Most of us came into the season understanding the Detroit Lions defense was going to be the weaker unit again this season. Last year, they were one of the worst defenses in the league, and although Detroit heavily focused on the defense in the draft, we all understood that these young players are going to take some time to develop and won’t change the entire unit overnight. With limited additions in free agency, this continues to be a slow rebuild.
But through three weeks, the Lions defense ranks dead last in points allowed, 23rd in yards per play allowed, has forced just two turnovers (t-28th), and is allowing 5.0 yards per carry (25th). There’s been some improvement, no doubt, but it doesn’t feel all that significant—especially when the offense has made such huge progress from last year.
This begs the question: is defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn failing to live up to the hype? Glenn was viewed as one of Detroit’s best coaching hires last year, and his ability to relate and motivate his players cannot even be questioned. That’s a big reason why he has already scored a couple of head coaching interviews despite being a first-time defensive coordinator.
But motivation and player development is only part of his job. Glenn is also responsible for game-planning and play-calling, and it’s fair to wonder if he’s being outcoached in those responsibilities thus far.
This week on our Midweek Mailbag podcast, myself and Erik Schlitt discuss the Lions defense, what’s been going wrong, which players are disappointing, and how much Glenn is to blame for the unit’s struggles thus far.
Other topics this week include:
- What’s with all of the injuries?
- How will the Lions compensate for the potential short-term losses of D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown?
- What key piece is the defense missing?
- How do the Lions match up against the Seahawks?
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