Ex-Tampa Bay QB leads Bears in Bucs opener

Orlando Sentinel - - NFL - By David Haugh

TAMPA — No­body may en­joy Mike Glen­non's home­com­ing to­day more than the Buc­ca­neers.

The Bucs de­fense es­pe­cially should en­joy catch­ing up with the Chicago Bears quar­ter­back.

They know him well enough to know he can't run from them, par­tic­u­larly on third-and-long.

Foot­ball ro­man­tics around Chicago have done a nice job por­tray­ing Glen­non's re­turn to Ray­mond James Sta­dium as a sen­ti­men­tal jour­ney, which for the Bears quar­ter­back it will be af­ter spend­ing his first four NFL sea­sons with the Bucs from 2013-2016 be­fore be­ing sup­planted by Florida State Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner Jameis Win­ston.

Glen­non has sounded sin­cere thanking the Bucs or­ga­ni­za­tion for all it did for him and wish­ing the com­mu­nity he used to call home well af­ter the im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Irma. He's a classy pro­fes­sional. The sto­ry­line supplied a solid theme that gave Glen­non a greater pur­pose: help­ing the Bears de­fense with in­sight on Bucs coach Dirk Koet­ter’s scheme while still lead­ing the Bears of­fense.

But the tale grew taller at the sug­ges­tion that Glen­non will have an ad­van­tage be­cause of his ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing against Bucs de­fen­sive play­ers in prac­tice.

The prob­lem is that guys such as de­fen­sive tackle Ger­ald McCoy and line­backer Lavonte David re­mem­ber Glen­non just as well as he re­mem­bers them — which means they likely look for­ward to ex­ploit­ing his im­mo­bil­ity.

Glen­non's salary has changed con­sid­er­ably since the last time his for­mer team­mates saw him. His skill set hasn't. At 6-feet-6, Glen­non re­mains bet­ter at read­ing the blitz than es­cap­ing it. If some­one men­tions “quick re­lease” associated with Glen­non, you as­sume it's a dis­cus­sion about his ros­ter sta­tus and not his throw­ing mo­tion.

The men­tal part of Glen­non's game al­ways has been more im­pres­sive than the phys­i­cal, a re­al­ity that projects him a great backup quar­ter­back but av­er­age starter at best.

Bucs de­fen­sive starters haven't played a game in 22 days af­ter the ef­fects of Irma de­layed their sea­son opener orig­i­nally sched­uled at Mi­ami last week.

They are rested and rest­less, wait­ing to chan­nel all that pent-up ag­gres­sion in the same di­rec­tion — Glen­non's. They have a reser­voir of mem­o­ries more valu­able than the video­tape of the Fal­cons game when study­ing Glen­non's ten­den­cies. Only two de­fenses in the league last sea­son took the ball away more than the Bucs did, and they plan to pick up where they left off, start­ing with Glen­non the game man­ager.

This could be as good as it gets for Glen­non — or the be­gin­ning of the end as Bears starter. The op­por­tu­nity of­fers Glen­non a chance to lead his new team to vic­tory against his old one, an emo­tional and reaf­firm­ing ex­pe­ri­ence he al­ways would re­mem­ber.

Or it could be the chal­lenge that ex­poses Glen­non on a day he will want to for­get.

Ei­ther way, it is no stretch to say to­day marks the big­gest game of Glen­non's ca­reer.

The Bears need more out of their quar­ter­back than he gave them in a 23-17 home loss last week against the Fal­cons, which was one good quar­ter. In a word, Glen­non was ser­vice­able.

So thus the specter of passer Mitch Tru­bisky looms larger ev­ery week as Chicago’s No. 2 over­all pick from North Carolina be­comes more com­fort­able.

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