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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 following Sunday's win over Washington and ahead of this week's game in Carolina against the Panthers.

Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:

1. Rookie running back D’Andre Swift rushed for 81 yards and caught 68 yards worth of passes, including a touchdown, vs. Washington. He currently leads all rookie running backs in receiving yards (275). Bevell said that kind of versatile production is what they expected from Swift when they drafted him in the second round out of Georgia.

Swift missed a lot of training camp, and it took some time early in the year to catch up, but Sunday's performance was what the Lions expected to have in Swift. Bevell made it seem like Swift will continue to get a lot of opportunities to make plays moving forward. 

2. The Lions have struggled to hang on to leads this season. Undlin was asked about his defense surrendering a 21-point lead against Washington, and he said it's really just a situation where they have to play better. He said he wished he had a better answer than that. One thing he did say was he wished he would have switched to more man defense earlier in the second half when Washington went more up-tempo and had them on their heels a little bit while they were playing a lot of zone.

3. With Jamal Agnew and Danny Amendola dealing with injuries, Coombs said it's a luxury to have a veteran player like Marvin Hall, who can return both kicks and punts, and do so at a high level.

4. Detroit's offensive line played terrific last week against a Washington defensive front that featured five first-round picks and entered the game ranked fourth in the NFL in sacks with 27.0. Washington recorded just one sack and one quarterback hit on Matthew Stafford. All those guys in that room are comfortable with each other, according to Bevell, and having so many guys rotate in there this year has really helped them in the long run get comfortable with whatever scenario is presented to them in a given week.

5. Speaking of offensive line play, Bevell said left tackle Taylor Decker and center Frank Ragnow, who both haven't allowed a sack all season, should be considered for the Pro Bowl.

6. Defensive end Romeo Okwara recorded his team-leading sixth sack last week. One thing Undlin said he's noticed about Okwara is his confidence level is sky high right now. Undlin said his veteran defensive end really has a terrific understanding of the scheme.

7. It was interesting to hear Coombs talk about what goes into receiving the opening kick or deferring. He said it's obviously head coach Matt Patricia's final call, but personally, if he knows a team kicks touchbacks a lot, he likes to kick the ball and start the game with a great play to tackle and cover a kick. Get the guys juiced up on a good play. He said a touchback is a "downer" way to start a game.

8. Bevell said Carolina is a unique defense in that they play a majority of nickel and dime. One player Bevell said has stood out to him as he's started to study Carolina is second-year defensive end Brian Burns, who leads the Panthers with 4.0 sacks. Bevell described Burns as "slippery" on the edge, and a guy they're focused on trying to contain this week.

9. Defensive end Everson Griffen played well Sunday with a sack and five quarterback hits. Undlin said Griffen's snaps will continue to grow week-to-week as he becomes more and more comfortable with the scheme.

10. Bevell was asked about his ambitions to one day be a head coach.

"I've been chasing it for a while," Bevell said. "I think the most important thing for me to do – I always say this – is do the job right now to the best of my abilities and let all that other stuff take care of itself. I think if you're doing a good job it gets seen."

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