Two games into the season there are few things that you can say with conviction about any NFL team. It would seem safe to say at least one thing of the Buffalo Bills; they have a very good front five. Jeremy White takes a closer look at Cordy Glenn.
Cordy Glenn, selected in the second round of this year’s NFL draft, plays left tackle for the Bills. That’s an upset to some who had him pegged as a guard. On draft day there were plenty of analysts and experts claiming that he just didn’t have the make-up to play what is arguably the most important position on the offensive line.
While it’s early it’s easy to see why Buddy Nix joked that watching film of Glenn cheers him up when he’s down. Glenn appears to be the final piece to what has turned into a very solid line.
in the win over the Chiefs all five positions on the line imposed their will. There’s plenty to say about Andy Levitre and Eric Wood but I’ll focus for the most part on Cordy Glenn. Two games in, he’s the story of a line that’s kept Ryan Fitzpatrick standing, and set CJ Spiller free to run for more yards than any back in the league.
I’ll start with the first TD run of the day for CJ Spiller. The line blocks down and to the left (as you’re looking at the picture...when in reality they’re pushing out to the right). Glenn is the only one who stays in his spot, and handles Tamba Hali on a kick out block. The play itself comes out of the shotgun formation and at the snap the KC linebackers collapse down in to the center of the defense. Spiller runs to the left of a very effective seal leaving a giant hole created between Glenn and his teammates.
Glenn engages Hali right around the hashmark on the block and the most important thing to notice, or perhaps the most impressive, is the quickness with which he gets there. It’s somnething the Bills have talked about quite a lot. He has quick feet for a big man. There’s no doubt about that. Time and time again you see Glenn exploding at the snap and getting out into his assignment with incredible speed.
By the time Spiller gets to the hole, it’s all CJ’s speed from there. Glenn, out on the island, did what he had to do.
If you clicked the link on the Cordy Glenn draft review you heard Mike Mayock (who still could be right in the long term about Glenn’s feet and career projections) say that he’s a “massive human being”. This is not debateable.
In the 2nd quarter the Bills run a routine handoff to CJ Spiller and the tape on Glenn indicates just how powerful he is. The run is not to his side, but you can see that from the moment he engages his block....
to the moment he finishes....
He’s pushed his man 5 yards backwards and lands on top of him. This is the 5-yard-pancake. Glenn showcasing a bit of the “road grader” lineman skill set here. In the run game, his ability to get out into space is only part of it. He also seems to be very good at locking on to his counterpart, while also avoiding holding calls.
On CJ Spiller’s second touchdown of the day the Bills employed something that every one of you has. They did what we all do while playing video games...the old “Motion-the-receiver-across-the-formation-to-bring-the-defender-in-man-coverage-away-from-the-side-you’re-running-to so that there’s more room to run. TJ Graham motions across, and the Cordy Glenn-led swing toss to Spiller is set perfectly.
Glenn gets out quickly. You can see just how far he’s moved in the time it takes Ryan Fitzpatrick to pitch the ball to CJ Spiller. Also worth noting here is the play made by Donald Jones. Jones gets a piece of his man before passing him off to Glenn and attacking the safety. By taking care of the safety, Jones ensures that the Bills have a power play going to the corner. It’s Cordy Glenn and CJ Spiller vs. Javier Arenas. Advantage Buffalo.
Glenn 343 lbs v. CB 197 lbs = CB running the other way after getting handled.
A 150 pound advantage is unfair in close quarters. So what do you do when he’s coming at you in the open field? That’s up next.
The Bills third touchdown, a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass to Scott Chandler was set up by a bubble screen to CJ Spiller.
Tamba Hali beats Glenn around the edge...because Glenn was on his way to set the screen with Andy Levitre. You see the two get into space...a lot of space.
Spiller coasts for a bit following the blocks of Glenn and Levitre, both showing some very good mobility in leading Spiller all the way to the 2 yard line.
In fact...it even looks as though Spiller tries to duck back behind Glenn for that last push into the endzone.
By the time the play is over, both Levitre and Glenn are standing at the same yard line as a gamebreaking running back who lined up at WR.
So we’ve seen Glenn in the run game, and the screen game. Up next pass protection. The 4th TD of the day comes on a Ryan Fitzpatrick TD pass to a WIDE open Stevie Johnson. Wide open. HOLY wide. Wait until you see.
A 4 wide receiver set features Johnson split out at the top of the screen. As he cuts in the Chiefs DBs back off entirely leaving Johnson open to catch the ball with lots of room to move.
In the pocket, Ryan Fitzpatrick moves from his first read (to the left) over to Johnson (on the right).
It’s possible that Fitz was looking off Johnson but the point remains the same...the protection is there long enough to get it done. Glenn is singled up with Tamba Hali as he was most of the day.
He handles him...as he did most of the day.
The offensive line looks to be a strength of the team, and 2nd round pick Cordy Glenn certainly looks like he can play left tackle in the NFL. There are many more plays to show you...many more to break down. Glenn is starting to make a name for himself. This week he was mentioned by Peter King as a star in the trenches as well. It is without a doubt, the Bills best offensive line in recent memory.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Ok one more...just a subtle little move that you should see. Leodis McKelvin’s 88 yard punt return was set up by great blocking and all that BUT...McKelvin made a move that opened it all up.
You see that there is a bit of a lane for a good return. McKelvin takes two steps to his left and then plants and drives up the field. Those two steps open his lane as the Chiefs special teamers screaming at him at top speed, also go to the left.
That little bit of space is the difference between what might have been an 8 yard return, and an 88 yard TD. Good work from Leodis.
All the film I look at and break down is available to everyone. NFL.com Game Rewind is $70 and for my money - worth every penny. Hope you enjoyed. Talk to you next week.