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10 takeaways from Bevell, Undlin & Coombs

Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs spoke to the media Tuesday ahead of Detroit's Week 8 matchup vs. the Indianapolis Colts.  

Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:

1. How has the defense evolved since the bye? Undlin said they've found some different personnel groupings they like, and stopping the run the last two weeks has been huge for that side of the ball. Undlin also said the players have built up some trust having now played some games together. The Lions mixed some things up during the bye, but didn't come up with any radical new scheme.

"We've gotten better at what we do is what we've done," Undlin said. 

2. There was a 4th and 2 in the second quarter and a 3rd and 1 in the fourth quarter where the Lions weren't able to convert running the ball Sunday in Atlanta. Both plays got blown up off the edge. Bevell said Dante Fowler Jr. made a great play on the fourth down play. The second one Bevell said they didn't handle correctly upfront. The Lions want to run in those short-yardage situations, and Bevell said they have to execute better on those moving forward.

3. Former first-round pick Jarrad Davis has transitioned to a bigger role on special teams with his role on defense declining over the last few weeks. Instead of being disgruntled about it, Coombs said Davis has had no ego. Davis brings a lot of energy and ability to special teams. Davis made a tackle in Atlanta on special teams, and Coombs said he's been itching to get after some kicks in the rush game too. 

4. Undlin will put together his final thoughts on the game plan Tuesday night for Indianapolis' offense. So far, he's been particularly impressed with the Colts' running backs, some of the pieces they have upfront along the offensive line, and he really respects the competitive nature of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers. Undlin said it's easy to see on tape that Rivers has picked up Frank Reich's system really well. Reich was the QB coach and OC in San Diego with Rivers from 2013-15.

5. Every yard the Lions gain this week against the Colts' defense will be a yard earned, per Bevell. He said the thing that's jumped out to him the most watching the Colts' No. 2 ranked scoring defense on tape is that there never appears to be players running free and no broken coverages. He said Indy makes you earn every yard and every point.

6. Coombs said he couldn't be mad at Jack Fox's 67-yard touchback on a punt last week. The one coaching point he did make to his cover guys on that play is they have to track the ball better, and can't fall for the fake fair catch so easily. Detroit also got a bad bounce with the ball going into the end zone there. Coombs said the same thing happened on a punt with a fake fair catch later, and his cover guys handled it much better. 

7. Undlin was asked about the play of defensive end Romeo Okwara and cornerback Amani Oruwariye, two players a lot of people weren't talking a lot about to begin the year, but both have had terrific starts to the season. Okwara's been a big factor in the pass rush of late, and Oruwariye still hasn't allowed a touchdown in his coverage area this season. Undlin said both players have really been showing up this season. 

8. Bevell wasn't mad at all about the missed spot Sunday that made Detroit run their final play from the 11-yard line instead of the 8-yard line, which is where wide receiver Kenny Golladay was touched down the previous play. Bevell said he was really comfortable with the play call he had from the 11-yard line. The three extra yards of space can really make a difference down in the red zone.

9. We usually don't talk about defensive coordinators having a good game plan for an opponent's starting right guard, but there aren't many guards in this league as good as the Colts' Quenton Nelson. Undlin said he'll try to make Nelson work Sunday, and not let things come easy for Nelson. 

10. Quarterback Matthew Stafford looked at improving his footwork heading into the bye week. Bevell said Tuesday he's been much better with it the last two weeks, both wins in which Stafford has played pretty well.

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