He had his boys, some beverages and a big-screen television. Last Super Bowl Sunday, in the basement of his Columbus, Ohio, home, Terry Glenn was doing the same thing as millions of other people—stretching out on a sofa and settling in for kickoff with a bunch of buddies. But ordinary fans didn't have friends teasing them. ("You wish you were there, don't you?") They didn't experience the gut-wrenching jealousy that shot through Glenn when the Patriots won or the ambivalence he felt when a pal asked if he would get a Super Bowl ring. "I said I wouldn't know what to do with one," says Glenn, who didn't receive a ring after being suspended three times by the Patriots last season for various infractions and missing 15 games, including the Super Bowl. "As much as I wanted to be there, I also want to feel part of a team. Watching that game made me hungry."
No player enters this season under more scrutiny than the 28-year-old Glenn, who was acquired by the Packers in March for two draft choices. He's football's most notorious bad boy, a seven-year veteran who, as quarterback Brett Favre says, seems as though he's been around longer because of the publicity he has generated. Still, Glenn has tried to leave his baggage in New England. So far in Green Bay he has worked hard, though minor injuries to both knees kept him out of some practices and the first two preseason games. He has been up front in discussing the seasonlong feud with the Patriots that involved his violating the NFL's substance abuse policy by missing a drug test, New England's withholding $8.5 million of his $11.5 million signing bonus, and his filing a grievance against the Patriots and a lawsuit against the league (both of which, along with the team's countergrievance, were dropped when the trade was made).
Second chances are not unusual for a player with the hands, quickness, speed and body control of Glenn. He says he's motivated, and if that's true, Glenn should help the Packers improve on last season's 12-4 record. "The guy is capable of 100 catches," Favre says. "He has to get used to starting over, which is hard. But I know he's trying. We know he can catch. We want him to be comfortable."
Favre has done his part. Shortly after Glenn's arrival in Green Bay, Favre took him golfing; during camp Favre made sure Glenn saw plenty of passes, to build his confidence and the chemistry between the two. In return the receiver has credited Favre for easing the transition. "He's a draw-it-up-in-the-dirt-type quarterback," Glenn says. "If the play is a comeback and something goes wrong, I know I can't give up. As long as I get open, he'll find me."
Glenn faces added pressure this fall because he's the most experienced wideout on the roster. Though Green Bay was third in passing offense last season, the team replaced its three top receivers because they were injury-prone, ineffective or lazy enough to agitate Favre. Along with Glenn the Packers need rookie first-round pick Javon Walker ( Florida State) and inexperienced players such as Donald Driver, Robert Ferguson and Charles Lee to energize an air attack that in 2001 relied heavily on running back Ahman Green, who had a team-high 62 receptions.
Glenn will play flanker and move into the slot in three-wide-receiver sets, but he'll have to prove that his 5'11", 195-pound frame can withstand the pounding that comes from playing in the West Coast offense. His career includes a broken collarbone ('97) and ankle ('98), along with assorted hamstring injuries. He also must avoid a repeat of last year's off-field drama. "Time will assure me more than anything," says coach Mike Sherman. "Adversity will come, and that will be the true test of whether he can handle it."
Glenn claims he's ready. Of his past difficulties he says, "I was naive. There's no beating the NFL or the Patriots. Looking back, I would've done things differently."
The wait-and-see attitude of some in Green Bay doesn't bother Glenn. "People have their doubts, but that's a blessing," he says. "I got a little complacent in New England and probably needed a change. That experience helped me grow. And there's no way I would trade that for a Super Bowl ring."
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