Bucs turn to quarterback Mike Glennon

Getty Images
Getty Images
Published Sept. 25, 2014


He is not taking over the Greatest Show on Turf. But the Bucs offense has, at times, featured football jugglers and a McCown carload of turnovers so zany that all that's missing from the 0-3 start is a calliope.

Clearly, it's time for quarterback Mike Glennon to step back into the spotlight and steal the show.

"He got thrown into a circus already," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "So he had to take over the circus. He's like the (ring)master. So he's been through this. The circus is just having its annual trip. We've got to make sure the circus stops."

With starter Josh McCown unable to practice because of a torn ligament in his right thumb, the Bucs are preparing for Glennon to be front and under center against the Steelers.

It's a position Glennon has been thrust into before. A year ago, as a rookie from North Carolina State, Glennon went 4-9 after taking over for Josh Freeman, who was released. Glennon finished with 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

But that wasn't enough to prevent coach Lovie Smith from signing McCown, 35, to a two-year, $10 million contract while declaring him the starter and Glennon the quarterback of the future.

Presently, the Bucs need Glennon to give the offense a spark and hopefully its first W.

"I think last year it was the exact time when they announced me as the starter and I didn't know what to expect then," Glennon, 24, said. "I know what it's like to play now. I know what it's like to go out there and get hit by those defensive linemen. I know what it's like to throw a touchdown and everything in between. I'm a lot more confident than I was compared to then.

"Physically, I'm the same player. I'm sure I'm a little more talented now because I have gone through certain things of how to approach a game week, how to approach a game day, how to go out there and lead and win."

Glennon entered the game late in the second quarter last Thursday at Atlanta and went 17-for-24 for 121 yards and one touchdown for a passer rating of 96. That's pretty good considering he took very few reps in practice.

Even though offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford took an indefinite lead of absence Wednesday, one month after a heart procedure, Glennon has some traits that could benefit the Bucs. At 6 feet 6, he can survey the field and is poised in the pocket. He also takes care of the football. McCown had four interceptions in three games.

"He is a little different. What I've seen is a team player, a veteran on how he's handled the situation," Smith said. "Mike came to work every day preparing. You know, if you're a part of the team, you should prepare like if I'm in a backup role, if I have to go the next play, I'm ready to go. That's what Mike has done. I talked about what Josh has brought to the quarterback room and for Mike to see how a veteran does it, this has only helped him and prepared him for the situation right now."

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"He's ready to go. Mike is one of the guys who went into the game without a lot of reps last week without having played and did a decent job. Now having an entire week to get ready — if he's the starter — he should be even more prepared. The football team feels good about Mike leading them."

For Glennon, it's time to step right up.