterback and go with young Glennon.

“Mike’s our starting quarterback from this point forward,” Schiano said at a news conference at the Buccaneers practice facility on Wednesday. “We’re moving forward and Mike’s our quarterback. That’s the plan, and that’s how we’re going.

“We’ve lost eight of nine games and we haven’t played particularly well on offense in the last nine games.”

No wonder. The Bucs are 0-3 and Freeman is 28th in the NFL in passing accuracy. He has completed only 45 per cent of his passes this season. He has more interceptions (3) than touchdown passes (2) this season. Since he orchestrated a 10-6 campaign in 2010, Freeman is 11-23 (.324) as a starter. Only Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert is worse.

That’s like buying a ticket to the bench.

The Buccaneers selected the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Glennon in the third round (73rd overall) of the 2013 draft. He was the third quarterback taken in the draft and will join Buffalo’s EJ Manuel and the Jets Geno Smith as the third rookie QB to start this season.

Greg Schiano, Bucs coach. Not that tough a decision.

Greg Schiano, Bucs coach. Not that tough a decision.

“Mike’s a smart, tough football player who loves the game,” Schiano said. “He works extremely hard. I think he’ll go out and try to do what we’re coaching him to do. He’s not going to be perfect; no one is. But I think he’s going to try to execute to the best of his abilities. I think he’ll be accurate, and I think he’ll go out and do it.”

Freeman was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 2009 draft. He is in the final year of his rookie-level contract. Schiano said that the organization was in no hurry to extend Freeman’s contract and would trade him if a deal could be made. Well, Jacksonville could certainly use him. And hey, maybe he could join Joe Webb as a receiver in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, we don’t need to make any deals. Dr. Football and the Coach are still working on tremendous seasons. Their combined accuracy is Peyton Manning-like

Last week Dr. Football went 10-6 (34-14 overall) straight up and 8-8 (21-27 overall) against the spread while The Coach went 10-6 (32-14 overall) straight up and 8-8 (22-26 overall) against the spread.

This week, the Doc writes our brilliant rationalization while The Coach takes a nap by the pool and phones it in.

Colin Kaepernick, Niners should win.

Colin Kaepernick, Niners should win.

San Francisco 49ers (1-2) at St. Louis Rams (1-2) 
Line: 49ers by 3.

Both teams haven’t looked good so far this season, but the 49ers couldn’t ask for a better opponent to help them break out of their funk. The Niners have lost to the Seahawks and Colts, two teams that are playoff bound, while the Rams, although winning in Week 1, have played poorly the last two weeks. They were crushed by the Cowboys. Last week I expected the 49ers and Colin Kaepernick to return to the same form that beat up the Packers in Week 1 and I was dead wrong, but I won’t be fooled again. The Coach says: The Niners have a lot of trouble against good teams. They should have no trouble against bad ones. Even on the road.

The Doc: 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.

The Coach: 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.

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