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Decker talks changes at practice, remaining five games

From goals set out for the remaining five games of the season to changes on the practice field, Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker and his teammates have seen a different style under interim head coach Darrell Bevell.

As a member of the team's leadership council, Decker was one of the players who met with Bevell virtually after Matt Patricia was fired as head coach on Saturday and replaced by Bevell, who was in his second year as offensive coordinator.

Bevell laid out the possibility that the Lions can make the NFC playoffs as a wild card, despite having a 4-7 won-loss record going into Sunday's road game against the NFC North rival Chicago Bears.

It may be a long-shot, but Decker is buying into it.

"We can't change any of the games we played before this year," Decker said Wednesday in a Zoom interview with the Detroit media. "We've got something to play for. We're two games out (of a playoff berth). Even if we were out, you have to have personal pride.

"At the end of the day, winning is fun. We're going to have fun if we win."

All coaches have different ways of running practice. They don't all follow one blueprint.

In his virtual meeting with the leadership council after the coaching change was announced Saturday, Bevell told Decker and the other leaders about changes he would make in the practice routine.

One of them was that the offensive linemen would not wear knee braces on days they practiced without pads. Another was one-one drills in practice, as they did Wednesday.

For Decker, that meant going against edge rushers Everson Griffen and Romeo Okwara.

Bevell also stressed tempo – as he did as offensive coordinator.

"One of the things Bev has preached to us as offensive coordinator, and now as coach, is pace in and out of the huddle. Running plays fast. Get up to the line of scrimmage. Line up. Run the play.

"Use pace as an offensive weapon. And as a defense, if they can't match the pace, they can't use that as a weapon."

Decker spoke highly of GM Bob Quinn, who also was fired Saturday, and Patricia.

"Everybody knows this is a tough business," Decker said. "I reached out to Coach Patricia. I had a good relationship with him. I thanked him for his time here, as well as Bob Quinn."

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