Dre’ Bly is taking a step up in his coaching career, and he’s excited to be doing it back with the Detroit Lions under Dan Campbell.
In an 11-year NFL playing career with four teams, which included as Super Bowl ring as a rookie, Dre’ Bly could consider the best years of that career the four he spent as a Detroit Lion after signing a nice free agent deal in 2003. He earned the only two Pro Bowl appearances of his career in Detroit, with two six-interception seasons to give himself a little place in franchise history.
Two of Bly’s children were also born during his time as a Lions player.
On Thursday, after four seasons coaching the cornerbacks at his alma mater North Carolina, it was announced Bly will be the Lions’ new cornerbacks coach. He’ll replace Aubrey Pleasant, who was fired on Halloween.
Dre’ Bly excited and ready to come back to the Lions under Dan Campbell
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press had a phone interview with Bly on Thursday. He talked about his effort to be involved in the community when he was a Lions’ player, then he got to the core of the opportunity he’s taking to come back to the team as a coach now.
"(So) to have a chance to come back and to see the direction that they’re headed in, Dan (Campbell) has done a tremendous job with this staff. At the end of the day, what being a great coach is all about is a guy that can lead and Dan is a tremendous leader. He’s a guy that can lead coaches, he’s a guy that can lead his players, and you see that.As a coach, you want to be a part of something like that. That’s something that excites you to want to come here and join what they got going on. So I’m here, man. I’m fired up. I’m going to be in the office working and trying to figure out how I can put my stamp on the players."
Bly was a teammate of Lions’ assistant general manager Rag Agnew with the St. Louis Rams in 1999. He was also a teammate of head coach Dan Campbell’s in 2006 with the Lions. He got his start in coaching as an intern with the New Orleans Saints in the summer of 2017. There he worked with Campbell and Aaron Glenn, who was the Saints’ defensive backs coach then and is of course the Lions’ defensive coordinator now.
So in some ways, Bly is coming back home with his return to Detroit as an assistant coach. It feels appropriate the next step in his coaching career will be on the Lions’ staff.