July 25, 2007 Colts' Glenn retiresGlenn: It's 'right decision'Pro Bowl tackle realizes his zeal for game was waning
By Mike Chappellmailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
What had been stirring inside Tarik Glenn the past three months and continued to grow in intensity became a reality Tuesday evening.
The Indianapolis Colts' veteran left offensive tackle, a franchise cornerstone since 1997 and quarterback Peyton Manning's backside protector the past nine seasons, made official his retirement that had first been reported last week.
"It's been an emotional time for me and my family,'' said Glenn, who was joined at a news conference by his wife, Maya, and one of the couple's young children, "but at the same time we're confident we're making the right decision.''
What's the reason for walking away when, at age 31, he likely still can play at a high level? Glenn appeared in his third Pro Bowl in February, just a week after helping the Colts defeat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.
While participating in the team's offseason conditioning program in early May, Glenn came to realize he no longer had a strong desire to do what it took to prepare for another season.
"I began to feel like I was going through the motions,'' he said.
After returning to his offseason home in California, Glenn decided "my passion and desires had begun to diminish and I began to heavily consider retirement,'' he said.
He talked with owner Jim Irsay, team president Bill Polian and coach Tony Dungy. He shared his inner feelings with teammates Jeff Saturday, Manning and others.
"I hate the fact I feel the way I feel,'' Glenn said.
Irsay and Polian were on hand for Glenn's going-away news conference. Each made it clear the Colts won't be the same without No. 78 in the locker room and on the playing field.
"It's hard to replace a player of Tarik's ability and all the other contributions he's made,'' Polian said.
Polian noted the team always felt confident with Glenn anchoring Manning's protection. The Colts seldom gave Glenn blocking help with a tight end or running back when he faced one of the league's top pass rushers.
"Hey, 78 was out there every week come hell or high water and he was going to do his job to the best of his ability,'' Polian said. "And that vast majority of the time, he won the battle every week.
"That's the story of Tarik Glenn's career.''
Glenn met with Irsay for approximately three hours Monday night to discuss Glenn's plan to retire. The nature of the conversation was to make certain Glenn was doing the right thing, not to talk him into returning for the '07 season.
"I just wanted to ask him a lot of different questions and make sure he was doing this for the right reason and he was certain about it,'' Irsay said.
"After we finished talking, I could tell he was.''
Glenn, who would have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, will be placed on the NFL's reserve-retired list before the team reports to Terre Haute on Sunday for the start of training camp; the team will receive a roster exemption. He will turn his back on his $4.5 million base salary, which the team will gain in relief under the salary cap, but apparently will not immediately file his retirement papers with the league office.
That leaves the door ajar, however slightly, for a return at some point should the fire return to Glenn's belly. The retirement, Polian said, "is not irrevocable.''
"All I know is this is how I feel right now,'' Glenn said. "I can't go into the future and predict how I'll feel about it.
"Man, I'm going to miss this team. I'm going to miss this locker room. I'm going to just miss this whole experience.''
And vice versa.
"He will be missed,'' Irsay said.