Losing Aaron Glenn won’t be ideal for the Detroit Lions, but it is absolutely inevitable.
The Detroit Lions season is over. A 3-13-1 record obviously isn’t great, but general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell have begun to lay a promising foundation.
Campbell assembled a coaching staff filled with former NFL players, as he is. Aaron Glenn followed Campbell from the New Orleans Saints, graduating from defensive backs coach to being a defensive coordinator for the first time.
Glenn’s unit was ravaged by injuries throughout the seaason, and the raw season-long numbers weren’t great. But the Lions allowed less than 20 points five times in their final nine games, and that’s progress. The defense became known for a tough, hard-nosed brand of football. In Week 17 on Sunday Night Football, when discussing the Green Bay Packers’ upcoming regular-season finale in Detroit, the broadcasters referred to the Lions as playing a “nasty brand of football.”
With the addition of more talent this offseason, the Lions defense could be substantially better next season. The question is: Will Glenn still be Detroit’s defensive coordinator?
Aaron Glenn getting looks for head coaching jobs
Glenn interviewed for the New York Jets head coaching job last year. As a nod to what he did with an undermanned defense this season, the Denver Broncos requested and completed an interview with him for their head coaching job this past week.
Glenn is getting marked as a future NFL head coach. He has expressed his commitment to “finishing the job” in Detroit, but no one is going to turn down a promotion to head coach if it’s offered.
If the Broncos decide to pass on Glenn, as seems likely in a broad sense, the Lions and Lions fans have to understand it’s only a matter of time before Campbell is looking for a new defensive coordinator.
Losing Glenn will hurt, whenever the time comes. But having other teams interested in your assistant coaches as head coach candidates is a mark of a credible (and usually, winning) organization, and that’s what the Lions are trying to become.