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 he was disappointed and encouraged at the same time after watching the defensive performance from the Eagles game. The encouraging part for him was the correctable mistakes he saw. He thought his players came out overly excited Week 1 and some of their responsibilities went out the window because they were trying to make plays, especially from some of the young guys – rookie Aidan Hutchinson included. He thinks the jitters will be gone this week and players will be more assignment sound on defense.
2. Johnson admitted they have work to do in the passing game this week getting ready for Washington. There were too many drops and miscommunications last week, and it's something they are addressing.
3. Expect wide receiver Quintez Cephus to get more run on special teams this week. He played some gunner last week and was on kickoff return. Fipp said Cephus did a nice job and they are looking to get him more involved in more aspects on special teams.
4. Cornerback Jeff Okudah had a nice game in his first action back from an Achilles injury. Glenn loved how Okudah was physical and tackled well. He will even accept the pass interference call on Okudah because it was a challenge play as Glenn referred to it. It wasn't holding or grabbing, it was Okudah being physical. Okudah has a lot of confidence right now, and Glenn said he's excited about him moving forward.
5. Johnson said he wishes he would have gotten on the head set and asked for a timeout before the pick-six interception. Johnson said there was a lot of communication coming out of the huddle from the offense that they didn't have in practice running that play, and it made him a little uneasy.
6. An opponent always has to be on high alert for trick plays on special teams when playing the Lions because of the high frequency and success rate of those plays by Detroit last season. Fipp likes that Dan Campbell isn't afraid to call them. Fipp wasn't happy with the execution of the onside kick last week, however. He would have liked the ball kicked closer to 10 yards to give the cover team a better chance to recover it.
7. A point of emphasis this week for Glenn and his defenders is to not be fooled by all the eye candy of pre-snap movement from Washington's offense. He said the Commanders really like to move defenders' eyes with motion and movement to try and get them out of position.
"A lot of eye candy to just run simple plays," Glenn said. "Motion here, turtle motion there and then they run outside zone."
View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.
8. Running back D’Andre Swift had a great game last week that Johnson wants to keep building on. Johnson wants him to be an even bigger part of the passing game this week. Fantasy owners will love that.
9. Jack Fox averaged 46.3 yards per punt with a 43.0 net average vs. the Eagles. Fipp was really happy with that part of the operation. Fox's ability to hang the ball in the air is a huge advantage for the gunners and cover guys. It's hard to think of punters as weapons, but Fox's ability to flip the field is a weapon for the Lions.
10. The Lions are facing a different style quarterback this week in Carson Wentz. He's not going to cause as many problems running the football as Jalen Hurts did last week with the Eagles. Glenn said he's got a lot of confidence that Hutchinson, Charles Harris, Alim McNeill and others will make more plays this week.