By Tim Graham
Had the Buffalo Bills not released former All-Pro pass-rusher Shawne Merriman, they still would have revealed today their biggest personnel newsflash so far this summer:
Cordy Glenn has won the left tackle job, a critical assignment as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's blindside protector.
Bills coach Chan Gailey made the announcement after today's practice in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Glenn, the rookie from Georgia, beat out incumbent Chris Hairston, a second-year pro who started seven games last season.
The Bills expected Glenn to be their franchise left tackle when they drafted him 41st overall, the earliest they've selected a tackle since they took Mike Williams fourth overall in 2002.
But Glenn still had to show he was better than Hairston or anybody else on the roster. With that edge, Gailey felt it was important to name Glenn the starter now and let him take all the reps alongside left guard Andy Levitre.
"Cordy's got great ability," Gailey said. "Ability's not the issue. It's just playing time. He needs as much playing time as he can get. I think if he gets playing time he's got a chance to be a really good football player.
"He's not done great against the two good pass-rushers he's faced [Brian Orakpo and Jared Allen], but he's done OK. And I think that we see a great upside with him."
Whereas young defensive end Kyle Moore was glowing about the apparent vote of confidence he received with Merriman's release, Glenn didn't seem too impressed by Gailey's announcement.
"I don't really put anything into it," Glenn said. "It's a business. I still have to do my job. I still have to perform good, still have to play good and help this team out. That's really my main goal and focus right now."
Glenn started each of the Bills' two preseason games. Hairston also started the opener at right tackle in place of Erik Pears.