If Mike Glennon gets a chance to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year, he'll probably lean heavily on such established offensive weapons as Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams and Doug Martin. And if Mike James is on the receiving end of any handoffs or swing passes this fall, they will almost surely come from Josh Freeman.
It's possible that somewhere down the road Glennon and James will be critical parts of a Buccaneer offense together and will have to rely on each other. If so, they began forming that bond on Thursday when the team's 2013 rookies arrived in town for a weekend mini-camp. Even before taking the field together on Friday – and there were certainly be plenty of Glennon-to-James handoffs this weekend – they had a chance to get to know each other. In fact, establishing relationships with his fellow Buc newcomers was one of Glennon's priorities for the weekend.
"[Priority] one is to get familiar with the offense, start understanding the playbook," said the former North Carolina State standout. "And then two is to start developing relationships with the players and the coaches. Obviously, it's just the rookies, but I want to form a tight-knit relationship with those guys."
Actually, Glennon and James already had the beginnings of a friendship before getting to Tampa, having had a couple of chances to interact in the ACC and in the lead-up to the NFL Draft. James is impressed with his former conference foe-turned-Buccaneer teammate.
"I met him at the ACC media day last year," said James. "Just speaking with him, just being friends with him, you can get a feel, a vibe, for what kind of person he is. Knowing Mike, the things he brings to the table, being a good character guy, a well-spoken guy…it's going to be great playing behind him."
Glennon and James were two of the top producers in the ACC in 2012, with the Wolfpack quarterback throwing for 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns and the Hurricane rusher approaching 1,000 combined yards and adding nine scores. They'll have to prove themselves once again at the NFL level, but James is confident in his new teammate's abilities.
"Glennon is a great quarterback," he said. "I got a chance to see him at N.C. State and also got a chance to see him at the Senior Bowl. He's got a strong arm. He's a real tall guy, and that's good because he can see over the line. And I've seen him hand the ball off very well, so that's a good thing for me!"
Glennon and James and their youngest teammates will get all the action this weekend, as only rookies and first-year players are eligible to participate in the mini-camp. The team will practice twice each on Friday and Saturday and reserve Sunday for some additional meetings. Many of those same young Buccaneers will also get a chance to play together during the preseason; Glennon and James want to use this weekend and the rest of their offseason time with the team to get ready for that opportunity.
"It was great to get in here and start getting to know the rest of the guys," said Glennon. "I'm excited to get things started, get into the playbook and get out on the field."
As for how quickly and how successfully the rookies manage to form bonds with each other, James isn't worried after getting a chance to meet the rest of his class.
"It won't be a problem," he said. "I don't think Coach would want to put us all together if it wasn't going to be a great fit."