Detroit Lions DC Aaron Glenn: ‘We want ass kickers’ on defense like rookie Levi Onwuzurike

Detroit Free Press

Dan Campbell wants players who will bite off your kneecap. His defensive coordinator is after a different body part.

Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said Thursday he appreciated rookie defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike’s colorful draft day news conference because that’s the type of player he wants on his team.

“We want ass kickers,” Glenn said at practice. “So we expect to play that way anyway, and it’s nothing new to what my vision is for a Detroit Lions defense. He just solidified what my expectations of him is anyway.”

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A second-round pick out of Washington, Onwuzurike gave an expressive description of his on-field approach after the Lions made him the 41st pick of the draft.

He said he likes to be disruptive at the line of scrimmage, only, he used a few more choice words.

“I like (bleeping) people up,” Onwuzurike said. “I like to get off the line and just put my helmet or my hands on an offensive lineman and (expletive) up an offensive scheme pretty much. I like pushing them back 2, 3 yards and just making them feel like shit.”

Onwuzurike, who is expected to play as an interior pass rusher for the Lions this fall, had seven sacks in his first three seasons at Washington before opting out of last year.

He never had more than 45 tackles in a season, or 6.5 for loss, but Lions general manager Brad Holmes called him “very explosive, very talented” and “a scheme fit.”

“Very strong, very explosive,” Holmes said. “Really all I can say is that he’s a very balanced player. He’s stout at the point of attack and he’s got the ability to rush inside, so we’re really, really fired up about him. He was a big asset and I guess I’d say, talk about how explosive he is, I heard his press conference was pretty explosive as well. I didn’t get a chance to hear it yet, but you kind of see the personality, fire that he’s got in him.”

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Glenn said Friday he knew reporters “got a kick out of Levi,” but cautioned, “We’re not even in pads yet, so we can’t say what we’re going to be until we put pads on.”

“I told him that he made that statement, I better see it when we puts the pads on,” Glenn said. “But you saw it when he was in college, he was a disruptive force then. Even first-round pick Penei (Sewell), he talked about Levi and talked about how tough he was as a player to go against. So with him saying that and what I’ve seen in college, I expect nothing less than that player.”

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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