The Detroit Lions front office and coaching staff has now allowed unprecedented access in recent weeks.
Speaking to The Athletic, new defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn shared why linebackers who can move laterally significantly aid a team's defense.
"If you have a linebacker with that type of length, yeah, it helps," Glenn explained. "But more than anything, you’re looking for linebackers who can move laterally. You might have a smaller guy who can move laterally and do similar things. When you re-route, a lot of people think about re-routes and it’s, “OK, I’m going to get my hands on this guy.” The first thing you re-route with is your feet. Your hands are just a byproduct of what your feet do."
Free agent linebacker Alex Anzalone and draft prospect Derrick Barnes are two players the coaching staff believe can add to the linebacking corps in 2021.
“He’s explosive, He can really run. He’s got long arms. He can shed blocks. He plays with tenacity," general manager Brad Holmes said of Barnes. "He has a background as a pass rusher, so he’s got the versatility to do a lot of different things and I think that that’s needed in today’s game.”
Anzalone, 26, is a player Glenn is familiar with and who can eventually become a leader on Detroit's defense.
Detroit's new defensive coordinator expressed that he believes Anzalone can teach younger players coverage concepts.
The hope is Anzalone will trust that his previously injured shoulder will hold up to allow him to fully embrace all aspects of playing the position.
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