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10 takeaways from Austin & Cooter

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter spoke to the media Thursday as they do every week.

Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:

1. In a very honest self-evaluation, Austin said one of the things he learned from the 2015 season is that he has to be quicker to make changes and adjustments when needed, instead of letting some things work themselves out. He said he doesn't want players to feel like he's looking over their shoulder, because they won't develop that way, but, when needed, he has to be quicker to change things up.

2. Cooter has really given ownership of this offense to quarterback Matthew Stafford. He said Thursday that the whole thing runs through Stafford. They discuss plays, concepts and what each one likes. He said it's valuable having that kind of relationship with the quarterback.

3. Austin has been around some pretty special football players throughout his time in the NFL as an assistant coach. So where does Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah rank among that list? "This guy is as fine a football player as I've been around," Austin said. That's pretty high praise for Ansah, who led the NFC with 14.5 sacks last year.

4. The Colts have a new defensive coordinator in Ted Monachino this season. It adds a layer of intrigue to the game plan for Cooter as tries to figure out how the Colts will try and attack his offense.

5. Tavon Wilson is the starting strong safety to begin the season because of his tackling, physicality and play in the box over the course of the preseason.

6. Who is the Lions' No. 1 receiver? Is it Marvin Jones? What about Golden Tate? Cooter has been a part of some really good offenses as an assistant coach and said one characteristic of those teams was that they had multiple weapons they could count on from week to week. That's his hope for the Lions' offense.

7. When asked about Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Austin described him as presenting a unique challenge athletically. Not only is Luck big and physical with a strong arm, but Austin commented on his speed and ability to outrun some linebackers at his size. It's all hands on deck corralling Luck this week.

8. Cooter thinks veteran slot receiver Anquan Boldin will be a really important part of the offense this year.

9. Nevin Lawson gets the start at cornerback opposite Darius Slay. Austin said the biggest improvement he's seen from Lawson over the course of the offseason has been his understanding of the defense, which has also improved his technique.

10. The fact that tight end Eric Ebron missed a month's worth of training camp is a little concerning to Cooter, but Cooter said Ebron was catching up and coming along in his return to practice as a full participant this week. We'll see how much Ebron is a part of the game plan vs. the Colts on Sunday.

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