Glennon remembers Wolfpack as he moves to NFL’s Bucs

cwright@newsobserver.comMay 2, 2013 

— Mike Glennon isn’t the Wolfpack’s quarterback anymore, but N.C. State clearly was on his mind Thursday.

Glennon frequently mentioned all he learned in Raleigh during his initial meeting with media members covering his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The rookie walks into an intriguing situation.

The Bucs, who traded their first-round pick to acquire cornerback Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets, chose Glennon in the third round of last week’s NFL draft. The selection surprised some locally, not so much because they questioned Glennon’s ability, but because the team seemingly had more pressing concerns than finding Josh Freeman’s backup.

Glennon intimated Thursday that he won’t place limitations on himself or his career. Freeman is entering the final year of his contract, so it’s possible the Bucs view Glennon as their quarterback of the future too.

Glennon already has been described by the one Tampa area newspaper as “Mr. Popular.” Why? Part of it is the diminishing faith Bucs fans have in Freeman, who threw 39 interceptions the past two seasons. Equally undeniable, in the NFL, especially in towns of teams that don’t make the playoffs, few players are more loved than the backup quarterback.

Most of the questions Glennon answered Thursday focused on his role and ability to complement Freeman.

Glennon said he was looking forward to competing, but ultimately “I’m going to do whatever the coaches ask. If that’s help Josh out in any way possible, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Glennon is no stranger to the dynamic. He sat behind Russell Wilson for two seasons before leading the Wolfpack to consecutive bowl games after Wilson went to Wisconsin. Glennon said he talked with Wilson on Wednesday. Like Glennon, Wilson was a third-round pick who entered his first NFL camp labeled as a backup. He then led the Seattle Seahawks to the playoffs.

“Those years were tough in the manner that I wanted to be out there,” Glennon said, “but learning from Russell was a great experience. He does all the right things off the field. He’s an extremely sharp guy and he works hard in his preparation and in the weight room, in the meetings and out on the practice field.

“I talked to him yesterday. Just wanted to kind of pick his mind before I got here and hear how he kind of handled things. He’s a man on a mission. He told me to worry about getting better every day and don’t worry about the long run. If you just get better each and every day, eventually good things will happen. I think that was great advice.”

Glennon and fellow rookies start a three-day minicamp Friday. He said his goal is to leave with a better understanding of the offense. He said that transition won’t be as difficult because of all he learned under former N.C. State coaches Dana Bible and Tom O’Brien.

He described the success of Matt Ryan, whom Bible and O’Brien coached at Boston College, in addition to Wilson’s immediate success as a rookie.

“We ran a pro-style offense (at N.C. State) – dealing with protections and concepts that are used every Sunday – since I was 18 years old, so I think that’s going to give me a jump on some things,” Glennon said. “Right now, I’m just focused on learning the playbook and getting to know my teammates.

“When I head back home, I’ll have a general idea of what we’re trying to do as an offense here. That way, when I get back home, I can study, and when it’s time to come back here, I’ll be more prepared.”

Glennon will see several familiar faces Friday, most notably Bucs coach Greg Schiano.

Schiano recruited Glennon heavily while he was coaching Rutgers.

“He used to call me all the time and tried to get me up there to Rutgers,” Glennon said. “I knew he was a great coach. It wasn’t anything against him. I just thought I would have more success at N.C. State.”

Wright: 919-829-4643

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