Mike Glennon's statistics continue to say weird things

Gregory Shamus

Projecting the future of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback appears to be impossible.

Mike Glennon's statistics are weird. He had a solid touchdown-to-interception ratio, but couldn't really produce outside of the red zone. He was a great first-half quarterback and a terrible second-half quarterback, but that had nothing to do with the scoreline. His stats are filled with weird quirks, which makes evaluating the season he had rather difficult -- and it means it's even more difficult to

That won't stop anyone from trying, though, include the great Chase Stuart, who penned an intriguing piece comparing the playing styles of Geno Smith and Mike Glennon, and tried to find comparable past rookie quarterbacks. While the article is filled with interesting notes, it fails to reach a strong conclusion.

For Tampa Bay fans, the most similar quarterback to Glennon is.... Bruce Gradkowski? I'll admit, that's not a name I expected to see. Part of the issue is that Glennon's place on the list is odd: his two biggest strengths as a prospect were his size and his cannon arm, and you expect the Collins/Testaverde/Bradshaw comps to be to Glennon, not Smith. This might be a case where the statistics are misleading. According to NFLGSIS, Glennon ranked 16th in average depth of pass, and 10th in average air yards per completion when looking at only completed passers. But he ranked dead last in YAC per completion, which was enough to bring him far down the yards per completion list. That jives with Pro Football Focus, which lists Glennon as having 67.3% of his yards through the air, the highest rate in the league.

To a large extent, yards after catch are determined by a quarterback's timing and ball placement, so that makes his league-low yards after catch stat interesting. The "Mike Glennon has a strong arm" stuff is mostly mythical rather than fact-based. While he can certainly make all the throws required of him, he does not have a cannon and has an NFL-average arm. He actually posted the lowest ball velocity of all players at the 2013 scouting combine. So the expectation of seeing a strong-armed profile is somewhat misplaced.

The actual comparisons are none too flattering, though. Jeff George, Tim Couch, Blaine Gabbert, David Woodley and Ken Anderson are sorry bunch, with Anderson being the only remotely redeeming factor in that group. Nick Foles shows up a little later, but that's about it. It's unclear whether these results say anything about a quarterback's future development or whether they're just interesting reflections on playing styles as rookies.

Meanwhile, the folks over at Bleacher Report think Glennon is the 18th-best quarterback in the NFL, praising his accuracy, arm strength, decision making and anticipation specifically. I tend to think they're too positive about the quarterback, but it's an interesting take nonetheless.

Overall, none of these opinions really matter. What matters is how the coaching staff and front office see Mike Glennon, and what they think of the available quarterbacks in free agency and the draft. The key will be whether they think they can help Glennon improve, or whether they think another quarterback can do a better job. We'll see that once free agency opens, and once the draft has concluded.

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