JACKSONVILLE – Mike Glennon feels ready.
And when Glennon speaks about his opportunity Sunday, he does so with the perspective of someone who has waited a long time for chance while wondering if it would really come.
He said he wants to play freely. Because as he sees it, why not?
"I've got nothing to lose," Glennon said Wednesday.
Glennon, an eight-year NFL veteran with 22 career starts, will start at quarterback for the Jaguars against the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday. He will be the third Jaguars starting quarterback in the last five games, and that thing about nothing to lose?
Glennon, who last started an NFL game for the Chicago Bears in 2017, was serious about that.
"I haven't been the starter in three years," he said as the Jaguars (1-9) prepared to play the Browns (7-3) Sunday at 1 p.m. "I don't know when this opportunity is going to come again. I'm just going to go out there, have fun, let it rip and see what happens.
"We're a 1-9 football team. I'm just going to do whatever I can to help us win. I've been through some good. I've been through some bad. At this point in my career, I want to go out and play like I have nothing to lose."
Glennon, an eight-year NFL veteran, signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason after spending last season with the Oakland Raiders. A third-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2013 NFL Draft, he spent four seasons with the Buccaneers then spent 2017 with the Chicago Bears and 2018 with the Arizona Cardinals.
"There have been other quarterbacks throughout the history of the league who didn't get a great opportunity – or when they did, they didn't play well – and as they got older, they got another opportunity and took advantage of it," Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. "We're hoping that's the case with Mike and I'm sure he's hoping the same thing. This is a great opportunity for him and hopefully he does take advantage of it."
Glennon said wanting to play freely is a real thing and said not doing so "mentally could have bogged me down a little in the past."
"I'm at the point of my career where I'm just going to cherish these moments," he said.
Gruden said while Glennon's arm has impressed since joining the Jaguars, his experience also is a positive. Gardner Minshew II, who started the first seven games of the season before missing the last three games with a thumb injury, is a second-year veteran. Jake Luton, the starter in the last three games, is a rookie.
Gruden also said Glennon should be helped by familiarity with the Jaguars' offensive system. Gruden's brother, Jon, is the head coach of the Raiders – where Glennon spent last season as a reserve – and the Raiders and Jaguars schemes are similar.
"He's got a little more experienced than these other guys as far as being in the league, being in different systems," Gruden said. "He has been in a lot of different places, so he's seen the game. Hopefully, that will give him a little bit of the edge where he hasn't had the reps, but he had the time.
"He has seen different concepts and seen different coverages. Hopefully, that will translate on Sunday."
Glennon has 36 touchdown passes and 5,136 yards passing with 20 interceptions in 29 career games. He has started 22 games with a 6-16 career record as a starter. His last start came in 2017, when he started four games for Chicago.
"It's been a while, but those experiences haven't completely left me," he said. "I feel comfortable and ready to go. It's something you never take for granted, being one of the 32 guys who gets to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I'm excited about the opportunity to go to battle with these guys.
"It's something you don't take lightly because you never know when it's going to come again. I'm going to play with that attitude and hopefully that mindset helps us out."
Glennon took first-team reps with the Jaguars at times during training camp – but Minshew took the majority of such reps. That made Wednesday Glennon's first extensive work with the Jaguars' starting offense.
"I've been in a role the majority of my career where I've just been the backup," Glennon said. "I'm pretty used to not getting the reps. But I felt comfortable out there today. I think I have a lot of prior experience and knowledge from observation that has helped me grow a player.
"Even though I might not have been playing, I think I know more about football than I did the last time I started. Hopefully, I can apply some of that and help us get a win."