Glenn can make believers of us all

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Let's begin by saying Kevin Glenn has already proven a lot of people wrong.

Like the Detroit Free Press sportswriter who, back in the mid-1990s, said Glenn would never make it as a college quarterback.

Check the record book of the Illinois State Redbirds and you'll see Glenn did just fine, thank you very much.

Or like those who said he was too small to ever play pro, a myth he'd debunked by the time he was 22, when he started six games for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a rookie.

And who would have guessed that when the Bombers acquired Glenn in a trade back in May he'd quickly make Khari Jones, the CFL's Most Outstanding Player in 2001, expendable?

Certainly not me.

But if you're one of those who still thinks the 25-year-old Motor City product has a long way to go, well, get in line.

Maybe it's his demeanour -- Glenn is more low-key than keyed-up. His game, more cerebral than spectacular. Using a golf analogy, he's got a nice short game, but you wouldn't bother watching him off the tee.

Or maybe it's the cold, hard numbers: The Bombers are 3-4 under Glenn this season, while his career record as a starter is a modest 8-10.

Of course, how many 25-year-old quarterbacks have even started 18 games, let alone won a handful?

Which brings us to the meat of the matter.

This Sunday in Edmonton, Glenn will lead the underdog Bombers (6-10) against the Eskimos (8-9) in what is easily the most important start of his career.

For the first time, he'll be calling the signals in a game that means everything to his team.

Technically, it's not the playoffs, but it may as well be: win, and they play another must-win next week. Lose, and it just doesn't matter anymore.

Think we'll find out a little about No. 5 this weekend?

"I've played in that type of game ... I think it was my second year in Saskatchewan," Glenn was saying yesterday, referring to a game in which he came off the bench to help the 'Riders clinch a playoff spot two years ago. "I played a lot of big games in college, but I can't think of one off the top of my head that sticks out. The game that's in front of you is the most important game. That's the way I try to look at it.

"You try to treat it like any other game. You don't put any added pressure on yourself."

Nobody is saying this game will define Glenn as a quarterback.

But taking his team into the playoffs with wins Sunday and the following week here against Calgary would certainly stake his claim for the No. 1 job next year, and send a message to a management team that's high on newcomer Tee Martin.

"I'm already confident, but I think it would bring a lot more confidence -- that you're the guy, now. You took your team into the playoffs," Glenn said. "It would be exciting."

Ask Glenn what kind of quarterback he wants to be known as, and you get an interesting answer.

"An all-around quarterback. One that was able to lead his team. A coachable guy. A guy that the community likes, the fans love. Just one of those types of guys. Kind of a guy like Damon Allen."

Glenn also watched plenty of Tracy Ham and Doug Flutie on TV as a kid growing up in Detroit.

"They left a mark on the CFL," Glenn continued. "When you mention quarterbacks, those three names always come up. (I want to be) that kind of guy."

If that's his goal, then it's true -- Glenn still does have a long way to go.

It all starts with a trip to Edmonton this weekend, where he'll play his first defining game.

And try to prove a few more people wrong, while he's at it.


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