Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs spoke to the media Tuesday following Detroit's loss in Green Bay on Sunday, and ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Cardinals in Arizona.
Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:
1. Veteran linebacker Reggie Ragland spoke to the media Monday and said a lot of Detroit's issues following an 0-2 start are from the neck up. Undlin said it was a great quote by Ragland, and he feels the same way. Undlin believes he has good players on defense and it's not a talent deficiency problem. He said he has to coach better and the players need to execute better.
2. When asked about quarterback Matthew Stafford's play early in the season, Bevell described it as "solid," but there were certainly plays Stafford would like to have back. The two second half interceptions the last two weeks that led to touchdowns for both the Bears and Packers are probably two of them. Stafford can certainly play better moving forward, and the expectation from Bevell is that he will.
3. First-year Lions punter Jack Fox leads the NFL in net punting after two weeks with a 51.3 average, but Coombs said that statistic is a credit to all 11 players on the punt team.
He's right, too. Net punting is the key stat in punting, and the Lions have been really good from the snap, protection, kick and coverage early on this season.
4. Detroit and Houston are the only two teams in the NFL without a takeaway through the first two weeks of the season. Undlin said that's the statistic he's most disappointed with, because there were some opportunities to get some takeaways, especially against Chicago Week 1.
5. The biggest component missing from the offense without wide receiver Kenny Golladay in the lineup is his ability to stretch the field and thus stretch the defense. The Lions have seen a lot of two-deep safety looks without Golladay in the lineup the first two weeks because of a hamstring injury. Potentially getting Golladay back this week will help in that regard, but Bevell said they also need to consistently run the football better to force teams to put a safety in the box and thus free up more opportunities down the field as well.
6. Undlin and the Lions' defense face another tough task this Sunday in quarterback Kyler Murray and the high-flying Cardinals offense that ranks sixth in the league in total offense. Undlin joked that it's like playing Texas Tech, but with NFL talent. Undlin referenced watching a 3rd and 17 play where Murray converted running the football 22 yards after the defense covered up everyone really well.
Detroit will have to be aware of Murray's ability to take off and run, on top of his terrific arm talent. The Lions will have to be good on all their zone-read calls on defense.
7. Bevell is pretty happy with the way rookie right guard Jonah Jackson has played so far. He said Jackson really took a big leap from the beginning of training camp to the end, and credited daily reps against defensive tackle Nick Williams with helping him along. Jackson has allowed one sack, one quarterback hit, and one hurry for three total pressures in two games and 81 pass-block reps.
8. Kicker Matt Prater has missed two field goals after two games, which is certainly uncharacteristic for him. It should be noted those misses were from 55 and 57 yards, which aren't easy kicks. Coombs said Prater is "frustrated but not discouraged" by the misses. Coombs said he doesn't have the slightest hesitation in asking Prater to make a big kick moving forward.
9. The Lions continue to add more and more on rookie running back D’Andre Swift's plate after he missed significant time in training camp. Bevell said he's liked the way his rookie running back his progressing. It's safe to say we can expect more from Swift, especially in the passing game.
10. The Lions are 0-2, but Undlin was quick to point out to his players this week they still had 14 more opportunities to win football games.
"Let's not panic," he told them.
Undlin didn't want them to forget that they haven't played well. He wasn't going to forget he hasn't coached it good enough, either. It hasn't been good enough on defense through the first two weeks, the players and coaches know that, but Undlin said there's no use dwelling on it. Instead he chooses to turn his focus to creating a game plan to try and slow Arizona down.