10 takeaways from Austin & Cooter

Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since training camp began back in July.

Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:

1. Add Austin to the camp of coaches who think it's great to have linebacker DeAndre Levy back on the field. Austin doesn't have too much concern about rust with Levy at this point. There's obviously both risks and rewards to playing Levy in the preseason, but Austin said his All-Pro linebacker doesn't need to play in the preseason to get ready for the start the regular season.

2. There's been a lot of talk about the up-tempo style the offense has been playing with so far this preseason. According to Pro Football Focus statistics, the Lions have used the no-huddle on 62 percent of preseason snaps (seven percent in '15), and quarterback Matthew Stafford is 6-of-6 passing for 108 yards when targeting Golden Tate and Marvin Jones from the no-huddle.

The no-huddle is just one element of his offense, Cooter said, but he also admitted that when it's run right, generally, it's a more efficient way to play offense.

3. The Lions are very deep at defensive tackle, and the next two games should help separate those who will ultimately have a job to begin the season, and those who won't. In the end, the Lions are expected to cut one or two pretty good players that will make another roster. Also, don't be surprised if they keep more than the usual five defensive tackles because of the quality at the position.

4. Cooter called left tackle a high difficulty position, but is excited about the development of rookie Taylor Decker. Decker is going to have his ups and downs, but all indications are that the coaches feel good about him entering the season in that spot.

5. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy is healthy for the first time in two years, and subsequently is in the best shape of his career. Austin believes Van Noy has dramatically improved as a player, but will know for sure when the real games get here. Austin is pleased with his progress so far, however.

6. Stafford has taken ownership of Cooter's offense. Cooter and Stafford are very much on the same page in terms of their vision for this offense.  Cooter said he has a good sense of what plays Stafford likes and what he's comfortable with.

7. Rookie second-round pick A'Shawn Robinson has been trending in the right direction. Robinson is still making the adjustment from the two-gap scheme he ran at Alabama to Austin's attacking one-gap system, but is making good progress and should be a key part of the rotation at DT entering the season.

8. Both Cooter and head coach Jim Caldwell said Wednesday that one thing they want to see Saturday in Baltimore is for the first-team offense to finish drives better. That unit has moved the football the first two preseason games, but has failed to finish a drive with a touchdown.

9. Cornerback Alex Carter missed his entire rookie season last year. Austin essentially considers Carter a rookie all over again this year. Anything the Lions get from Carter will be rookie development.

10. Cooter has been impressed with what rookie running back Dwayne Washington has been able to do through the first two preseason games. He called him impressive with the ball in his hands. One thing Washington has to work on without the ball in his hands is his pass protection. It's something to watch over the next two weeks.

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