Discipline, or the lack there of, has been a hot-button issue involving the Detroit Lions for a number of years under former head coach Jim Schwartz.
Lions safety Glover Quin admitted the Lions had discipline problems at times last year, but not the kind you might be thinking of.
It’s the on-the-field discipline playing within the scheme that Quin thought was lacking last season. It’s what he’s hoping Jim Caldwell, Teryl Austin and the rest of the new coaching staff can address rather quickly.
"I definitely think (we played undisciplined)," Quin said in a phone interview Tuesday. "I think we were really good in the red zone defensively, but I think we gave up the most points outside the red zone. That means you’re giving up 20-plus yard plays.
"Some of those are just physical plays, where a guy got beat, those things happen, but I think a lot of that was a loss of focus here and there and a lack of discipline here and there."
The Lions gave up 52 passes of 20-plus yards in 2013. The 33.9 average on those completions was the third-highest average in the league.
Opponents scored 187 points outside of the red zone, the most in the NFL. The league average was 102 points.
"There are a lot of ways you have to be disciplined," said Quin, who was signed on the first day of free agency last year.
"Obviously, you have to be disciplined in the scheme and knowing what you’re doing. You have to be disciplined in your techniques, making sure you’re doing the right things. But you also have to be disciplined with your eyes and make sure you’re seeing the right things. It doesn’t take long for you to lose that focus on one play and boom - it’s an 80-yard touchdown."
The Lions signed Quin to be a steady presence at the safety position. He’s not a flashy player, but he always seems to be in the right spots to make plays. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and the Lions could use more players like that in the secondary.
"I definitely think that’ll have an immediate impact,” Quin said of the new defensive coordinator Austin and his detail-oriented coaching style. "Everybody has a job to do to make the final product.
"When you’re focusing on the details, guys have to be in tune to what’s going on. You have to pay attention and listen and focus and you have to understand the scheme and the system. You have to be on point or else you’ll be out of place."
Quin said he’s also looking forward to working with a coordinator who was a safety during his playing days and has extensive coaching experience in the secondary.
The Lions haven't ranked higher than 14th against the pass in the last five years.
"The thing about a secondary coach is that you get to see the whole package and how everything has to work," Quin said. "From the secondary you can see when linemen jump out of their gaps. You can see when linebackers miss gaps. You know where the secondary has to be. When you see it from that back angle you know where everyone has to be and what everyone has to do. You understand it all."