COORDINATOR CUT-UP

Coordinator Cut-Up: Cunningham wasn't happy with early penalties

Posted Oct 30, 2012

Gunther Cunningham can certainly get animated on the sideline from time-to-time, but that was nothing compared to the emotion he felt toward his defense early in the first quarter Sunday.

Gunther Cunningham can certainly get animated on the sideline from time-to-time, but that was nothing compared to the emotion he felt toward his defense early in the first quarter Sunday.

The unit - which leads the NFL in jumping offsides - got off to a rocky start when it tallied five penalties (two declined) in its opening series.

"I was frustrated," Cunningham said.

It started with an uncharacteristic offsides penalty by veteran defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch that was declined due to an 18-yard Seahawks pick-up.

A defensive holding penalty was also declined before the Lions forced a Seattle punt.

Detroit gave the ball right back, however, when defensive end Willie Young was called for illegal formation on the punt, resulting in a first down.

On the very next play, Nick Fairley was flagged for encroachment.

It was then that the boo birds really came out at Ford Field.

"I was about ready to go up there with them and start booing," said Cunningham of the fans. "(The penalties were) unacceptable."

As a team that thrives on getting off the ball on the count, the Lions' linemen are eager at the line of scrimmage.

But there is a situational difference, said Cunningham, between being on the road and being at home.

"One of the things that we said we don't want to do is jump offsides in our own stadium," he said.

After that drive, Cunningham made sure to reiterate what head coach Jim Schwartz and the coaching staff stress on a regular basis.

He called the defense to a huddle on the sideline and the broadcast cameras caught him laying into his players.

"We didn't jump offsides again," said Cunningham.

Detroit went on to commit just two penalties the remainder of the game: one was a false start on the offense and the other a pass interference penalty on rookie cornerback Jonte Green.