Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp spoke to the media on Friday. Here are 10 takeaways from those sessions:
1. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said this week he likes to test young players in an opposing secondary. The Lions are likely to start rookie third-round pick Ifeatu Melifonwu Monday night in Green Bay as a replacement for the inured Jeff Okudah (IR; Achilles).
"Welcome to the NFL," Glenn said of Melifonwu's potential first start coming against Rodgers and Co.
Glenn said Melifonwu is going into it expecting to be targeted. Glenn is looking forward to seeing how Melifonwu responds.
2. Detroit's offense handled San Francisco's pressure pretty well last week, and they have one of the best defensive fronts in football. Asked Friday about Green Bay's defense and what stood out to him on tape, Lynn immediately mentioned edge rushers Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith. Lynn said the Packers defensive front can "raise hell" if Detroit allows them to.
3. The Lions claimed cornerback Corey Ballentine off waivers from the Jets this week to boost their numbers in the secondary after the Okudah injury. But Ballentine has been a pretty good kick returner over the last couple years as well, and Fipp said the team is seeing if he could help in that department moving forward. Godwin Igwebuike averaged 13.8 yards per kick return last week against San Francisco.
4. It looks like second-round pick Levi Onwuzurike is in line to make his NFL debut this week after missing Week 1 with a hip injury. Onwuzurike was a full participant in practice Thursday, and Glenn expects to have him Monday. So, what does he bring to the table? He's got terrific length, is able to stack and shed, and can make plays in space. Glenn is looking forward to seeing what he can do, and to start the evaluation process on him in real game situations.
5. The Lions might not have veteran wide receiver Tyrell Williams (concussion) for Monday's game, which means Lynn is going to need someone else to step up. It's a challenge he's given that room this week.
"Guys got to step up and start making a name for themselves at some point, might as well be this week," Lynn said.
6. Could the newly acquired Trinity Benson be one of those receivers to step up? Lynn said Benson is getting better and better every practice. He was thrown into the action last week after being in Detroit only three days after the Lions traded for him. Lynn said Benson will play more Monday. He also said Tom Kennedy is expected to play Monday after being inactive Week 1.
7. Don Muhlbach was at the open portion of practice Thursday working with long snapper Scott Daly. Muhlbach is now a special assistant to the team, and Fipp said he's been a great resource to have around in practice and with game prep. Muhlbach brings a lot of value to the younger guys.
8. Second-year outside linebacker Julian Okwara was a healthy inactive last week. That was a little surprising, but Glenn said there's going to be an opportunity depending on matchups for Okwara to help this team this season. He just has to keep working and grinding in practice to show coaches he deserves to be active on gameday.
9. How far out would the Lions feel comfortable letting kicker Austin Seibert try a field goal? Fipp said it depends on the situation, weather and a lot of other factors, but when pressed about it, Fipp said Seibert has hit from 67 yards out on the practice fields at Allen Park.
10. One area where Glenn seemed pretty pleased about the defensive performance last week was the way his guys played on third down. San Francisco was just 3-of-9 on third down. Glenn said after watching the tape there was an opportunity to make a play on the three conversions where they could have held them 0-fer.