Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp spoke to the media Thursday. Here are my 10 biggest takeaways from those media sessions:
1. Most NFL defenses are either predominantly max cover or max pressure and that's what makes Minnesota's defense unique, per Johnson, because they are both. They will blitz and play cover zero one play and then rush three and drop eight the next. Johnson said the Vikings do a great job disguising their defense and an excellent job shedding blocks with their front seven.
2. Glenn didn't want to share specifics, but he is certainly looking forward to building some three-safety packages with Kerby Joseph, Ifeatu Melifonwu and C.J. Gardner-Johnson to get them on the field together once Gardner-Johnson returns to game action.
3. The decision to go with Michael Badgley over Riley Patterson at kicker was a tough one, according to Fipp, but one based off the numbers. They challenged Patterson a few weeks back after the Chargers game and they've let Badgley and Patterson each kick six kicks during practice twice a week (12 total kicks) for the last few weeks and Fipp said Badgley clearly won that competition and thus the job. He said he had a responsibility to every player in the locker room to go with the best guy.
4. The Vikings have allowed just one run of 20-plus yards all season. Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs has 10 such runs to lead the league. Johnson said the Vikings don't play a lot of base defense and because they use lighter personnel a lot, opponents think they can run and gash them for those big runs. He said teams don't because Minnesota tackles and rallies to the football really well in their sub packages.
5. Detroit's defense was able to be really aggressive with their blitz packages last week because they loved the matchup vs. Denver. Glenn said Melifonwu's ability to cover at the safety spot and Khalil Dorsey's speed at cornerback allowed him to blitz a lot. Glenn said it was a fun game to call on defense.
6. Fipp said the move from Patterson to Badgley doesn't change game management from a field goal kicking perspective because their leg strength and maximum distance are pretty comparable.
7. How good is Penei Sewell? Johnson compared him to San Francisco's Trent Williams, who is widely regarded as the best tackle to ever play the game. That's pretty high praise from Johnson.
8. Glenn has really loved to see the uptick in statistical contributions defensive linemen John Cominsky and Josh Paschal have made the last couple weeks. Cominsky has 12 tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits the last two weeks. Paschal had two tackles for loss and a sack last week vs. Denver.
Glenn described Cominsky as a Detroit Lion through and through. He thinks Paschal is really coming on with time on task. The Lions have needed someone to step up opposite Aidan Hutchinson and they've gotten that from Cominsky and Paschal the last couple weeks.
9. When it comes to kickoff stats, what are the important numbers to Fipp? It's not return average. It's average starting position. The Lions rank sixth in the NFL starting drives on average at the 25.5-yard line. They are No. 1 in the league forcing opponents to start at the 23.8-yard line.
10. Johnson was really high on Vikings undrafted rookie linebacker Ivan Pace Jr., who has been playing really well.
"He's the real deal now," Johnson said. "He is slippery. He can take on blocks but at the same time he'll get right on the line in a hurry."