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. Minnesota really got after Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford the last time these two teams met. Stafford was sacked seven times and hit a total of 13 times in a Week 7 loss at Ford Field. But the Lions have a new scheme, and this time around Cooter feels much more comfortable with the personnel they have upfront.

2. Austin pointed to two things in particular both the Eagles' and Bears' defenses were able to accomplish in beating the Vikings the last two weeks. He said stopping the run was No. 1, and then rattling Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford in the pocket. This is a copycat league, so Austin will be looking to do the same two things on Sunday.

3. Like most teams, the Vikings employ a lot of different blitzes on defense, but Cooter said it's the way in which the Vikings disguise their blitzes that make them so difficult to play against. They're probably the best in the league at it.

4. The Lions traded for veteran cornerback Johnthan Banks on Tuesday. Austin said it wouldn't take long for him to pick up what they're trying to do on defense. The hard part is the verbiage. "He's probably done everything that we're asking our guys to do, but the key words that trigger to make them do it might be different, so that's usually the biggest learning curve for guys," Austin said.

5. It was subtle, but Cooter made the comment late in his press conference about how important the pass protection element of a running back's game has to be in his scheme. The Lions ask their backs to protect a lot. That's not a strong part of Dwayne Washington's game. That could certainly be a factor as to why he was a seemingly healthy scratch last week.

6. Safety Miles Killebrew isn't going to learn anything standing on the sideline, according to Austin, so the Lions have carved out a role in their defense for the physically talented rookie, and are hoping he can grow and develop faster within that role.

7. Rookie Taylor Decker is settling into playing left tackle in the NFL, getting more comfortable week after week. Things are slowing down for him, according to Cooter, but the true test for him will be later in the season when some rookies hit a wall because of the crazy schedule they have their first year. Will Decker be able to avoid the rookie wall?

8. Austin isn't expecting any wholesale changes in the way Minnesota plays offense Sunday with the switch in offensive coordinators this week. He's expecting some tweaks here and there, but no significant changes on the fly.

9. The Lions will try to get the ball out quick and spread it around to a lot of different weapons this week against a very talented Vikings defense, which is something they've done pretty well all year. But Cooter also said it was important to get the ball all over the field and even threaten down the field when the opportunities present themselves.

10. Stefan Charles has flashed a couple times in each of the last few games filling in for the injured Haloti Ngata. Austin described his game as a bull playing in a china shop.

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