With Bucs training camp quickly approach the PewterReport.com staff asks – and answers – 15 critical camp questions that need to be answered this August as Tampa Bay prepares to embark on the 2019 season. Over the next 15 days PewterReport.com will offer up its thoughts on the topics that the Bucs will need to sort out in order for the team to be successful this season and possibly compete for a long-awaited playoff berth.

These are the things that the PewterReport.com staff will be following closely in camp, and invite our readers to share their thoughts as well in the comment section.

Bucs’ Critical Camp Question No. 13:
Who Wins The Backup QB Job?

Blaine Gabbert. This is a two-horse race between Gabbert and Ryan Griffin with undrafted free agent Nick Fitzgerald playing different positions all over the field on offense and special teams in a Taysom Hill role. Gabbert will win the backup job, based on his experience in Bruce Arians’ offense. Though, in a year from now, things could look different in Tampa Bay at the quarterback position in general.

Gabbert is a long-tenured quarterback in this league, playing in the NFL for eight years with four different teams. He’s seen a lot of looks in that time and has only had marginal success since entering the league as a first-round pick by Jacksonville. In 2017, Gabbert played under Bruce Arians in Arizona, backing up Carson Palmer. During that season, he ended up starting five games, throwing for 1,086 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions while compiling a 2-3 record.

That amount of experience and familiarity with Arians has to hold a great deal of weight for winning the backup job. Arians holds the backup job as a very important position with helping the starter, and in the past has made sure a knowledgeable veteran was there to give insight to whoever the starting quarterback was. One can go as far back as to when now-Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was backing up Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, with the intricate role he played.

Bucs QB Blaine Gabbert
Bucs QB Blaine Gabbert – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The case for Griffin is a mysterious one due to the unknown element about his game. Signing as an undrafted free agent with the Saints in 2013 and being a member of the Bucs since 2015, Griffin has yet to play a snap in a regular season game – not even in a clean-up situation.

He’s shown some favorable signs in the preseason, including last year with 541 passing yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions with QB rating of 105.3. That led to former Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter constantly giving him praise during training camp. But this is a new regime under Arians and his coaching staff, so Griffin will have to continue to impress in front of a new set of eyes.

With Griffin, there’s still that “What if?” factor for what he could potentially be if he had a chance to start. He’s intriguing because the team doesn’t totally know what it has in him and what his ceiling is, and that will be up to Arians and Leftwich to decide.

Obviously, the Bucs do not want to have a situation where someone has to come in for starter Jameis Winston. In the event that does happen though, Arians will lean on the experience and the trust he has with Gabbert to help lead the Bucs to a win. Right now it’s too much of a gamble to play someone like Griffin that hasn’t taken a snap yet when Arians has a veteran like Gabbert on the bench.

With both Gabbert and Griffin being under contract for just one year, and Winston playing in his fifth-year option, it’s way too early to determine which quarterback or quarterbacks – if any out of the current stable – will be on the team in 2020 serving as the backup or even as the starter.

Previous articleBucs’ Critical Camp Questions – No. 14: Fitzgerald
Next articleBucs’ Critical Camp Questions – No. 12: Vea

20 COMMENTS

  1. Griffin is the same age as Gabbert, so he’s gone unless there is an injury to one of the other QBs on the roster. A reporter asked Arians if there is a competition for the backup role, and he said “Yes, but not really”. Gabbert was on the first field with Jameis from the first day. There is more likelyhood that Blaine beats out Winston than loses the backup job to Griffin. Fitzgerald will stick as well I think.

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  2. Gabbert wins the backup job, Fitz wins the 3rd string.

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  3. Only incompetence by GM and Koeter has brought us a backup for three year that has not be in game for 1 play, lots of money and time invested in QB that has not been allowed to show if he should be be on roster.
    There were several times this team could have played him last year, my god they were out of playoff picture half way through the season last 2 years.
    Now they have no clue if a bust from AZ or guy that has been here three years is playable.
    Wonder why BUC ASS BOB is such ass hole this is 1 example why
    Any one hitting negative on this is clueless this guy would have played by now on 31 other teams
    Now they got rid of back up that had higher win percentage than the starter and have a know bust and a unknown as back up. Pure incompetence on this teams part……………….

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  4. DumbAssBob, why don’t you go post on a Denver Broncos fan site since your post yesterday revealed that is who you actually follow and support. We all knew you were a troll from another team. we just didn’t know which one until your post yesterday. Thanks for letting us know, moron.

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  5. Gabbert has had a better winning rate (38%) over his career as a backup, than the starters he was playing behind, Kaepernick, Palmer, Mariota, (33% combined) over the 4 seasons Blaine backed them up. The 49ers, Cards, and Titans, averaged more points scored per game with Gabbert at QB than the other 3 as well. About +4 points per game. Blaine started 21 games out of a possible 64 over that stretch so it’s a reasonable sample size.

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  6. drdneast Do you have good explanation why Griffin has no playing time ???

    For record not Bronco fan
    Disgusted Buc fan tired of being last place !

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  7. 2 years ago the last game of season Bucs play Saints who had already secured top spot in playoffs, Glazers announce Dirk Koetter will be back for 2018 and instead of playing Griffin
    they play Winston and play their hearts out to win and move from 4th to 7th in draft
    Bucs draft fat Veta instead of Bradley Chub who had more tackles than Veta and JPP combined and more sacks than JPP for 3 million in cap space.
    They could have played Griffin whole game and in worst case lost game and gained 3 draft spots
    MY GOD WHAT MORONS

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  8. I think Blaine Gabbert will help the team. He has experience in BAs system. Veteran teammate helps Winston’s growth. Gabbert hasn’t been bad in recent history. Although he had a 1-1 INT/TD in the Cardinals offense.

    Griffin has to put together a great camp and force the Bucs to keep him. He offers Winston continuity.

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  9. Ass, Fat shaming someone (who could destroy you by the way) is pretty Classless. I mean we all know you are Classless but seriously? That’s pathetic. Par for the course though unfortunately.

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  10. Spitfire you think they did right thing not playing Griffin single down that last game with Saints????
    Instead of attacking me lay out your position on that Jason Light call to play Winston in meaningless game and not Griffin, with possibility of getting Jameis hurt for nothing, and losing opportunity to see Griffin.
    Please Spitfire you stand behind choice of the Morons Yes?

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  11. FUC-ASS-SLOB, I’m no fan of Jason Licht, but not playing Griff had nothing to do with him. That was all Dirk Koetter.

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  12. Ass, you’re trying to play the victim? You are Fat Shaming one of our beloved players and you expect anyone to care about whatever you are blabbering on about? You are not even a Bucs Fan. The only thing I actually want to respond to involving you is an invitation to a Boxing Match with you and Vea as the main event while you tell him to his face what you think about his weight. That wouldn’t be a waste of time unlike this silly response to a silly Troll.

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  13. And I Love how your Silly brain works. You Fat Shame someone, I tell you you are Classes for doing so, and that means I agree on the Griffin situation? Hahahahaha Like what happened to your head when you were a child?

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  14. @Buc errr Bronco Ass Bob: I’ll agree with you that going into that final 2017 game against the Saints that the “smart” thing, due to potential Draft position, might have been to do a Steve Spurrior lay down. But doing so wasn’t the “right” thing to do since the results of that game impact others and there are folks who payed to see the team’s best effort.

    With your constant bashing of “bust” Winston, I’m surprised you didn’t make statements here that Griffin would have given the Bucs a better chance at victory.

    When Scubog was sitting in the stands listening to “Who Dat” cheers I can assure you I was elated when Godwin scored that TD for the win. I didn’t care about the Draft in that moment of my Bucs Life.

    PS: Perhaps you can help your Broncos with their on-going QB dilemma.

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  15. Suck-ass-globs-bob, your a total dimwit. I Don’t read your stupid posts, but see by responses, Your calling Vea fat again, get some new material you classless dipshit. Your probably a fat slob in a single wide trailer. Nobody as dumb, annoying, negative as you is successful. Do us all a favor and go away you POS.

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  16. Griffin will be auditioning for a new team this preseason. In hindsight it would’ve been nice to see him in a live game, but I’m guessing it had more to do with him not being very good. Maybe Koetter picks him up. Vita Vea will show this year why he was the first tackle taken last year. For a rook having to deal with an injury, and all around bad defense, he finished strong. To say he was a bad pick after what he showed last season is ignorant.

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  17. I don’t comment on this site much anymore. Been on it for the last 17 years though.
    By everyone constantly replying to Ass Bobs comments your just playing into exactly what he wants, attention.
    Ignore him and it will just go away like a bad cold. Very optimistic about upcoming season. Always hope for the best.

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  18. Scubog
    Never said throw game on purpose , I said give Griffin the game to play
    1. Because they needed to see him perform in real game!!!!
    2. If they think Winston was a franchise why risk him for nothing !
    3. Whole world knows Saints were not bringing there “A game” they where on get ready for playoff mode.
    Beating Saints did not mean a thing to anybody except the Broncos who got better Pick than Bucs, just cause saint fan making noise does not mean give away 4th pick so Broncos could get Chubb

    3 Downside was if they lost they got better draft
    That was a no brainer for a Management with a brain.

    Jme0151
    I could care less about attention my goal is to expose fools running team………………………………..
    Fredster
    When they drafted Vea he was fat , I heard his is in better shape now, at the time and if you watched Fiesta bowl he was not in good shape.

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  19. DumbAssBob, your a Broncos fan. Why don’t you find a Broncos fan site. You have never sounded like a Bucs fan and the reason why is because you are a Broncos fan. You admitted as much in a post. You ratted yourself out you moron,

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  20. This forum is becoming toxic, disappointing PR.

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