INDIANAPOLIS – Three things we learned at the combine.
Lovie wasn’t blowing smoke. Coach Lovie Smith sang the praises of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Smith made it a point to say Winston was never charged after sexual assault allegations in college and that, as of the moment, he wouldn’t have any trouble making him the quarterback of the future. A lot of people are going to say Smith simply was blowing smoke. But I don’t think that was the case. Smith reminds me a lot of former Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy in that he’s very truthful. Smith didn’t have to talk so highly of Winston, but he did and I think that says a lot. I also believed Smith when he said Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota isn't out of the picture. There's still a lot of time for the Bucs to make a decision on which quarterback they prefer.
Mankins isn’t going anywhere. General manager Jason Licht said very strongly that guard Logan Mankins will be back with the Bucs. There had been some speculation that Mankins could be a salary-cap casualty as the Bucs overhaul their offensive line. But that’s not going to happen. Mankins is going to be a building block along with right tackle Demar Dotson and, possibly, center Evan Dietrich-Smith. But there are definite changes coming at left tackle and the other starting guard spot.
Mike Glennon has a future. Wednesday was the first time Smith and Licht have talked publicly since the release of quarterback Josh McCown. They thanked him for his contributions but said it was time to move on. Instead of keeping McCown, the Bucs kept Glennon. Smith and Licht both said Glennon has a future with the Bucs. I think it’s pretty clear the Bucs plan to start a rookie right away and use Glennon as the backup.