PHOENIX — Of course Dirk Koetter likes Mike Glennon.
The Buccaneers coach was part of a group that tried to convince Glennon to stay with the team as the league’s highest-paid backup, but the quarterback signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Bears earlier this month.
“I compare Mike Glennon favorably with Matt Ryan,” Koetter, the Falcons’ coordinator from 2012 to ’14, said Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings. “I’ve coached them both. I think they have similar skill sets.
“Now Matt’s been a starter from the first day he came in the league and had a lot of success, and Mike hasn’t maybe gotten as many opportunities. But I think, style of play, they have a similar style.”
Predictions made in March tend to be hot air. But Tom O’Brien, Glennon and Ryan’s college head coach, has compared them, too.
Ryan’s offense averaged a league-high 33.8 points en route to the NFC title. He led the NFL in passer rating (117.1), threw 38 touchdowns to seven interceptions and posted career highs with 4,944 passing yards and a 69.9 completion percentage.
Glennon, by contrast, hasn’t started a game in two years.
“I think the Bears are getting an excellent quarterback in Mike Glennon,” Koetter said. “I’m a huge Mike Glennon fan. They’re getting a very accurate passer. They’re getting an excellent leader, a guy that will be a relentless, tireless worker. He’ll set the standard for how to work for their team.”
The Bears don’t need Glennon to be the MVP. The hope is that he makes fewer mistakes than Jay Cutler did.
“[General manager] Ryan [Pace] has been very impressed with Mike looking at the tape,” chairman George McCaskey said. “Big, strong, tough, a good leader, keeps the turnovers down and can move the team down the field and win for you.”
John Fox, who coached 6-5 Peyton Manning and 6-7 Brock Osweiler with the Broncos, said he prefers a tall passer.
“I think Mike’s a little more athletic than people give him credit for, just because he’s tall,” Fox said. “He’s accurate, can make all the throws. Strong arm. And a really good guy. All the research we have has been very positive from a lot of people I respect.”
Glennon has more in common with another quarterback Fox took to the Super Bowl. Jake Delhomme had started two games when the Panthers signed him in 2003.
“I think some guys have that
‘it,’ ” Fox said. “Everything I’ve heard and seen and been around, I feel good about that with Mike.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy called Glennon an “experienced guy that has played games and had production” and said he respects Pace, with whom he worked in New Orleans.
“I’m sure they did their due diligence and research and saw a lot of things they like,” McCarthy said. “At the end of the day, you gotta have experience in this league at that position. It’s hard to develop it from just putting a rookie in there and going.
“I think it’s really important at the quarterback position to make sure you give the team a chance to win the game. When you’re playing games at the expense of your quarterback position, that’s a tough deal — and it’s not fair to everybody else in the locker room.”
When Glennon left the Buccaneers, he told Koetter that he improved in the two years since his last start.
Now he can prove it.
“Mike’s a pro. I don’t think he’ll have a problem,” Koetter said. “He’s still been practicing, has still been working at it hard.”
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