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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 on Wednesday this week due to the short work week ahead of Saturday's game. Here are my 10 biggest takeaways from those media sessions:

1. The Lions had the lowest number of explosive plays on offense they've had all year against Minnesota last week. The good thing to come out of that, per Johnson, is the versatility the offense showed by putting together four scoring drives of 13-plus plays. Explosive plays or dink and dunk, Johnson and the Lions' offense can beat teams in different ways.

2. Dallas is 7-0 and is averaging a league-high 39.9 points per game at home this season. What has made them so explosive at AT&T Stadium?

Glenn said Dallas gets to play with a certain tempo at home and their comfort and level of execution is admittedly different there. How Detroit starts the game is going to be crucial. Dallas has gotten off to great starts at home and that plays to their advantage on both sides of the ball.

3. It can't be easy going from being a defensive starter to almost exclusively a special teams player like what we've seen from Tracy Walker, but Fipp said Walker has made the transition with a smile on his face and he admires and respects that about Walker.

4. Detroit's offense scored 30 points vs. the Vikings and put up nearly 400 yards of total offense. Johnson said he had a sneaky feeling before the game his players were ready to have a big day.

"It's happened a few times where you just kind of tell in pregame the demeanor the mindset the intensity. You kind of knew they were going to come out and play really well," Johnson said. "It's hard to do every week. Some weeks are different than others. But kind of just had this feeling just watching them warmup that they were going to come out and play really hard."

5. The emergence of safety Ifeatu Melifonwu gives Glenn another blitzer he can throw at opposing offenses. Melifonwu has three sacks in the last two games. Linebacker Alex Anzalone is a good blitzer with three sacks on the year. Nickel cornerback Brian Branch has shown good skills as a blitzer. The ability to have players at every level of the back seven that can get home on the blitz allows Glenn and the Lions' defense to give offenses a lot of different looks.

6. Fipp seemed a little frustrated by the blocked extra point and illegal procedure penalty on a late punt last week. He was however very complimentary of Jack Fox and how he responded to the illegal procedure. He punted it 52 yards down at the Vikings' 7-yard line with 2:36 left in the game. After the penalty made him redo it, his next punt was 57 yards and the Vikings still started at the 7-yard line.

7. One thing Johnson lamented from Sunday's win was the three delay of game penalties enforced on the offense. He promised to fix that part of the operation moving forward by getting the play calls in faster.

8. Detroit's defense could be getting three key players back from IR before the end of the regular season – defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, defensive lineman Alim McNeill and edge rusher James Houston. Glenn is obviously excited about that but also said he can't get too wild with different packages and player combinations. It still has to be a concept-based defense.

9. The one thing Fipp said jumps out about Dallas returner KaVontae Turpin is that he always wants to return the ball, and that puts a lot of pressure on return units. Fipp said if Turpin gets just the littlest bit of space, he can be dangerous. He was a Pro Bowler last season.

10. Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons can be a 'game wrecker,' according to Johnson. Dallas moves him around all over the place and the Lions will have to be very good about identifying where he is and how the Cowboys plan to deploy him.

"Micah is a huge part of the issues that we are countering through this week," Johnson said.

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