“It’s been a tough week for me personally,”
That’s how Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn opened his media session on Thursday.
Three days prior, the Lions fired defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, a friend, co-worker, and someone Glenn vouched for personally to be hired in the first place. Glenn, understandably, felt responsible for the defensive struggles—particularly in the secondary—that led to Pleasant’s firing.
“As the coordinator, I always point a finger at myself because at the end of the day how the defense performs, that’s on me,” Glenn said.
Flash forward a few days later, and that same secondary undoubtedly was the primary reason for the Lions’ upset victory over the Green Bay Packers. Detroit hauled in three interceptions of Aaron Rodgers, more than doubling their total on the season, and batted down a total of nine passes on the day.
It may come as little surprise, then, that in the locker room after the game, it was Glenn—who took on a larger role in the secondary room—who received much of the credit for Detroit’s drastic defensive turnaround.
“This game ball goes to a man who’s grinding this thing out day in, day out,” coach Dan Campbell announced to the team inside the locker room. “Everything it takes, man. Heart and soul, for us and for you. Defense, that’s a hell of a job. That’s a hell of a job! That’s how you play defense! Aaron Glenn!”
The team then erupts and surrounds Glenn as they chant, “A.G! A.G! A.G.!”
It’s an emotional moment for a coach who has come under a lot of fire, but you can see the importance and respect he has of his players. Glenn, himself, was on the verge of tears as he addressed the team afterward.
“That was the best thing in the world, man,” Glenn said. “It’s the best thing in the world, man. Locker room. When I left this game, man, this is what I missed, cause man, I live through you. I promise you I do. That’s why the coaches, that’s why we do what we do, man. For you guys, to live through you.”
Check out the full 2:33 video of all the Lions celebrating after Sunday’s big upset win: