QBs meet again in Seahawks-Bucs matchup
As the Seahawks try to hold serve in a game in which they are the second-largest favorite in franchise history — 16 points —t he Wilson-Glennon subplot will be hard to ignore.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tampa Bay @ Seahawks, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13
RENTON – There are touchdowns to try to score for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon Sunday at CenturyLink Field, each insists, and not points to prove.
Still, as the Seahawks try to hold serve in a game in which they are the second-largest favorite in franchise history — 16 points — the Wilson-Glennon subplot will be hard to ignore.
Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.
Wilson and Glennon were teammates for three seasons at North Carolina State, Glennon serving as Wilson’s backup, before then-Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien made a decision that figures to forever remain one of the more curious turns in Wilson’s sudden ascent to stardom.
In the spring before Wilson’s senior year at N.C. State, O’Brien told Wilson he wasn’t welcome to return to the team, and that he was instead turning over the reins of the Wolfpack to Glennon.
Wilson at the time was also pursuing a professional baseball career with the Colorado Rockies organization, and O’Brien maintains he wasn’t sure what the immediate future held for Wilson and football.
Glennon, meanwhile, had two years of eligibility but also had his undergraduate degree in hand, giving him the freedom to transfer and play elsewhere immediately, and there was a thought the 6-6, 222-pounder known for his strong arm would do that if Wilson were to return, not wanting to spend another year on the bench.
“You make decisions on the facts you have at the time,’’ O’Brien said this week in a conference call with a few reporters.
That he made those comments in his new position as associate head coach at Virginia, having been fired by N.C. State following the 2012 season, creates something of an easy punchline. While Wilson transferred to Wisconsin and led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl before being drafted by the Seahawks, Glennon led N.C. State to records of 8-5 and 7-5, which got O’Brien tossed after going 40-35 in six years.
All involved said this week, though, there are no hard feelings and no regrets.
Wilson called it “a blessing for me’’ that he ended up at Wisconsin — he detailed this week how he also considered Auburn — not only for winning the Big Ten but also playing in a pro-style offense he thought further prepared him for the NFL.
Glennon called Wilson “a great guy’’ and that “it worked out for both of us.’’
And O’Brien insisted he has not given it a second thought.
“No, never,’’ he said. “It was a decision that was best for the football team at that time. Russell had decided to go play baseball, we didn’t know what the outcome of that was going to be, and certainly Mike Glennon was there and ready to play quarterback for us. So I don’t regret that at all, and it’s worked out best for both of them.’’
It has worked out better for Wilson, who is 18-6 as Seattle’s starting quarterback, tying the second-most wins ever for a quarterback in his first 24 starts.
He also, though, is coming off one of his most difficult games, getting sacked seven times in Monday’s 14-9 escape at St. Louis.
Seattle offensive players spent the week promising to play better against a Tampa Bay defense that is one of the best in the NFL against the run (94.6), even if the Bucs are 0-7 and 16-point underdogs Sunday.
Glennon, meanwhile, will be making his fifth start after taking over for Josh Freeman, who was controversially demoted earlier this year by coach Greg Schiano, one of many moves that has the second-year head man already on the hot seat.
“Right now, we’re really just searching for our first win,’’ said Glennon, who was taken in the third round of the 2013 draft – the same round as Wilson the year before. “It hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to, but we’re not even at the halfway point.’’
The Bucs have lost four games by eight points or less, and also have been battling a MRSA infection in their locker room on their way to being considered one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL.
Seattle, though, figures to have little mercy after its near-miss against St. Louis, when the defense allowed a season-high 200 yards rushing.
“That was very uncharacteristic of us,’’ said linebacker K.J. Wright. “That shouldn’t happen again this year.’’
Wilson vowed the same of the offense.
“We’ve still got some work to do,’’ he said. “And we will fix it.’’
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com