The Bucs are back on the Mike Glennon Express.
After months of lukewarm praise and hints that last year's rookie starter might be shopped, general manager Jason Licht now says Tampa's new regime became sold on Glennon as the long-term answer at quarterback during coach Lovie Smith's first volunteer minicamp.
"We looked at all the tape of last year," Licht told SiriusXM NFL Radio's Alex Marvez on Tuesday. "Having him in the building and going through that first minicamp with him and seeing how he was in meetings and interacted with the team -- and more importantly how he was on the field -- just secured our feelings of how we evaluated him and felt about him."
Said Licht: "That really helped with our draft strategy."
Perhaps. But NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted that Tampa's "strategy" included a willingness to shop Glennon if the team could net a second-round pick in return for Josh McCown's backup. That plan fizzled up after the Bucs passed on a rookie signal-caller to draft receiver Mike Evans at No. 7 overall.
Tampa reportedly rejected trade requests from at least half a dozen teams, leading Licht to say after the draft: "There's a lot of interest and we want to keep Mike."
Licht went on to tell Marvez that he and Smith rate Glennon high in terms of what the regime values in a passer: toughness, intelligence and accuracy, with arm strength "maybe a distant fourth," per the GM.
"Mike showed during this process that he had those three things and scored very high marks," said Licht.
The new zeal for Glennon feels highly convenient, but the quarterback himself told reporters this week that he knew he was part of the plan from the start.
"From the moment they signed Josh, they told me, 'Lovie knows Josh, he has a comfort level with Josh.' Moving forward ... he saw me as the guy," Glennon said. "And after minicamp both Jason and Lovie continued to tell me this. I knew what was happening the whole time."