If Aaron Glenn leaves to take the New Orleans Saints head coaching job, who could replace him as Detroit Lions defensive coordinator?
The NFL head coaching carousel added another opening on Tuesday when New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton stepped aside. An easy name to tie to the potential opening when the rumor Payton might exit surfaced was Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, and indeed he is expected to interview.
Prior to coming to the Lions as defensive coordinator, Glenn was the Saints defensive backs coach for five seasons. The raw results were not great in his first season as a coordinator, as the Lions finished toward the bottom of the league in total and scoring defense, but there were some players who stood out and overall the reviews of his work were good. A future head coach he certainly is.
Glenn interviewed for the Denver Broncos head coaching job earlier, but he is not among the top remaining candidates there. So if he’s going to get a head coaching job this year, it will be New Orleans or nowhere.
Glenn talked of his commitment to the Lions right after the season, but if a head coaching opportunity comes his way this quickly no one would blame him for taking it. The sentiment from this corner is he won’t be leaving for the Saints job, but there is a chance.
And on that chance he leaves, who could replace Glenn as the Lions’ defensive coordinator?
5 candidates to replace Aaron Glenn as Lions defensive coordinator if he leaves
5. Kris Richard
After being out of the league in 2020, Richard spent this past season as the Saints’ defensive backs coach (replacing Glenn, ironically). He’s set to interview for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive coordinator opening.
Richard was the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator for three seasons (2015-2017). After being fired, he moved on to the Dallas Cowboys as defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator for two years.
As Richard’s name gets back out there for defensive coordinator posts, the Lions should easily have interest if they lose Glenn.