Franchise cornerstone

Eight-plus seasons in the NFL have taught Aaron Glenn that preparation, both mental and physical, is essential to staying employed.

"I probably study more tape than any player in the league," Glenn said. "And I'm one of those guys that takes really, really good care of my body. I do everything I can to get my body ready week to week. Just imagine running into a wall repeatedly. Them imagine running backwards, stopping and planting, stopping and planting off and on for three hours.

"It's not a good feeling, especially when you've been doing it for nine years."

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But Glenn's tireless work ethic has enabled the Texans cornerback to arrive at this point in his career: At age 30, Glenn is playing possibly his best football. And Houston fans will get to savor Glenn for seasons to come. The Humble native signed an extension with the Texans Tuesday. Odds are Glenn will finish his career as a Texan.

"It was something that was a long time coming," Glenn said. "Since the expansion draft, we had been going back and forth. I'm just glad that's it's over with it and I know I'm going to be here.

"I'll be at home for awhile, that is what's important to me."

It's important to the Texans as well. Any expansion team will look to its veterans for leadership, both on and off the field. Glenn exemplifies exactly what the club is looking for from a seasoned pro.

"He's a good athlete, first and foremost," Texans defensive backs coach Jon Hoke said. "He's got exceptional quickness, great anticipation and I think a big part of it is how well he prepares for a game. He studies film, studies his notes, studies the game plan.

"He's a guy that never wants to be wrong and he takes a lot of pride in that."

Through three games, Glenn has two interceptions and five passes defensed. His tight, relentless coverage has helped Houston limit the opposition to just 168.7 passing yards per game, good for sixth in the league.

"I'm going to be me, I'll always be me," Glenn said. "The commitment I made to the Texans when they brought me here was trying to be the best corner in the league and that's why I'm going to try to do."

Glenn now has 26 career picks and 11 over his past 32 regular season games. While some may question putting so much stock in a 30-year-old cover corner, the Texans feel like Glenn is still in his prime.

"He plays a lot younger than his age," Hoke said. "He does a great job of taking care of himself. You would never guess by the way he plays and the way he moves that he's the age that he is.

"If he continues to play the way he has in the three games thus far, he should be considered one of those top guys in the league."

Glenn will get to prove it in the coming weeks. The next four quarterbacks the Texans face are Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb, Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe, Cleveland's Tim Couch and Jacksonville's Mark Brunell. Those four boast an average passer rating of 100.5 and have collectively tossed 21 touchdowns.

Up first is McNabb, who can beat a team with his arm or legs.

"He is probably right now the MVP of the league by far," Glenn said. "He has the ability to beat you with his arm and by running the ball -- that's what makes him so dangerous. When you're covering a receiver and he starts to scramble, their out routes turn into curls turn into a post back into a slant. So you really have to be disciplined in terms of latching onto your receiver."

Yet another challenge for Glenn. But that's what keeps him going.

         "You're
         always going to be nervous, especially when you're one-on-one out
         there," Glenn said. "But it's a good nervous. I have a
         passion for covering receivers."
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