Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and his wife Devaney went out to dinner Sunday night after Detroit's 48-45 loss to Seattle, just like they do after every game.
During dinner, Glenn was complaining about another bad performance from his defense when Devaney chimed in.
"'Are you done?'" she asked. Glenn recounted the story to reporters on Thursday.
"I'm like, 'Yeah,'" Glenn said. "She said, 'Well go be AG. Go be AG. Man, you're built for this.'"
It dawned on Glenn that his wife was right. Glenn could sit around and complain and be ticked off about the rough start, or he could get to work.
"That's what I'm excited about like this is a great opportunity for me," Glenn said. "Great opportunity for my staff, great opportunity for some of these players who are going to get a chance. So, that's what excites me because I know me. I know how I respond to things like this here. And man, I can't wait for it."
Glenn and his defense have found themselves with the opportunity to prove a lot of people wrong because of the way they've played to start the season. Detroit's defense ranks 32nd in points allowed, 32nd in total defense and 30th in both run and pass defense. It hasn't been good. And the spotlight has been turned brighter by the Lions having the No. 1 scoring and No. 1 total offense in the league after four games.
As such, changes are expected Sunday in Foxborough as the Lions hit the road to face the Patriots. Those changes haven't been publicized for obvious competitive advantage reasons, but they could be significant, both from a scheme and personnel standpoint.
Glenn gets the deal. The NFL is a results-based business. You can be on the very top one day, and fall to the very bottom the next. He learned that early on in his career in New York.
"It was in '97, we were playing against Seattle, damn," Glenn laughed at the irony of it. "And I was matched up against Joey Galloway and that was the first time I ever in my career gave up two touchdowns. They were two bombs. When you're playing well, you're the hottest thing ever. When you do something bad, I mean you're the worst thing there is. And so, I understand that.
"At that point I've become a Pro Bowl player to the worst corner that ever played the game. The thing is, man, you just have to go back to your fundamentals and have faith in who you are and your background and your history tells your story. That one to two plays doesn't tell your story. That one game doesn't tell your story.
"So, I look at this like this, I mean these couple of games it doesn't tell my story. My track record speaks for itself and I'm going to continue to let that speak. So, we're going to get this thing fixed. We're going to get this thing moving forward. Our guys are going to respond, our coaches are going to respond and things are going to be alright."
One of those changes coming on defense involves some movement along Detroit's defensive line.
Undrafted rookie defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor is in line to make his NFL debut Sunday in New England. And it won't be at the defensive tackle spot we saw him play all through camp and in the preseason. Taylor is moving to the Lions' big defensive end spot.
"I played there in college, so it's like I'm comfortable out there," Taylor said Wednesday. "It's just me making the calls and making sure everybody's on the same page. So that's like another thing that I don't want to mess up on, so every time I get it I'm just trying to be as loud as I can so everybody on the D-line is in one accord."
Rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson has played primarily out of the Lions' big end spot in base defensive through the first four games of the season, with Charles Harris at the rush end position. The Lions have considered moving Hutchinson around to create more opportunities for him. We'll still see Hutchinson there, but this gives the Lions one more option on the edge.
Taylor, 6-foot-1, 295, plays with terrific leverage and was a consistent playmaker in the backfield in training camp. He feels like his quickness and leverage can be a positive factor for him.
"He's a really good penetrator, he has leverage because of his stature," Glenn said of Taylor. "And he plays his butt off, and so at some point in time he was going to get his opportunity to come in and play for us. And this week he will, now in what capacity we're still trying to get that figured out. The thing is we just want to make sure we have a good player, he's got a chance to show what he can do."
The Lions are dealing with injuries at the wide receiver position. DJ Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown sat out last week with ankle injuries, and then the team lost Quintez Cephus in-game to a foot injury.
Josh Reynolds has stepped up. Tom Kennedy stepped in last week and produced. Though he's not officially a receiver, tight end T.J. Hockenson played some in the slot and outside, and he stepped up big last week with eight catches and 179 yards with two touchdowns.
Despite the injuries, that group of receivers hasn't really skipped a beat.
Reynolds went from the X to the Z spot mid-game and was seamless in his transition.
"When quarterback doesn't even notice that some of these guys that he doesn't have necessarily the most reps with, doesn't even notice them in the game, it's good. It's a good thing," offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said.