After denying throughout the summer that Josh Freeman wasn’t his quarterback, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano has decided to bench him.
Schiano announced Tampa Bay will start rookie quarterback Mike Glennon Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals in the midst of an 0-3 start to the season. Schiano said he and General Manager Mark Dominik decided the change was best for the team’s success.
“We’ve got to win games,” Schiano said. “We’re in a production-based business. I get it. And I think this gives us the best chance to win, and that’s why we’re doing it.”
Since Nov. 25, the Bucs have only recorded one regular-season win. Meanwhile, Freeman has struggled, completing an NFL-worst 45.3 percent of his passes in the first three games. He has thrown more interceptions (42) than any pro quarterback since 2011.
Tampa Bay failed to extend his rookie contract in the offseason, and now Freeman is in his final year of the deal. He threw for 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns last season with 17 interceptions.
The Bucs selected Glennon in the third round in this year’s draft. He’s 6-foot-7 and spent part of his collegiate career backing up current Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at North Carolina State.
Glennon struggled in preseason performances for Tampa Bay; his best performance came against the Patriots, when he was 12 for 22 passing for 121 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Despite the pressure-packed situation in Tampa Bay, Glennon said he feels support from the team and staff. He said he’s excited for the opportunity to start Sunday at home.
“This is what I’ve prepared my whole life for,” he said. “I’m excited about it. I can’t wait. I’ve prepared ever since I can remember. Growing up, this is what I dreamed of doing, this is what I worked for, and I’m really excited about it.”