The Detroit Lions allowed the second most points in the NFL this season, but that has not dimmed defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn’s star as a potential head coach.
The Denver Broncos requested to interview Glenn for their vacant head coaching position Monday, NFL Network reported.
Glenn is one of eight reported candidates for the Broncos job, which opened Sunday when Denver fired Vic Fangio.
A former NFL cornerback who played 15 seasons with five different teams, Glenn was widely praised by Lions players this season for his honesty, defensive acumen and teaching ability.
“You know there’s that uncle that always watches your back when you’re young and he’s always going to look out for you, but he’s going to tell your ass when you’re wrong?” Lions safety Tracy Walker said last week. “That’s A.G. A.G. is going to always tell me when I’m wrong, but he’s going to love me. He’s going to love me in his own way, and like I said, it’s a great feeling to know that I got a coaching staff that backs me up, supports what I do, supports my, I guess you could say, decisions or suggestions. Yeah, I can’t ask for much better, honestly.”
Glenn was one of at least nine coaches to interview for the New York Jets head coaching job last season, when he was secondary coach with the New Orleans Saints.
Under his leadership, the Lions held seven opponents to 20 or fewer points this season and tied for 21st in the league with 19 takeaways despite have an injury-depleted and talent-deficient roster.
The Lions lost starting cornerback Jeff Okudah and 2020 sack leader Romeo Okwara to Achilles tendon injuries in the season’s first month, placed defensive starters Amani Oruwariye, Jerry Jacobs and Alex Anzalone on injured reserve in December, and finished the season with three rookies — Ifeatu Melifonwu, A.J. Parker and Derrick Barnes — in the starting lineup.
Asked about his head coaching aspirations last week, Glenn told reporters he was focused on being “the best coordinator the Lions ever had.”
“If it happens, those things happen,” Glenn said. “But listen, this is a huge job that I have right now. And I want to be the best that I can be at it, and I want to be the best that ever came through Detroit. I want you guys to say that at some point, that he was the best coordinator ever. That’s what my goal is.”
Asked how he’d define “best coordinator ever,” Glenn said, “Heck, I don’t know. You guys have all these deals. You would do that. My job is to go out there and be the best that I can be.”
No Lions assistant has gone directly into an NFL head coaching job with another team since Chuck Knox in 1973. Knox, the Lions’ offensive line coach in 1967-72, coached the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks.
Dick Jauron was Lions defensive coordinator in 2004-05, and finished the 2005 season as interim head coach when Steve Mariucci was fired. The Bills hired Jauron as head coach in 2006.