NFL offensive linemen usually are happy to deflect attention away from themselves. The less people are talking about them, the better they're usually doing.
To that extent, new Buffalo Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn struck the proper, unassuming tone this weekend at the team's rookie minicamp.
How did he feel about stepping into the left tackle spot on his first day on an NFL practice field?
"Honestly I'm just out here trying to help this team out and to compete," Glenn said. "I wouldn't put anything into it."
What does he think about being targeted as the Bills' left tackle of the present and future?
"I'm not sure, I'm not upstairs," Glenn deflected. "I'm just out here playing football."
Glenn has a good grasp of the under-promise concept. Now all he has to do is over-deliver, and everything will be fine on the Bills' offensive line.
The Bills' second-round draft choice showed off his massive, 6-foot-6, 345-pound frame during the team's three days of practices. The team thinks he has the tools to be an elite player at the critical blind-side protector position on the offensive line.
"We've been trying to get a guy that we thought was good enough to be a starting left tackle in this league, and we thought Cordy Glenn was that guy from the start," Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said after Glenn was taken with the 41st overall pick in the draft.
Glenn started 50 games for the University of Georgia. He started 32 games at guard and 18 at left tackle, including all 14 in his senior year. The Bills were thoroughly impressed with how Glenn progressed during the 2011 season, and then he excelled against top competition at the Senior Bowl.
"You know, the guy has good feet for a guy his size," Nix said. "He's got so much length, though. His arms are almost 36 inches, 35 7/8 inches [long] or something, I mean huge wingspan. You've got a long way to run around him. He's got some work to do as far as, he gets top-heavy a little bit, but the guy got better and better from the first two games of the year, he just kept getting better all the way through the year."
Glenn acknowledges that strong performances against good teams like Louisiana State and Michigan State allowed him to go to the Senior Bowl in a positive frame of mind.
"It was just being more comfortable and learning more about the position," Glenn said. "I think the Senior Bowl just showed I was more comfortable. It got better throughout the season. I think I was just getting better every week, and by the end I was at a pretty good level at left tackle, I would say."
Despite those strong showings, the consensus among media draft analysts -- including ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay and the NFL Network's Mike Mayock -- is that Glenn lacks the foot quickness to excel at left tackle and he's best suited for the right-tackle or guard positions.
"Everybody has their own opinion," Glenn said. "It's up to you to prove what you want the opinion to be."
What does he think of their views? "That's up to me, and it's just motivation for me," Glenn said. "That's them. That's all I'm gonna say."
Glenn has a couple of months to work on his technique and study the playbook before he goes to training camp to compete with incumbent Chris Hairston for a starting position.
Bills offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris was exhorting Glenn to be technically sound during the first day of practice, telling him to "sit, sit" and bend at the knees, not lean over from the waist, during drills.
"Just keep you having good muscle memory," Glenn said. "Just like keep it in your head, and keep having good habits basically."
"If there's one thing that he needs to improve on, he'll get impatient at times and waist-bend, but he does not do that all the time," said Bills national scout Darrell Moody. "And we're a firm believer that if he doesn't do it all the time we can coach and we can get him out of that habit. It's very similar to what [left tackle] Marcus McNeill was when we took him at San Diego, and the coaches were able to get him out of it."
"I'm just trying to get a little rust off but I felt pretty good out there," Glenn said.