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Lions QB Glenn downplays his resumed rescuer role with Lulay out again

09/10/2014 08:15 EDT | Updated 11/10/2014 05:59 EST
SURREY, B.C. - Kevin Glenn does not buy into the notion that the B.C. Lions are Travis Lulay's team.

A week after being displaced by a then healthy Lulay as the CFL club's starting quarterback, Glenn is back in the rescuer role that he has played most of the season as the Lions prepare to host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday. He is ignoring the fact that, in the lead-up to an ugly 7-5 victory in Ottawa, Lions players stressed that B.C. was Lulay's team.

In essence, the message was that Lulay, the 2011 CFL most outstanding player and Grey Cup MVP, had resumed his position as B.C.'s (6-4) field general before he made his first 2014 start only to be sidelined with a shoulder injury similar to the one that forced him to miss most of the season. But Glenn does not view that claim as a slap in the face.

"No one guy wins a game and no one guy goes out there by himself with the uniform on and plays against another team," said Glenn after a practice Wednesday. "We all put the B.C. Lions logo on. We're all playing for this team, so we're all going to have a significant part in making this team move in a positive direction."

Nevertheless, the Lions' playoff hopes will ride heavily on Glenn's shoulders. But Glenn, who has completed 161 of 256 passes for 2,151 yards this season while his nine touchdown tosses are two short of his interception total (11), does not buy into that notion, either.

"I don't take (the return to the No. 1 role) as any added pressure, because I was expected to do a certain thing (as a backup) last week to put this team in a position to win," said Glenn, a 14-year veteran who is with his fifth CFL team.

"I was expected to do it in Week 1. So I'm just going to continue having that mindset, so I don't add any extra pressure than I already have."

He maintains that nothing has changed — in his role as a replacement starter or his approach — since the Lions acquired him in a trade from the Ottawa Redblacks, who had claimed him from the Calgary Stampeders in the expansion draft. B.C. acquired him after Lulay was slow to recover from off-season shoulder surgery.

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to play," said Glenn. "Everybody on this team could, potentially, go in and play, because we play such a violent sport and guys get hurt. My outlook on this game is always the same."

That attitude has paid off for the 35-year-old Detroit native, who enjoyed a 407-yard passing game in a win over Hamilton last month. Although he is perceived as the consummate journeyman, he ranks eighth all-time in the CFL, after moving ahead of Doug Flutie and Tracy Ham earlier this season.

Glenn's situation with the Lions is similar to one he faced a decade ago. In 2004 he was traded from Saskatchewan, via Toronto, to Winnipeg (6-5) after Bombers starter Khari Jones, now B.C.'s offensive co-ordinator, was sidelined for the season due to injury.

"That could probably be the best thing that I could compare it to," he said. "It was a similar thing where (Jones) had won games and MVPs for his team and led his team to Grey Cups, so they loved him in the city."

The Lions must hope that Glenn will fare better now than he did then. The Blue Bombers missed the playoffs that season as B.C. won the West before falling to Toronto in the Grey Cup.

"This is probably a better team than that (Winnipeg) team was," said Glenn. "This team has, probably, a little bit more veteran guys and veteran guys who actually played together."

Except when it comes to quarterbacks.

Glenn, backup John Beck and No. 3 Travis Partridge are all in their first season with B.C. Beck, a 33-year-old Mesa, Ariz., native who spent six seasons as an NFL backup with struggling Miami, Baltimore, Washington and Houston teams, and Partridge, a 23-year-old pure rookie from Missouri Western, are both in their first CFL season.

Aside from Lulay's lone start last week, Beck has held the No. 2 spot most of all season while being used in short-yardage situations at times and serving as a holder for kicker Paul McCallum on field goals. Coach Mike Benevides gave Beck more reps than usual Wednesday, even in comparison to the weeks before Lulay's return moved him down the depth chart. However, Beck does not feel a heightened sense of anticipation that he could replace Glenn.

"In all my years of football, the one thing I've learned is: You can't really worry about a situation, the what ifs," said Beck. "It could end up being mental quicksand and stir my thoughts for the rest of the day."

Beck, who struggled at the start of the season with being a "32-year-old rookie" CFLer, feels that, despite Lulay's latest setback, his role remains largely the same as it did at the outset. Ironically, even after sitting out all of 2013 when no NFL club wanted him, he hopes to remain the backup as the Lions fight for their playoff lives.

"I don't foresee (playing time resulting from Glenn's struggles.) If something happens here, it'll be by injury, which we don't hope happens," he said. "The one thing too is, I'm really good friends with (Glenn). … I want to see (Glenn) succeed because I feel, like me, here's a guy that continues playing because he loves playing.

"And, I know that (Glenn) has been on a lot of teams where somebody could have turned the reins over to him because he was playing really well. But, for whatever reason, a lot of teams just haven't turned the reins over to (Glenn)."

But Glenn has the Lions' reins now, and the team's success could, literally, be in his hands. But despite the comments about the Lions being Lulay's team, Benevides believes the other players will continue to respond to Glenn — and won't dwell on the club's quarterbacking woes.

"I think these men, even though they feel bad for what's happened to (Lulay) will be fine," said Benevides.

Notes: Receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux left practice early to have an undisclosed injury examined, but Benevides does not expect it to be serious.

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