Defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell spoke to the media Tuesday following last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys and ahead of Sunday’s matchup with the Redskins.
Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:
1. Opposing passers have a rating above 110.0 and at least three passing touchdowns in each of the last five games vs. the Lions' defense. Pasqualoni said playing good pass defense is always a marriage of rush and coverage, and he admitted the marriage isn’t working very well right now. There’s not been enough consistency in either area over the last five games.
2. Bo Scarbrough got the start for the Lions at running back Sunday. Bevell thought he brought a physical presence to the run game and an ability to break tackles in both the first and second levels. He thought Scarbrough brought a tenacity to the run game and provided a spark. I expect Scarbrough to get the start Sunday in Washington.
3. The Lions are one of the lower blitzing teams based off percentage. Pasqualoni was pretty vague when asked about the Lions’ blitz strategy, other than saying blitzing is not always the answer to generating pass rush. There are times when the Lions have blitzed effectively this season, however.
4. The Lions signed tight end Jesse James in free agency this offseason. He has just eight catches for 64 yards with no touchdowns. Bevell said part of that is because the tight end room was upgraded more than any other position this offseason with the signing of Logan Thomas and the drafting of T.J. Hockenson. Bevell also said James does some things for the offense that doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet.
5. Running back Derrius Guice returned to the Washington backfield last week after missing most of the season while on IR. He’s a 225-pound downhill runner that Pasqualoni said can make defenders miss or run them over, which makes him tough to defend.
6. Asked about the Redskins' defense, Bevell first pointed to the defensive line and named Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen, especially, as players that can be disruptive for his offense on Sunday.
7. Detroit’s defense has their eye on rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin ahead of Sunday’s matchup with Redskins. He’s Washington’s big-play receiver in the passing game, and has shown an ability to separate from defenders. McLaurin has five touchdowns on the season, which leads the Redskins.
8. If the Lions don’t have the services of center Frank Ragnow and right tackle Rick Wagner due to concussions both are dealing with, Bevell said Kenny Wiggins and Tyrell Crosby will step in. Bevell said it’s been good both players have gotten a lot of reps this year. Bevell also said, however, that their depth upfront will really be challenged if Wiggins and Crosby have to step into starting roles.
9. Rookie cornerback Amani Oruwariye played nine snaps on defense Sunday, on top of the eight he played on special teams. Those reps are important for the athletic rookie at this point in his development. Pasqualoni said Oruwariye was “starting to come around,” and he earned those reps after missing time with a knee injury.
10. Jeff Driskel started his second game for the Lions at quarterback last week and did a nice job throwing for two touchdowns and running for another. Bevell was especially impressed with the fact that Driskel made good decisions and didn’t turn the ball over.