Cordy Glenn is not eager to accept any compliments on how well his rookie season is going.
Glenn already has a firm grasp of the reality of life for a left tackle in the NFL. Every week there’s a star defensive end ready and waiting to make you look bad.
“Every week you’re gonna be impressed watching the tape because usually that’s the defense’s best player or one of its top players you’re going against,” Glenn said Wednesday. “Once again, it’s another challenge this week, so I’m just looking forward to it.”
Glenn faces one of the toughest tests of his young career Sunday in Indianapolis when he lines up against Colts veteran Dwight Freeney, a seven-time Pro Bowler whose 104.5 career sacks rank fourth among active players.
Glenn, the 6-foot-6, 345-pounder from the University of Georgia, was a hotly debated second-round pick. Numerous draft analysts doubted whether a man his size could handle left tackle in the NFL. Yet after seven starts he has allowed just one half of a sack, according to unofficial News figures. He has been largely inconspicuous in pass protection, which is a good thing for an offensive lineman.
“He’s shutting some people up, I can guarantee you that, and it won’t be the first time those guys are wrong,” said Bills center Eric Wood, referring to draft analysts.
“I saw part of rookie minicamp [in May], just being up here while I was rehabbing,” Wood said. “And I could tell you right away that he could play tackle in this league, just based upon his feet. Heavy-footed tackles don’t bode well in the NFL. Defensive ends are the best athletes on the field in terms of size with speed and athleticism. You gotta be able to match up and he’s got the feet to do it.”
Glenn said he didn’t pay a lot of attention to draft forecasts and doesn’t use it as motivation.
“I’m not really big on being into the media,” Glenn said. “I just was sure that everybody who said that either never saw me play or just thought because I’m a big, massive guy I only belong inside. I think it was more people not actually doing all their homework as they might portray they do. I’m pretty much faster than most linemen so you should put two and two together.”
Glenn has played every snap the last three games after missing three games with a sprained ankle.
“He’s done an excellent job,” coach Chan Gailey said. “I hated that he got hurt, that he lost all those games, because I think he would be even further ahead at this point. But nursing the injuries that he’s had, I think he’s played extremely well for a rookie.”
Teammates say his unexcitable nature is an asset.
“He’s a real low-key guy, even on the field,” said running back Fred Jackson. “He’ll make a great play and you’ll congratulate him, and he’ll say, ‘Thank you.’ He’ll get a false start and say, ‘Darn it.’ There’s not much high and not much low with him. I think that’s a good attribute to have.”
“He’s an extremely quiet guy – almost introverted,” Gailey said. “It gives him a certain amount of patience on the football field, which at tackle, playing those speed rushers, is a good thing. If you get too jacked up you can make some mistakes.”
“It’s my personality,” Glenn said. “Just don’t try to get too high or too low on most things. Just staying consistent is the big thing for me.”
Glenn had exceptionally strong games early in the season against Kansas City and Cleveland. He had key blocks on two TD runs against the Chiefs. He held his own in two games against New England rookie Chandler Jones.
He showed his mobility on a 14-yard TD run by Jackson at New England. Glenn got a chip block on the defensive tackle, then moved out on linebacker Jerod Mayo to seal off an alley for Jackson to cut through on the way to the end zone.
“He did a good job of pinning the edge, and then I just had to find the crease,” Jackson said.
“We did a good job of staying on our blocks and going to [when] the whistle was blown,” Glenn said. “You always get told that in drills – keep going to the whistle.”
Against Miami last week, Glenn mostly faced edge rusher Koa Misi and end Jared Odrick.
The Dolphins’ top rusher, Cameron Wake, mostly faced right tackle Chris Hairston.
This week, both Bills tackles face undersized speed rushers – Freeney and Robert Mathis, who has 89.5 career sacks. Those two are especially effective in the Colts’ loud, domed stadium.