Is future now for Tampa Bay Bucs?

Lovie Smith. Leslie Frazier
In this Nov. 25, 2012, file photo, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, right, is greeted by Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier after the Bears’ 28-10 win in an NFL football game in Chicago. A person familiar with the negotiations says former Vikings coach Frazier will be the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

TAMPA, Fla.—Nothing had been going right for Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith—until now.
It’s unfortunate that starting quarterback Josh McCown has a sprained right thumb and is expected to miss at least one game. But that injury could be a good thing for the long-term future of this franchise.
With McCown expected to sit out Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh, second-year pro Mike Glennon is expected to get the start. In a strange way, that’s a good thing for Smith. For better or worse, the coach is going to find out what he has in Glennon.
Smith previously has called Glennon the quarterback of the future. That time period might be coming faster than Smith wanted, but he has no choice.
Smith has to play Glennon and there are a couple of ways this situation could play out.
Glennon could go out and play very well. In that scenario, Smith could say he’s staying with the hot hand and stick with Glennon. In that setting the Bucs wouldn’t be admitting a mistake in signing McCown. They simply would be getting to the future ahead of schedule.
Or Glennon could not play well. In that scenario, McCown would return to the starting role as soon as he’s healthy. The fans that have been calling for Glennon would be silenced.
Smith’s in a win-win situation. If Glennon plays well, the Bucs have their quarterback of the future. If he struggles, then it’s hard for fans to question Smith for going back to McCown.

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