Aaron Glenn identifies root of Lions' defensive troubles


Aaron Glenn spent most of the bye week reflecting on the scheme and the personnel of the Lions' NFL-worst defense.

The root of their troubles?

“Missed tackles," Glenn said Thursday. "That’s usually what you get when you (allow) explosive plays. Missed tackles and missed assignments, those are the things that we really looked at all week to make sure we cleaned that up."

The Lions have allowed the most yards per game (428.6) in the NFL. They've also allowed the most yards per play (6.5), the most net yards per pass (7.4) and the third most yards per rush (5.5). They've allowed the highest third down conversion rate.

To Glenn, it all comes back to missed tackles, a physical issue more than a mental one.

"Not wrapping up, shoulder tackles, not vice tackling, things like that, which are really correctable and that’s the good thing about it," said Glenn. "In this league, man, sometimes guys think they can make a tackle just by diving and lunging."

Glenn, a former Pro Bowl corner who spent 15 years in the NFL, said poor tackling is a trend across the league, not something specific to the Lions.

"I try to teach our guys, let’s be the team on the other side. Let’s not be like everybody else. Let’s be a team that can tackle, and we worked on that this week," he said. "Yesterday was a physical practice for us and we needed it."

Ramping up the contact in practice is something Dan Campbell said he was considering when he assessed things at the bye. Sounds like he's followed through.

We'll see if it makes a difference for Detroit's defense Sunday against the Cowboys.

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