Allen Park – There was a reasonable expectation that the Detroit Lions would lose one, potentially both coordinators, to head coaching opportunities this offseason, but after the Washington Commanders filled the latest vacancy with the hiring of Dan Quinn on Thursday, the Lions They are now in position. to run it in 2024 with his two playmakers still in place.
Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, the presumptive favorite for a top job this offseason after leading the Lions to another top-five finish in scoring, had already reaffirmed his commitment to Detroit on Tuesday, withdrawing his name from consideration by the then- Vacancies in Washington and Seattle.
Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who interviewed for four of the league’s eight starts, was among the finalists for the Washington job. He had conducted a second in-person interview with the franchise this week. Baltimore Ravens defensive line and associate head coach Anthony Weaver was also a finalist for the Commanders.
With the return of both coordinators, it puts the Lions in a better position to reach another postseason next season after reaching the NFC Championship game in the third year of coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes’ tenure with the franchise.
Much of next year’s hopes will depend on the continued improvements of Detroit’s defense under Glenn. After finishing near the bottom of the league in yards and points in their first two seasons, the young group showed improvement in 2023, finishing 19th in total defense, 23rd in scoring and 13th in DVOA, a measure of downstream efficiency .
The unit saw significant individual improvement with several players, notably defensive tackle Alim McNeill, defensive back Aidan Hutchinson and linebacker Derrick Barnes, but struggled to get consistent production from a second-string running back and the secondary, overall. , but particularly as a cornerback.
If Detroit’s defense finds a way to add pieces and crack the top 10 in many key categories, it could be the key to getting Glenn over the hump for a top job after interviewing for openings in each of the last four seasons. low. He is highly respected by his players, who ranked him as the best coordinator to play in an NFLPA poll of more than 1,600 members, as well as by Detroit’s other coaches.
Campbell, who brought Glenn with him from New Orleans when he accepted the Detroit job in 2021, recently praised the coordinator’s skills and contributions.
“Let me start with what he did and what he does,” Campbell said. “I’m talking about the amount of hours he spends recording to (not only) prepare his players, his coaches, but himself for what he thinks is going to happen and where he thinks the game is going to go, and what He feels like he needs to call at that time relative to what he thinks the (opposing offensive) coordinator is going to call: there’s no one who works harder.
“He has great vision to put together a plan,” Campbell said. “He understands football very well. And when you start talking about his leadership, he’s one of those guys, he’s special. He’s special. He has he. Your ability to communicate, relate, push, strive, love, demand, you have it all. He is an excellent communicator, he is an excellent teacher. …That’s what I say, I’m lucky he’s on my team.”