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. The only way to fix a problem is recognizing there's an issue to begin with. Johnson said quarterback Jared Goff knows turnovers and pocket awareness have been a little bit of an issue these last two games. Johnson said he and Goff are working on both aspects this week. They are giving Goff tougher looks in the pocket in practice and are working to clear up some of those issues that have come up the last two games after Goff's really hot start to the season.
2. Glenn said he prides himself on being a coach that will listen to his players. During the bye, he sat down with rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, and Hutchinson told Glenn he thought he could be more successful playing more in a two-point stance. Glenn listened. We saw more of that from Hutchinson last week as he responded with a couple sacks and three quarterback hits vs. Dallas.
Glenn said Hutchinson is a really instinctual player with good vision, and those qualities come out a little better when he's standing up as a rusher. Good on Glenn to listen to the player and make the adjustment.
3. Michael Badgley proved Fipp right last week when Fipp said he expected the field goal kicking to settle down a bit. Badgley was 2-for-2 kicking field goals, including a 53-yarder. Fipp said he likes Badgley's demeanor and how he doesn't get too high or too low. It was good to see some consistency there last week. Let's see if it continues.
4. The Lions' offense got off to such a great start the first four weeks, but has sputtered a bit the last two weeks, scoring just six points combined in their last two contests. Johnson isn't panicking, however. There aren't wholesale changes coming. He just said it comes down to execution. They need to be better with ball security, improve on third down, have more consistency in short-yardage situations and get into the red zone more, an area where they've been really good scoring touchdowns (71.4 percent).
5. The defense has gone back to some of the 3-4 concepts that worked well for them last year, which also coincides with that side of the ball playing better football overall the last couple games. Some of the changes the Lions made this offseason on defense were to create more tackles for loss by being a penetrating front, according to Glenn, especially on early downs. But in the end, Glenn's defensive principles always go back to pushing people back, setting edges and building a wall, which they've done a better job of lately going back to some of their read and react concepts from last season.
6. Fipp was really happy for the contract extension signed by punter Jack Fox this week that makes Fox the highest paid punter in the NFL. Fox has a terrific work ethic, according to Fipp, and is a real weapon with both his leg and arm. Fipp is excited Fox will be a Lion through 2026.
7. Johnson said Miami has the most stout run defense they've faced all season. This is more of a read and react Dolphins front that is hard to move off the ball. It's a much different opponent than last week's penetrating Dallas front. Johnson said they'll have their work cut out for them in the run game this week.
8. What are the main points of emphasis for Glenn and the defense this week? First, don't let the ball go over their head. Second, create population at the football after the catch. Glenn said Miami created so many explosive plays with run after catch that they have to really be good about rallying to the football.
9. Miami doesn't just have speed on offense. They're also explosive in the return game. They will use Tyreek Hill in the return game, but Fipp said all of the Dolphins' return men have big-play potential. He said they'll have to be much more sound in the coverage game than they were last week in Dallas when they gave up a big punt return of 52 yards to KaVontae Turpin.
10. It looks like the Lions could get both running back D’Andre Swift and slot receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown back this week. Those two put so much pressure on the defense because of their explosiveness and production. Johnson had a smile on his face when asked about the potential having both of those players back.