This year, Mike Glennon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be given a strikingly similar opportunity to the one Russell Wilson received prior to the regular season last year in Seattle with the Seahawks.
We’re going to put a lot of pressure on [Glennon] and see a lot of reps from him in the preseason. He’s got to play. We may not see as much of Dan Orlovsky or even of Josh Freeman somewhat in the preseason as much as you’re going to see Glennon.
We’re excited about just the little bit we saw from him [during rookie minicamp] in terms of mentally what he could handle. We kept piling more on him and he kept doing a great job digesting it, regurgitating it and running the team.
Both Glennon and Wilson were third-round picks selected by teams with veterans penciled into starting roles.
Although Matt Flynn was a newly acquired free agent, the Seahawks signed him to a three-year, $26 million deal with $10 million guaranteed—they paid him to be under center in Week 1.
But the underappreciated Wilson parlayed a significant amount of preseason on-field action to winning the starting job.
The rest is history.
Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano has no ties to the team's incumbent quarterback Josh Freeman, who was a first-round pick in 2009.
His 2010 campaign was memorable, but since then, Freeman has thrown 43 touchdowns and 39 interceptions and has completed only 58.7 percent of his passes.
Tampa Bay has gone 11-20 over that stretch.
Just like Wilson, Glennon will be put in a position to demonstrate his ability before a final decision is made on the starting quarterback spot, but that's where the similarity ends.
Wilson was as NFL ready as any quarterback in the 2012 class, except for his lack of height. He showed his uncanny ability as a deft scrambler. His pocket poise, accuracy and general playmaking talent made him an easy choice for Pete Carroll a season ago.
Glennon has the physical attributes—most noticeably a strong arm—to become a fine quarterback as a professional. However, he's not nearly as developed as Wilson was in many other key areas.
The former N.C. State signal-caller gets drastically more flustered under pressure and isn't as competent drifting away from pass-rushers in the pocket.
His accuracy is more spotty than Wilson's was—even down the field—and he's nowhere near as nimble and crafty as a scrambler.
Glennon will be given a Wilson-esque amount of playing time before the regular season begins, and he could win the Buccaneers' starting gig.
So, in that sense, Glennon will be like Wilson. And don't be surprised if Schiano favors his guy over Freeman.
But Mike Glennon won't be nearly as impactful in his rookie season as Russell Wilson was in 2012.