After interviewing for the Denver Broncos’ head-coaching vacancy that is going to Green Bay offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn is getting consideration from his former employer, the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple reports.
The Saints are in the market for new leadership after longtime coach Sean Payton decided to step down over the weekend. While early in the replacement process, the team is intending to interview defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Glenn for the opening.
Glenn finished his 15-year playing career with the Saints, spending the 2008 season with the team, prior to transitioning into coaching a few years later. It was in New Orleans where that career took off. He served as the defensive backs coach from 2016-2020, prior to following Dan Campbell from New Orleans to Detroit.
With the Saints, Glenn took over a position group that was one of the worst in NFL history, having allowed a passer rating against of 116.2 the previous season. Developing a steady influx of young talent the next few seasons, Glenn departed the position with the Saints finishing second in completion percentage allowed and tied for first in interceptions, while opposing passer rating plummeted to 83.3.
In his first year as Detroit’s defensive coordinator, Glenn’s young group struggled, finishing near the bottom of the league in points and yards allowed, as well as third-down and red-zone conversion percentage. Still, the unit showed improvement from the previous year and finished the season strong, allowing 24.8 points per game over the final nine contests, compared to 30.5 the first eight.
The interview in New Orleans will be Glenn’s third in two years. In addition to the Broncos interview earlier this offseason, he also talked to the New York Jets about their opening in 2020. That job ultimately went to Dearborn native Robert Saleh.
Glenn never has shied away from the opportunity to take the next step in his career, but he’s also happy to continue building his resume in his current role.
“I want to be the best coordinator the Lions ever had. That’s all I think about,” Glenn said before Detroit’s season finale. “…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.”
Caldwell misses out
While Glenn remains in the mix for a head position, former Lions coach Jim Caldwell appears he’ll come up short in his quest to land another coaching job.
A finalist in Chicago, Caldwell is reportedly being passed over by the Bears in favor of Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
Caldwell also interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ job in early January, but wasn’t one of the candidates to receive a second interview, indicating he’s likely out of the running there.
Caldwell hasn’t coached since being fired by the Lions in 2017. He briefly signed on to work as part of Brian Flores’ staff in Miami as a quarterbacks coach in 2019, but left the position ahead of training camp to address a medical concern.
In seven years with the Colts and Lions, the 67-year-old Caldwell has compiled a 62-50 record. He went 36-28 during his time with the Lions, leading the team to three winning seasons and two postseason berths in four years.