SARASOTA, FLA. – Perhaps the best news a wounded defense could get is to find out it will face a first-time-starting rookie quarterback in the next game.
But the Cardinals, reeling from the season-ending injuries of three outside linebackers, got exactly that Wednesday when the Buccaneers officially benched starting QB Josh Freeman in favor of third-round pick Mike Glennon.
“Anytime you get a rookie quarterback he’s going to have some jitters,” safety
Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano declined to discuss the move on a conference call with Cardinals’
“This is the best thing to do for our football team,” Schiano said. “We felt at this time, Mike Glennon gives us the best chance to win, and that’s why we did it.”
Nowhere did Schiano get very detailed in why he made the move. Freeman’s completion percentage was a dismal 45.7 percent during the Bucs’ 0-3 start. He had two touchdown passes and three interceptions.
“You prepare for their offense,” said coach Bruce Arians, adding he was surprised at the move. “Any time you face a rookie quarterback you know it’s his first time out there. We should have an advantage, I think.”
PRACTICE LACKING SUNSHINE IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
The rain has fallen almost constantly since the Cardinals arrived in Florida, and it was pouring again Wednesday as the Cards headed out to their first practice of the week at IMG Academy.
“Anybody got a boat we can borrow,” Arians quipped.
Arians acknowledged that had the Cards known it was going to rain so much, they would have gone elsewhere – or found a place with an indoor facility – but added the team was always going to stay on the East Coast between the Saints and Buccaneers games.
The field the Cardinals used – like much of the area after the constant rain – had big pools of water on both sidelines, creeping a little bit on the field in places. But the Cards made it work – “We just had the best practice in the worst conditions” safety
“It’s been raining so much there really hasn’t been anything to do,” quarterback
OKAFOR THINKS ABOUT THE FUTURE
Dansby said he knew rookie linebacker
“I knew what it was,” Dansby said. “I said, ‘Damn, he tore his bicep.’ I said, ‘Man, I know what that is,’ because it happened to me before. He’ll bounce back.”
Okafor, who will have his surgery Tuesday, said he hurt the arm playing special teams. He might have been able to play with it, but ultimately chose to get it fixed right away.
“It was my opportunity to kind of step in but unfortunately things happen,” Okafor said. “I had a decision to make whether I wanted to do surgery or ride it out for the rest of the season. At this point in my career, it wasn’t worth playing through. I don’t want it to hamper me the rest of my career.”
MINTER, JOHNSON SITTING OUT; FITZ BACK FULL
Running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) was limited, but wide receiver
For the Buccaneers, former Cardinal cornerback Michael Adams is out after knee surgery. Five players did not practice: Tackle Gabe Carimi (illness), defensive tackle Gary Gibson (back), wide receiver Vincent Jackson (ribs), defensive tackle Derek Landri (knee) and receiver Mike Williams (hamstring). Tight end Tom Crabtree (ankle) was limited.