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Notes: Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn reveals expectations for linebackers

The new Lions DC was very transparent with his thoughts about Alex Anzalone and their strategy at the second level.

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As we begin to piece together what we expect from the Detroit Lions defense in 2021, the coaching staff remains exceptionally transparent in their efforts. Just a week ago, head coach Dan Campbell confirmed our early suspicions that Detroit’s base defense would resemble a 3-4 front. Now Aaron Glenn has provided a little more clarity on what the Lions plan to do at the second level.

Glenn held a Zoom meeting with the fellas over at The Athletic and broke down the play of free-agent addition Alex Anzalone from the 2020 season. In it, Glenn explained the things he liked about Anzalone’s game, things he’d like to see the veteran linebacker improve upon this year, and their overall expectations for the linebacking corps.

Particularly interesting was Glenn’s philosophy in run-fitting for linebackers. Rather than an over-aggressive downfield runner (“don’t just run into somebody”), he wants linebackers to utilize the “stack and fall back” strategy. This allows linebackers to be more patient, while the disrupters on the defensive front fill as many rushing gaps as possible. This not only explains some of the Lions’ draft picks (specifically, Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill), but it also allows the Lions to only allocate six men in the box to help their secondary.

“Don’t run into darkness,” Glenn explained. “You don’t want to take yourself out of the play. That make sense? We (want to) take all these gaps with our four bigs. And then these linebackers can stack and fall back.”

The entire thing is definitely worth a read, and the best part about it is that it’s just Part 1 of a four-part series. Keep an eye out for the rest over at The Athletic.

  • Happy 21st birthday to Lions third-round pick Alim McNeill! Did he reveal his jersey number?

  • Speaking of the schedule release, the Lions teased their’s with a computer theme:

  • :)