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Mike Glennon vs Game Film: Week 16, part two

We take a look at some more plays from the Week 16 loss to the Rams to point out just why Glennon cannot be handed the reins to the team for 2014 uncontested.

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Presumably if you're reading this, you've already read part one - and if you haven't, head over there and read that first. Going into the screen caps may go into more detail, but it's the dropback-by-dropback account that gives you the more complete picture of Mike Glennon.

With that said, we'll go straight into the plays I marked out in part one, and to save you going back and forth, I've even copied over my 'notes' on each play from part one.

D) Locked in & not looking

Glennon locks in on Jackson and Jackson only, hesitates far too long and when he does eventually throw, there's some pressure in his face so the pass is far too high and sails out of bounds. Spencer Larsen was open underneath, Underwood would have broken open on the other side, but Glennon never looks anywhere else but Jackson.



Vincent Jackson's the one I've circled. You can see that he's pretty tightly covered, yet Glennon never looks anywhere else. Spencer Larsen underneath is open underneath, though there is a linebacker who will close in on the pass pretty quickly so it's unlikely to gain much YAC.

More obviously, though, is that Tiquan Underwood is about to be wide open, as the corner covering him bit on a head fake and so turned in field, leaving Underwood wide open as he cuts to the sideline. Unfortunately Glennon never even attempts to go through his progression.

I've also circled Glennon to hopefully draw your attention to his body - the ball's just been thrown, but his whole body is drawn into himself. It seems pretty apparent on the tape that he threw the ball too high because he didn't put all his power into it - because his instinct was to protect himself from the defensive lineman who's come through.

This goes back to something I've been saying about Glennon for a while - rather than standing firm and accepting the hit in order to deliver a strike, he'll either throw a quick, inaccurate pass (as he did here), or just flee from the pocket. You can't win games if you're playing scared, Mike.

E) Can't wait this late

Penn gets beaten again inside by Quinn, but again if Glennon could regularly throw the ball before his receivers have broken their routes then the pass would have been away already



This is the first play of the Bucs' final possession of the game. You're down by 10 points, there's just 45 seconds on the clock, you have GOT to have the awareness to know the Rams are gonna be sending the house at you and learn to pull the trigger. Chris Owusu, who's been circled, has some space behind the Rams corner, while Jackson (on the near side of the field) and Tim Wirhgt are running routes into space.



You can see where the receivers are coming free - Glennon should already have his arm cocked back, if not being in mid-throw. Instead, his arms is still down by his side.



By the time he finally just starts to lift his elbow, Robert Quinn is on him. Now the play's failure is ultimately on Donald Penn and Brian Leonard, who despite both being assigned to block Quinn let the Rams DE get to the quarterback; still, if Glennon had the anticipation that people like to pretend he has, at this late stage of the game the ball would have been thrown before Quinn got to him.

F) Keep your eyes on your receivers, not their defenders

The sack was on Penn, who set too wide and made it easy for Robert Quinn to beat him inside; still, Glennon's reaction to the pressure was to scramble away, and got caught from behind. If his reaction instead was to look for his safety valve - a wide open Leonard - there was a play to be made here.



You can see above that Quinn's beaten Penn and is making a beeline for Glennon. Glennon reaction should be thinking "I know what routes are being run, I know where the safety valve is" and then looking to that safety valve. As you can see above, the defender in the flat is being drawn away by Jackson, leaving Leonard open (and is in fact calling for the ball).

Instead, Glennon's reaction was to ignore everything that was happening down field and instead run away, as indicated by the black arrow.



It's all to no avail, as Quinn chases Glennon down from behind for the sack. Notice too that, despite the fact that Glennon knows where his receivers will be running to, he decides to scramble to his left - where Bobby Rainey is the only receiver - instead of to his right, where he has four targets to try and get the ball too while scrambling. So there's that.

G) Take a shot, man!

Decently placed ball, but Jackson and Underwood were breaking open on go routes on either side



I get that this play comes backed up on their own goal line, but look at the offensive line - there's no pressure coming here. Jackson at the top of the screen is going to be an option, but that's especially true of Underwood at the bottom of the screen, as Janoris Jenkins is looking into the backfield. Similarly to play 'C' in part one, Underwood would be burning Jenkins here, but Glennon instead decides to dump off to Lorig.

It's not necessarily the 'wrong' choice, but as Glennon hadn't even been sacked once in the game at this point, I don't understand why he wouldn't at least check to see if something deeper would be open before settling for the check down.

H) More locking and waiting

Glennon hesitates on the throw, and then under pressure throws in Wright's general direction but it's way too high and sails out of the back of the end zone. Adams running the flat route underneath would have been a much better choice but Glennon locks in on Wright and decides to wait for him to get open, rather than go through his progression to Adams.



Again, while I completely understand the argument that the offensive line shouldn't be letting this sort of pressure get to Glennon in the first place, the fact is that a quarterback will always be on the receiving end of pressure at some point in the NFL. That being the case, it's very important to see what a QB does when they are under pressure.

I get that Tim Wright is a weapon in the passing game, and Glennon's gotten comfortable with him (and that Glennon is yet to attempt to pass the ball to Kyle Adams in a game), but if your guy's not open, you can't just sit and wait. Either throw the pass early (you know, use that 'anticipation' thing) in the knowledge that at worst, it'll be incomplete, or move on through your progression to the next guy. Instead, Adams is open, and even Wright is now open, but at this point Glennon's waited so long there's pressure in his face, resulting in a pass off the back foot and a ball out the back of the end zone.

I) So, about that 'cannon'...

Glennon shows some nice anticipation here, but the ball was underthrown, meaning Jackson had to pull up to catch it. If there's some more air on this ball, it's a touchdown



This is a look we've seen before - a seam or post route against a two-high shell. I've often criticised Glennon for not hitting these routes against that coverage when the safeties are turned tot he sideline, but on this play, Glennon actually does just that (though it no doubt helps that the receiver in his the slot is Jackson).



Glennon throws with anticipation, one of the very, very few times he did so this game, mailing the ball into that big expanse of open field that I've circled. you can see the ball's just left Glennon's hand (which I've also circled); protection in front of him is good. Glennon has long been advertised as having a cannon for an arm. All he needs to do is let rip and this is going for six.



Except... Glennon aimed the ball about 10 yards short of the goal line. I honestly do not understand why Glennon did not aim this ball at the end zone - I've circled here how much open, vacated space there was above Jackson. You aim this deep (which you should do if you've got a cannon) and Jackson's catching this in stride for a touchdown. Instead, he has to stop running his route and hook up to catch the ball - and is then tackled immediately because he had to stop running and wait for the ball to arrive. For an allegedly big-armed QB, this play's an utter head scratcher.

J) Graceful as a giraffe

Glennon has opportunity to throw to Jackson in the flat, but instead decides to scramble despite no pressure, before flopping face first to the ground short of the first down mark



Now, I'm gonna ask your opinions on this one - leave your thoughts in the comments below:

Was this play a designed QB draw? (The play comes on 3rd & 1)

You'll see I indicated where all 11 Buccaneers players were on this play - there's good reason for that. Also notice Jackson - he's going to be running the flat route I've indicated, which would be very effective as Trumaine Johnson is looking infield, allowing Jackson to slip past him.



So here's what I don't understand: I indicated in the previous picture where all 11 players were. There are only two guys releasing into routes, Wright and Jackson (both of whom I've circled). I've drawn in the direction Glennon is looking. So... what, exactly, is Glennon looking at? There are no receivers there whatsoever; either he panicked and forgot what routes were being run on the play - or his next action was by design...



Yes, you might remember this play from watching the game live - Glennon awkwardly throws himself at the ground short of the first down marker, scrambling from the pocket for no visible reason. It's a bizarre play - did Glennon just forget the routes being run, and then in response to there not being any receivers in the direction he was looking at? Or did Sullivan actually dial up a QB draw with Glennon under center? If it's the latter, then I cannot understand what on earth Sullivan was thinking; even if the theory was sound, we've all seen what Glennon looks like when he's running - how do you dial that play up with this quarterback? If it's the former, then it's just really poor by Glennon, and I don't see how anyone can look at this play and not be seriously concerned for how the team's future if he remains the quarterback, short of a gargantuan leap in development over the off season.


Was Glennon's life made easier last Sunday by the play of his offensive line? Of course not. That's irrelevant - this is the NFL; you will always get pressure at some point during every game you play. You can put together the best offensive line in the world - at some point, someone's going to come through. That's why it's important for any quarterback hoping to be a long-term starter in the NFL to be able to deal with pressure.

Glennon has consistently shown that he cannot. He doesn't step into his throws if it means taking a hit, or else will just scramble from the pocket; he'll get so flustered by a defensive lineman that he stops looking at his receivers; he looks like he's playing scared. The ability to deal with pressure is what distinguishes the Matt Ryans, who has always played behind a pretty shoddy line, from the Blaine Gabberts of this world.

Hesitancy, indecisiveness, inability to show anticipation on 95% of his throws, and even on one of the rare occasions he did throw with anticipation, he failed to show off the 'cannon arm' he's long been touted as possessing, when there was an easy touchdown for the taking. Glennon's continued regression now doesn't just justify looking to bring in a quarterback with whom to have an open and fair competition in training camp - it demands it.