Allen Park — For the second time in as many years, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is being considered for a head-coaching vacancy. According to the NFL Network, the Denver Broncos have requested to interview him for their opening.
Glenn, who previously served as the defensive backs coach in New Orleans prior to coming to Detroit along with coach Dan Campbell last January, interviewed for the New York Jets’ job last year. That ultimately went to San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
Glenn was asked about the potential of head-coaching opportunities last week and essentially said if they happen, they happen, but he was more focused on succeeding in his current role.
“I want to be the best coordinator the Lions ever had. That’s all I think about,” Glenn said. “…Listen, this is a job that I have right now, and I want to be the best 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.”
Glenn’s defense finished near the bottom of the NFL in many key categories this season, including yards (29th), points (31st), third-down percentage (29th) and red zone percentage (31st).
Yet that doesn’t paint a complete picture of the job Glenn did in his first year with the Lions. Despite injuries to many key players, including cornerback Jeff Okudah, as well as edge rushers Romeo Okwara and Trey Flowers, the Lions managed to trim 4.9 points and 40 yards per game off franchise-worst marks from a year ago.
And Glenn’s unit showed marked improvement in the second half of the season, allowing 24.8 points per game over the final nine contests, compared to 30.5 the first eight.
“The sky’s the limit,” cornerback Amani Oruwariye said about the defense’s potential going forward under Glenn. “Just had our last exit meeting with the defense and that’s all we really talked about, just building on the foundation. We definitely had a culture shift, I would say, at least defensively, after the bye week.
“…That was the one where we felt like the mentality switched,” Oruwariye said. “We just had this ‘lock the gates’ mentality where our standard was higher. We just gotta build off that and just keep as many talented guys as we can here — you know how free agency is — and just continue building the foundation.”
The Broncos were one of four teams to fire their coaches at season’s end, dismissing Vic Fangio on Saturday. The franchise has reportedly put in a number of other interview requests, including Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Cowboys offensive and defensive coordinators Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn.