WEEK IN REVIEW: Preseason rolls on

Posted Aug 24, 2014

Recap the Lions week in news with the Week in Review.

The preseason rolls on after a 13-12 victory over the Jaguars Friday night.

WR Calvin Johnson and DE Ziggy Ansah contributed in their 2014 preseason debut, but the most impressive offensvie and defensive performances of the night went to Reggie Bush and Tahir Whitehead, respectively.

On the second possesion of the game, Bush took it 86 yards to the house for a quick lead.

“My whole mentality was not to get caught from behind,” Bush said. “I didn’t want to get back to the sideline with guys talking trash about getting caught from behind.”

Whitehead's contributions weren't as flashy as he quietley racked up an impressive 10 tackles, three sacks and 4 tackles for loss, making the most of his starting opporunity.

“You know, he’s one of those guys that’s been playing well the last couple of weeks. He’s really certainly been asserting himself,” Head coach Jim Caldwell said of Whitehead. “I think you can see why. He’s played well he was really playing at a level of one of the top three linebackers. So we put him in position to see what he could do, and obviously he took advantage of it.

Aside from those two standouts, what kind of show did the Lions put on?

There was an expectation that the offense would put on a show with Johnson playing for the first time, but that was not the case.

QB Matthew Stafford admitted he could have been more patient.

"I think I could have been more patient early on and just kept us a little bit ahead of the chains," he said. "The offensive line did a great job protecting, which was a positive. It opened up some good rush lanes, obviously ran the ball pretty well tonight, had some big runs."

Stafford also touched on another problem area for the team: penalties.

"I think the big thing that kind of hurt us tonight were penalties and turnovers," he said. "You have those that make it tough on yourself. We can’t do that.”

The league's long extra point experiment is over for now, but the crackdown on penalites remains and the message to players is clear: Adjust.

“Like you do with any rules or laws that are given, you take heed to them and adjust to them, and you work around them,” Veteran CB Rashean Mathis said earlier this week. “We have to apply the rules within our games, and we have to be able to play fast and adjust accordingly."

The Lions struggled with penalties against Jacksonville amassing 15 penalites for 131 yards.

In order to be succesful, that number needs to change and Caldwell knows it.

“It’s painful now as a coach and it’s one of those things that I think bothers you and you have to get them straightened out because they are preventable,” Caldwell said of the penalties.

“There’s an old coaching adage, ‘you achieve what you emphasize,’ so we just have to keep emphasizing. I don’t expect it to go away overnight but I expect it to improve in a hurry.”

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley's offseason has been full of highs and lows. He recently lost his starting spot to C.J. Mosley and has admitted that his eating habits 'got out of the way' the past couple weeks.

Fairley spoke to reporters Wednesday about how he's working hard to correct his mistakes.

He has a friend to help him in linemate Ndamukong Suh who also spoke up Wednesday in support of Fairley, to the point of saying Fairley could be a better player than he is.