Mike Glennon Preview


Is QB Mike Glennon a draft-not-to-lose pick? If he goes in the first two rounds, I think so. Photo by Akulawolf.

Is QB Mike Glennon a draft-not-to-lose pick? If he goes in the first two rounds, I think so. Photo by Akulawolf.

I’m cautiously optimistic about Mike Glennon’s game thus far. He’s making sound decisions for the Buccaneers and when under heavy pressure, he’s doing a better job of throwing the ball away or taking the sack rather than throwing the ball up for grabs. However, the reason Glennon is performing so well is the team doing a great job of its play calling and giving the rookie time to make decisions at relaxed pace compared to many NFL passers. In essence the Buccaneers are a great fit for a play-not-to-lose style. Here’s a taste of the breakdown of Mike Glennon and why he’s been successful this season. The rest you can read as a Footballguys subscriber.

Why Mike Glennon Is Succeeding

I’m cautiously optimistic about Mike Glennon’s game thus far. He’s making sound decisions for the Buccaneers and when under heavy pressure, he’s doing a better job of throwing the ball away or taking the sack rather than throwing the ball up for grabs. However, the reason Glennon is performing so well is the team doing a great job of its play calling and giving the rookie time to make decisions at relaxed pace compared to many NFL passers.

Greg Cosell made headlines about saying Glennon was ahead of Robert Griffin III in his development, but it’s really no surprise. Griffin is playing in an offense that makes far different demands than the traditional pocket game that Glennon has always used and without a summer of practice, Griffin’s development has stalled a year.

The combination of the pass protection, play action game, and smart play calls according to down and distance are helping Glennon use his big arm and decent mobility. Yet, I don’t want to downplay Glennon. If he can continue to make smart decisions during the next 2-3 seasons of his development, he has shown enough for the Buccaneers to invest in him as a long-term starter.

The pervading theme for Glennon is time and space. Give the rookie these two resources and he has the basic skills – and a fine arm – to move an offense. Here’s a 3rd-and-six pass where the Buccaneers begin in an 10 personnel 3×1 receiver set and shift running back Brian Leonard to the trips side tight to the formation. The aim is to flood the Lions’ zone, create a breakdown in coverage, and generate a wide-open receiver.

The offensive line does a fine job of keeping the pocket clean and providing a great deal of space for Glennon to survey the field and step into any throw.

This is not the kind of pocket space we’re typically seeing in Washington or locales like Jacksonville or Pittsburgh. Give a quarterback this much space and he better find an open receiver or at least make a pinpoint throw to lead a receiver to open space.

The amount of time that the Tampa offensive line provides Glennon on this play allows the rookie quarterback to wait for Tim Wright, the rookie tight end, to finish his stem and break on a deeper in route. Wright, a slow possession receiver at Rutgers, has average speed for a move tight end.

Note the room Glennon has to step into this throw. No defender is in Glennon’s path to force the quarterback to alter his stride and follow-through. Plus, there’s a huge passing lane in the middle of the line for the quarterback to deliver the ball.

It’s a picture-perfect delivery that looks like something seen at a football practice, not an NFL pocket. The pass travels 21 yards on a rope to Wright.

Categories: Analysis, NFL Closeups, Players, QuarterbackTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 comments

  1. I’ve read the full post at FBG, I’m a little disappointed you haven’t really expanded the analysis to show in detail what he has been doing in a muddied pocket and under heavy pressure. Per PFF, of his 300 dropbacks to date, 108 have been blitzes, 131 are plays under pressure so there should be enough film to make a call. Agree, that he is going to face it from the Panthers…..but remember he already played them in Week 8

    • Sorry Nate, but I can’t write a book every time about every player. Perhaps the standards you have for me are a little high based on the detail I provide elsewhere. However, I did show two plays where he was under pressure and how he handled it, so I’m not sure what your disappointment is about.

      Additionally, how does PFF define “pressure”. This is important to know because not all blitzes create pressure. If the defense has a 3-4 and sends four players to the pocket, that’s a blitz, but that sounds more threatening than it is. Same with a 4-3 that sends five versus a max protection scheme.

      So saying a guy faced 108 blitzes and 131 plays under pressure sounds impressive, but how are these two numbers defined and are they scored accurately by the dozens of people who tally this data? Not so certain that your source of information has earned the credibility that public opinion has given it, but that’s just a side point.

      The main point is that this article demonstrated what the Bucs are trying to do for Glennon and what he’s doing when it’s working. It’s also showing that when it isn’t working that Glennon has shown some improvisational skill and maneuverability to get the job done.

      Perhaps the disappointment comes from the possibility that you want me to give a completely optimistic view of Glennon when I’m offering a more cautious – I want to see more – approach against a defense like the 49ers or the Panthers – now that the Panthers will actually have some film on that guy (very important reason why saying “he already played them” doesn’t really work as a good argument in this case).

      Regardless of the point-counterpoint of our arguments here, I appreciate that you read the analysis and took the time to offer a response.

      M

  2. Also interested that you didn’t expand on Cosell’s comments because what he has highlighted is the essence of playing the QB position at the NFL level. In spite of the game’s evolution, a QB will always need to make throws in the pocket to succeed in the NFL, Glennon is doing that with the subtlety and nuance required of the position, Griffin is not because the Redskins aren’t allowing him to because of their offense. Not bagging Griffin btw as he should get there if given the chance to develop those skills.

    • Nate,

      I didn’t mention it, because Greg talks about this in every single solitary interview he gives on radio, television and print. Highlighting that Cosell talks about winning from the pocket is essential for a QB is like saying Prince Charles as big ears.

      Glennon is showing signs of subtletly and nuance required of the positions, which I highlighted examples of.

      I’ve written about this a ton about Griffin, I suggest you give it a read here if you haven’t. I believe it offers an illuminating explanation about Griffin and the Washington offense.

      Again, not sure what you were expecting here beyond me saying “Gee, that Glennon is awesome” when what I have essentially said is “for a rookie, he’s playing good football, here’s why I think that is: a good scheme, nice playing calling, and good skill from the quarterback, but let’s see how he fares against defenses that are great or get some film on him to study for the second match up.”

      You must remember, the way I analyze football, Glennon could could 5-24 for 45 yards and 3 interceptions against the 49ers, and if he’s displaying what you want to see in terms of process but the outcome is bad, I’m still going to value the process over the outcome.

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