Had fate waited two draft picks, Tampa Bay Buccanneers quarterback Mike Glennon might be poised to spend Sunday afternoon on the Saints sideline — a pupil and possible future replacement for Drew Brees.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Thursday the franchise strongly considered selecting Glennon out of North Carolina State in the 2013 NFL draft. Payton knew Dana Bible, Glennon’s college offensive coordinator, who recommended Glennon.
“Honestly — ironically — that discussion that came up, I can remember it like it was yesterday,” Payton said. “Terron Armstead. Glennon was right in that cloud, if you will.”
Before the Saints had to make the decision, Tampa Bay took Glennon 73rd overall. Two picks later, the Saints selected Armstead out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
On Sunday, Armstead will start his seventh career game, a solid starter protecting Brees’ blind side. Glennon, meanwhile, looks like the latest quarterback of the future for Tampa Bay, coming off Sunday’s last-second 27-24 upset at Pittsburgh.
With Glennon in Tampa Bay, former Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin, also a former undrafted free agent, is still in position to be a possible Brees replacement in the coming seasons.
Glennon passed for 245 of his 302 passing yards in the second half, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson with seven seconds left.
Glennon, who is 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, has thrown this season for 423 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Payton said his timing and feet are “exceptional for his size” and that he “can locate and make all the throws.”
White expects to play
Cornerback Corey White (foot), pressed into a starting role with the Week 2 in-game demotion of Patrick Robinson, said Thursday he expects to play, echoing the sentiment of Armstead, who suffered a concussion Sunday night at Dallas.
Both White and Armstead were limited in Thursday’s practice.
Cooks studying more
Rookie Brandin Cooks said he’s faced different defensive schemes every week of his initial four weeks in the NFL regular season, a fact which has forced the Oregon State product to focus on game film.
From Atlanta to Cleveland, Minnesota to last week’s trip to Dallas.
“You have to watch a lot more film on these teams than I did in college,” he said. “There’s so many different looks teams give you in the NFL (including pre-snap disguises) now that you can’t just go into a game and think you’re going to pick it up as the game goes on. You need to watch film and see how players play.”
Cooks leads the Saints with 23 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown. He also has three carries for 49 yards.
“I feel like I’ve been doing all right,” he said. “I’ve got areas to improve on, and I’ve got to get better.”
Ball getting better
When safety Marcus Ball returns from a hamstring injury — he was limited at Thursday’s practice — he will work his way back on the field via kickoff coverage, Payton said.
“He received more work (Thursday) and that’s encouraging because if you just start with one thing and you say the kicking game, that’s an area that we look forward to seeing him playing on.”
Payton said Ball is not ready to defend in the slot on defense over a long period, but praised his work this summer at training camp, as well as his former exploits in the Canadian Football League where “you can see him tackle in space, run in space and prior to his hamstring it is something that we feel like will be a strength of his.”
Center Jonathan Goodwin (neck) did not practice Thursday, along with running back Mark Ingram (hand) and Erik Lorig (ankle). Middle linebackers Curtis Lofton (shoulder) and David Hawthorne (ankle) were limited. For Tampa Bay, defensive end Larry English (hamstring), receiver Mike Evans (groin), safety Dashon Goldson (ankle), backup quarterback Josh McCown (thumb), cornerback Johnathan Banks (not injury related) did not practice. Defensive end Michael Johnson (ankle), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) and linebacker Marion Foster (shoulder), defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (hand) were limited.