Greg Cosell’s Look Ahead: Mike Glennon has done some very good things for Tampa Bay

Greg Cosell
Shutdown Corner

On Friday we discussed the comparison of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III and Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon from Griffin's side.

But what Glennon has done as a rookie can't be ignored. I’m not suggesting he is on his way to being a top five quarterback, but he has manifested some traits and attributes that show he can play the position at a high level in the NFL.

Glennon has a feel for anticipation throwing, and he showed it on a 20-yard pass to Tiquan Underwood last week against Atlanta.

Before the snap, Glennon saw a single-high safety. To his left, Vincent Jackson was running a vertical route, and Underwood ran a crossing route from his right to his left.

Glennon ran a play-action fake and he turned his back, which is very hard to do, especially as a young quarterback. You have to snap your head around and validate and confirm what you saw before the snap. It’s the NFL, it changes sometimes. He sees it’s still single-high safety.

No matter if it's man coverage or cover-three zone, the cornerback with Jackson has to go with him, so that corner won't be a factor on Underwood's crossing route. Glennon knows that.

When Glennon starts to pull the trigger on the throw, Underwood hasn’t gotten to the hashmark. But he'll hit him at the numbers. This is the definition of an anticipation throw.

A lot goes into it. This isn’t a routine deal. This isn’t throwing to a wide-open receiver. You have to understand the coverage, knowing the cornerback on Jackson and the underneath linebacker won't be factors. Then he threw Underwood open, putting the ball in spot where he knew Underwood was going to be clear.

That play is a strong litmus test to help measure future success. Glennon has done many good things this season, and will look to continue it Sunday at Detroit.

The same coaching staff that had Glennon at N.C. State also coached Matt Ryan at Boston College. They thought Glennon was Matt Ryan and couldn’t believe he wasn’t a top five pick. And I see some similarities between the two.

Matt McGloin debuts

Overall I’d say Oakland quarterback Matt McGloin's first NFL start was positive. He was decisive, which is always important. For the most part he was accurate.

He also showed some concerns that will likely be exposed the more he plays.

McGloin has some arm strength limitations, so he has to muscle up to try to drive the ball. He needs work on his weight transfer on intermediate throws, because right now he's too much of an arm thrower and that limits velocity and ability to drive the ball. McGloin also needs to become a little calmer with his feet in the pocket. He has a tendency to drift off the mid-line on his drops because of frenetic feet movement; there were times he drifted into pressure that would have been a non-factor if he stayed on the mid-line.

It’s a shame he didn’t have another year with coach Bill O'Brien at Penn State because I think a lot of those things could have been cleared up. He still has a chance to do so with the Raiders.

Cardinals success starts on D

The Cardinals are 6-4 going into Sunday's game against Indianapolis, and a big reason is the defense, which has great schemes and great players.

They blitz more than any team in the NFL, and they’re really good at it. They’re a tough defense because of that. The Cardinals have great multiplicity in their blitz.

They’re very good at disguise. When you show blitz, you might put two guys in the "A" gap – what that immediately does is it causes adjustments in pass protection rules for the offense. Then if you do something else once the ball is snapped, that causes adjustments for the offensive line on the fly, and that makes it much harder. They’re really good at blowing up the opponent's pass protection rules. And then they have good players, so it's not just scheme. Guys like Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell can win one-on-one battles up front, which makes it even tougher on an offense.

Watch to see the different ways the Cardinals get pressure on Indianapolis' Andrew Luck on Sunday.

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NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league.

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