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Aaron Glenn Has Emerged as Bright Spot on Lions Coaching Staff

Aaron Glenn has worked with a young secondary, and has aided Detroit Lions' defense in forcing more turnovers.

The Detroit Lions' defense gave up 16 points against the Pittsburgh Steelers and only 13 against the Cleveland Browns. 

Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has emerged as a bright spot among Detroit's revamped coaching staff. 

Glenn came to Detroit after spending five seasons as the secondary coach for the New Orleans Saints.

Over 15 seasons playing cornerback in the NFL, Glenn was a three-time All-Pro, and made the Pro Bowl on three occasions. 

At his introductory press conference, Glenn noted that he relished the opportunity to mold young players into playing the style of defense that he envisions being successful. 

“I get a chance to mold those guys to exactly how I want those guys to play,” said Glenn. 

Injuries have prevented Jeff Okudah and Ifeatu Melifonwu from developing in 2021, but Glenn and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant have succeeded in aiding their replacements to step in and make plays.

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With a young secondary comprised of undrafted free agents, veteran Amani Oruwariye has been a steadying presence. 

Lions head coach Dan Campbell was asked recently what positives he saw from his winless football team and his reply was to praise the defense. 

“Defensively, we’re getting turnovers, which I think is pretty big," he said. "It gives yourself a chance, and to play good defense, you need to get turnovers -- which we are.

"I think, there again, I think we’ve gotten the most amount of rookie play time than anybody in the league -- or maybe the second. I don’t know what that is, but we’re getting invaluable growth and experience out of our young guys. That doesn’t -- certainly, hasn’t shown up in the win column, but I do feel like these guys are growing. The more investment we’re getting now, it’ll pay off. And, there again, I’m hoping it will pay off big before next season. We’re hoping this thing comes at any time. But, they keep putting out the effort, they keep working. It’s a good core group. I’ll bring it up one more time: It’s hard for us to overcome one or two mistakes.”

While Jerry Jacobs and AJ Parker are not the odds-on-favorite to remain starters in the league, the experience they have received playing this season can make them valuable role players in the future for Detroit's defense. 

One aspect of Detroit's defense that still is a work in progress has been the pass rush, as the sack totals simply have not been there throughout the course of the entire season. 

With the core still being developed, adding impactful players on the defensive line, along with a potential star EDGE rusher in the draft, can propel Detroit's defense moving forward. 

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