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10 takeaways from Austin & Cooter

A lot has transpired in free agency and the draft since the last time defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter spoke to the media.

Both coordinators talked after Tuesday's open OTA practice, and there was a lot to discuss.

Here are 10 takeaways from those sessions:

1. Cooter and the rest of the coaching staff are in the process of finding out just what they have at left tackle and what the best plan is moving forward, after Tuesday's news that starting left tackle Taylor Decker will be out for an undisclosed amount of time after undergoing shoulder surgery on Monday. Joe Dahl and Cornelius Lucas split reps there at Tuesday's practice. Corey Robinson has been out this offseason rehabbing an injury.

"We're going to play five offensive linemen and figure out who those best five are," Cooter said. "Whoever that best left tackle ends up being, we're going to play him and if there's an adjustment needed from a scheme perspective, we'll make that. If there's not, there's not."

2. When asked what the biggest difference is with his defense heading into this year, Austin pointed to the fact that they're a younger unit and they're faster overall, especially at linebacker and in the secondary. Austin views this year's defense as an overall more athletic group than the one he led a season ago.

3. Cooter says there is a different feel around his offense this year because everyone is much more comfortable from a scheme perspective. Cooter's entering his second full season as the offensive coordinator. He says it's particularly the case for quarterback Matthew Stafford. The quarterback and coordinator are meshing even more in terms of their thought processes, according to Cooter. When Cooter walks toward Stafford after a play, they're already having the same conversation on what they saw in terms of coverage and play checks.

4. Rookie Teez Tabor notched his first interception in practice Tuesday on a deep ball from Stafford intended for Marvin Jones Jr.. Tabor was in perfect position to make the play, and Austin didn't seem surprised at all about it. Austin touted Tabor's size, length and "really good" ball skills when asked about it after practice.

5. Running back Ameer Abdullah made a catch down the sideline for a big play in practice, and had a couple very nice runs. Cooter's offense is much more balanced and explosive with Abdullah in it, and he's excited to have Abdullah back after he missed nearly all last season with a foot injury.

6. A'Shawn Robinson "looks really good right now," according to Austin. Players usually take their biggest leap in development from year one to year two, and it's obvious from the way Austin's face lit up at the mere mention of Robinson, that expectations are high for the young defensive tackle in his second season. The next big step for Robinson is improving his pass rush so he can become a three-down player in Austin's scheme.

7. Dahl, who split reps at left tackle in the first open practice without Taylor Decker, played left tackle in college before making the switch inside to guard as a rookie last year. Cooter thinks there's a comfort level Dahl is showing having played the position in college.

8. Miles Killebrew is a strong safety with position versatility -- At least that's how Austin views the second-year player. Austin said Killebrew can also play in the dime and man the back in coverage if asked to. Austin's excited to see what Killebrew can do in the preseason because he's expecting the young safety to improve on the promise he showed last year in limited reps on defense.

9. Kenny Golladay is a big receiver with speed. The rookie "has had some nice days," according to Cooter. Golladay's still learning the tricks of the trade, obviously, but Cooter likes what he's seen so far from him.

10. Austin has no worries whatsoever about Tahir Whitehead and his transition from the MIKE to the WILL. "Tahir has been nothing but a team guy. He's fine and I expect him to be ready to go in camp."

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