There are two kinds of backup quarterbacks. Those who accept their position and conduct themselves accordingly, and those who refuse to adopt the mindset of a second-string player.
Put Buccaneers rookie Mike Glennon in the latter category.
“I just want to be a good teammate,” Glennon recently told SiriusXM NFL Radio, via JoeBucsFan.com. “I’m going to be a good teammate to all the guys, to the quarterbacks, to the line, to everybody. And earn the respect that way and kinda take everything in and listen to what they have to say. But at the same time, I don’t know if taking a backseat would be the right term because I’m a competitor and I’m going to do whatever I can to compete. So at the same time, though, I understand I’m a rookie and it’s a process, and I’m just going to worry about getting better each and every day and let things play out that way.”
While it can be helpful to the starter if the backup adds a “competitive spirit” to the quarterback room (Colts quarterback Matthew Hasselbeck explained that mindset last month on Pro Football Talk), the circumstances ultimately can prevent the starter from having the kind of confidence he needs to play the position without looking over his shoulder.
In Tampa, starter Josh Freeman has reason to look over his shoulder. Recently, G.M. Mark Dominik said that Glennon could get more reps than any other quarterback on the depth chart during the preseason. With second-year coach Greg Schiano still not sold on the fifth-year first-round pick, developing Glennon becomes a major priority for the Bucs.
Even if he never starts in 2013, he could be the starter by 2014. In that sense, he’s far from being the usual backup quarterback.