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. Johnson expects rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams' role to increase the more and more he builds chemistry with quarterback Jared Goff. Williams played eight snaps on offense in his 2022 debut last week, but another week of practice has improved that chemistry with Goff, per Johnson.
2. What does Glenn think the identity of his defense is? He said he preaches being a tough and violent defense.
"That's who we are," Glenn said. "It's going to attack the football. I think it shows as far as the takeaways we've gotten and just the way we've played defense overall."
Glenn said his guys might not be the most athletic bunch in the league, but he wants to make sure it's tough for opposing offenses each and every week playing his defense.
3. Veteran linebacker Josh Woods is one of the core players and leaders on Detroit's special teams unit. He had a tackle and two key blocks in the return game last week vs. the Jaguars.
Fipp said there was one instance last week when he was going to jump into a huddle near the sideline to relay a message to his players before they took the field but when he got close to the huddle, Woods was in the center saying the same thing Fipp planned to talk about. Fipp said that's what a coach wants in a leader.
4. Veteran pass rusher Romeo Okwara is expected to make his 2022 debut after suffering a torn Achilles more than a year ago (Oct. 3) vs. Chicago. Okwara adds length and power to the mix upfront, and Glenn said he's excited to tap into some of Okwara's pass-rush prowess the rest of the way.
5. Second-year wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is having a monster season. He's recorded 76 receptions for 830 yards and six scores. Johnson said St. Brown is a Top 5/Top 10 receiver in this league right now. Hard to argue with him.
6. Fipp was excited to see kicker Michael Badgley earn NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after making four field goals and four extra points in the win over Jacksonville last week. Badgley is calm, cool and collected, according to Fipp, and that's rubbed off on some of the other specialists as well.
7. Johnson liked the fact that they were able to get more reps (18) for running back D’Andre Swift, which tied a season high for him. We'll see how this week goes, but Johnson knows this offense is more dangerous the more Swift touches the football.
8. Glenn considers Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson one of the top two pass catchers in the game. He said Jefferson is a "Glenn type of guy" because he embodies everything he would want in a receiver, not just with his production, but because of his toughness and competitiveness as well. The Lions limited Jefferson to three catches for 14 yards in the first matchup this season.
View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.
9. When Lions head coach Dan Campbell approached Fipp last week about playing rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams as a gunner on special teams, Campbell asked Fipp if he thought Williams could help the unit. Fipp's response: "Oh, he'll help us."
Fipp said there's no substitute for having Williams' kind of speed at the gunner spot. Plus, the fact that Williams is tough and a willing tackler made the decision an easy one. Fipp didn't say if the plan was to use Williams in that role this week against the Vikings.
10. Detroit faces former Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson this week. Hockenson has 30 receptions on 40 targets in five games for Minnesota. Glenn said they really have to watch out for Hockenson in the red zone. Glenn said Hockenson has as many red zone targets in five games as wide receiver Adam Thielen does all year for the Vikings.