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10 takeaways from Glenn, Johnson & Fipp

Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp spoke to the media Thursday as they do every week. Here are my 10 biggest takeaways from those media sessions:

1. We haven't seen third-round pick Brodric Martin on the field yet for the Lions' defense as he's been inactive the first five weeks. Glenn said the rookie defensive lineman out of Western Kentucky continues to make good progress in his development. Coaches have focused on improving Martin's lateral quickness, his hand placement and just his overall awareness of how he fits within the defense.

The fact that Martin gets to go up against Detroit's starters along the offensive line in practice every day is accelerating his learning curve, per Glenn.

2. Johnson incorporated a few gadget plays into the offense that worked last week and earned some buzz in the process. Johnson said he has a library in his offense of those plays. He credited the direct snap to running back David Montgomery through quarterback Jared Goff's legs to assistant offensive line coach Steve Oliver, who saw that Carolina's d-line kind of settled back on their heels when the quarterback went to the line to check a play.

Johnson said the young coaches on the staff come up with about 12 or so gadget plays a week, and two or three usually make the call sheet.

3. Want to know what the weather is? Just ask an NFL special teams coordinator, kicker or punter. Fipp joked about that fact Thursday after telling the media the current report for Sunday afternoon in Tampa Bay is 80 degrees with winds around 13 mph with gusts anywhere between 10-20 mph. He also said Raymond James Stadium has a good playing surface and field goal kicking is pretty equal toward either end zone.

4. Glenn said he's been very impressed with the play of Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield on tape. He called Mayfield a 'big time competitor' and loves the passion he plays the game with. He did say that competitive spirit can help and hurt Mayfield sometimes, but Glenn has a ton of respect for the way he's playing right now.

5. How would Johnson describe his play-call style? He thought about it for a few seconds, smiled and said: 'Calculated.'

6. Detroit is one of the few teams in the NFL that don't have a touchback on a punt this season. Punter Jack Fox has really worked on that aspect of his game, and Fipp said that's an important statistic to him that he wants to keep extending.

7. Asked about rookie linebacker Jack Campbell and his development and rep count, Glenn said the fact that Campbell is playing a little less than half the reps on defense (46 percent through five games) doesn't have as much to do with Campbell or any lack of development or holes in his game as it does with veteran Derrick Barnes just playing so well ahead of him.

Campbell is making plays and improving every week, but Barnes is also making plays, and the veteran has earned his play time ahead of Campbell. Glenn said he'll continue to rotate players in and utilize the strengths of everyone in that room and keep them fresh.

8. Johnson joked that he's still trying to see if there's anything rookie tight end Sam LaPorta can't do, and he's been stumped so far. Johnson was quick to credit tight ends coach Steve Heiden with being a big part of LaPorta's development and stellar play to start his career.

9. Fipp said it will be good to get Khalil Dorsey back in the fold on special teams soon. The Lions started Dorsey's 21-day practice window to come off IR this week. Dorsey was the team's starting kickoff returner and a core special teamer Week 1 before landing on IR with an illness.

10. Veteran wide receiver Josh Reynolds has been one of the unsung heroes for Detroit's offense early in the season. One of the rare things about Reynolds, according to Johnson, is his ability to play any position at any moment because of just how smart he is.

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