Mike Glennon: NFL’s Third Best Backup

August 13th, 2014
"Keep grinding, my son."

“Keep grinding, my son.”

Joe’s written countless times how gosh darn lucky the Bucs are to have Mike Glennon on the roster.

The man is a good backup quarterback. He played very well for a third-round rookie last year.

Now that doesn’t mean Glennon is a good NFL starter. Starter and backup are two very different animals, especially in a QB driven league that will be even more offense focused thanks to new crackdowns on cornerbacks using their hands.

Yes, Lovie Smith said of Glennon last week, “In time he will be leading our franchise.” Joe, however, is not betting his house on that happening without an injury to Josh McCown.

But Glennon as a backup should be a source of pride for Bucs fans. There are some truly lousy and/or washed out backups across the NFL.

The Around The League team of analysts at NFL.com have ranked the backups in a recent column, and Glennon checked in ranked No. 3, behind Michael Vick and rookie Blake Bortles. Kirk Cousins (Redslkins) was No. 5, and Matt Hasselbeck (Colts) checked in at No. 18, among other notables under Glennon. Former Bucs Bruce Gradkowski (Steelers, No. 23) and Dan Orlovsky, (Lions, No. 29) are still collecting paychecks.

Glennon is deserving of his impressive No. 3 ranking. Joe’s toasting a cold, frosty beverage with pride.

59 Responses to “Mike Glennon: NFL’s Third Best Backup”

  1. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    the 8th best backup, was old man mcCown!!!

  2. Pat Says:

    “Glennon is deserving of his impressive No. 3 ranking. Joe’s toasting a cold, frosty beverage with pride.”
    Glennon was rated THE THIRD BEST BACKUP qb and you celebrate with pride. Wow, I didn’t realize how much you accept mediocrity. Pathetic.

  3. al121976 Says:

    Can someone really say a back up QB cannot be a quality starter? I ask because, if a starting QB gets hurt, wouldnt that make the back up the starter? and then if the back up sucks as a replacement starter, why have him at all?

  4. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Orlovsky and Gradkowski both have jobs but J. Freeman, our starting QB last year is at home on his couch. I guess the only difference is that those guys at least act like they give a sh$t.

  5. Mitch Says:

    Pat, if you follow how Joe writes about Glennon, you’d know he believes Glennon is a very capable Back-up QB but questions his ability to lead a team to the promise land. That ranking just reinforced what Joe has written about in the past and nothing more. Has nothing to do with accepting mediocrity.

  6. stevek Says:

    I will toast a cold one, along with Joe, because we are no longer victims of the Josh Freeman roller coaster.

    Anyone else listen to the BigDogg the other day? He was super fired up that Brady Quinn/Tyler Thigpen get shots in the NFL while Freeman does not.

    We are really lucky that Schiano nabbed Glennon in the 3rd round a few years ago. We have a bright future at the QB position.

  7. Tnew Says:

    I guess bortles can’t make it to the promised land either, since he made this list.

  8. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    @joseph mamma

    it also helps if you don’t lie about your coach, show up for team bus on gamedays, and disappear at your own functions with your name on it that doesn’t even have anything to do with the bucs.

    listening to a certain radio host trying to find the culprit in Freeman’s issues is like watching OJ simpson looking for “the real killer” on a golf course!

    If any one wants to know just ask Boomer Esiason, He was the only report to actually come close to the truth years ago!!!

  9. Pewter Jesus Says:

    Brett Hundley

  10. Couch Fan Says:

    Not much of a gap between 3rd best back up and one of the worst Starting QBs in the league. He wont be a back up much longer. Especially with another dud performance this week.

  11. Mac Says:

    Good… we’re gonna need it… McCown won’t last Carolina with our current line…

  12. jo_mama Says:

    McClown was a career Back Up.

    He will be replaced mid way through the season once we start off 1-6

  13. tiny tim Says:

    Good… we’re gonna need it… McCown won’t last Carolina with our current line…

    And Glennon will get hurt the same game due to his lack of mobility with this line.

  14. BFFL Says:

    I just want people to judge Glennon fairly and not use the stupid “eye test” standard. Brady didn’t pass the eye test either so that shows what a ridiculous standard that is.

    When the offense last year ranked last people blamed it on Glennon and had nothing to say about the poor OL play, the fact he had limited weapons or a lame duck coaching staff. However, when McCown played poorly last week it was ALL because of the OL and he was perfectly justified for throwing a pick 6 with 2 fumbles and a QB rating of 25.

    The truth is Glennon had one hell of rookie year despite playing behind a poor OL with limited weapons and he continues to show progress and growth. How anyone can dismiss this guy is beyond belief and leads me to believe there is bias…perhaps these same people are just Freeemanites and too stubborn to admit when they’re wrong.

  15. Tom Edrington Says:

    There has to be a mathmatecal formula in there somewhere:

    X = 18th best starter in the league

    Y= Third best backup in the league

    X minus Y2 + 0-3 = MGM ecstasy

  16. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Non-NFL quality guards in an offense of line is an injury waiting to happen for the QB behind it. Yet the MOB thinks The Cannon is the solution??????
    MGM don’t you want NFL quality guards in front of “The Cannon?”

    I hope all we do against Miami is the shot gun formation. Otherwise, I said it before the chances of our 3rd string QB going against Carolina are HIGH!

    I’m not going to complain if all we see is the QB getting rid of the ball in the next few games. Unless, we sign new guards or Warhop performs an act of God and create NFL guards from a present player.

    I’m not panicking just being real.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It is possible that Vick & Bortles may start……that would make Glennon #1 if he ranks ahead of Henne & Geno Smith…..& I think he would.

    There is a bonus to having Glennon as a backup over many others…..his salary & his age….

  18. Couch Fan Says:

    I can’t speak for all MGMers but the guard issue has nothing to do with whats best for the team. yes Glennon is not very mobile but he’s also not turnover prone. And let’s stop acting like Glennon is some fragile lil girl. We have already seen how tough he is after all the abuse and punishment he took last year on that garbage O-Line. He’s no more injury prone than McCown. I know the haters will deny this til they are blue in the face though.

  19. Jeagan1999 Says:

    3rd best backup??? I’d put Glennon ahead of several teams starters! EJ Manuel? No thanks. Geno Smith? LOL! Chad Henne,Brian Hoyer,Matt Schaub,Christian Ponder, Jake Locker,Matt Cassel,Ryan Fitzpatrick?

    Of course we will eventually find out how good MG8 is this year. With our porous line, McCown will be a pancake by the end of September.

  20. Jeff Says:

    Pat – Joe was being sarcastic. I got it, Joe!

  21. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Interesting nugget would be to report Glennon ranks ahead of Johnny Man-crush?

  22. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Ugh the Bucs QB siituation only stresses me out. Two very meh players fighting over the most important position on the team.

    How bout that Blake Bortles though?

  23. Pierce Says:

    You don’t think he could be our Brad Johnson Joe? If we have a stout defense maybe all we need is a game manager

  24. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I believe he will get his shot at some point, but I have my doubts on how long it will last.

  25. Buccfan37 Says:

    Both of the Buc QB’s remain a big question mark at this point. I have no clue how much success either will have, so I’ll just wait and see what develops. I remain optimistic that both will play well enough to produce a winning season.

  26. Phillip Says:


    How does that make any sense? He is currently the back up in Jax if for no other reason than Bradley not wanting him to play right away because he is CLEARLY going to be better than Henne (and Glennon).. stupid comment and logic


    Those guys aren’t backups in the NFL and they didn’t do a list of current QB’s regardless of whether they are back ups or starters.. Seriously read dude

    MGM get so focused on an article not swinging from Glennon’s nuts and all feel like they got to defend the kid… This article was not a dig at him in ANY way…

  27. deminion Says:

    Glennon not bad rather draft a guy next year not hundley he looks garbage to me Mariota system type guy kinda like him I like Bryce Petty but that’s just me Winston I dunno if he even wants to play football

  28. Joe Says:

    You don’t think he could be our Brad Johnson Joe? If we have a stout defense maybe all we need is a game manager

    Brad Johnson wasn’t a game-manager. He was a good quarterback. A Pro Bowl quarterback the year the Bucs won it all. Why is it some want to pretend Brad Johnson was Marc Wilson to try to prove a Flat Earth Society point?

  29. Destinjohnny Says:

    Again tampa is a weird town nobody wants to look at his supporting cast and how that had an effect last year. Is the guy Andrew luck no but id say he will be a Matt ryan in time

  30. Phillip Says:


    You put Matt Ryan on our team last year compared to what he had he would be happier than a pig in mud… Lost Julio after 5 games… Didn’t have Roddy fully healthy till the last 3 or 4 games of the year… Lost Steven Jackson as well… Tony clearly slowed down quite a bit…

    Also Geno Smith, Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford/Kellen Clemons, and Ryan Fitzpatrick/Jake Locker won more games with less… I’m sure there are others

  31. Jeagan1999 Says:

    @Phillip…read yourself “dude”. I said I’d take Glennon over those other guys who ALL were starters last year and most still are this year (at least until the final depth charts are published). I don’t give a crap whether they are backups or not, or how they compare to other starters! My point is that Glennon is a BETTER QB than they are! Maybe a remedial reading and comprehension course would do you some good, “dude”!

  32. TeamFriendlyJFroContract Says:


    Yeah, I heard Him on the Radio & found myself openly answering his questions out loud as I was driving …… Pretty simple answers really & I don’t understand how HisKnowItAllNess doesn’t get it except that He’s still in Denial that no one is interested in his homey / buddy. IMO

  33. Phillip Says:

    Then why the comment 3rd best back up??? Just stop… Digging your own hole deeper does you no good.

  34. OAR Says:

    After Monday and Tuesday, even the calendar says WTF.

  35. buc4lyfe Says:

    Wow lol 3rd best backup up in the NFL what a prestigious honor…… Yea that just screams franchise quarterback.

  36. Thunder Sack Says:

    He was listed under the column: Reliable veterans and future starters

    There is still hope for him winning the starting role in the next couple of seasons, Joe!

  37. Jeagan1999 Says:


    Of course Brad Johnson was a “good” quarterback, but he was not a prolific passer like Tome Brady, Peyton Manning or John Elway. In his 16 year career he only threw for 4,000 yds ONCE…in 99′ with the Redskins….take that off his stat sheet and his average season was around 3,000 yds a year passing with about 15 TDs and 8 pics. He had a couple of good years for the Bucs, but let’s not fool ourselves…he was a smart, accurate, game manager who came up big in some big games, and didn’t make a lot of mistakes! And that worked for him…and for us! He wasn’t JOhhny Friggin Unitas! He didn’t need to be. With a great defense and a strong run game you can still win that way…see Seattle Seahawks!

  38. Joe Says:


    Wait a minute. Let Joe get this straight: Brad Johnson was an average quarterback who never won a Super Bowl. Until — as you point out — he had a Pro Bowl year and then won a Super Bowl, thus this proves the Bucs can win a Super Bowl with a glorified slug at quarterback.

    Except the Bucs have never won a Super Bowl with a slug playing quarterback.

    Did Joe get that right?

  39. Jeagan1999 Says:

    @Phillip…I commented to show the stupidity of the list. It’s stupid. Kinda like your posts 🙂

  40. Bucs Fan #237 Says:

    That list proves that Josh Freeman is a complete loser.

    Freman supporters… SUCK IT BIOTCHES.

  41. Jeagan1999 Says:

    @Joe…I never said he was a “glorified slug” …your words, not mine. He was a smart, game manager…not a Peyton Manning/Tom Brady/ Andrew Luck 5,000yd 40 TD guy. Kind of like Russell Wilson last year….was good when he needed to be and didn’t make a lot of mistakes! Why do you seem to be so offended when people call a spade a spade? Brad was a terrific guy who played to his…and the teams…strengths! If McCown/Glennon do the same this year, I think we can make some noise.

  42. Phillip Says:

    Keep digging… DUDE … MGM at it’s finest smh… BTW I’d almost be completely embarrassed by SOME of the supporters of the MGM if I were a member… Not the brightest cats on this planet

  43. stevek Says:


    You spelt some words wrong in your post.

    Come join the MGM. The few, the educated, the proud, the Mike Glennon Mob.

  44. TBFAN813 Says:

    What is the love affair with Mike Glennon? I’m not going to say he is the worst quarterback ever but c’mon guys if you really think that he is going to be this great player I just don’t see it. Some of you guys try to compare Glennon to players that have WON games in the league. Any comparison, at this point, between Glennon and Tom Brady is ridiculous the only thing they have in common is being tall white guys that play football. Brady is, if not the best, among the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen.

  45. Rob Says:

    Funny how all the “best ranked backups” that Glennon is right near the top of are all former starters or projected future starters.

    Face it, Glennon’s got the brains, the arm, the height and the tools to be really good. He needs experience and a little more bulk to hopefully pull it off. He’s not going to run for 60 yards a game, but he’s got the potential to be a really good drop back passer.

  46. Bucamania Says:

    The Island of Misfit Toys list is pretty funy. Just littered with suck.

    Island of Misfit Toys

    19. Scott Tolzien, Green Bay Packers
    20. Case Keenum, Houston Texans
    21. Tyrod Taylor, Baltimore Ravens
    22. Jimmy Clausen, Chicago Bears
    23. Brandon Weeden, Dallas Cowboys
    24. Bruce Gradkowski, Pittsburgh Steelers
    25. T.J. Yates, Atlanta Falcons
    26. Kellen Clemens, San Diego Chargers
    27. Derek Anderson, Carolina Panthers
    28. Charlie Whitehurst, Tennessee Titans
    29. Dan Orlovsky, Detroit Lions
    30. Ryan Nassib, New York Giants
    31. Jeff Tuel, Buffalo Bills
    32. Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco 49ers

  47. Jeagan1999 Says:

    @Joe…You seem to take offense when I (and others) refer to Brad as a “game manager”. It’s not an insult to Brad, it’s actually a compliment. He was a smart, accurate thrower who made good decisions and didn’t turn the ball over. What he was NOT was a 5,000yd 40TD, prolific passer like Manning, Brady, Luck, Marino, Elway, etc (his career stats bear this out)… He also had the benefit of a guy calling plays that complimented what he did well(Gruden), a defense that gave him a lot of short fields and turnovers, a strong running game with Alstott/Pittman, and even a very good kicker who could score points when drives stalled out. Brad didn’t need to be Elway in that offense, and he didn’t try to be! Same thing can be said for Russell Wilson last year…he didn’t have to be Manning to win….he just had to be accurate and patient and not make a lot of mistakes. He is a good young QB and will get better still. I’m not insulting Brad Johnson, and he was better than an “average” QB because he did what he needed to do to help his team win! At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Sorry if this upsets you, but lets call it the way it really was. I don’t think your “flat earth” analogy holds up in this instance.

  48. Phillip Says:

    Not even gonna give that a real response…

  49. buc4lyfe Says:

    Couch Fan Says:
    August 13th, 2014 at 2:05 pm
    Not much of a gap between 3rd best back up and one of the worst Starting QBs in the league.

    Your hung up on starting when the point I’d actually being good enough to win games and lead an offense that doesn’t rank dead last. Geno Smith has the worst receiving core in the league last year and that’s not debatable and they lost their only receiving right end to a focusing leg injury…. Tell Glennon to tie up his excuses and step up to the challenge is being better than average

  50. SteveK Says:

    Sorry Phillip. 🙂

  51. louden Says:

    Short summary of Glennon:

    Good, but too many flaws:

    – Throw on the Run
    – Deep Balls
    – He is looking like a noodle and therefore he is noodle-armed; armed with a noodle cannon if you want
    – Not what you would call an gifted athlete

    + hot girlfriend
    + hard worker
    + he is not Freeman
    + seems to improve his reads progression but still not what you call NFL quality starter caliber like

  52. Bucfever40 Says:

    Well joe, at least you’re giving kudos to #8 (in your own way), and I applaud you for that….true, he is a good backup, but a good backup can easily be a good starter in time, it is plausible. With that being said, it stands to reason that he’s on a path to being perhaps our QB of the future, let it unfold will ya?

    Every time you give him a little praise, you quickly remind us that it (praise) will never apply to being a starter. I don’t understand how (especially an NFL QB) can be labeled a back up at best with barely a season under his belt AND with the circumstances he’s endured. Not many good or great QB’s would have fared much better with that line. jmho

  53. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Hey Joe….noticed you didn’t post my answer to your question about Brad Johnson. I guess we will just agree to disagree on whether he was a “game manager” or not.

  54. Bucnjim Says:

    Brees, young, Rodgers, and even Tom B. were good back ups. The list goes on and on. Most of your great QBs played behind great QBs. Unless of course your name is Manning.

  55. Mr Magoo Says:

    Why do so many fans always seem to denigrate Brad Johnson and John Gruden? The two people, along with Monte Kiffen (and a big thank you to MG) who are most responsible for bringing us our one and only Super Bowl trophy. We have a really weird fan base.

  56. Jim Halk Says:

    Joe; this hit piece is almost laughable. First you show that stupid picture of Glennon kneeling at Schiano’s feet with your added caption that once again tries to tie Glennon and Schiano together (forever). That shows that you and your radio friend does not like him (no matter how many times you pen the words otherwise). This post is like saying, ” my wife is not bad for a wash lady and a cook, but when it comes to my night time joy I’ll stick with my cheerleader. By the way I like my wife no matter how many put down posts I put on my facebook / twitter,etc. Oh ya I haven’t beat her since last football season.” When he becomes your starting quarterback by game 4, he just might give a few of your mike and pen club the old one finger salute. Keep repeating it Joe,”i like Glennon” maybe one day you will believe it and could even convence a few you mean it. Reminds me of an ex president who said,”I’m not a crook” . Thank you for letting me vent, I hope you will let it stand for it’s self on this post.

  57. PRBucFan Says:

    He’s the best backup on the list, but that’s it.

  58. buc4lyfe Says:

    Yea Glennon mob is really delusional like starting is the goal because it’s not the goal, starting is nothing but an opportunity. There’s competition at almost every position except quarterback hmmm why is that, why does the journeyman stand out in practice over Glennon. Mccown is the unquestioned started in his teammates eyes

  59. Brandon Says:

    That’s not really a backup list, Glennon has only been a backup for 3 games in his career and when he got his first start he threw the game away into Patrick Peterson’s hands (again).

    I’m not saying anything about his ability to be a starter, but a GOOD backup is usually a very experienced guy that HAS come into games when the starter gets knocked, that HAS several seasons worth of experience. Michael Vick has never really been a great backup in his career, he was a very good starter, but I would hardly consider him an ideal backup. Blake Bortles has never taken a snap in the NFL and he’s ranked #2.

    A great backup can come in with little to no reps in practice and execute the offense without missing much of a beat. Guys like Hasselbeck, Shaun Hill, Jason Campbell, and Matt Moore should be at or near the top of the list.