Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn spoke to the media for the first time during training camp Monday morning before the first padded practice.
Here are my five biggest takeaways from Glenn's media session:
1. I asked Glenn if there were any young players he was excited to see in pads for the first time. The first name he mentioned was sixth-round draft pick Malcolm Rodriguez, who's had a strong start to camp and had a good day Monday with a couple tackles in the backfield in team periods.
Glenn also wanted to see fellow sixth-round pick James Houston, who is a hybrid linebacker/pass rusher early on. Houston has some juice as an edge rusher.
2. Expect a tough competition all camp long between Will Harris and Jeff Okudah for the starting outside cornerback spot opposite Amani Oruwariye. Harris has made the transition from safety to cornerback, and he's made some plays. He defended back-to-back Jared Goff passes in a red zone team drill the other day in practice.
Okudah is in terrific shape and has also had a good start to camp. He's hungry to prove himself.
"Anytime you have a competition like that man, you want to make sure those guys put themselves in the best position to win that job," Glenn said.
3. The Lions were one of the least productive pass-rushing defenses in the NFL last season. They were 24th against the pass, 30th in sacks and had the second worst pass-rush win rate in the league. Glenn said he can already see some improvements there with the scheme changes upfront, but he also mentioned the addition of Aidan Hutchinson and the continued development of Julian Okwara as reasons to be confident the pass rush can be better in 2022.
View photos from Day 4 of Detroit Lions training camp on Saturday July 30, 2022.
4. The Lions on average allowed 135.1 yards per game to opponents on the ground last season, which ranked 28th in the NFL. Glenn said one of the things he was excited about watching in Monday's practice was how his defense and the new scheme changes for the front seven would look against the run.
He was particularly interested in watching the inside linebackers and how they fit against the run. The team spent a lot of time on the run game Monday. There's still a lot of question marks remaining with the interior linebacker group and who will emerge as starters and key contributors there.
5. Glenn has a new safety duo in Tracy Walker and DeShon Elliott. He said Elliott reminds him a bit of Malcolm Jenkins with the way he carries a room and makes sure the message gets across to everyone. Glenn thinks Walker and Elliott complement each other well and have a chance to be a pretty good duo in the back end of his defense.