This Sunday, the Eagles will face 3rd round rookie QB Mike Glennon out of North Carolina State. Glennon struggled in his first outing with the Bucs, who lost to the Arizona Cardinals at home, 13-10, in Glennon's NFL debut. I took a look at Glennon against the Cards, and was not impressed.
During the buildup to the 2013 draft, any write-up you would find about Glennon would say the same basic things:
- On the positive side, the reports would say he has a strong arm, "can make all the throws" (particularly the deep ones), and has no trouble seeing the field with his good height at 6'6.
- The reported downside was always that his limited athletic ability made him a statue in the pocket, he took a lot of hits, and would often shy away from contact by throwing off his back foot or rushing throws when faced with pressure.
Glennon's measurables at the NFL Combine support a lack of athletic ability. Here is how he compares to all the QBs who have competed at the Combine since 1999, via the incredibly useful site mockdraftable.com:
If you'll notice, anything involving physical attributes like height and weight are all very good. Any drills measuring athletic ability are all very bad.
The Cardinals tested Glennon against the blitz early and often, and on his first dropback of the game, he took a big shot to the ribs by Darnell Dockett. It's tough to see here, but Dockett got a shoulder into Glennon's ribs, elevated him, and slammed him to the ground on his back:
On the next play, the FOX TV crew showed a close-up of a grimacing Glennon. He was skittish the rest of the day, and wildly ineffective against the blitz. The Cardinals blitzed, by my count, 22 times last Sunday, and while they only sacked Glennon once, they forced him into bad throws all afternoon long, whether they got good pressure or not. They never sent more than 6 rushers. Here's what Glennon did against the blitz:
The high QB rating against 6 rushers is a little misleading. The Cardinals dropped an INT on one occasion when they sent 6. The Bucs also had a nice blitz-beating quick slant called on Glennon's easy TD throw against 6 rushers.
Even on occasions in which he had a pocket to work with, Glennon was falling away from throws when he thought he wouldn't have much time. For example, the following still shot was a actually a completion, but was a throw with little on it because Glennon has all his weight on his back foot, despite a reasonably comfortable pocket. Keep in mind that the ball has already come out, and the defender who looks like he is bearing in on Glennon wasn't nearly as close on the release:
Obviously, the numbers show that Glennon was brutally bad when the Cards sent 5 rushers, but they're actually worse that they appear.
If you factor in that Glennon had a 15 yard intentional grounding penalty in which the Cards sent 5, and sacked him for a loss of 11 on another dropback in which they sent 5, Glennon's numbers against 5 rushers would actually look like this:
Meanwhile, whenever the Cardinals sent 3 or 4 rushers, Glennon looked like a calm, controlled QB.
I would expect Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis to bring an assortment of blitzes this week early and often. Based on his play last week against the Cardinals, the Eagles may not even need to get pressure on those blitzes to affect Glennon. All you need to to do is let him see it, and he's apt to panic.
Of course, getting in a few early shots would help.