Oct 13, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) warms up before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

What Can We Learn About the Future of Mike Glennon from the Performance of Nick Foles?

When the season began, Nick Foles and Mike Glennon had a lot in common. They were both tall, seemingly promising former third-round picks from BCS schools sitting behind quarterbacks who didn’t seem likely to make it through the season.

Not many would have predicted that by Week 6, the two would be playing head-to-head at Raymond James Stadium. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers benched and released Josh Freeman, and Michael Vick did what he unfortunately usually does and found himself sidelined with an injury, so the two young signal callers got a chance to duel in Tampa.

Foles won, and he showed why there’s a long road ahead of Mike Glennon.

Foles completed two excellent deep passes, one to Riley Cooper along the sideline and the other to DeSean Jackson in open space. Glennon, on the other hand, continued his trend of being unable to complete long throws of any kind, as he is now 1 of 6 for 24 yards on throws of more than 20 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.

Darren McFadden has the same amount of 20+ yard throws for completions as Glennon does.

Dec 9, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (right) reacts after meeting with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (left) after their game at Raymond James Stadium. Eagles won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, Foles was also sub-par on deep passes. According to the same PFF numbers, Foles was 10 of 28 with four touchdowns and two interceptions on throws over 20 yards in his rookie season. That accuracy on deep throws ranked him 24th in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 25% of the snaps for their team, which placed him a couple of spots behind Josh Freeman.

This year, Foles has greatly improved on his deep throws in the short time he’s had the opportunity to play, but don’t be so quick to judge him as being “ready” or a star yet.

The Philadelphia quarterback was simply taking what the defense gave him. Because the Eagle running game was gaining good yardage, the Tampa Bay safeties crept closer and closer to the line of scrimmage. It was at that time when Chip Kelly made the adjustment and decided to attack the Bucs deep.

Compare that to Mike Glennon, who threw plenty of successful short passes in the first half, but in the second half attempted to unleash deep throws to well-covered receivers. The Eagles didn’t even need to leave safeties back on the deep receivers, because none of the deep passes were anywhere near an intended target.

And it was because of Foles’ ability to take advantage of a flawed Tampa Bay defensive scheme that he earned his second career win as a quarterback, with both victories coming in Tampa against the Bucs.

Coming into the NFL, Foles was described as a “Lumbering pocket passer with the frame and arm talent reminiscent of Cardinals 2009 fifth-rounder John Skelton. Can function behind a strong offensive line but will require an adjustment period to the pro game and might always be content with a backup role.” by Pro Football Weekly. That profile could have also been ripped right out of the book about Mike Glennon coming out of college.

So Mike Glennon still has a way to go before he becomes Nick Foles, and Nick Foles still has a way to go before he’s truly able to be defined as a starting quarterback in the NFL. There’s a future here, but at the moment it’s not looking bright.

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  • PINN

    The fact that we couldn’t get the run game going had a lot to do with the lack of success on the deep ball. On the attempts downfield to Jackson, there was no place to put ball because he double covered. Underwood never got separation at all and got flagged for pushing off. The shots downfield just aren’t there. He hasn’t overthrown or under thrown anyone yet. That’s important to note.

    • D-Rome

      To your point the Buccaneers have not, for the most part, utilized their slot receivers (becuse they have sucked) and they really have no pass catching TE. They go two receiver wide and they end up getting double covered. This is the same problem Freeman was running into and after two games Glennon is encountering the same things. It’s a game plan issue (i.e. coaching)

      The Bucs under Greg Schiano haven’t won a home football game in nearly a calendar year. It’s a performance based league so it’s time for him to go IMO.

      • LeoTPP

        This is all very true. Poor game plan hamstrings the players, as they have to be PERFECT just to get a play to work.

    • LeoTPP

      On multiple deep throws he has brutally over or underthrown, or was simply throwing them away. But there have been several deep sideline passes which have landed out of bounds, and one deep down the seam which wasn’t within the wingspan of the receiver OR defender.

      • PINN

        Without watching those throws multiple times, I don’t recall the receivers having much separation at all. Out of bounds looked like the best option when the intent was to go deep. I only recall seeing him miss Williams and Demps when the pocket quickly collapsed.

        • LeoTPP

          Go back and watch Josh Freeman throw deep passes, especially last season (but even this year, like the one dropped by Vincent or the one caught by Mike along the sidelines).

          He doesn’t need separation. If Glennon needs separation, he’s never going to get it. This isn’t NC State anymore, which is why he’s probably not ready. He has potential but he also has a lot of work to do.