While he describes himself as "simple" and "normal," and while his teammates call him "quiet" and "dependable," Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn has been recognized for exceptional courage and toughness. Head coach Rex Ryan recently announced that Glenn was the recipient of the team's Ed Block Courage award.
"It's just a special thing," said Glenn. "It just shows how everybody feels about you or appreciates you within the organization and on this team. It definitely meant a lot. It's special. It's something that will be a part of me for the rest of my life. I'm appreciative of it."
Each team in the NFL announces a recipient of the award, which is voted on by the players. Glenn's teammates, especially his offensive linemates, believe he's the most deserving of the honor.
"Cordy's an extremely hard worker," said left guard Richie Incognito. "He's kind of a quiet guy. He goes about his business, but he works hard, and he's worked hard every single day to get to where he is. It's exciting to see a guy like that grow and get better every day."
"He's a tough dude. He went through a lot last year, never complained, never made a big deal about it, never once made an excuse when guys got on him at times for his play when he was not in great condition from being out of practice and going through a pretty serious procedure," said center Eric Wood. "I have a ton of respect for Cordy."
Wood is referring to an operation Glenn had before the 2014 season involving his kidneys. While Wood acknowledged that Glenn was not always in the best condition, it seems that the operation may have had something do with it. Glenn declined to comment on the ordeal.
"That's behind me," he said. "Of course anything like that is going to be difficult to deal with. I learned how to get past. It probably made me stronger anyway. Honestly, I know this might sound like I'm crazy, but I really don't even think about it that much. The only time I think about it is when it's brought to my attention. It was brought to my attention getting the award the last couple weeks, so that helped me reflect on it again, but I just keep going forward. That's my mentality on things."
Even after receiving the award, Glenn refuses to look at himself as especially courageous.
"I don't look at myself like, 'Oh, I play football, so I'm more courageous than most people,'" he said. "I just look at it like it's an everyday thing. I don't know, man. I'm pretty simple and normal. It's not really my thing."
His teammates echoed his claims he made of himself.
"He's a real quiet guy, real mild-mannered, kind of keeps to himself, but I know a lot of people around here are really impressed with his work ethic, and he's just been consistent and played at a high level all season," said Incognito.
While Glenn didn't want to praise himself for the award, he admitted that he talked to his dad soon after he learned he received it. He said he leaned on his father for support throughout his struggles.
"Family is always going to be there," he said. "[My dad] was proud of me, so that was cool."
While Glenn seemed to downplay his father's reaction, head coach Rex Ryan wouldn't downplay Glenn's reputation among the team.
"The guy is a phenomenal guy," the coach said. "[Last year] he went through a herculean thing—how does this guy play, with what he went through? I just see a guy that goes about his job. He does his business every single day. He's a tough cat. I love the way he prepares. His demeanor never changes. He's a class act."