The Tuna: The Draft War Room and Terry Glenn


The Patriots were heading into 1996 coming off a very disappointing ’95 season.  It was a season that saw the team take a step backwards in the win/loss column where they finished 6-10 and would head into the 1996 NFL Draft holding the No. 7 overall draft selection.  This draft was arguably the best draft during the Bill Parcells era also began the true tug of war between him and Robert Kraft. 

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As the draft was approaching, Parcells wanted to add a defensive lineman to shore up the front seven.  The Patriots in 1995 were in the bottom of the league for points allowed in their disappointing season.  Parcells was interested in defensive end Cedrick Jones, but he was taken by the Giants.  Instead, Kraft had other thoughts for his franchise as he wanted Ohio State wide receiver Terry Glenn as a new toy for Drew Bledsoe.  Glenn was a walk-on at Ohio State and turned that into a great collegiate career.  He played 32 games in college, started 12, finished with 79 receptions with 1,677 yards and 17 touchdown receptions. 

The struggle ensued once Kraft and Bobby Grier announced they would select Glenn.  Kraft told the media why he overruled Parcells saying “there’s a new sheriff in town”.  This move and comments from Kraft infuriated Parcells to the point where he allegedly wanted to quit following the draft.  The rumor why Parcells didn’t quit was because he didn’t want to go out on a losing season.  

Parcells knew what he wanted and based off his previous drafts it's hard to see why Kraft would overrule The Tuna.  "We just have a little philosophical difference, and Bob owns the team and he has every right to run the team any way he wants," Parcells said.  Kraft was frustrated by the lack of receiving weapons other than tight end Ben Coates and running back Curtis Martin.  Bledsoe wanted a receiver and he would get that thanks to Kraft. 

The relationship between Glenn and Parcells started with a comment that would further strain the relationship he had with Kraft.  During training camp, the first round pick Glenn was hampered with a hamstring problem which he was slow to recover from.  Parcells was asked how Glenn was progressing and he responded with, “She’ll be alright.” 

This comment didn’t sit well with Kraft and his wife, Myra.  Kraft’s wife called Parcells comment regarding Glenn as being “disgraceful”.  The reference of “she” received intense media attention even to the point where talk radio referred to Glenn as “Teresa”.  This would follow Glenn during his entire tenure with the Patriots, he would be heavily scrutinized by fans and journalists alike. 

Glenn would recover and be a big reason why the Patriots headed to their second Super Bowl in the franchise history.  Glenn would go on to have a great 1996 rookie season, at the time, he caught 90 balls which was a single-season record by a rookie.  He had 1,132 yards receiving with six touchdowns to go along with it. 

Glenn’s time in New England was plagued with injuries from a torn hamstring, sprained ankle, broken ankle to a scratched eye - Glenn had a tough time getting into the starting lineup.  His rookie year was arguably his best season as a Patriot.  He had one other 1000 yard receiving season in 1999 were he caught 69 balls for 1,147 yards.  Glenn had the potential to be a great receiver in the NFL, injuries, drugs and alcohol got in his way.  Parcells knew what he wanted from the ’96 NFL Draft and it led to more issues between him and meddling owner.  Who would have thought that Parcells would specifically go out and trade for Glenn later in his coaching career when he went to Dallas. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: The Tuna: The Draft War Room and Terry Glenn
The Tuna: The Draft War Room and Terry Glenn
Boston Sports Syndicate
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