How Terry Glenn Helped Shape The Patriots Dynasty
By Cam Giangrande
It is with a heavy heart that I share that "She" has died. The "She" I am referring to isn't a lady at all, but former New England Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn. He perished Monday morning, in a one car accident outside of Dallas. I use the word she, not to be flippant, but because in many ways, that word is what initially made Glenn famous as a pro player.
In late August of 1996, before his first professional football game, rookie Glenn was in Coach Bill Parcells' cross-hairs. During a press conference, Parcells was asked about Glenn's progress regarding a nagging injury. His response was classic Parcells, simply saying, "she's making progress". By the end of the season, Parcells was proven wrong in his assessment of his rookie wide receiver, saying that Glenn was a winner. In fact, at the time, Glenn broke the rookie record for most receptions in a season, catching 90 balls.
I would like to personally thank MR. TERRY GLENN. No player may have contributed more to the long-term success of the New England Patriots over these past 20 years. If you believe in The Butterfly Effect, Glenn was integral in the subsequent events which have led to the greatest long term dynasty the sport has ever seen.
With the seventh pick in the 1996 NFL draft, The New England Patriots selected Ohio State Wide Receiver Terry Glenn. At the time, Robert Kraft was still a novice, only entering his third season as an NFL owner. He was far more hands-on than he is today, and didn't give his coach autonomy to make decisions, as he does today. That pick would prove to be the item that ultimately led to Parcells bolting to the New York Jets. Parcells wanted to take a defensive player with that seventh pick, but was overruled.
After the season, which ended with The Pats losing to the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI, Parcells held a press conference where he famously said, "if they want you to cook the dinner, they should at least let you buy the groceries". That statement was directly aimed at Kraft, referring to the selection of Glenn.
After three mediocre seasons under Pete Carroll, Kraft hired former Pats assistant head coach Bill Belichick to take the reins and the rest, as they say, is history. Glenn remained a Patriot throughout that time. After Belichick's second season, (which ended with the Patriots first Super Bowl victory), he traded Glenn to the Packers for two draft picks. Glenn only played in four games that season, after a slew of off-season issues. He had an ongoing contract dispute with Belichick throughout the year, and he was suspended for the first four games of the season for failing a drug test. Belichick ultimately deactivated Glenn and he did not appear in the Super Bowl, (and never received a Super Bowl ring).
Glenn will forever be the answer to a trivia question: Who did Tom Brady throw his first touchdown pass to? Answer: Terry Glenn, during that tumultuous 2001 season.
Again, I thank you Mr Glenn. If Bill Parcells got his way and took a defensive lineman, he may have lasted a couple more years with the Patriots. Realistically, Belichick would have gone on to greener pastures elsewhere and never been the head coach of the Patriots, and a no name sixth rounder from Michigan probably wouldn't have been drafted with the 199th pick in 2000.
The Butterfly Effect in all its glory. God speed Mr Glenn. I hope you find the peace that you were obviously struggling to find here on earth. It wasn't always pretty, and it wasn't always calm. In fact, it was often tumultuous, but I will always remember you with warmth.
Follow me on twitter @camcamelot
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