DETROIT, Mich. (WOOD) — Dan Campbell made it clear that he was excited that Aaron Glenn was back in Detroit.
The Lions defensive coordinator interviewed for other NFL head coaching positions this offseason, with the New Orleans Saints at the top of the list.
When Glenn sent the text to Campbell saying he would be remaining in Detroit, the Lions head coach could not hide his excitement.
He was able to stay fully clothed, however.
“I had this feeling I would be walking around without any pants on (if Glenn left Detroit). That says it all, having AG gives you a comfort level,” Campbell said. “I have a tremendous amount of trust in AG. He’s more than qualified to be a head coach in this league, but we’re lucky to have him and I’m glad he’s back.”
So are the Lions players.
According to Pro Football Focus, Detroit was given the 32nd overall rank as a defense in 2021. They also had the 3rd least number of sacks a season ago, only recording 30.
Glenn wants to be a big part of changing that and he believes he has the group that can get a start.
“I’m a football coach, I’ve always prided myself on knowing the different schemes,” Glenn said. “What can we do to make this team be the best it can be? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves right now and I think it’s going well individually with our guys, using their strengths the right way.”
To help improve the pass rush and defense, the Lions 2022 draft picks should immediately supply help.
No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan is the headline piece that should lead this team up front even as a rookie. Hutchinson led the Wolverines with 62 tackles, 16.5 for loss and 14 sacks a season ago. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and helped guide Michigan to a Big Ten title and its first-ever College Football Playoff berth.
Outside of his clear talent he brings to the team, he’s been everything the Lions drafted him for so far.
“Everything that we thought we were getting shows up, not just on the Field but in the meeting room as well,” Glenn said. “He has this quickness, man, he can bend and turn his hands so quick. He’s always working, man, it’s what made him so successful at Michigan, there is no doubt in my mind he’s going to be great for us, I’m excited to see him get into games for us.”
Josh Paschal was the Lions’ second-round pick (No. 46 overall) and should also help sure up the edge rushing. Both players will be blending with the likes of Romeo Okwara and Charles Harris up front. Harris led the team with 7.5 sack a season ago.
For both Paschal and Hutchinson as rookies and the defensive line group as a whole, Campbell believes they have a major advantage to grow in the offseason going up against an offensive line that, on paper, could be one of the best in the NFL in 2022.
“I think Hutch and Paschal are going to love the competition every day with Penei and Taylor,” Campbell said. They are going to have a big advantage going against Swell and Decker every day, they will be going against quality tackles which will excel their progression.”
While the hype for defense is building up, there is plenty of room for improvements in 2022.
Glenn is back in the role of guiding the defense and he couldn’t think of a place he’d rather be than with this group.
“I think I have the best job in the world,” Glenn said. “I’m working for a great coach and a great owner, but my goal is to be the best coordinator Detroit has ever had.”
“We’d also like Dan to keep his pants on, but it’s good to hear he wants me here,” Glenn added.