Even though Baltimore's Joe Flacco hasn't watched Mike Glennon play all that much, he's been impressed with what he's seen.
"I think he's handled himself very well. I think he's gone in there and done a lot of good things, just watching from afar," Flacco said.
"I think the team has operated very well when he's been in there. He's come into a situation that hasn't necessarily been incredible and he's handled himself very well and led that team."
On Sunday, Flacco will get his first close-up view of the second-year pro, who's trying to make the most of another opportunity to prove he's the Bucs' QB of the future.
The Bucs (1-4) haven't made the playoffs the past six seasons and have changed coaches three times in five years.
Glennon started 13 games as a rookie, going 4-9 but not displaying enough to convince incoming coach Lovie Smith that the answer to improving the league's least productive passing attack was already on the roster.
Instead, Smith signed career backup Josh McCown in free agency and made him the starter.
Glennon will make his third straight start this week against the Ravens (3-2), filling in for the 35-year-old McCown, who sprained his right thumb during Tampa Bay's 56-14 loss to Atlanta three weeks ago.
The 2013 third-round draft pick responded by throwing a game-winning touchdown in the closing seconds of a road victory over Pittsburgh two weeks ago.
He played well again last Sunday in New Orleans, when Tampa Bay squandered an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead before losing to the Saints in overtime.
The Bucs don't have much to show for it in terms of victories, but both Smith and Glennon think the team is getting better.
And while Glennon has outplayed McCown, it's not clear he has taken the starting job from McCown, who was intercepted four times while only throwing two TD passes during an 0-3 start.
Smith shrugs off questions about who'll be the starter when McCown is healthy enough to play, preferring to stress that so far he's encouraged by the way Glennon has performed.
In addition to showing an ability to sit in the pocket and find open receivers, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound Glennon is proving more mobile than he was believed to be entering the NFL.
"I've seen Mike play two games and he's made all of the throws in both of the games. Deep, short, comebacks, the passing tree — he's thrown," said Smith, who even joked that Glennon made a Michael Vick-type play against the Saints, rolling to his left before adjusting and lofting a nice touch pass back down the middle of the field to Vincent Jackson for a 34-yard gain.
"A knock against Mike is that he's not supposed to be mobile. But the touch pass in the (New Orleans) game, of course, not many people can throw that," Smith said.
"So there's not a whole lot of negative comments I can give you on Mike's play right now. He's done a super job with just about everything we've asked him to do."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he liked Glennon heading into the draft and that the Bucs quarterback presents numerous potential problems for the Baltimore defense.
"You can see he's tall, but he's also very good. That's really more of the problem," Harbaugh said.
"He can make all the throws, (and) he's a tremendous arm talent. He has good touch on deep balls, he hangs in there, and he creates time in the pocket to create an opportunity for guys to get open," Harbaugh added. "He's more mobile than you think he's going to be. He's doing a good job for them."
Some things to watch while the Ravens and Bucs try to shrug off disappointing road losses from last week:
FAMILIAR ADVERSARY: Baltimore's Steve Smith is no stranger to the Buccaneers. He had plenty of success against Tampa Bay for 13 seasons with the Carolina Panthers. He has six career TD receptions and seven 100-yard games against them.
HOME, NOT-SO SWEET HOME: The Bucs are back home after playing the past three weeks on the road. But Raymond James Stadium, where the Ravens won the first of their two Super Bowl titles, has not been the friendly confines for the home team lately. The Bucs haven't finished with a winning record at home since 2008. And since the start of 2009, they're 14-28, including 0-2 this year.
TACKLING MACHINE: Ravens rookie C.J. Mosley, the 17th overall pick in the draft, has had an immediate impact. He leads the team with 47 tackles, tops in the league among first-year players. He had 14 stops and an interception against the Colts last week.
BIG-PLAY RAVENS: Baltimore is third in the league with 25 offensive plays of 20-plus yards, including a NFL-best seven rushes.
FLAGS GALORE: The Buccaneers undermined themselves last week in New Orleans with 15 penalties for 113 yards. They've been flagged 35 times for 273 yards in the past three games.
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