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Glennon presents tall order for Panthers

Posted Oct 23, 2013

Game by game, former North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon gets more and more comfortable as a rookie starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Thursday night, he'll face a Panthers team not exactly known for letting opposing quarterbacks get in a comfort zone.

"That's definitely something we're going to have to take care of," Glennon said. "The biggest thing is their front seven. Their front four does a great job getting pressure without having to bring blitzes.

"At the linebacker level, when you watch the film (Luke) Kuechly is everywhere. I played against him in college and he was everywhere on the field in college, and he's everywhere on the field now in the pros."

Glennon was thrown into a challenging situation in Tampa, but he's throwing the ball better and better each week. He took over the starting role previously held by Josh Freeman after three games, and while the quarterbacks each have an 0-3 record to date, Glennon's numbers are pointing in the right direction.

After tossing one touchdown pass and two interceptions in his NFL debut, Glennon followed with two touchdowns and one interception in his next game. Last week against the Atlanta Falcons, Glennon again threw two touchdowns but wasn't intercepted.

With each of Glennon's start, the Buccaneers' point total has increased, from 10 to 20 to 23.

"Really for me, I just try to prepare every week and be consistent," Glennon said. "Along the way, I think I've done some good things. I've made some mistakes as well, but every game I continue to learn and grow as a player."

Glennon is fully grown physically, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 232 pounds.

"He's a tall quarterback with a good arm," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. "They do a lot of play-action with him, and he's mobile enough in the pocket to step up and throw the ball downfield."

Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, who as Rutgers head coach attempted to recruit Glennon out of Westfield High School in Virginia, loves the work that Glennon is putting in to get better.

"Mike's got an incredible work ethic, unparalleled," Schiano said. "He loves the game of football, understands it and sees it well. He's building equity and cumulative repetitions in our offense. Like anything else, the more times you do it the more familiar you are with it and the more comfortable you are."

Glennon is certainly familiar with the Panthers from his four seasons at N.C. State, and he's looking forward to facing them on the national stage that Thursday Night Football offers.

"It's kind of neat to be playing against them," Glennon said. "A lot of my friends are big Panthers fans, and I love the Charlotte area and North Carolina in general.

"But I won't really say I want to beat them more than anyone else; I just want to get our first win."