Mike Glennon isn't hiding his excitement about facing his former team Sunday when the Bears visit the Buccaneers in Tampa.
The veteran quarterback signed with the Bears as a free agent in March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Buccaneers from 2013-16.
"It counts the same, but it's against the place I was for the past four years," Glennon said. "A lot of friends, familiar faces on the other side, so I think it's just human nature to be looking forward to this a little more just because of going against my former team."
While conceding that Sunday's game is special to him, Glennon bears no ill will toward the Buccaneers organization. After the Bears suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Falcons in the season opener, he has just one objective in mind for Sunday.
Bears quarterback Mike Glennon.
"I would just love to win," Glennon said. "To get back to 1-1 is the ultimate goal. It doesn't really come down to showing them anything. I just want to have a winning performance and help our team get back to 1-1."
Selected by the Buccaneers in the third round of the 2013 draft, Glennon started the final 13 games of his rookie season, throwing for 2,608 yards with 19 touchdowns, nine interceptions and an 83.9 passer rating.
Glennon then played in six games with five starts in 2014, passing for 1,417 yards with 10 TDs, six interceptions and an 83.3 rating. But after Tampa Bay chose quarterback Jameis Winston with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, Glennon did not play at all in 2015 and threw just 11 passes last year—all in the same game.
"There were a lot of ups and downs for sure," he said. "I didn't win as many games as I would have liked. But as far as just all the relationships built and learning more about football it was a great experience and definitely one that I look back and say I enjoyed my time there."
The Buccaneers tried to re-sign Glennon as their backup during the offseason, but he bolted to the Bears because they offered him a chance to be their No. 1 quarterback.
"I knew I wanted to be a starting quarterback, but I really enjoyed being down there," Glennon said. "I had great relationships with the front office, head coach, coaches, players. It's definitely a place I wouldn't have minded staying, but as a competitor you want to go somewhere where you can play. I have a lot of respect for a lot of people in that building and I think they're going to be a good football team."
Having operated Tampa Bay's scout team in practice last year, Glennon can provide the Bears some intel on both sides of the ball. But there's no tape on the Buccaneers yet this year because last Sunday's opener in Miami was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
"I'm going to help in ways that I can, but I don't have all the answers," Glennon said. "It's a little different when you break them down and start game-planning them than when you're just going against them in practice. A lot of things look familiar, but they haven't played a game yet, so I have to be prepared for anything."
Glennon provided some valuable input about the Falcons last week given that he prepared to play them twice a year when he was with the Buccaneers.
"Mike's experience does help, and it helped in the Atlanta game," said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. "He had a lot of great ideas and great thoughts on those guys and he had success against those guys in the past.
"Mike's a hard worker. He's a grinder that way as far as football and he's been around the building the last two days and he's definitely been able to bring some insight and detail to the game plan."
In the Bears' loss to the Falcons, Glennon completed 26 of 40 passes for 213 yards with one touchdown and an 86.8 passer rating. After a slow start, he rebounded to connect on 18 of 27 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"Mike managed the clock, managed the game, and when I say managed the game, sometimes that phrase can be misconstrued," said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. "When I say managed the game, he did exactly what he needed to do to play the game we detailed out to him; how we thought we could win the game and what was best for us and that matchup, that game. He handled all the situations and did a really good job."