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Glenn Back, But Is That Good News?

Bob George
Bob George on Twitter
22 years ago at 9:45 am ET
Posted Under: 2001 Patriots Season

FOXBOROUGH – Red Sox fans once liked Carl Everett.

For a brief time in the 2000 campaign, Red Sox Nation got a good heapin’ helping of this new slugger from Houston. Everett put up great numbers in the first half of the 2000 season. He had an OPS (that’s on-base percentage plus slugging percentage, for those of you who think Bill James is the devil) of 1.050, second on the club to Nomar Garciaparra. He was the runaway team leader in home runs and RBIs. He was hitting .329 at the All-Star Break.

Red Sox fans were very forgiving and understanding when Everett went into his physical and mental tailspin. With memories of his great first half of 2000, fans were quick to forgive and forget his bumping of umpire Ron Kulpa on national television, his run-ins with then-manager Jimy Williams which eventually exposed GM Dan Duquette as totally non-supportive of his field manager, and his general distaste for following team rules. Red Sox Nation figured that sooner or later, the early version of Everett would come back, and that the Sox would be well on their way to unseating the Yankees as league champs.

Where: Foxborough Stadium
Foxborough, Mass.
When: Sunday 12/9/01
1:00 PM EDT
Television: WBZ Channel 4 in Boston
DSS: DirecTV
Channel 710, 940
Team Records: Patriots 7-5
Browns 6-5
Latest Line: Patriots by 5

Everett never regained that great pace of the first half of 2000. Thanks to injuries and more suspensions, the Sox slugger put up lame numbers in 2001 (.257 batting average, .761 OPS). He wants to be traded, and the team would be insane to willfully keep him. His relationship with the organization is so fractured that Wil (The Wifebeater) Cordero looks like a choirboy next to this bloke.

Which brings us to the Carl Everett of the Patriots.

Terry Glenn doesn’t do nutties unless he’s with Bob Lobel and Steve Burton. But he is a royal head case, he’s injured a lot, and he’s suspended a lot. He teased everyone with a great early career, but has never regained his old effectiveness. The Patriots would probably love to move this guy, but like Everett, will likely find no takers in his current state of being.

Unlike Williams and Joe Kerrigan, Bill Belichick has more power to deal effectively with Glenn. Thus far, the Patriot head coach has drawn praise for his handling of Glenn and all his high-maintenance antics. Williams and Kerrigan’s hands were tied because of how much Duquette loved Everett. In this case, Belichick is firmly in control of the situation, and every move Belichick has made regarding Glenn has been the right thing to do, with support from both the players and the front office.

That said, you have to be more than a little surprised to find Glenn suddenly back on the practice field, and then suddenly on for Sunday’s game at home against Cleveland. Given Glenn’s “you do the math” diatribe on WBZ two weeks ago, you had to figure that Glenn’s “hamstring injury” would eventually land the problematic wide receiver on injured reserve, safely tucked away and out of everyone’s hair until the offseason.

No. Glenn is now back practicing again. Unreal, you must be thinking.

Glenn was in a Wrentham courtroom on Tuesday, at a motion-to-dismiss hearing. Glenn and his counsel are trying to get his remaining misdemeanor assault charge dismissed. The presiding judge said he would issue a written verdict and not rule from the bench. The written decision was due on Wednesday. We’re still waiting.

Meanwhile, Glenn had a Wednesday evening face-to-face meeting with Belichick which lasted anywhere from sixty to ninety minutes. What was generally believed to be a “pack your bags and get permanently lost” meeting turned out to be a “we have reached an understanding” love fest. Glenn returned to the practice field on Thursday, and practiced a whopping two days in a row.

Okay, so Belichick got Glenn back on the practice field. Whatever “understanding” that was reached between the coach and the player apparently was a meaningful one. Maybe we were wrong when we thought that Belichick had lousy people skills.

But was it the right thing to do?

Glenn’s teammates, by all accounts, welcomed him back with open arms. They still consider him as part of the team. This is the most crucial aspect of Glenn’s return, because the last thing the Patriots need right now is a disruption of team chemistry given how well everyone is working together at this time.

If anyone can come back with effectiveness after such a long layoff, it’s Glenn. He proved that in the first half of the San Diego game. He gets to go up against a team this week in which he had a career high 13 catches against two years ago.

What nobody is saying publicly, and this is pure, unabashed conjecture, is that Glenn finally opened up and came clean about some personal issues with Belichick in his private meeting Wednesday night. It could be that Belichick coaxed Glenn to come to grips with all his personal demons, or something to that effect. Belichick probably gave Glenn an ultimatum to “come clean or else”, with the “or else” meaning no eventual freedom from the Patriots and a fight to the death over the disputed issues (e.g., signing bonus).

Heck, for all we know, it was like Richard Gere and Louis Gossett, Jr. in An Officer And A Gentleman”. You could just see Belichick demanding Glenn to D.O.R. (drop on request), and Glenn cries back, “I got nowhere else to go!!” And you know what? Glenn’s right. He really has nowhere else to go.

The Patriots own this guy through the 2007 season. That’s six more seasons after this one. And when we say Belichick demands that Glenn D.O.R., in this case we mean Belichick threatening Glenn with the injured reserve list. Belichick probably demanded that he and Glenn reach some sort of understanding, or else the coach would end Glenn’s season with an IR designation. Given all the dynamics of the situation, it seems like a good way to force Glenn back on the field.

And perhaps Glenn really wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to play. Great, but Glenn’s still gotta play here in New England. No other way, folks.

The grievances will all bear out eventually. Meanwhile, Glenn ought to be busting his tail for the team he is legally bound to play for, and wait for that day when he wins his dispute and gets his signing bonus. If Glenn really has a case, then let him go win it and thumb his nose at Bob Kraft, Andy Wasynczuk and Belichick. Until then, Belichick likely told Glenn to shut up and play or else sit and rot on IR.

So now, the Patriots head into their stretch drive, four wins away from an 11-5 mark and a possible divisional title, with their most potent offensive weapon not named Bledsoe or Brady back in the fold. If Glenn is still his old self, and can stay on the field for the rest of the way, secondaries around the league will quiver with fear over the Patriot offense. Glenn may not put up huge numbers, but Troy Brown may cinch a trip to Honolulu and David Patten might go Walter Payton on someone else this year.

Hey, if his teammates are down with all this, cool. Can’t get any better than that.

Of course, a granted motion to dismiss wouldn’t hurt, either.

Posted Under: 2001 Patriots Season

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