Aaron Glenn: ‘Every player’s failure is my failure’ in explaining the 3rd down coverage gaffe

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  • Chicago Bears
    Chicago Bears
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  • Detroit Lions
    Detroit Lions
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  • Aaron Glenn
    All-American college football player, professional football player, defensive back, cornerback, safety

One of the most critical plays in the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Chicago Bears came when the Detroit defense failed to stop the Bears in the red zone. On a key third-down situation, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn saw his defensive backs giving way too much cushion to the Bears receivers.

It resulted in an easy conversion that led to the game-winning field goal and also bled away any time for the Lions to counter. Glenn was asked about the situation and why his backs were playing so far off the line and so passively.

Glenn stated that he’s someone who “thinks players, not plays” when setting up his defense. In this case, the player was Will Harris. Normally a starting safety, Harris was thrust into duty as the nickel CB due to rookie AJ Parker’s injury. And Harris didn’t get the right call.

Being in an unusual circumstance and playing out of position, it’s easy to blame Harris. but Glenn believes he let his player down as a coach.

“That’s what, his second time playing nickel a whole game? Sometimes we put so much blame on players, but man, listen, that guy is just now learning,” Glenn said. “I told him, ‘That wasn’t your fault, man, that was my fault. Because I put you in that situation as a new player playing that position.’ So I’ve got to make sure I help that player, as far as how to operate in those situations.”

Reflecting upon his earlier statement that it’s players not plays, Glenn took the blame for Harris not understanding the assignment.

“To me, every player’s failure is my failure,” Glenn said. “I’m just built like that. Every player’s failure, I have to teach that in that situation. I will say this, Will won’t make that mistake again, because I’m going to make sure that I teach, as far as that situation is concerned. Other than that, I thought he did a pretty good job at playing a position we have to make him play that he’s used to playing the safety position.”

Glenn began his press conference with a heartfelt statement on the recent shooting at Oxford High School in the Detroit area, reflecting upon his experience as a father of three.

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