*This article originally appeared in the November 7, 2010 edition of the Houston Texans Gameday magazine.
Cornerback Aaron Glenn is one of the cornerstones of the Texans franchise. One of the original eight players drafted by the expansion team in 2002, he was delighted to return to his hometown after eight seasons with the New York Jets.
Glenn relishes being one of the Texans Ambassadors, a group of former pro football players living in the Houston area. They participate in Texans community programs and attend autograph signings and charity events.
“I enjoyed being one of the original eight guys selected by the Texans in their inaugural season,” Glenn said. “That always made me feel I had a tie with the team. No matter if I went and played somewhere else, there’s a special part of being a part of a team at the very beginning.”
http://www.houstontexans.com/news/article-3/Glenn-relishes-Ambassador-role/7709e6ad-5844-4f83-9963-b51fa806fa38Now, he can empathize with Texans first-round draft pick Kareem Jackson, who has faced adversity as a rookie starter. Glenn started as a rookie with the Jets.
“It’s always a humbling experience when you first get to the NFL, especially as a defensive back knowing that you’ll be the target each time you go out,” Glenn said. “That’s OK. The defensive back really wants that. You are either going to make the play or you’re not. You’ve got to want that challenge, regardless if you’re a rookie or not.”
Jackson has taken his lumps and been on the wrong side of some big plays this season. That’s the life of a rookie, Glenn says.
“Kareem has to keep his confidence and want it,” Glenn said. “He has to know that each week is an opportunity to make a play. You can’t look at it like, ‘Oh, they’re going to come at me.’ You have to look at it as an opportunity.”
Glenn explains to young players how it is to be a cornerback in the NFL.
“You should not let confidence become an issue, because that’s the life of a defensive back,” Glenn said. “There are some games when you are going to be on that island and your receiver can’t catch a ball. You know every move he’s going to make, and it seems like the game has slowed down. Defensive backs call that ‘being in the zone.’”
Glenn feels obligated to point out there is the other side as well.
“There are other games that seem like anything you do is not right,” he said. “I’ve seen Rod Woodson in a game against Buffalo where Andre Reed just ate his lunch, and he’s one of the top cornerbacks ever.
“It happens. As a rookie, it happens more than you want it to. But they are all learning experiences.”