Terry Glenn, a key member of the New England Patriots’ 1996 AFC championship team, died in a car crash early Monday morning, according to multiple reports.
Bill Belichick was New England’s defensive backs coach in 1996 and also coached Glenn during his first two seasons as Patriots head coach in 2000 and 2001. He reacted to the wide receiver’s passing during a conference call Monday morning.
“I was pretty close with Terry,” Belichick said. “His rookie season was my first year here in ’96, so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots. Terry’s a very smart individual. Had, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent. Could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally. And I think (he) was, deep down inside, a good person with good intentions and a good heart. Obviously, it’s a very unfortunate passing and a sad day. It’s sad news.”
Drew Bledsoe, Glenn’s quarterback both in New England and later in his career with the Dallas Cowboys, posted a heartfelt tribute on Instagram, calling Glenn “a really good man.”
Several more of Glenn’s former teammates, including fellow Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown, offered their condolences on social media.
The Patriots drafted Glenn seventh overall out of Ohio State in 1996, and he made an immediate impact, catching a team-high 90 passes (seventh-most in the NFL) for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. In the 21 years since, only Wes Welker (in 2011 and 2012) has recorded more targets than Glenn’s 167 in 1996.
Glenn played six seasons in New England before being traded to the Green Bay Packers in 2002. His final touchdown catch in a Patriots uniform was the first touchdown pass of Tom Brady’s NFL career.
Glenn was 43. His fiancée, Verina LeGrand, also was injured in the crash.
Thumbnail photo via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images