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. Population to the football. That's been Glenn's biggest message to his defense this week preparing for quarterback Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears' offense. Fields returns this week after missing the last four games with a thumb injury on his throwing hand. Detroit will have to be disciplined with their rush because as soon as Fields sees a lane, he'll take it. He rushed for 279 yards in two games vs. Detroit last season. Hopefully Detroit learned a little something defensively from the Baltimore game they can apply this week.
2. Chicago's defense hasn't been healthy until just recently and Johnson said they are much better than their record would indicate. He said the Bears have taken the training wheels off a scheme he thought was more vanilla last year. He expects Chicago to throw some things at him he hasn't seen on tape given the Bears are coming off a mini bye week having played last Thursday.
3. With Kalif Raymond nursing an ankle injury and being a limited participant in practice this week, who would the Lions turn to as a punt returner if needed Sunday? Fipp said the top three would be Donovan Peoples-Jones, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Khalil Dorsey.
4. Glenn said as soon as veteran edge rusher Bruce Irvin, 36, is in football shape the plan is to create some rush packages for him to utilize his skillset. The Lions signed the veteran Irvin to their practice squad on Wednesday. Glenn said Irvin is a really smart player and has some juice left as a pass rusher.
5. Wide receiver Jameson Williams is seeing his reps increase and with it his impact on the game has increased. Johnson said Williams is doing a phenomenal job. The more in-game reps he gets the more his progress will accelerate, according to Johnson.
6. Lions kicker Riley Patterson made a game-winning 41-yard field as time expired last week and he is now 13-of-15 kicking field goals on the season. Fipp said in order to be a good kicker in this league a player has to be able to make the big kicks at the end of games and he said that's something Patterson has proven very capable of over his career.
7. Wide receiver D.J. Moore has brought a big-play element to Chicago's offense this season and Glenn said he showed his players a bunch of clips of Moore this week emphasizing his ability to run after the catch and break tackles. Glenn said it will be important to populate to the football, and he's challenged his secondary to win more of their one-on-one matchups in man coverage.
8. Having two tackles as good as Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell allows Johnson the ability to do anything offensively. He said while other teams have to mask or help their tackles he doesn't and that really opens up the entire playbook to him. Johnson said this offense can be unique because of how good his two tackles are both in the run and pass game on the edge.
9. Fipp had no problem with the Derwin James rush on Patterson's final field goal. James hurdled the lineman in front of him and got close to the ball. The rule states that a player has to be within one yard of the line of scrimmage, can't use the lineman for leverage and can't contact him forcibly. Fipp said it was clean on James' part and they'll look for ways to counter that moving forward.
10. There's only one football and a lot of mouths to feed in the Lions' offense and Johnson takes comfort in the fact that he has players like Brock Wright, Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds on the roster. Players who might not always get the ball but when they are asked to make a play they do. A great example of that is the big gain by Raymond to help set up the game-winning field goal. Wright had a big touchdown and Reynolds has been big in the red zone all season. Johnson said this roster is full of players like that, and that's comforting for a coach.