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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. Glenn said it would be easy to stand up at the podium and talk about some of the miscommunication errors by his young defense as an excuse for the defense's rough start through three games and let that be the end of the conversation. But Glenn also blamed execution, and he wasn't just talking about the players. It goes for him and his defensive coaching staff too.

2. The Lions are banged up on offense with every starting skill position player outside of quarterback Jared Goff and wide receiver DJ Chark missing practice Wednesday. Johnson said he always has contingency plans for every scenario of availability, but he doesn't expect the offense to change much based on personnel changes, maybe just some formation alignments here or there.

3. The Lions have been so good on special teams under Fipp's watch that when they do have an off day, like last week with a couple missed field goals and some punts that weren't up to Jack Fox's high standards, it stands out a little bit. Fipp said it was a mixed bag last week. They did some coverage things well, but overall it wasn't up to their standards.

4. Seahawks star wide receiver DK Metcalf was asked about Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah this week. He said Okudah was a good cornerback but not a shutdown cornerback because of the safety help he gets over the top. Glenn was asked about those comments Thursday.

"That's defense," Glenn said. "Our job is to match our players up and then also be able scheme to take people out. Regardless if there's a safety, there's a linebacker. We just play defense the way we have to play it to win."

Glenn said Okudah is playing with a lot of confidence right now, and looks like the shutdown cornerback he was at Ohio State.

5. Detroit was just 3-of-16 on third down last week and enter this week ranked 15th in the league with a 37 percent conversion rate on third down. Thursday's are third-down day at practice for the offense and defense. Johnson said it will be a big emphasis to clean some things up on third down and improve that percentage from last week.

6. The Lions got good news this week on kicker Austin Seibert and the groin injury he's dealing with, according to Fipp. It sounds like Seibert will be able to go Sunday and try to make up for the two missed field goals in Minnesota.

7. Sticking with Seibert, Fipp said it's been his experience that usually what you see from a kicker during a week of practice is what you will get in the game. If a guy is hitting 70 percent from 50-plus on the practice field, and he's hitting less than that in game, it will equal out and trend toward the 70 percent in time. Fipp wouldn't reveal what percent Seibert is hitting from 50-plus in practice, but for his career he's 2-for-6 and 1-for-3 with the Lions. Fipp has a lot of information from practice and still has confidence in Seibert.

"I would say he's very comparable to most guys in the National Football League," he said of Seibert.

8. The Lions rank 32nd in points allowed (31.0) and 32nd in red zone defense (90.9 percent). The two go hand in hand. Glenn isn't happy his defense wasn't finishing in the red zone and he has made that a point of emphasis this week.

9. Tight end T.J. Hockenson has gotten off to a slow start with just 10 receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown through the team's first three games. Johnson does expect a breakout game from Hockenson at some point. He said Hockenson hasn't demanded to be a bigger part of the offense or anything like that. In fact, Johnson said it's the most unselfish group of pass catchers on this team he's ever been around. They just want to win and they don't care how. But as a former tight ends coach, don't be surprised if Johnson dials a couple things up to get Hockenson more involved.

10. Glenn isn't worried about the performance from cornerback Amani Oruwariye last week, when Oruwariye was flagged six times (four accepted) in the loss to the Vikings. Glenn thought Oruwariye had a target on his back from the official last week. Penalties have not been a consistent issue with Oruwariye throughout his career. There were some technique things Glenn and Oruwariye worked on this week with getting his hands lower, but Glenn thinks Oruwariye will bounce back and have a good week.

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