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Falcons announce completed interview with Aaron Glenn

What you need to know about Glenn, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator the past three seasons.

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The Falcons have completed a virtual interview with Aaron Glenn for their head-coaching vacancy, the team announced on Friday, Jan 19.

Glenn has been the Detroit Lions defensive coordinator since 2021. The Lions defense ranked among the league's best run defenses and helped Detroit reach the NFC's divisional playoff round. Prior to his time in Detroit, Glenn was a defensive backs coach, as an assistant in Cleveland and the primary position coach in New Orleans.

Glenn was an excellent player as well, with three Pro Bowl honors over a 15-year career with five different teams.

Per CBS Sports, Glenn is also scheduled to interview with the Tennessee Titans, Washington Commanders and L.A. Chargers.

Per NFL protocols, interviews with employees of other clubs must be conducted virtually prior to the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games on Sunday, Jan. 21. If the employer club had a Wild Card bye, virtual interviews had to be conducted prior to the conclusion of Wild Card games.

If the employer club was a Wild Card participant, virtual interviews could begin three days after its Wild Card game and must be conducted prior to the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 22, clubs may conduct in-person or virtual interviews with candidates who are employed by other NFL clubs whose seasons have concluded and are prohibited from conducting initial interviews with candidates who are employed by clubs participating in the Conference Championship Games until the conclusion of the employer club's season.

Let's learn more about someone the Falcons are considering to become the 19th head coach in franchise history.

Interview date: Friday, Jan. 19

Current job: Detroit Lions defensive coordinator

Resume highlights:

  • Cleveland Browns, 2014-15: Worked as the assistant defensive back coach.
  • New Orleans Saints, 2016-20: Spent all five seasons as the defensive backs coach.
  • Detroit Lions, 2021-23: Has been the defensive coordinator ever since he arrived.

Falcons connection: Glenn was New Orleans' defensive backs coach from 2016-20, when Falcons general manager was the Saints director of pro scouting and then the assistant general manager and director of pro personnel.

Why he's a candidate: Glenn has been instrumental in leading the best Lions season in recent memory, with an NFC North title and playoff win to Detroit's credit thus far. While the team's defense metrics aren't all great, the Lions have played well in critical moments and have done a good job developing young players into valued contributors.

Glenn has a reputation as a strong leader who is well respected for his scheme and his standout playing career. He was also rated as the top coordinator in the NFL by an NFL Players Association poll, a sign that he can build a good locker room culture and generate the buy-in required to get a football team playing together.

Also, the NFLPA survey results could suggest that having a well-liked personality in the top spot could galvanize the Falcons around a strong leader of the roster.

Strikes against: The Lions league rankings haven't been stellar this season. They're 23rd in scoring defense, 20th in opponent yards per game and 30th in opponent passing yards per game, though their efforts against the run have been solid.

The Lions were 28th in scoring defense and 32 in total yards in 2022, and were 31st in scoring and 29 in total yards in 2021.

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