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Bucs QB Glennon finally exceeds his brother

Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon will make his first NFL regular-season start on Sunday.
Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon will make his first NFL regular-season start on Sunday.
Published Sep. 28, 2013

TAMPA — Sean Glennon had left his cell phone in the car Wednesday, and a text message awaited him when he crawled behind the steering wheel following a morning workout at the gym.

"I'm starting!!!" it read.

"With a bunch of exclamation points on the end," Sean Glennon recalled. "If you know Mike, it takes a whole lot to get an exclamation point. I knew it had to be something big as soon as I saw that punctuation."

Mike Glennon, still occasionally called Mikey by his family, had always followed in his older brother's footsteps. But Sunday, he blazes a trail of his own as the Bucs' rookie quarterback makes his first start.

Sean is four years older, but that didn't stop him from dragging Mike around to every baseball, basketball and football game he organized in the neighborhood.

"I thought of Mikey as an extra body," he said. "We were trying to get a game going. I knew I had at least one more person I could count on."

Or pound on.

When Mike was 7, his 11-year old brother hit him so hard during a game of tackle football, he broke his collarbone.

"He started crying, and of course, I said, 'Stop being a baby and suck it up.' Because he was kind of a crybaby a lot, even my parents we're like, 'Stop crying.' "

But the first-grader demonstrated his toughness the next morning — with the severity of the injury unknown — by playing a game of flag football.

"My mom was mortified, and I was chastised for being so hard on him," Sean said.

There were three children born to John and Nancy Glennon. Sandwiched between the boys is daughter Katie.

"She's jokes she doesn't have a name," Sean said. "She's either Sean's younger sister or Mike's older sister."

At 6 feet 4, Sean starred at Chantilly (Va.) Westfield High. As a senior, he led it to the AAA Division 6 state title. He passed for 1,840 yards, 26 touchdowns and four interceptions and rushed for four scores.

He earned a scholarship to Virginia Tech and was named the starter in 2006 after the suspension of Marcus Vick. He held the job until splitting duties with Tyrod Taylor in 2008.

By that time, the Glennon parents had to split allegiances.

Mike, at 6-6, was soaring to new heights. As a senior, he won the state's Gatorade player of the year award. He passed for 2,557 yards and 32 touchdowns in leaing Westfield to a 15-0 record and AAA Division 6 state title.

Tom and Nancy attended Mike's title game, which came the same night Sean was named MVP of the ACC title game for leading the Hokies to a 30-16 victory over Boston College.

"I was a little disappointed my parents weren't there to experience it," Sean said.

But to say their mother has actually watched her boys play football is a stretch. She gets too nervous to look.

"Unless we're up by 40, she doesn't watch the game," Sean said. "She stares at the ground. My dad has to tell her what happened."

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Like Sean, Mike was heavily recruited.

The Napoleon Dynamite look-alike — "I told him he should've worn his Pedro T-shirt to the press conference (Wednesday)," Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis said — chose N.C. State because coach Tom O'Brien ran a pro-style offense.

He waited behind Russell Wilson until 2011, when the current Seahawks quarterback was encouraged to find a new home after spending summers playing baseball for the Rockies. Wilson transferred to Wisconsin, and Glennon completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 3,054 yards, 31 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Last season, Mike engineered upset wins over Florida State and Clemson, but 45 dropped passes helped drop his completion percentage to 58.5. He finished with 4,031 yards, 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

"I think his intent from the first day he arrived at N.C. State was to be an NFL quarterback," said O'Brien, now an assistant at Virginia.

Mike said he will have some nerves when he takes the field Sunday.

"It's an exciting time for me; something I've dreamed of my whole life," he said; "something I've worked for ever since I was a little kid and throughout high school and college to prepare me for this moment."

Sean made it to training camp with the Vikings after going undrafted in 2009 but was released after Brett Favre unretired. He now is in real estate. A previous commitment will prevent him from being at today's game, but he'll be watching … and remembering.

"He did follow my footsteps for quite awhile," he said. "But now he's experienced two things that I never got to: going through draft day … and, obviously, I never got to start in an NFL football game.

"A lot of people think I would be jealous, but I'm so excited for him and real proud he's getting this opportunity. And now I'm praying he makes the most of it."


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