Chicago Bears happy with Glennon leading the way
BOURBONNAIS -- When Mike Glennon leads the Chicago Bears' offense out on the field for the first time against an opponent in Thursday night's preseason opener, more than his accuracy will be evaluated.
As the quarterback, Glennon's leadership style will be put under the microscope.
It's the first time in his five-year career that Glennon enters the season as a team's starting quarterback.
The nature of the position inherently puts him in a leadership role. It also demands the respect of teammates, but that respect must be earned through production.
"It's probably one of the highest natural leadership positions in sports, and (Glennon) does it well," said 32-year-old tight end Zach Miller, who was a three-year starting quarterback at Nebraska-Omaha. "He's our guy now. He's in those shoes, and he's filling them well, and we've just gotta roll with it."
Although Glennon started 13 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a rookie in 2013, Josh Freeman began the season as the starter. Glennon started five games in 2014, but Josh McCown began and ended the season as the Bucs' starter.
"When you're the (starting) quarterback, guys have a different respect for it than when you're the backup," Glennon said. "I knew that was going to be the case coming in, and I'm glad guys have responded well to me."
Glennon's first major move as a leader was to organize an off-season, throw-and-catch seminar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for quarterbacks and receivers. His most recent leadership act occurred early in Monday's practice, when he called the offense together after a shabby start.
"I just felt like we weren't off to a good start coming off (Sunday's) off-day," Glennon said. "Sometimes it takes a little while to get going, and I just thought it'd be a good idea to get everyone together and pick up that energy. I thought we responded well after that."
Since signing a three-year, $45 million contract with the Bears on March 17, Glennon has done what's expected of a starting quarterback and a leader.
"He's making good decisions," coach John Fox said. "He's obviously put a lot of extra time and effort into the playbook, understanding our system. He's done a good job of developing a chemistry with his teammates. I've liked what I've seen thus far."
Glennon said his leadership style isn't modeled after anyone else because that would be disingenuous.
"I guess (it's) just really to be myself," he said. "If you're not yourself, then it's fake. (This) is just me being myself.
"It was just something I figured out on my own. I'm not one of those big rah-rah guys. (I'm) just kind of straightforward; mainly let my actions do the talking, but occasionally I have to speak up and fix something."
That's the only way to go, according to Miller.
"You never want to be put in that position (where you have to) try to be the leader," Miller said. "You just have to be the leader -- be you. Everything else will take care of itself.
"When you get into trying to do too much, I think it'll come off as a little phony, a little fake, and guys will see that. But that's not the situation (here)."
One off-season and less than two weeks of training camp do not represent a large sample size, but Miller said Glennon has demonstrated that he's capable.
"He stepped in and proved he can be a leader for our football team," Miller said. "(He can) make the correct decisions and make all the throws. He's like 6-9 (actually 6-7), so he can see all the throws he needs to make. And he can move a little bit, too. He can get outside, throw outside of the pocket, so he'll be good for us."
As the starter, Glennon gets the benefit of the doubt -- but only up to a certain point. If he cannot command the huddle and lead the offense, neither the respect nor the starting job will last.
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