Mack Brown and Gene Chizik had to make changes to a defense that ranked dead last in the ACC, surrendering 30.8 ppg. Dre Bly agreed to leave the program, one that he starred in from 1996-98 and was recognized as an All-America during his freshman season.
Some good news for the Carolina Family came yesterday when it was announced that Bly was hired to be the new Detroit Lions cornerbacks coach.
The @Lions have hired @drebly_32 as the team's cornerbacks coach.— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) February 2, 2023
Bly played for Detroit from 2003-06 and totaled 19 INTs for the team, the 5th-most INTs among all @NFL CBs in that span.
Since 1980, he is the only Lions CB to post multiple seasons with 6 INTs.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/YbWDwuR3Fu
This will be the second job in a row that Bly returns to a place where he played and was adored. Bly played four of his 11 NFL seasons in Detroit, where he amassed 19 interceptions (with two returned for touchdowns), which is the most for any team he played for, along with two Pro Bowl appearances.
Detroit’s defensive coaching was fluid last season, with secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant let go midseason. Defensive coordinator (and former New York Jet) Aaron Glenn helped pick up the slack, so Bly’s hire will allow him to focus on his bigger picture job with the entire defense.
Bly’s move up to the NFL can be viewed as a “best case scenario” for UNC fans. Bly’s recruiting prowess, particularly in the state of Virginia and the Tidewater area, were legendary. If UVA, Virginia Tech, or any SEC school got ahold of him, Carolina could lose out on a lot of nearby talent. Not having Bly recruit for a rival is a net positive side-affect from the Detroit hiring.
Here’s wishing that Dre Bly kills it in the NFL!