Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs spoke to the media Monday coming out of Detroit's bye week and heading into Sunday's matchup against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:
1. Detroit's special teams have been a bright spot for the Lions the first quarter of the season, but the bye week is all about self-evaluation and how the Lions can get better in every phase of the game.
Coombs said the Lions can be better covering kickoffs moving forward, and also said despite the good play of those special teams units through the first four games of the season, they haven't done a good enough job of making the kind of impact plays that help them win games. That's something that unit is focusing on coming out of the bye week.
2. What have the Lions pinpointed about quarterback Matthew Stafford's play the first four weeks that can help him improve coming out of the bye? Bevell pointed to Stafford's footwork.
"Just continuing to work on those little details, making sure that our feet are helping us get through progressions, helping us make the decisions and that we bring our feet with us through all our throws," he said.
3. What has been the biggest issue for the Lions' defense in stopping the run? The Lions are allowing better than 170 rushing yards per game on the ground through four games. That number isn't sustainable if they want to be better on defense.
"I can pull off six different plays, one time it goes for zero (yards) and then the next time it goes for six (yards) and then the next time it goes for seven (yards), whatever it is," Undlin said. "So, the big thing is watching with the players and going back through and having those discussions and then going out and practicing, we've just got to be more consistent up front, in the backend, linebackers, everybody."
4. Punter Jack Fox leads the NFL in punting average and net punting through four weeks. He was the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September. Coombs said the expectations and the goals for Fox have changed after the start he's had. Coombs met with Fox individually, and because of Fox's start, Coombs said the goals have been adjusted significantly, which is a good thing.
5. After the bye week evaluation, what's been the three biggest areas holding the Lions' offense back? Bevell really harped on consistency, but also pointed to limiting negative plays, limiting penalties and then a lack of execution when there's an opportunity to make a big play. Those are three key areas Bevell and the offense are focused on improving.
6. Rookie defensive tackle John Penisini has gotten more run the last couple weeks with starter Nick Williams dealing with a shoulder injury. Penisini has been impressing Undlin, who said he's doing a good job taking in a little more of the scheme every week. He's starting to make an impact on Sunday, which should be good for the defensive interior moving forward.
7. The bye week is a good opportunity to self-evaluate not only the play of the players, but also the play calls and coaching. Where does Bevell think he hasn't done a good enough job early on this season?
"We should be 100 percent on short yardage," he said. "If you want to pick one that goes right back to me, we had two short-yardage plays that we didn't get. One probably outsmarted ourselves on the scheme, and two threw a pass on 3rd and 1 that I should have ran it. That's exactly what I told the guys, we would be 100 percent in those situation right now, so it's not all on them. It's on all of us."
8. Coombs said he thinks Jamal Agnew is close to breaking a big return that will help impact a game. Agnew has four return touchdowns in his career, but none so far this season.
9. Undlin likes the trajectory rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah is on. Undlin said Okudah is playing better with every opportunity he gets. Depending on how severe the hamstring injury Desmond Trufant suffered last week vs. New Orleans is, Undlin and the Lions could be counting on Okudah to keep that trajectory up Sunday in Jacksonville with a big role on defense.
10. Asked if there were any lingering effects from the back injury Stafford suffered last year to his play not being as good as what we saw the first eight games last season, Bevell said there's no correlation as far as he knows.