After some question whether the deal would get done, it appears the Detroit Lions have locked up their defensive coordinator for the 2021 season. According to Adam Schefter, the Lions are indeed hiring former Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn to replace Cory Undlin.
In head coach Dan Campbell’s introductory press conference, he joked that he was just about to hire the team’s coordinators but had to do this press conference instead. But maybe he wasn’t joking. Campbell was upfront and mentioned that the team was indeed interested in bringing in Glenn for the job, but that a deal hadn’t been done yet. But just over an hour after the press conference wrapped, he apparently got it done.
Glenn is a former All-Pro cornerback whose playing career ended back in 2008. Since then, he’s already dipped his toe into scouting, general managing (in the Lone Star Football League) and, obviously, coaching. Since 2014, he’s been a defensive backs coach in the NFL, first with the Browns and then with the Saints for the past five seasons. There he overlapped with Campbell and was widely considered an up-and-comer. He even scored an interview with the New York Jets this offseason to become their head coach.
Glenn helped the Saints build one of the strongest pass defenses in the league, led by star defensive backs Marshon Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins, and Marcus Williams. Now Glenn will have the opportunity to do the same with Detroit’s young secondary full of promising talent. Players like third overall pick Jeff Okudah, and third-round safeties Will Harris and Tracy Walker.
Even better, Glenn already has a prior working relationship with Okudah:
My 7V7 Coach at @TheOpening back in HS! Let’s get to it ✊ https://t.co/2mlO34cWf1— Jeff Okudah (@jeffokudah) January 19, 2021
UPDATE: In even better news, Glenn reportedly chose the Lions over the Chicago Bears. Chicago is looking to replace Chuck Pagano, who retired after the 2020 season.