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O'HARA: Harris excited to benefit from Aaron Glenn's experience

Will Harris did a personal scouting report when the Detroit Lions' coaching change included hiring Aaron Glenn as defensive coordinator.

As a part-time starter at safety in his first two seasons as a Lion under the previous coaching regime, Harris wanted to know who he'd be playing for and how it could impact his career.

Harris was impressed with Glenn's playing resume: 15 seasons in the NFL from 1994-2008 as a cornerback, with 176 starts in 205 games played and three Pro Bowls.

"When he first came in, all the DBs, we watched his highlights on YouTube," Harris said after Thursday's walkthrough practice. "AG was balling, man."

First impressions obviously meant a lot to Harris and others, but more important is what Glenn has been able to impart to his players as a coach. Glenn spent two seasons with the Browns (2014-15) and the last five with the Saints (2016-20), coaching defensive backs for both teams.

Harris quickly saw how he could benefit from playing for Glenn with his experience as a player and coach in the NFL.

"It's nice to have that in the building," Harris said. "I think that's so underestimated how much it means for a guy who played, especially at a high level like he did to come in and say, 'Look, when I was a playing, this is what I saw. There are things I want to do in these situations.'

"It clears it up so much and gives us confidence as DBs to go out there and do what he did.

"Without even having played a down, he's a smart dude. He relays the information in a clear and concise way that we can comprehend. Then add on the fact that he was balling himself.

"It's pretty cool as a young DB to be coached by him."

View photos from Day 5 of Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage on Thursday August 5, 2021.

Harris came to the Lions in 2019 as a third-round draft pick from Boston College. He had a reputation of being an aggressive player who liked to make big hits. One knock on him was that at times he was too aggressive, which led to penalties.

Tracy Walker, who's going into his fourth season with the Lions, said the other day that the new scheme under Glenn is better for him and the other defensive backs.

"I'd agree," Harris said. "We're flying around. We have the ability to do that. We have opportunities to make plays on the ball. It's fun.

"If I could give you one word to describe this camp, it's 'fun.' It's fun being around these guys ... fun being around these coaches."

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