FOXBORO, MA — For Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, the pressure is on.
Glenn, who has been out of football since leaving training camp back on August 3rd, practiced for the first time in over two months on Wednesday after serving a four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The veteran receiver will have a lot to prove both to his coach and to his teammates, and will also have to show he is both in shape and comfortable with the offense if he plans on being able to have a chance to eventually return to the line-up.
Belichick said on Wednesday that he hasn’t had another meeting with the wide receiver since sitting down with him on Monday because he feels the time for talking is over, and that it’s time to see what he can do on the football field.
“I don’t think it is about talking about it now,” said Belichick. “We are going to go out to practice today and we will get a look at where Terry is at both from a conditioning standpoint, and where his skills are after a layoff and we will just go from there. I don’t think really sitting around and talking about what is going to happen or what isn’t going to happen, at this point, that is not what it is about at all.”
“The main thing I am looking for is [what he does] on the field at this point. That is what we haven’t seen. We all understand what the circumstances are, why the events have occurred the way they have and why the time frame has been what it is, but you have to put all of that behind you. Right now we are starting at a new point in time and the only way to go forward is to go out there and start playing and see where we are at. I don’t think there is any way to know where that is right now without seeing it.”
New England remains one player under the 53-man roster limit after releasing receiver Bert Emanual, but Belichick said they will make the decision as to whether or not they will fill it later in the week. The team has been granted a roster exemption by the league for Glenn that will be in effect until next week, and they still may decide to filling that roster spot by signing a third quarterback. In the event Belichick sees what he wants to see from Glenn in practice he could decide to lift the exemption which would make the receiver eligible to play on Sunday. He reportedly has until Saturday to make that decision.
As for quarterback Tom Brady, he’s excited to see #88 back out on the field.
“Being with Terry last year, I threw a lot of balls to him,” said Brady on Wednesday. “Obviously not as many as Drew [Bledsoe] has had in the past, but I am pretty comfortable with Terry. I am just excited to have him out there and excited to see him play.”
“As soon as he is ready to help the team I am sure everyone would love to see him out their performing well, because that is why he is on the team. Everyone’s here expected to go out and play as hard as they can and practice hard. I am sure that’s what Terry expects of himself.”
In the event Glenn returns on Sunday he’s more than likely not going to get a warm welcome from the fans who will pack the stadium to see both San Diego quarterback and former Boston College hero Doug Flutie and the Patriots battle it out. Glenn has been treading on thin ice for years with fans who have been questioning his toughness because of his injury history, but his recent legal problems along with his substance abuse violation may have pushed them too far.
To make matters worse for Glenn some of his recent comments he made may have also started some ill-will between he and team owner Robert Kraft. Whether or not that eventually gets resolved remains to be seen.
The first step to what his future may hold began on Wednesday, but no one can predict what will happen anytime soon with Terry Glenn. He still has a long way to go with his fans, his coach, and the man who signs his paycheck, none of which appear ready to forgive and forget just yet.