Is Josh McCown Bucs' starting QB? Lovie Smith says 'yes, he is'

Lovie Smith made it clear Wednesday that Josh McCown is his starting QB. (USATSI)
Lovie Smith made it clear Wednesday that Josh McCown is his starting QB. (USATSI)

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Any questions about who would be the Buccaneers' starting quarterback next season were answered Wednesday when first-year coach Lovie Smith answered unequivocally that the job belonged to just-signed Josh McCown.

Smith inherited Mike Glennon from the previous regime and he never appeared to be onboard with the 2013 third-round pick out of NC State, even though Glennon fared well after taking over for Josh Freeman last season. During February's NFL combine, Smith conceded that the team would be in the market for a quarterback either through free agency or the draft.

"I think in an ideal world, you would like to have some kind of veteran in the mix instead of three young [QBs] that haven't played a lot," Smith said at the time. "No, that's not an ideal situation to be in at the quarterback position. I think you can maybe get away with it at some of the other positions. But no, that's not an ideal situation to be in. It can work, though.

"Again, if you say that you can win with a young quarterback, it's an added bonus to have another veteran with him. If you look right now, there are a lot of young quarterbacks in the league -- Andrew Luck, Wilson, Cam Newton in our division that are playing early. Whether they have a backup with them or not, I don't think it's really a big deal."

Even with Smith announcing McCown as his starter, there's still the possibility that the Bucs draft a quarterback with the No. 7 pick in May's NFL Draft.

"I know enough about that draft to know, yeah, there's someone that would be worthy of the seventh pick because everything is on the board right now," Smith said last month. "Whenever you have a chance to get a franchise quarterback, you have to consider that."

The takeaway: Smith doesn't appear to be much of a Glennon fan. Maybe that means he doesn't put much faith in young quarterbacks (Rex Grossman can have that effect on a person). Or perhaps it's an indication that Glennon could be on the trade block. Either way, McCown's No. 1 on the depth chart.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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