TAMPA, Fla. – Mike Glennon says he's not discouraged about losing Tampa Bay's starting quarterback job before ever taking a snap for new coach Lovie Smith.
The Buccaneers signed Josh McCown in free agency and immediately penciled the 34-year-old career backup in at the top of the depth chart.
Glennon started 13 games as a rookie last season, when a 4-12 record claimed the jobs of former coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik.
McCown had the best season of his career with Chicago a year ago. Now, the Bucs are counting of him to help Smith and new GM Jason Licht transform the struggling franchise into a championship contender.
Instead of sulking, Glennon is vowing to push McCown, who signed a two-year, $10 million contract after throwing for 13 touchdowns and just one interception while filling in for an injured Jay Cutler with the Bears last season.
The Bucs began offseason workouts this week.
"I'm going to go out there every day and compete and help the team win in whatever way possible," Glennon said.
"Josh has been great so far to me. It's a great opportunity to work every day with a guy who has so much experience like that," the second-year pro added. "At the same time, just by my nature, I'm going to go out there and compete. Whatever my role might be, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability."
Glennon was drafted in the third round last spring and moved into the lineup when Schiano benched former starter Josh Freeman three games into the season. He threw for 19 TDs vs. nine interceptions, however the Bucs went 4-9 in the games he started and finished last in the NFL in total offense.
"I think there were a lot of things that were good, and there's definitely things I can work on," said Glennon, who completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,608 yards.
"I think overall I played well for the situation at hand, something to really build on at a young age. But it really doesn't matter. At this level, you have to win," the 24-year-old said. "There are things I need to work on, just continuing to develop as a NFL quarterback. Make better decisions here and there, work on my feet, throwing under pressure — all the things every quarterback in the NFL is working on."
Shortly after signing McCown, Smith telephoned Glennon to inform the young quarterback that the veteran was being brought in as the starter.
McCown, who turns 35 in July, is 16-22 in 38 career starts spread over 11 seasons with the Bears, Cardinals, Lions, Raiders, Dolphins, 49ers and Panthers. He was 3-2 as Cutler's replacement last year, helping Chicago remain in playoff contention until the starter returned.
"He just said to start out there's got to be a person to start, that goes out with the first group first, and that person's going to be Josh," Glennon said, recalling the conversation with Smith.
"I understand the NFL is a business. ... I realize that I'm just going to have to continue to work hard and prove myself," the second-year pro added. "But at the same time, I'm going to do whatever he feels is best for the team."
During the recent NFL meetings in Orlando, Smith didn't rule out the possibility of selecting another quarterback in the upcoming draft.
He stressed, however, that that's not to say he doesn't believe Glennon has a promising future.
"What we like is how he came in as a rookie in a tough situation and stayed focused," Smith said. "Quarterbacks have to have confidence in themselves, they have to put a lot of things out and just perform and do their job. And that's what he did."
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