3 things to know about Lions defense under Aaron Glenn

Aaron Glenn will help the Lions defense

By: Jake Rajala

The Detroit Lions didn’t just have an aching defense in 2020. Last season, the Lions had their worst defense in franchise history. Matt Patricia, who specialized in orchestrating the defense, was axed from the Lions in the middle of the season. The new head coach Dan Campbell brought over his former co-coach Aaron Glenn from the New Orleans Saints to build a new defensive unit.

Lions nation begs to ask: what exactly are they getting from Glenn? Well, I believe Glenn is the picture perfect DC for Detroit. The former Saints DB coach can bring the right intensity and improve the personnel in the building. Here is what to know about the new look Lions defense.

  • Jeffery Okudah taking the next step

It’s safe to say that Jeffery Okudah was a major disappointment for being the third overall pick in last year’s draft. The former Buckeye was benched numerous times and he couldn’t keep pace with opposing stud wideouts. 

Glenn’s specialty lies in coaching defensive backs. In New Orleans, Glenn helped another OSU CB in Marshon Lattimore rise to be one of the league’s top CBs. Lattimore won Defensive Rookie of The Year, routinely locked down Mike Evans, and Julio Jones, plus helped him foster a ferocious mentality. 

Okudah wasn’t just a high draft pick, but he assumed the CB1 role in numerous moments of his rookie season. It will vastly help the defense if their true no. one CB isn’t a liability, but a star. 

  • Speed is the name of the game

The New Orleans Saints defense was one of the most aggressive, athletic units in the NFL. Glenn has made it clear that he wants to transfer the same aggressive approach used in NO over to DET. The Saints MLB Demario Davis had the top season for a LB in 2019. The Saints were very creative with the blitzes from the secondary. Janoris Jenkins occasionally came off the edges on blitzes, as did S/LB Malcolm Jenkins. 

Expect to see Jamie Collins being in various, good positions to harass QBs and a real career reboot out of the high paid LB. Glenn will also use the Lions safeties (Will Harris, Tracy Walker) on safety blitzes, as he did with his safeties in the Big Easy.

  • Aggressive defense in 2 minute drill

Unquestionably, Glenn will bring lots of philosophy over from New Orleans. One of the notorious tactics that the Saints defense did was blitz-heavy in 2-minute situations.

The Saints DC Dennis Allen liked to apply pressure when offenses had to drive the length of the field to score. Instead of letting the QB sit back and read the field, Allen would send the house and hopefully force the QB to make a quick throw. Allen learned this idea under former Saints DC Gregg Williams (who had a historically bad play with it) and expect Glenn to bring the same strategy learned under Allen to Detroit.

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