Colts GM Chris Ballard has regularly stated that his philosophy is that you build teams through the draft. That makes this time of year critical to the Colts’ long term success. So in the lead up to this year’s draft, I wanted to do something to honor some of the meaningful draft picks that the Colts have made in their time in Indianapolis. These players have helped to tell the story of the Colts franchise we love. Every day leading up to the draft, we’ll drop a story about a different player from Indianapolis Colts draft history.
Today we’re talking about the Colts stalwart and Peyton Manning’s immovable blindside protector, Tarik Glenn. Drafted 19th overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, Glenn got to work right away, slotting in at right guard in his rookie season before making the move to tackle in his second season, where he’d stay for the remainder of his career.
Glenn started all but 6 games over his 10 seasons in the NFL, missing those games due to a knee injury in the 2003 season. He made the Pro Bowl the following 3 seasons, before announcing his retirement from football after the Colts’ Super Bowl win, citing a loss of passion for the game as his reason for ending his career early. That consideration somewhat mirrors Castonzo mulling retirement while still very much in his prime.
Also like Anthony Castonzo, Glenn was a somewhat underappreciated part of the Colts franchise through its golden era. Despite being a constant on the line and playing at a high level, he was not ever named to an All-Pro team. All the same, Colts fans understand how important it was to have a solid player working on the blindside of the team’s legendary quarterback, and Manning benefitted from having such a capable player who was not just talented, but who remained available with such consistency.
Everyone knows how fortunate the Colts have been to have hit on consecutive quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, but few realize how lucky they’ve been to have two very good runs at the left tackle position in Tarik Glenn and Anthony Castonzo. At two of the most critical positions in the NFL to make a roster successful, the Colts have had nearly 20 years of excellence.
After he retired, Glenn started an Indianapolis non-profit called DREAM Alive which focuses on mentoring at-risk youth who are in 7th to 12th grade and help them to break the cycle of poverty and achieve their potential. He exemplifies the kind of high character player that makes it easy to be a Colts fan, and paired with his on-field ability, he is one of the key Colts of a great period for the team.