“This wasn’t one of our better games overall as a team and more importantly, defensively,” Glenn said.
The message inside the building all week has been the game was a tough, but necessary pill to swallow. No one wants to get beat that bad, but the worst thing a team can do is waste the opportunity to learn. So that’s what Glenn and company did.
“We watched the whole game together as a defensive staff. And, man, it was tough to watch. It was tough for all of us as coaches and players,” Glenn said. “And you have to immediately correct mistakes, because you can’t go into the next game without identifying the issues that you had and then correct them as a coach.”
On the radio this week, coach Dan Campbell admitted that one big problem of the Lions defensive performance was their defensive backs play too far off in their coverage. Lamar Jackson was able to complete 21-of-27 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns on the day, while the Detroit’s defense failed to record a single pass breakup
However, Glenn pushed back when asked if Detroit’s soft coverage was the result of the players not listening to the game plan.
“I don’t want to say that, because if that was the case of not listening, then the performances before wouldn’t be what they were. That’s totally off-base,” Glenn said.
Glenn didn’t get into specifics of what went wrong, but noted that it was a lack of complementary defense. When the coverage was good, the pass rush was not. When the rush was good, Lamar Jackson found easy ways to get rid of the ball quick.
“There were several times where the guys were covered, and, man, we did not get a change to get to the quarterback as best as we could,” Glenn said. “And there are times when we got to the quarterback, we weren’t as tight in coverage as we should’ve been. And there were some times where we just flat out missed our coverage.”
That said, Glenn was happy that his coaches and players got to go up against one of the best, most stable franchises in football. It shows that the Lions still have room to grow, and it provides a strong example of a team who the Lions can strive to be.
“I told you guys last week, this is the NFL. Things like this happen, so I don’t know where this notion comes from that everything is going to be just roses every time you go out there and play,” Glenn said. “I don’t care who you have on your team, each week you have to be at the top of this game, and that’s another thing that I think Baltimore does a really good job of, and they understand it. Because they’ve done it so long. You may have ups and downs, but the identity of that organization and franchise is, ‘Listen, we have to be on top of our game.’”
Obviously, the Lions have some room to get there. But with a defense that has looked much improved from last year and a team that has still won 13 of their last 17 games, Glenn believes they’re close to that standard.
“We’re on our way there. I will tell you that right now, I’m talking on both sides of the ball including special teams.”