Arians high on Bucs QBs Freeman, Glennon

SARASOTA, Fla. -- As word trickled out that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers replaced starting quarterback Josh Freeman with rookie Mike Glennon, it wasn’t just the Bucs' faithful that were surprised.

Include Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians in that group.

“Yes, I thought [Freeman] was an extremely talented young guy,” Arians said. “Don’t know why. Not being there day-to-day, you just hear stories but I know this: He’s a big, strong, athletic guy who can throw the football.”

The change at quarterback won’t alter the Cardinals’ preparations, Arians said. The team prepares for an offense, not a player, but Freeman brought a mobile dynamic that Glennon doesn’t.

And since this will be Glennon’s first NFL game, it’d be wise to suspect that the Cardinals' front line is licking its chops.

Even though Arians believes Arizona has an advantage facing a first-time rookie starter, he was a fan of Glennon during the evaluation process earlier this year.

“Oh, I loved him,” Arians said. “Big, strong arm. Big, strong guy. Knew his older brother and good family, good football family. Tough, good leader.”

Arians pointed out that Glennon replaced Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at NC State before the latter transferred to Wisconsin.

“That says a lot about him,” Arians said.

Without being privy to the inside information about Tampa Bay’s decision to pull Freeman after an 0-3 start, just five days before a game, and during a week that leads into a bye, Arians was able to bring a head coach’s perspective to the situation. There are times when an organization needs to make a move and there’s no backtracking.

“At that point in time you’re moving on,” Arians said. “There’s no moving back. You’re moving on. When they drafted Mike Glennon, they thought they were moving on and they made that decision. That’s part of the business of head coach and general manager.

“They obviously saw something last year that they wanted to make this move.”