The NFL hiring season is about to heat up, but Aaron Glenn isn’t the least bit concerned with whether his name will be called in the coming weeks.
Glenn, in his first season as Detroit Lions defensive coordinator, said he is only focused on his current job heading into Sunday’s season finale with the Green Bay Packers.
“Very simple answer,” Glenn said Thursday. “I want to be the best coordinator the Lions ever had, and that’s all I think about.”
Glenn was one of at least nine coaches to interview for the New York Jets head coaching job last season and is considered a rising star among coordinators in the NFL.
He played 15 seasons with five different teams (including the Jets), and he’s overseen a Lions defense that has overachieved on the field this season despite its statistical struggles.
The Lions (2-13-1) rank 30th in the NFL in points allowed and 28th in total defense, but they have held five of their past eight opponents to 20 points or fewer despite an injury-depleted and talent-deficient roster.
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Since the start of the season, the Lions have lost their top three cornerbacks (Amani Oruwariye, Jerry Jacobs and Jeff Okudah) to season-ending injuries and their sack leader from 2020 (Romeo Okwara) to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Defensive captain Alex Anzalone will miss his third straight game Sunday with a shoulder injury, safety Will Harris has played as the Lions’ No. 1 cornerback the past two weeks and the Lions have five rookies currently playing major minutes on defense.
While an assistant from a two-win team would be a tough sell for any fan base, a half-dozen or so NFL teams are expected to be in the market for new coaches once the regular season ends Sunday.
Already, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders have interim coaches in place.
If Glenn were to land a head coaching job, he would be the first Lions assistant to go directly into an NFL head coaching job with another team since Chuck Knox in 1973. Knox, the Lions offensive line coach in 1967-72, coached the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks.
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Dick Jauron was Lions defensive coordinator in 2004-05, and finished the 2005 season as interim head coach when Steve Mariucci was fired. The Bills hired Jauron as head coach in 2006.
“If it happens, those things happen,” Glenn said. “But listen, this is a huge job that I have right now. And I want to be the best that I can be at it, and I want to be the best that ever came through Detroit. I want you guys to say that at some point, that he was the best coordinator ever. That’s what my goal is.”
Asked how he’d define best coordinator ever, Glenn said, “Heck, I don’t know. You guys have all these deals. You would do that. My job is to go out there and be the best that I can be.”