The Bears had a surprise post-practice visitor Friday with a message coach Sonny Dykes embraced.
Cal grad, former Indianapolis Colts all-pro offensive tackle and Super Bowl champion Tarik Glenn spoke to the team for about 10 minutes, reminding the players how appreciative they should be for the opportunity they enjoy.
“He’s a guy that everybody in the Cal community is proud of. He’s done things the right way, a great role model for our players,” Dykes said later. “Anytime you have an opportunity to bring someone in who’s had the success he’s had … he’s got his degree from here, has been very successful off the field, cares about the community and wants to see us do well.”
Glenn, 37, attended Bishop O’Dowd HS in Oakland, starred for the Bears and was a first-round draft pick of the Colts in 1997. He then returned to Cal to complete his degree in social welfare in 1999.
Dykes said Glenn’s message was no different than what he’s been trying to get across to his players.
“He talked about what a special place Cal is and how lucky we all were to be here and what the value of getting an education from this place means and the impact it can have on everybody’s life,” Dykes said. “Like we tell our players all the time, it’s not a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision. He really emphasized that.
“And he talked about the culture of our program, which is something we’re working so hard to get right. That’s really going to determine really how successful we are. How do the players interact with each other? How do they do off the field? How hard do they work on the field and in the classroom? He emphasized all those things.
“It was great to hear him. He talked about the same things at Indianapolis that made them successful. It was a good message.”