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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. The Lions traded away linebacker Kyle Van Noy this week and signed veteran Josh Bynes. Austin said Bynes can play all three linebacker spots in his defense. How many snaps Bynes plays Sunday in Houston will depend on how good of football shape he gets into by the end of the week.

2. Golden Tate has been a huge part of the offense the last few weeks ever since his benching in the second half vs. Chicago Week 4. Tate's numbers have climbed significantly with Theo Riddick (ankle) and Eric Ebron (ankle/knee) out of the lineup. Cooter said even when Riddick and Ebron return, which could be this week, Tate will remain a big part of offense.

3. The Lions have the worst defense in the league on third down, allowing a conversion more than 50 percent of the time (51.2). When asked about it, Austin said the bigger issue has been on second down. In his opinion, his defense is facing too many third and short situations. They need to be better on second down and force more third and longer situations.

4. The Lions square off against two very good veteran cornerbacks in Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph this week. Opponents have the lowest completion percentage in the NFL at 56.5 and the second-lowest net yards passing per game at 210.6 when facing the Texans. Cooter said their experience makes them so good. They've seen everything and know all the tricks to get guys covered.

5. It looks like veteran Johnson Bademosi could step in and play for Darius Slay (hamstring) this weekend, if Slay can't go. Austin said players like Bademosi aspire to be more than just special teams players. Bademosi might get his shot to start this weekend and prove he's more than just a great special teams player.

6. Cooter is feeling good about the play of his offensive line lately, and the players he has in there right now. It doesn't sound like there will be any lineup changes this week.

7. Austin said Nevin Lawson is coming off his most complete game of the season last week vs. Washington. Lawson is starting to see the payoff from his hard work. Austin is hoping he continues that upward trend this week.

8. The Texans do a vey good job of mixing up their corners, rotating in personnel and moving them around. It can make it hard for Cooter to game plan a specific pass route or concept against a specific defender, because oftentimes he won't know where that defender is going to be.

9. One of the things Austin said about Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler was that because he's such a big quarterback, he sometimes has a hard time resetting his feet when he's forced to move around. Make Osweiler uncomfortable in the pocket and he's been known to make mistakes.

10. Andre Roberts has stepped up and made some plays the last couple weeks as the fourth receiver. Cooter said that's been invaluable, especially with him having to play more four-receiver sets recently because of injuries.

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