The Detroit Lions’ development of a coaching staff full of former players continues, and this time, they dug back into the old Lions rosters. According to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, the Lions have hired Dre Bly as their new cornerbacks coach. UPDATE: The Lions have now made the hire official.
You’ll likely remember Bly as one of the Lions’ biggest free agent signings way back in 2003 after Bly won a Super Bowl with the Rams. During his Detroit years, Bly made two Pro Bowls and hauled in 19 interceptions over four seasons. In total, he played 11 years in the league, picked off 43 passes, and notched 150 passes defended.
Bly entered the coaching ranks back in 2018, when he joined the short-lived AAF as a defensive backs coach for the San Diego Fleet. A few months later, Bly was named the cornerbacks coach for the University of North Carolina, his alma mater. He remained there for the last four seasons before mutually parting ways with the university in January.
The Lions obviously had a big shakeup in the secondary room last season when they fired defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant midseason. Safeties coach Brian Duker and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn assumed some of Pleasant’s duties after his dismissal.
However, with Bly now in the fold, Duker can now remain with the safeties, while Glenn (if he doesn’t land a head coach gig) can perform some of the bigger duties that come along with being the team’s defensive coordinator.
Bly has yet to address the news, but here is his classy exit note for Tar Heel nation:
UPDATE: Bly did change his profile picture, and his Twitter banner is AMAZING:
His new Twitter banner is AWESOME. pic.twitter.com/3Yd1r3wbVh— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) February 2, 2023
UPDATE 2: Bly addressed the hiring on Twitter Thursday morning:
I’m excited to announce that I have joined the Detroit Lions as the Cornerbacks Coach! Thank you to Mrs. Sheila Ford Hamp and the rest of the Ford Family, DC Aaron Glen, GM Brad Holmes and HC Dan Campbell for an opportunity to come back home! #DetroitLions#OnePride Let’s Go! pic.twitter.com/omowTv9zyX— Dré Bly (@drebly_32) February 2, 2023