Beyond the basics

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Kevin Glenn survived a new partnership of sorts on the football field last training camp.

Now, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers pivot is enjoying a more personal one off the field.

When Doug Berry first became Winnipeg's new head coach in December 2005, he described Glenn as a "capable" quarterback and refused to anoint him as Winnipeg's No. 1 signal caller before camp.

But Berry did not hesitate to anoint Glenn his top gun before the current camp even started.

"It went a lot smoother this year just because of knowing the offence, knowing the coaches, knowing the other guys that were already here," Glenn admitted yesterday. "Now, it's pretty much reviewing and going over your reads and implementing new things to help you out versus coming in last year and learning a whole new offence that you knew nothing about."

And Glenn is already showing more confidence than the question mark that greeted Berry in last year's camp.

"Last year, he probably came in with a totally unassuming position wishing he could be the (starting) quarterback but not knowing where I was coming from," Berry said. "He didn't know the offence, didn't know the personalities. There were a lot of unknowns last year. Coming into camp this year, last year's unknowns are no longer in existence. The only thing he didn't know was what his new quarterbacks coach (Kit Cartwright) was going to be like."

But it goes beyond knowing the system.

"He's seeing things," Berry said. "He's starting to talk like a coach. He's coming up with ideas, suggestions knowing that not everything we do may be the ultimate best way ... These are great questions he's asking whereas last year, he was just learning the basics.

"In order for an offence to be successful, the quarterback has to be a coach. He really has to know what's going on. When you get to that level, you have a very good chance of being successful. He totally understands everything that's going on out there and he asks the right questions. I really like Kevin's mental approach to this. He's totally understanding what we're doing."

After he earned the starting spot in last year's camp, Glenn began to evolve. He completed 249 of 430 passes (57.9%) for 3,427 yards and 17 touchdowns, with 13 interceptions, in 16 CFL games.

And not only did Glenn come to camp with renewed confidence this year, he also got hitched in March.

"I was mature last year so, I don't understand everybody saying that getting married matures you," said Glenn, 28. "Getting married kind of sets your life into perspective as a person. I've grown up with the family and one day, you want to grow older and start your own family ... And now you have another person in your life that you love and that you have to provide for and it's vice-versa with the wife and her husband. It's a good thing, it's a really good thing."

But Glenn, whose wife, Asha, will be in Winnipeg for the whole season, denied that such responsibility will add pressure to his performance on the field.

"Not at all," he insisted. "It kind of lightens the pressure because you got someone to go home to that's going to love you for what happens -- whether you do bad or do good ... I'm not griping or anything about it because I love playing the sport. But there are some things that go along with it that you don't necessarily care for."


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