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A Requiem for a Deposed Quarterback

Time heals all wounds, optimism abounds, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Take Sean Glennon.


Sean Glennon could use a hug. Not this kind of hug.
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It was clear to a lot of people about the time Virginia Tech was getting hammered and began bickering among one another in frustration in a Thursday night debacle at Boston College last year that Sean Glennon was not a world-beating quarterback, or even, as we'd learned earlier, a Georgia Tech-beating quarterback. Glennon finished the season by winning games in which he completed 4 of 11 (against Southern Miss) and 5 of 19 passes (at Miami), then turning the ball over on four straight possessions in a second half collapse in the Peach Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Still, his status as Tech's starting quarterback was never challenged - he was a ten-game winner, after all, and then the Hokies' most improved offensive player in the spring. In the months between the bowl breakdown and the summer forecasts, Glennon morphed from a struggling, freshly-scrubbed sophomore just trying to hang on to a rising, fourth-year junior with growing pains behind him and championships in front of him in the forgetful eyes of the pronosticenti: every mainstream outlet ranked Virginia Tech in its top ten nationally and every mainstream outlet ranked the Hokies first in the ACC Coastal, without exception in either case. Both projections were based on Glennon's apparent maturity reviving the Tech offense into a viable complement to the team's stronger parts.

This was not so much the case. Whatever Glennon's mental or physical improvement in the spring, it quickly escaped via the short gasps the quarterback emitted as LSU stealth destroyers approached the line Saturday as a prelude to "shock and awe" campaign that left the nation speechless and Glennon a beaten, broken, benched man. Which, as of this morning, he will officially remain:

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer announced on his weekly Monday teleconference that he will start true freshman Tyrod Taylor at quarterback Ohio University this Saturday. This relegates Sean Glennon, who struggled in the team's 48-7 loss to LSU, to the bench.
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"This is not a reflection on Sean [Glennon]," Beamer said. "He's put so much into his preparation, and he's such a competitor. We just feel like with this football team and our offense, Tyrod fits our personnel better right now. This is not easy for us because Sean has put a lot in the program."

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It was nice of Beamer to say so, but the decision is a reflection on Glennon, specifically his inability to challenge defenses downfield, or escape pressure in the pocket. If Taylor is still lacking on the first front, he is overqualified on the latter, and if the offensive line-wide strike continues re: pass blocking, that skill will be the most valuable. Three-touchdown holes at LSU, at night, with zero positives to the team's credit and far less momentum, is not the ideal scenario for a true freshman to take his first snaps. But what were the alternatives? To leave Glennon in the bloodbath to be maimed and decapitated? At least Taylor might have the tools to defend himself.

The most appropriate death knell for Glennon's full-time career came moments before his interception to Craig Steltz, when Kirk Herbstreit told the national audience, "We're going to be tracking Glennon's mistakes - er, decisions, all night." Herbie was only wrong because his subject didn't have that much time left.

Not to pile on, but Glennon's Hokie career in brief: