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Pass-rushers won't surprise Cordy Glenn, but his season blindsided Doug Marrone

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Last week at the NFL owners meetings, I asked Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone who his most underrated player is.

"I don't know," Marrone said as he leaned back in his chair. "I never thought about that question."

Marrone went through some names out loud: Marcell Dareus, but he went to the Pro Bowl; Kiko Alonso, but he almost won defensive rookie of the year; Eric Wood played at a remarkable level.

Then Marrone settled on a player.

"Cordy Glenn probably gets the least amount of publicity for the job that he does," Marrone said.

But Marrone knows he can't blame the media or fans for not recognizing how well Glenn played at left tackle last year. That's because Marrone himself didn't fully appreciate Glenn's performance throughout 2013.

"I didn't realize until the end of the season how many sacks he had given up," Marrone said. "I'm, like, 'Holy cow!'

"And I never want to be that coach -- I try not to be -- that takes things or players for granted. That was important for me. So as soon as I found that out I went up to him and said, 'Hey, that's a great job, and we really appreciate it. We're thankful for it.' "

Sacks allowed aren't an official NFL stat because you need to know each player's responsibilities on a given play to assign blame. Criteria might not be the same from team to team.

The Bills' internal review cited Glenn for only 1.5 sacks allowed.

Analytics site ProFootballFocus.com, which doesn't give out half-sacks recorded or surrendered, charged Glenn with two sacks allowed, one against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Six and the other against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15.

Glenn also cleaned up the penalty problems that plagued him throughout his rookie season.

He committed nine penalties, including six false starts, in only 13 games as a rookie. Last year, he committed six penalties, with only one false start and three holding flags in 16 games.

"We always knew he was good," Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said, "but to look at his stats and say, 'He gave up only one and a half sacks,' and look at the rushers he went up against this year against Baltimore, against Kansas City, against Miami twice a year, Chandler Jones from New England twice a year, all the defensive linemen from the Jets.

"Think about that. He played against some stiff competition."

  • WHAT?

    Not encouraging to hear a coach admit that he didn't know how well one of his key players was playing. Not mentioned was Glenn's effectiveness in the running game, where he frequently blew DE's off the line of scrimmage. If we only had a right tackle to match....

    • Rich M

      "Not encouraging to hear a coach…" Obviously you've never been a head coach. A head coach manages the entire program. There are so many items to address that when there isn't a problem it becomes a non-radar issue. Head coaches don't track individual stats. Tendencies and game management are top priority.

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.