REGINA—Kevin Glenn had us all fooled. After bouncing around through eight different CFL teams—some of them twice or in Saskatchewan’s case three times—throughout the first sixteen years of his career, the journeyman had us all convinced that he was worthy of something more than game manager status.
He was leading the Roughriders to a stunning midseason turnaround, making us forget all about Darian Durant or Vince Young or the fact he was thirty-eight years old and had never won squat in a nine-team league. He oversaw high production on a receiving corps proving it deserved to be considered the league’s best. The hype got so strong that some (including Glenn himself) began suggesting out loud that he deserves to be in the Canadian Football League hall of fame.
And it was all a mirage.
Kevin Glenn Is who we Thought he Was
The reality is that Kevin Glenn is still the same quarterback he’s always been. Great guy. Great teammate. Tough, durable athlete who deserves his due for still playing pro ball on a journey which began with his first start just days after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. He’s a good quarterback, not a star quarterback. He has a ceiling and we’re seeing it now.
Just when you expect him to take that next step, a game like the week 17 loss to Ottawa happens. He throws for nearly 400 yards, goes 2 for 8 in the red zone. Had three key throws to make on the final two drives while nursing a twelve point lead and couldn’t do it. Had the CFL’s hottest receiver in Duron Carter looking unstoppable and yet couldn’t coax so much as a whimper out of the rest of his offense when they needed it the most to secure a late season ‘W’ at home against an inferior, losing football team.
He was given every opportunity to rally this football team to what would have been a playoff clinching win. He couldn’t do it. It’s the same song and dance we’ve seen with this mediocre quarterback many times before.
Never Gets Over the Hump
Kevin Glenn left Saskatchewan early in his career after coming up short in the 2003 western final comeback loss at Edmonton. Didn’t show enough to convince the team to have more faith in him than Henry Burris or Nealon Greene. A subsequent trade to the Toronto Argonauts wasn’t enough to convince their team management to move on from then forty year old QB Damon Allen.
So a trade to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers later that day fetched a better fit for the man trying to break the chains of mediocrity. A trip to the Grey Cup in 2007 earned him some badly wanted respect but that team never overwhelmed anybody. He later returned stability to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats leading them to three straight playoff appearances but even that would only yield but a single playoff victory.
Glenn was a nice insurance policy for the Calgary Stampeders to have when Drew Tate went down early in 2012. He even got them to the Grey Cup! But again, predictably, it all came up short. A stop in B.C. saved the Lions 2014 season from ruin while Travis Lulay’s injured throwing shoulder needed more time to heal but that 9-9 squad never had a sniff at anything more than an early playoff exit.
Some more backup time with the Riders, Alouettes and Blue Bombers did little to impress either. What do Khari Jones, Kevin Glenn, Nealon Greene and Drew Willy all have in common? All quarterbacks who did significant time early in their college or pro careers under the tutledge of retired CFL journeyman quarterback Danny Barrett who have all produced long, productive careers with no championship rings to speak of, just like the man who developed them.
Talk of taking a legitimate shot at a home playoff game and maybe even challenge the Stampeders for that trip to the Grey Cup in our nation’s capital really has been delightful. But in the end it really was nothing more than fantasy.
Kevin Glenn is still who we thought he was.
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