When Buffalo Bills fans talk about Cordy Glenn - it does not happen as often as it could - it is usually in the context of draft season or spring practices, when top tackle prospects and that one annual practice session when Doug Marrone slides Glenn inside to guard start the inevitable conversation of moving Glenn to a different position.
Here's the thing, though: Glenn is a 24-year-old left tackle coming off a season in which he gave up 1.5 sacks in 16 starts. Other than theoretical roster tinkering borne of a few too many hours playing Madden, there is no reason whatsoever for the Bills, or anyone, to consider moving Glenn elsewhere. Instead, it's time to start recognizing that the Bills have, from a league-wide perspective, an enviable situation at one of the game's most important positions.
The 2012 second-round pick out of Georgia has been the Bills' starting left tackle since his arrival in Buffalo, starting 29 games in the last two seasons (he missed three games as a rookie due to injury). Throughout those two seasons, Glenn has lined up next to three different starting left guards - Andy Levitre in 2012, and then the 2013 split between Colin Brown and Doug Legursky - and regardless of the quality of play next to him, Glenn has hummed along, becoming more consistent with every start.
Glenn played guard for a while at Georgia before ending his career there at left tackle; NFL Draft enthusiasts pegged him as a top-caliber guard prospect, but the nimble-footed 6'6", 345-pound athlete has proven the Bills' evaluation of him as a left tackle correct to this point. He rarely loses the edge in passing sets. He's agile enough to handle counter moves, showing well against a quality set of pass rushers. He is an asset in the running game as one of the line's most mobile blockers.
Meanwhile, the Bills continue to tinker with most of the rest of the offensive line; center Eric Wood is the only other lineman, aside from Glenn, that has his position locked down. Chris Williams, a free agent signing from St. Louis, will be the fourth left guard that Glenn has played next to in three seasons. Rookie tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is expected to unseat veteran Erik Pears for the right tackle job, and there are early signs that the right guard battle may not be handed to incumbent Kraig Urbik, either.
Despite the common themes of discussions involving Glenn, he has done little to nothing to warrant those themes; on a line in turmoil, he is its highest-upside player, and a consistent performer at a premium position. Instead of focusing on where else Glenn might play in the future, 2014 should be the season in which we start to notice Glenn for what he is - a high quality left tackle that is an offseason (or perhaps two) away from a rather massive pay day.
This post continues a series in which we'll discuss the ten most important Bills players entering the new season. We'll update this list each time a new entry in the series posts.