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Lions DC Aaron Glenn on facing Miami’s speedy receivers: Don’t let the ball go over our head

Tua Tagovailoa leads the league in yards per attempt.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Miami Dolphins Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins are heading to Detriot for a Sunday matchup against a defense that allows 249 passing yards per game, ranking No. 22 in the league.

It’s a favorable matchup for an offense that features quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s league-leading nine yards per pass attempt, Tyreek Hill, who leads the league in yards (773), targets (78), and receptions (57) and Jaylen Waddle, who is fourth with 621 receiving yards on the year.

Aaron Glenn, the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions, was asked early this week how to slow down the duo that has combined for 23 big plays through seven games this season.

“First thing is don’t let the ball go over our head,” Glenn said. “I mean, knowing those two receivers, I think they’re both 4.2 runners or whatnot, so that’s the first thing,”

“The second thing is the catch-and-run that creates explosive plays for those guys. We have to be able to rally and create population to the ball. We have to tackle really, really well, something that I do think we’ve improved on also. Some of the coverage changes that we’re doing on defense is going to allow us to do that.”

The Lions lead the league in man coverage this year and Glenn could be hinting at more zone defense on Sunday.

“I’m not going to tell you what they are, so don’t ask,” Glenn said, “but it’s going to allow us to do that.”

The Dolphins are fourth in the league with 2073 yards but the offense has struggled to find the end zone, scoring just 21 points per game. First-year coach and player caller Mike McDaniel could give that number a major boost against a Detriot team that allows a league-worse 33 points per game.

“You always want to put yourself in an advantageous situation, and our guys are bigger, lengthier guys, so that’s something that we’re going to get a chance to do on those guys,
Glenn said. “Be able to get our hands on them, just disrupt them. The one thing that you can’t do, just allow receivers into the teeth of your defense, and when you do that, usually bad things happen.”