Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday a day after Detroit's 28-19 loss in Los Angeles to the Rams. Here are the key questions to come out of that session:
How does the team avoid frustration taking over after 0-7 start?
The Lions are the only winless team in the NFL, but in all but their Week 6 game against Cincinnati, this team has been right there at the end with a chance to win. They just haven't been able to make the couple plays here or there to make the difference in the final outcome.
"I'm frustrated like anyone would be, like our players are, but also I think it gives me more motivation and driven anger, if you will, to want to make things right and help these guys as much as I can," Campbell said.
Campbell said maybe he's just stubborn, but the winless start makes him want to dig in even more. He told the team he's built for adversity, having been in the highest highs and the lowest lows. He's not giving up and he gets the sense his team isn't giving up either.
What can the Lions do to keep running back D’Andre Swift going?
Swift totaled 144 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in the loss Sunday, and he now has four games this season where he's totaled over 100 scrimmage yards.
The groin injury he's been dealing with has improved along the way, according to Campbell, and the team thinks there's even more Swift can do for them.
They are looking into ways they can expand Swift's role even more in the passing game. It will be interesting to see how that looks moving forward. Maybe some more slot looks? Swift already leads the team in receptions (42) and receiving yards (391).
How good was it to see wide receiver Kalif Raymond have a big game?
The Lions have been hit hard at receiver and have been needing someone to step up. Raymond caught six passes for 115 yards against the Rams. He's been a nice pickup this offseason.
Campbell said he embodies everything he wants this team to be about. He's got explosive potential, but Campbell highlighted the fact that he blocks his butt off when asked to do so, and on top of that he's a good return man.
Campbell called him Raymond dependable, which is high praise coming from a head coach.
What happened on the delay of game penalty after the spike late in the first half?
Detroit was hit with a delay of game penalty with 18 seconds left in first half at the LA 18-yard line after spiking the ball after getting a first down.
It was kind of an odd sequence, but Campbell cleared it up Monday. It was a headset issue. Quarterback Jared Goff's headset went out, and he couldn't hear the play. Apparently, that's not a rare occurrence. Campbell says it usually happens a few times a game. He said to make sure when it happens it doesn't affect the play call, they'll write a number on a board on the sideline corresponding to a play call on Goff's call sheet on his wrist.
Detroit ended up kicking a field goal on that possession.
What happened on the late interception by cornerback Jalen Ramsey that sealed the game for the Rams?
Campbell explained two issues after watching the tape.
One, he said rookie tight end Brock Wright needed to open the window more for tight end T.J. Hockenson by running a tighter post and taking the post safety away from the play, which opens up the window more and gives Hockenson more room to work and Goff a bigger window to throw to.
Two, Campbell said Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald got them. Donald beat his block and was barreling down on Goff, which didn't allow him to step into the throw and follow through.
The Lions did a pretty good job on Donald all game, but Campbell said that was just Donald making a Donald play.
What are the positives to take out of Sunday's game and the 0-7 start?
It's hard to look at the positives from a fan perspective, and Campbell said ultimately a team is what their record says they are, but he also said one thing that should be encouraging is the play of young players like nose tackle Alim McNeill, cornerback Jerry Jacobs, defensive end Levi Onwuzurike, linebacker Derrick Barnes, guard Jonah Jackson, Swift and cornerback AJ Parker. Those are all rookie and second-year players who Campbell said are just getting better and better, which is encouraging to him and this staff.
How did the Lions come out of Sunday injury-wise?
Parker looks to be the biggest issue. He left in the second half with a shoulder injury. Campbell said he's going to be down for a bit. That's a big blow for Detroit's secondary because he was playing really well.