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 T.J. Hockenson trade hit home for Johnson a little bit more than these things normally do for coaches because he's built such a strong relationship with Hockenson over the years as his former tight ends coach. Johnson said the suddenness of this one really hurt.
2. Glenn admitted it's been a tough week for him personally after head coach Dan Campbell decided to move on from defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, who is a good friend of Glenn's. But Glenn said Campbell made the decision and he supports it: "That's my job. He's the boss. Whatever decisions he makes, it's our responsibility to support and continue to move on."
3. Fullback and special teams ace Jason Cabinda returned to practice this week after ankle issues landed him on PUP to begin the season. Getting Cabinda back will be a big boost for Fipp's special teams units. Cabinda has both an offensive and defensive skill set as a former linebacker turned fullback. He's arguably Detroit's top special teamer, and a guy who plays on all four teams.
4. The Lions haven't scored in the second half in three straight games. Johnson said turnovers, penalties, lack of discipline and sloppy fundamentals/technique have all been issues. Johnson said they need to have better awareness of those issues and handle them better.
5. Safeties coach Brian Duker takes over the defensive backs, but Glenn is spending a lot more time in that room this week and plans to keep spending more time in that room moving forward until they come up with some concrete answers on how to get this secondary playing better football.
"We have to do something about this secondary," Glenn admitted.
The Lions rank 32nd in points allowed (32.1), 32nd in total defense (421.3) and 27th against the pass (266.4).
6. Who did Fipp say the Lions need to keep an eye on this week on the Packers' special teams units? Fipp mentioned cornerback/kick returner Keisean Nixon, safety Rudy Ford, who Fipp called one of the fastest players in NFL, rookie safety Tariq Carpenter and safety Innis Gaines.
7. Johnson talked about the 4th and 2 play last week that fell incomplete and thwarted Detroit's chances for a comeback in the 31-27 loss to Miami.
"We had going into the game that play call was really three calls," Johnson said. "They gave us a pressure look, we checked to our pressure answer for that play, and they bailed out of (their pressure). When that happens, our options are a little bit limited. Jared (Goff) and Josh (Reynolds) were trying to make a play."
In hindsight, Johnson wished he'd called something different.
8. Expect second-year cornerback Jerry Jacobs, who has been rehabbing a torn ACL suffered last December, to play more snaps Sunday vs. Green Bay, according to Glenn. Jacobs has played just one defensive snap the last two weeks since being activated off the PUP list. He was one of Detroit's more physical corners as a starter last season before the knee injury. It certainly wouldn't hurt to get him more involved in the defense to see if he can provide a spark.
9. The Lions have been very successful over the last two seasons on their special teams fakes. They've converted on nearly a half dozen over the last year and a half alone. Fipp credits the players first and foremost with execution. He also said Campbell studies a lot of special teams film to help identify looks those plays can be successful against. If Fipp was preparing to play the Lions, he said he'd be super aware of the fakes. That can slow a rush or change a scheme when an opponent has to always be cognizant of the fake.
10. The Jalen Waddle 29-yard touchdown in the second quarter last week should have never happened, according to Glenn. There was supposed to be a safety over the top, with the other safety in support of covering Tyreek Hill. Kerby Joseph and JuJu Hughes were the safeties on the play, but without knowing the defensive play call, it's unclear who exactly messed up. Nonetheless, it speaks to the issues the Lions have had all year with missed assignments and blown coverages. The Lions have really missed safety Tracy Walker, who suffered an Achilles injury Week 3 and is out for the year.