Cordy Glenn’s even-tempered reaction to facing the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10 of the NFL season was typical of the Buffalo Bills’ second-year left tackle.
The Chiefs were leading the league in sacks at the time. Glenn’s adversary that day, Tamba Hali, had nine sacks in eight games.
“I think my mind-set stays the same every week,” Glenn said. “I want to prepare and make sure I’m ready for what they have coming. I just have to be a pro at the end of the day.”
Glenn calmly neutralized Hali that day, a performance that highlighted his two best assets – unflappability and size.
The 6-foot-6, 345-pound Glenn proved hard to fluster or navigate around in posting a fine season protecting the blind side of Bills quarterbacks. Glenn was responsible for only 1½ sacks, according to The News’ evaluation of his position. He continues to develop into one of the team’s better assets.
Glenn ranked 11th in the NFL among left tackles in 2013, according to the grades of the website ProFootballFocus.com.
“He is just a big, strong dude,” said Bills pass rusher Jerry Hughes.
When the Bills took Glenn in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft, there were plenty of doubts raised among draft analysts about his ability to handle speed rushers at left tackle. A lot of draft gurus, and more than a few NFL scouts, considered guard his best position in the pros.
“We liked him as a player, but we didn’t see it,” one AFC scout said in December, referring to Glenn’s ability to handle left tackle. “But he’s a guy on the rise. He’s going to be a Pro Bowler soon.”
Glenn gave up six sacks, unofficially, as a rookie in 2012.
“I think I’ve gotten better, but I think I still have room for improvement, things I can work on this offseason, to take my game to the next level,” Glenn said. “I’ve worked on just being a more efficient player. Footwork, handwork, blocking more efficiently, being more consistent.”
Given his size, Glenn is extremely hard to bull-rush. Nobody was able to shove him back into the quarterback for a sack this season. He almost always gets enough of a shove on outside speed rushers to push them beyond the depth of the quarterback in the passing pocket. That’s what he continually did against Hali in the Kansas City game.
Glenn gave up one fourth-quarter pressure to Hali, who forced quarterback Jeff Tuel to scramble out of the pocket on the play. Glenn also gave up inside pressure late in the game on a quick move by K.C. rusher Justin Houston.
Glenn was beaten on an outside rush by Chandler Jones in the season finale at New England. That caused a sack of Thad Lewis. Glenn and Doug Legursky combined to allow a sack on a stunt against Cincinnati. Glenn had a couple of rough moments when the Bills were playing from behind in New Orleans.
Other than that, Glenn was mostly inconspicuous in pass protection, which is a good thing for a left tackle.
“For a guy his size, he’s very athletic,” Hughes said. “He has very good feet. He’s a strong, stout player. I watched him throughout the games. I can’t remember the last time he gave up a one-on-one sack. I watched when he played Kansas City, and he shut those guys down. For a guy his size to be able to have the feet he does you don’t find that often.”
Glenn says he has plenty of motivation this offseason.
“Obviously we’re not where we wanted to be at the end of the year,” he said. “We wanted to be in the playoffs. I think we have a lot we can work on. We have a nice foundation built to move forward. I’m just looking forward to what we can do next year to get better and get over the hump.”