Aaron Glenn knows what leading Lions defensive improvement could lead to for him

Aaron Glenn knows the Lions defense must improve this season, and what that would mean for him personally

Early last season, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn was on a bit of a hot seat. Then, not coincidentally in line with the team winning eight of their last 10 games, the Lions defense allowed more than 20 points just three times in the final eight games.

In Glenn's two seasons as defensive coordinator, the Lions have 31st in points allowed and 29th in yards allowed (2021), then last in yards allowded and 28th in scoring defense (2022). If the team is going to reach expectations this season, carrying last year's late-season improvement over the full season will be critical.

Despite the broader struggles of the Lions' defense, Glenn has interviewed for two head coaching jobs in each of the last two hiring cycles. He got a contract extension to stay in Detroit this offseason, but like fellow coordinator Ben Johnson it's only a matter of time before Glenn leaves the Lions to become a head coach.

Aaron Glenn knows what improved Lions defense this season stands to yield for him

Speaking to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (subscription required), Glenn openly acknowledged he wants to be a head coach.

"Listen, I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t want to be a head coach, “I do. I understand the patience that it takes to wait your turn until that happens. And even when it does happen, listen, I know there’s going to be a learning curve in that aspect, but I would say the thing these last three years, I learned so much about being in that position and understanding what that position takes to be successful.”"

Aaron Glenn

Per Birkett, Glenn also knows it's time for the Lions' defense to reach the next level.

"Now we’re at that part to where it’s time to get over that hump and get to the next level,”

A rebuilt Lions' secondary may have taken a big hit already, depending on C.J. Gardner-Johnson's prognosis after he was carted off the practice field on Monday. But if the defense improves noticeably this season, Glenn will have a great chance to be leading his first training camp as a head coach a year from now.


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