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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 is dealing with a lot of criticism for how the Lions' defense has performed to start the season.

"Even though me and Dan (Campbell) are friends, this is a job and I'll look at it like that too," Glenn said. "That I have to perform just like everybody else has to perform, he has to perform, the players have to perform. When things are not going well, you have to answer to that and I'm not blind to the fact of that."

Glenn said he's fallen back on his playing experience in New York and dealing with that media environment and fan base to put this current criticism in perspective. He feels like this situation is a good opportunity to respond to the criticism and show people the type of person and coach he is.

2. The offense took a hard look at themselves this week and what they've put on tape through four games because they are facing Bill Belichick and a Patriots' defense that is really good at taking away what an opposing offense does well. "Whenever you think they'll zig, they'll zag," Johnson said. But he also hopes to have a few wrinkles the Patriots haven't seen yet.

3. Fipp heaped a lot of praise on Belichick for the role he's played in making New England consistently one of the better special teams units in the league. Fipp joked that he'd love to be invited out on Belichick's fishing boat in the offseason to fish and talk special teams with the future Hall of Fame coach.

4. Glenn points to the Kansas City Chiefs' defensive turnaround in 2021 as a source of optimism for his group. Kansas City went from one of the worst defenses in the first four games of the season last year to one of the better units the rest of the way. He is hoping for a similar turnaround here in Detroit this year.

5. Wide receiver Tom Kennedy took the humble road to where he's gotten on this Lions roster. Johnson compared Kennedy to former journeyman receiver Danny Amendola, who was with the Lions in 2019-20. Johnson appreciates the path Kennedy has taken to this current opportunity on the active roster and is excited for him to continue to get more opportunities to help them. Kennedy caught three passes for 54 yards against Seattle last week.

6. After Detroit's special teams missed two extra points and kicked a ball out of bounds on a kickoff last week, Fipp said he felt like he let the team and the fan base down last week. He said kicker Dominik Eberle had a good workout and was 12-for-12 kicking in practice the week leading up to last week's game, but obviously didn't perform up to Fipp's standards in the game. The team released Eberle on Monday. Fipp feels better about Austin Seibert being able to return this week after he was a participant in practice Wednesday. The team also signed kicker Michael Badgley to the practice squad as a backup plan.

7. Glenn said he likes how the team is playing on the interior with Alim McNeill and Isaiah Buggs, but the edges and outside components of the defense need to be a lot better. It sounds like if changes are coming, it could be on the outside of the defense.

"There's things we have to get right in this defense and we will get them right," Glenn said.

View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

8. Despite the Lions having the No. 1 scoring offense and No. 1 total offense in the NFL up to this point, Johnson and the players on that side of the ball certainly aren't patting themselves on the back. The record is one reason. But Johnson also watches the film and sees many opportunities for this offense to be better. Just imagine if he's able to get them going even better than they are right now.

9. Fipp said when he was in Miami he once wrote a letter to Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater telling Slater how much he respected his play and his journey. He said it's the only letter he's ever written to a player.

10. Undrafted rookie Demetrius Taylor is getting a shot to play this week after being a healthy inactive the first four weeks. Glenn said Taylor has great leverage, and could give them some pass rush ability. It's about time to see if he can help them generate some more pressure upfront.

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