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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. Austin admitted that it's been a little frustrating to play the run so well one week and then not so well at other times. The issues Sunday vs. Cleveland (201 rushing yards) were about proper run fits and making the first tackle. The run-fit part, Austin said, was on him. He needs to put his players on defense in better spots to make plays vs. the run at all times. 

2. The Lions will have all five starters along their offensive line and all their skill players healthy for the first time this season on Sunday. Cooter said that good health allows for an offensive play caller to open up his enitre playbook.

3. Lions fans certainly know how good safety Glover Quin is, but Austin thinks he's a bit underrated from a national perspective. He called Quin one of the better safeties in the league, and the glue to his secondary. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say Quin is the glue to the whole Lions' defense.

4. Rookie running back Tion Green has been getting a lot of carries with the scout team in practice, and Cooter sees some nice things from him. He continues to develop his body and the way he sees and understands the game. When we see Green in a game is yet to be determined, however.  

5. Watching the tape on Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Austin says he's a player who can make all the throws, and is athletic when he tucks it and runs (7.7 yards per carry). But Austin also said Chicago hasn't really opened up their passing game completely just yet with him at the helm. That's not uncommon for a rookie quarterback in his first few starts.

6. Tight end Eric Ebron has been taking advantage of opportunities to make plays the last couple weeks. Ebron has been practicing really well, according to Cooter, and it's been good to see him make plays when his number has been called. 

7. Austin's a big fan of Chicago second-year running back Jordan Howard, who is fifth in the NFL in rushing and looking for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career. Austin called Howard "a load with vision." If the Lions jump out of a gap Sunday, Austin said Howard will find it.

8. Cooter had no comment on the head coaching vacancy at his alma mater Tennessee. He said he's locked and loaded on the Chicago Bears and nothing else.

9. Haloti Ngata is on IR, but the veteran defensive tackle remains an active participant on gameday and even travels to road games. He's been a big help to the younger defensive linemen, and Austin said he really appreciates Ngata for that.

10. From time to time, when scouting common opponents, Cooter said he'll run across a play someone else ran that he likes, but he says there's very little study of other offenses that goes on during the season. He said he's so focused on his matchup any given week and preparing that game plan that he doesn't have much time to glean things from other offenses. He did, however, say there were some creative things currently going around the league in terms of offensive football, using the Kansas City Chiefs as an example.

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