During his first season as head coach, Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions finished with a 3-13-1 record, and one of the big reasons why was because they had one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
In fact, the Lions' defense, which was directed by defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, was the fourth-worst in the league, according to the DVOA rankings on Football Outsiders.
Whether or not the Lions' defense will improve statistically in 2022 is yet to be seen but according to Campbell and Glenn, they will be making some changes to put their players in better positions.
Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn are working to make the Lions' defense better
During recent pressers, DanCampbell and Aaron Glenn spoke about the changes coming to the defense.
“I just think more of it is, I just call it much more ‘Hitting the blocks.’ I don’t want to say we were catching, and it wasn’t two-gap, we just were a little more, ‘Play at the line of scrimmage,’ where now we really want to play more on their side of the line of scrimmage,” head coach Dan Campbell explained at organized team activities. “That’s the best way to describe it.”
Campbell added, “Look, we still have all the front variations, all those things, but I think that will probably be the biggest difference that anybody would notice, is just the fact that we want to — we’re not just running through gaps and closing our eyes and stuff like that. We’re not like that, but we are much more, ‘Hit the blocks and play on their side of the line of scrimmage,’ which is a little bit different than what we were last year.”
“I do think this will serve our front well,” Campbell said. “I think this will help Alim (McNeill), I think it will help Levi (Onwuzurike), it will help really all those guys up front.”
Aaron Glenn added that what the Lions are switching to is a “more aggressive” style of defense where he can showcase the strengths of the players he has to work with.
“It is a more aggressive style of defense,” Glenn said. “I want to be able to take advantage of every player, their ability as much as I can. I want to take advantage of that athleticism that Alim has. I want to showcase that. It makes sense. I want to showcase it. I want to showcase what Levi shows at the scene. I want to showcase what Aidan could do when I'm kicking him inside to do things. I want to showcase what J.P. (Josh Paschal) can do. So I'm looking at every player's ability and how can I showcase this.”
Nation, Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn clearly have a plan for the Detroit Lions defense. How much better do you think it can be in 2022?