The groundwork for the questions he received at Wednesday's NFL Combine media session had been laid not long before Bucs head coach Lovie Smith stepped to the podium.
Holding the No. 1 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, Smith was peppered with questions surrounding his opinions and evaluations of who are widely considered to be the top QBs available - Florida State's Jameis Winston and Oregon's Marcus Mariota. The main cause? Tampa Bay's release of QB Josh McCown last week.
Smith did his best Wednesday to talk up Mike Glennon, who is still on the Bucs roster, but the prevailing thought is that the top pick will be Tampa's quarterback of the future.
"Everyone wants to talk about the quarterback and ... you have a good opportunity to look at that closely, and we do," Smith said. "We like having options. All options are on the table for us. We like being in that position and see what happens in the end."
The Combine is a good place for posturing and Smith wasn't going to show his hand in February, but it might be fair to say that the only options Tampa has are Winston and Mariota. Still, Smith hammered home the idea that Glennon is the Bucs' quarterback for the time being, although he stopped short Wednesday of referring to him as a franchise QB.
"I think that you can definitely say that Mike will be a quarterback that can play at a high level in this league," Smith said. "The plan is we'll move forward with Mike. If you look at our roster, Mike's the quarterback on our roster right now, for good reasons. Even thought he didn't play as much as we'd like last year, we saw some things that we really liked in him."
BUCS TAKE KOETTER: Former Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is now in the same position with the Bucs, and Smith was asked about him Wednesday. Smith said he had a lot of respect for Koetter when facing him last season in two NFC South matchups.
"Whenever a team puts up 50 points on you, you take notice," Smith said in reference to the Falcons' 56-14 win over the Bucs in 2014.