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10 takeaways from Austin & Cooter

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter spoke to the media Tuesday for the first time since early June.

Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:

1. Cooter used the word "big" three times in succession when talking about what kind of emphasis he put on improving Detroit's run game this offseason. He's made it his personal mission to make that portion of his offense respectable. The Lions ranked 30th in rushing last year. 

2. This is the best support Austin says he's had in the secondary since taking over Detroit's defense. Austin loves the competition and depth that's developed back there. The only starters locked into their spots right now are cornerback Darius Slay and safety Glover Quin, per Austin.

3. One of the benefits of having a receiver the size of Kenny Golladay (6-4) is that he doesn't always have to be open to make a play. Golladay can go up over smaller defenders and get the ball. He can take advantage of that in the red zone and also win vs. tight coverage down the field.

4. How confident is Austin that his defensive line can generate pressure in 2017? "I'm not sure if I'll be able to let you know that until we get into the real thing," he said. "I think at that point we'll find out. I don't know if I have an answer for you right now."

5. Second-year running back Dwayne Washington has improved his run reads and pass protection over the last year. Cooter says he's happy with the strides he's been making so far in camp.

6. Austin doesn't seem too worried about Ziggy Ansah's lingering injury. Ansah remains on PUP. The fact that Austin didn't seem too concerned when asked about it is a positive sign.

7. Not only are receivers battling for roster spots and playing time, but Cooter also made the point Tuesday that receivers are also competing for the quarterback's attention. When a receiver wide right and one wide left are running the same out route against press coverage, who does the quarterback have more confidence throwing to? It's something Cooter is always preaching, even to players like Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr.

8. Rookie MIKE linebacker Jarrad Davis is fitting in nicely in the middle of Austin's defense. He's getting more and more comfortable every week, and Austin really likes the way he carries himself and prepares.  

9. This offensive line is one of the best Cooter has ever seen at communicating. The benefit he sees in that is they are on the same page more often when it comes to their blocking assignments. 

10. Austin is impressed with how mentally tough rookie cornerback Teez Tabor is. He said he's been very happy with how Tabor's played in team situations the last two weeks.

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