C.J. Mosley has quickly embraced the Lions' 4-3 defensive scheme

Posted Jun 26, 2013

Though everything is completely different from what he's used to, Mosley likes the intensity and speed of Detroit's front four

For seven of his eight NFL seasons, defensive tackle C.J. Mosley has played in a 3-4 defensive scheme.

When he signed with Detroit as a free agent back in April, he knew he'd be part of a defensive tackle rotation in a 4-3 system; one that relies on getting off the ball as opposed to reading and reacting to the offense.

Willie Young, CJ MosleyDE Willie Young and DT C.J. Mosley

Everything is completely different from what he's used to, but it's safe to say that Mosley has embraced the intensity and speed of the Lions' front four.

"Playing in a 3-4 can cause you to play a little bit slower, behind the ball, and I don't think I know a defensive lineman that really likes that," said Mosley.

"I think it's a great defense. We're not reading, we're not reacting, we're going, and we're just trying to get to the backfield. We're getting our hands on people and wrecking everything. I like that.

"There's a lot more butt-kicking and less thinking."

Mosley has also taken to the coaching style of assistant defensive line coach and pass rush specialist Jim Washburn, who joined the team's coaching staff this offseason.

"I love him," said Mosley. "He's somebody that you can really talk to, not just like 'hi' and 'bye,' he's really somebody you can sit down and talk to. He's a high-energy guy that really cares about you and really wants you to do well and try to bring out the best in you everyday, challenge you everyday."

In his over 35 years of coaching experience, Washburn has brought a certain energy to the defensive line, and it can be seen through some of his drills -- including one that involves catching a small, green bouncing ball.

Mosley says he's seen similar drills in his career, but not quite to the extent that Washburn takes it.

"You don't see it emphasized as much as he does," said Mosley. "You don't see it worked on as much. It's something we do daily. With him, you pick something, you react to it and you get off the ball, whether it's a shoulder, a jersey number, a knee, a ball moving -- it's just go."

Even though he's an eighth-year vet, Mosley says working in those drills is something he has to continue to get better at, adapting to unfamiliar territory.

As a result, he's found that some of his younger teammates, like Ndamukong Suh, have also been a big help in his acclimation.

"Suh, I don't need to say anything about him," he said. "He's a great athlete, he's somebody, that even though he's younger, I look to learn from everyday. I watch him as much as I can."

So with all the change, does Mosley think he's landed in the right place?


"I love it here. I was born in August, I'm a Leo, and I love being a Lion."