Defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell spoke to the media Tuesday following Sunday’s loss in Oakland and ahead of this week’s matchup in Chicago against the Bears.
Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:
1. Bevell was asked about the last play call in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders. He said he liked the size matchup using his goal line package at the one-yard and liked the play call. They simply didn’t execute the play successfully. There was no regret in the play call.
2. What is Detroit’s identity on defense? Pasqualoni said he’d like it to be toughness and consistency, but admitted the consistency part just hasn’t been there this season.
3. The Lions have spread the ball around pretty efficiently to a lot of different weapons throughout the first half of the season, but one player we could see become more involved moving forward is running back J.D. McKissic. Bevell thought he ran the ball well in Oakland, and we’ve all seen what he can do in the pass game. Don’t be surprised if we see his touches increase.
4. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky might be on a short leash Sunday after he’s struggled in Chicago’s four straight losses. The Lions are preparing for Trubisky to start, and will adjust if Chase Daniel enters the game. Pasqualoni reminded reporters that Daniel started and won in Detroit last year, so he’s familiar with both quarterbacks. He said the Bears' offense doesn’t change with either player under center. Trubisky is just a little more athletic than Daniel.
5. “They’re an impressive a group as you’ll find.” That was how Bevell described the Bears' defense. He pointed out edge rushers Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd, who have eight sacks combined, specifically as a big challenge for his pass blockers Sunday in Chicago.
6. Tarik Cohen isn’t as big a part of Chicago’s run game as he’s been in past seasons, but Pasqualoni said he’s made up for that by being a huge part of the passing game. Cohen is second on the team with 34 receptions. Pasqualoni said the Bears using him more as a receiver sets up some good matchups for them.
7. Wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. are playing really good football right now. The pair are on pace for more than 1,000 receiving yards each and more than 10 touchdowns. Bevell said it’s a combination of size, seeing the ball well and being able to play it well in the air that makes both receivers unique playmakers down the field. The Lions lead the league in 20-plus-yard passing plays, and Golladay and Jones are a big reason why.
8. MIKE linebacker Jarrad Davis has struggled with inconsistent play this season, especially in the pass game. Could we see more of Jalen Reeves-Maybin in that role? It didn’t sound like it when Pasqualoni was asked.
9. The Bears are without defensive tackle and run stuffer Akiem Hicks, who was placed on IR with an elbow injury. But Bevell was quick to point out the good play Chicago’s getting along the interior from veteran Nick Williams, who has five sacks. Williams hadn’t recorded a single sack in his previous five seasons with Kansas City, Miami and two games last year with Chicago.
10. Rookie David Montgomery is Chicago’s lead back now. Pasqualoni called him a strong, physical downhill runner.