Things Coming ‘Full Circle’ for Bucs QB Glennon

Jenna Laine: Mike Glennon interview – Press Play

NC State QB Mike GlennonMike Glennon didn’t expect to get a phone call from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday night, on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. Aside from a brief interview, the Bucs weren’t one of the teams that showed much interest during the pre-draft process. He figured he’d hear from the Bills, or the Cardinals, or maybe the Bears.

But then there was a familiar voice on the other end of the phone, and it all started to make sense. It was Greg Schiano, the man who tried to recruit him five years ago to play at Rutgers, and is now the head coach of the Buccaneers.

“The first thing he said to me was, ‘I missed out on you five years ago. I wasn’t going to miss out on you again,’” said Glennon on Schiano, who told him the Bucs had been eyeing him all along.

“It’s funny how things come full circle.”

That couldn’t be truer for Glennon, who ultimately chose N.C. State over Rutgers, and watched countless cut-ups of Matt Ryan at Boston College. He’ll get to see Ryan twice a year now that they play in the same division.

“I’ve been watching his film since I was a senior in high school,” said Glennon, who worked with Dana Bible throughout his time with the Wolfpack. Bible was Ryan’s offensive coordinator at Boston College.

“I’ve met him a few times and obviously with our coaching staff [at N.C. State] it’s been kind of neat to follow his career. And we have similar ability and style in our game.”

He has some Josh Freeman in him too.

Both are tall (Glennon is nearly 6-foot-7, compared to Freeman’s 6-foot-6), big-armed quarterbacks who can air it out, and incorporate a heavy-dose of play-action. In both Glennon’s college tape and in Freeman’s tape with the Buccaneers, you’ll see tons of bootlegs and designed rollouts.

Glennon compiled a whopping 7,075 passing yards and 62 touchdowns in two full seasons as a starter at N.C. State, where he ran a pro-style offense. In his senior year, he threw for 4,031 yards and 31 touchdowns.

But like Freeman, there are concerns about accuracy and decision-making. He threw 29 interceptions between his junior and senior year.

Against Miami last year, with the game tied at 37-37 late in the fourth quarter, he was picked off with 48 seconds remaining, setting up the winning score for the Canes.

He had four interceptions against Tennessee in the season opener, and three at the Music City Bowl, which the Wolfpack lost to Vanderbilt, 38-24.

But for every ill-advised throw, there are two or three, or even five that will absolutely take your breath away.

His release comes relatively quick. The ball takes off like a missile as it leaves his hand, revealing a beautiful, air-tight spiral. He puts it on a pillow for his receiver, who in this case, is a wide-open Tobais Palmer against UNC.

And then there was the Florida State game last year. Glennon put together an impressive last-minute drive with two fourth-down conversions, capping it off with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Underwood with 16 seconds remaining. The Wolfpack beat the third-ranked Seminoles, 17-16, the same team that shut them out 34-0 the previous year.

The ability is there. So is the poise. And the leadership. He has what it takes to be an NFL starter, although it was made pretty clear by the Bucs that that this won’t be the year to do it.

“I think that’s hard with any rookie quarterback,” said head coach Greg Schiano, when asked about having a clear timetable for Glennon. “It’s going to be a matter of how fast he grasps our system and all those things. And the fact of the matter is, we have a starting quarterback.”

The plan right now is for Glennon to develop and push Josh Freeman and Dan Orlovsky, both of whom he reached out to after his selection. He got a text back from Orlovsky. Then came a phone call from Freeman.

“It was really nice that he went out of his way to take the time to call me,” said Glennon on Freeman. “It was extremely encouraging that those guys were that accepting and that willing to help me.”

And as far as Greg Schiano, the coach who didn’t let him get away this time? “He just said he’s excited for me to get down there and get started, and that I’m a guy they’d been high on through this whole draft process. He felt like I was a good fit for their system, and he was just saying, ‘come down here ready to work and let’s get after it.'”