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5 takeaways from DC Aaron Glenn's media session

Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn spoke to the media after Tuesday's padded practice, and there was a lot of good material to come out of that session.

The Lions have to be better on defense, and the hope is Glenn can help lead that side of the ball in the right direction.

Here are five takeaways from Glenn's media session:

1. What is Glenn's first impression of the start second-year cornerback Jeff Okudah has had to camp?

"First impressions of Jeff, doing a hell of a job," Glenn said.

Okudah came into camp with a new mindset and confidence about him, and Glenn said he's really loved the camaraderie Okudah has with his teammates as well. Glenn said Okudah's teammates are actually lifting his confidence. Glenn's been impressed with Okudah's camp thus far.

2. Here's hoping Glenn's nickname for rookie nose tackle Alim McNeill sticks.

Glenn calls McNeill "the dancing bear." Glenn used the word "unbelievable" to describe McNeill's start to camp. Glenn loves the combination of power and agility McNeill has shown. He admitted McNeill still has a long way to go, like all young players, but thinks the ceiling is really high for him.

Glenn said he had really high expectations for McNeill coming in. One of the things he's talked with McNeill about is not letting Glenn's expectations be higher than the expectations McNeill has for himself.

McNeill was dominant in a 3-on-3 run drill with the offensive linemen on Tuesday, and Glenn thinks that going against Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow every day is going to make McNeill even better.

3. Ifeatu Melifonwu is a young player who's caught Glenn's eye. Melifonwu's size (6-3, 210) and skill set has allowed Glenn to be pretty versatile with where he lines the third-round rookie cornerback up in his defense.

Glenn said a player with the size and speed Melifonwu processes makes him a matchup player on defense. The Lions have utilized Melifonwu on the outside at cornerback, but also as a nickel and dime corner. Glenn says it's pretty impressive for a rookie to be able play nickel and dime this early on and not look out of place.

4. Asked about the inside linebacker position, Glenn mentioned two names that have impressed him so far that might be a bit of a surprise to fans. Second-year linebacker Anthony Pittman out of Wayne State was the first name Glenn mentioned

"He's making plays on the ball," Glenn said of Pittman. "He's run to the ball. You see the physical nature of him. There's a lot of things about that player I like."

The other name Glenn mentioned was veteran Shaun Dion Hamilton, who signed with Detroit in free agency this offseason after playing in Washington the last three seasons.

"They might not be household names," Glenn said of Pittman and Hamilton. "But we'll give them a shot and a lot of times you find players that way, especially at that spot. Let them compete and see what shakes out in the end."

Lions head coach Dan Campbell said this week that the inside linebacker competition is really intriguing him, and it's probably because of players like Pittman and Hamilton, who are making plays and making the competition very deep.

5. Glenn talked a little bit about his defensive philosophy and how a defense that plays physical and fast isn't a defense caught up in thinking too much.

Players have to understand what their job is, but Glenn does not believe in over-coaching. Give players enough information to be successful and let them play. That's the important balance for Glenn.

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