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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 during the regular season.

Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:

1. The Arizona Cardinals have one of the best defenses in the game with the ability to both rush the passer (48 sacks last year) and cover behind it with players like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. It's a good test for Cooter and Detroit's offense.

2. Arizona's offense is no slouch, either, with players like David Johnson, Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald. In fact, Austin said this weekend will be as big a challenge his defense will face all season. 

3. This offseason, Cooter challenged his receivers to be better against press coverage. It was an area Detroit's pass catchers struggled with at times last year. Cooter made improving that aspect a point of emphasis.

4. Austin admits that defensive end Ziggy Ansah is likely to be a little rusty on Sunday, seeing how he sat out the last month with a knee injury and practiced for just one week on a limited basis. Still, he said he's not worried about Ansah and his ability to affect the game on Sunday. 

5. Who is Detroit's third receiver behind Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate? It will depend on the matchup Detroit is seeing that particular week. TJ Jones and Kenny Golladay have very different skill sets, and could both fit into the role on a week-to-week basis depending on the matchup Cooter likes the most.

6. The biggest key for Detroit's defense this week is keeping the ball in front of them. The Cardinals love to take shots down the field. They had the sixth-most pass attempts last year (68) that traveled at least 21 yards in the air. They have a deep element to almost every play. Austin said keeping the ball in front of them Sunday is key.

7. One player Cooter says he'll always have tabs on is versatile Arizona safety Tyrann Mathieu. He plays free safety in base defense, nickel corner in sub packages and has a long history of being able to get his hands on the ball. 

8. Rookie MIKE linebacker Jarrad Davis is ready to lead this defense and make the calls starting Week 1, according to Austin.

9. The Lions have all their options on the table in terms of what kind of pace they want to run on offense Sunday. They've had some success in recent years when playing up-tempo. The fact that everyone is healthy to start the season, and has played plenty of reps together in training camp, gives Cooter the option to play at whatever pace he feels gives him an advantage on Sunday.

10. The track record of production at the defensive end position after Ansah isn't there, but every year it seems like someone emerges out of nowhere to record six, seven or eight sacks and become a factor. Austin thinks the same thing will happen this year, though he wasn't naming any names.

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