Back in July and August in sticky Flowery Branch, Georgia, David Glidden found himself wearing red and black again and really liking it. The diminutive slot receiver at 5-8, 185 pounds that plays like he's 6-0, 210 pounds was making an impression on the Atlanta Falcons, just like he made a huge impression in high school wearing red and black for the Mustang Broncos and was recruited by Oklahoma State where he continued to play bigger than his size.
In fact, Glidden was in training camp because he made strong impressions back in mini camp, not as a rookie free agent, but, as a rookie tryout player.
“Dave Glidden has done a really good job for us as a young wide receiver,” soon-to-be named NFL MVP and Falcons veteran quarterback Matt Ryan said at the time. “Coming in, he’s a little slot guy. I’ve been very impressed with him.”
Glidden was signed to a contract and put on the 90-man training camp roster. In preseason games Glidden had two catches for -4 yards, one a five-yard reception and the other was for minus-nine yards. He was cut in the second to last round of cuts.
This week with the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, Glidden hasn't really had time to wonder about it. We spoke to the former Oklahoma State standout as he was recovering from a stomach bug that had weakened his voice some but can never weaken his enthusiasm to talk football.
Now, since leaving the NFL Glidden believes he has found his calling as a football coach and is working at his high school alma mater.
"Yes, I think I've found what I'm supposed to be doing. I love coaching," Glidden said and later answering an often asked question about what level he want to coach. "I love this and being back at Mustang. I've thought about college, I don't know yet, but I sure like what I'm doing right now.
"Being with Atlanta was great, I learned so much and I know it may sound phony but you sensed that brotherhood back then," Glidden continued in talking about the Falcons. "When Coach Quinn came in the room, you knew what he was about and you could feel the way everybody felt. I had a blast there and they treated me great."
Glidden lets you know a lot of what he learned in Atlanta has already been incorporated into his coaching at Mustang. He will also brag about his experience at Oklahoma State and the coaching of Kasey Dunn and, prior to his leaving, Doug Meacham.
Getting back to the Atlanta chapter of his football, be it brief, Glidden agrees that an unsung hero at receiver, a guy in the shadow of Julio Jones, could be Sunday's Super Bowl hero, Mohamed Sanu Sr.
"You know I think that is right because he is a beast," Glidden agreed. "He was great in that he was new and came in but he took in all of us young receivers and did everything he could to help us out. He had us over for dinner. He is not just a great football player, but he is a good leader, and a good family man. I have a lot of respect for him. He is a guy that is good enough to take over the game."
It's obvious that Glidden, who finished his Oklahoma State career with 115 receptions for 1,655 yards and six touchdowns, has a strong feeling for his brief NFL home.
"There's, no doubt, I'll be rooting for the Dirty Birds on Sunday."