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KEY QUESTIONS: How do Lions fix penalty problems?

The Detroit Lions were flagged 17 times in their 16-15 loss to Tennessee on Sunday.

Head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday that some of those flags should have been kept in the pockets of the official (Eric Ebron's offensive pass interference) and also that maybe there should have been a flag thrown on other no-calls (low hit by Jurrell Casey on Matthew Stafford).

But the reality is the Lions racked up 138 yards in penalties in the loss, and that has to get corrected ahead of this week's showdown at Lambeau Field against the Packers.

**How does Caldwell rectify the penalty problems we've seen over first two weeks (26 total)?


"You know, you look at the reasons why they happen and sometimes it's a technical issue, sometimes it's over-aggressiveness in some cases," he said.

"We talk about those, we get them straightened out. You know, did we do the normal things we normally do? Make certain we have officials at practice that point those things out, that throw flags and we go about it the normal way of attacking it, looking at it and see if we can get it straightened away."

What is causing some defensive lapses late in games the first two weeks?

Detroit's defense has given up two late touchdowns the first two games and 30 points combined in the fourth quarter.

"Been a number of different things, we've got to get better," Caldwell said. "All I can tell you is we've got to get better in that area. We know what the things are in terms of our breakdowns, and there have been many run and pass.

"Two ballgames, 1-1, we're not 1-15. We've got to look at it that way, and make certain that we continue to improve, but we've also got to address our issues, and we've got some issues now. Let's not kid ourselves. We've got to work at it, got to face the brutal facts of where you are. You've got to get to work and get them straightened out."

**Did Caldwell consider going for it on 4th and 3 from the Titans 39-yard line in the second quarter?


Caldwell chose to punt and play a field position game with a 9-3 lead.

"I think on that one we pin them back inside of the 10, you expect you're playing the field position game," he said.

After a nice punt by Sam Martin to pin Tennessee deep, Titans running back Demarco Murray popped a 67-yard run from the 7-yard line.

What about trying for the long field goal?

"If you're absolutely sure that you're going to make it from that distance, you know," Caldwell said. "Also if you happen to miss it because it is long, it is tough.

"He's (Matt Prater) about one of the few guys that has that kind of consistent range, but if you don't, you give them the ball with a very short field, so you have to also weigh that out as well."

How will the Lions deal with their attrition at the linebacker position?

Detroit entered Sunday's game vs. Tennessee without linebacker DeAndre Levy (quad). Over the course of the game they also lost starters Kyle Van Noy (calf) and Antwione Williams (thigh) to injury.

The defense was so thin at the position late in the game Sunday that defensive end Brandon Copeland played some linebacker for them in the second half.

"We don't expect it to do much to us, our job is to get guys in position to get out there and play," Caldwell said.

"You can use stuff like that as an excuse, and that kind of thing, which we refuse to do. We just got to be able to make certain that we've got guys that will step in and do the job, which we do."

The extent of Van Noy and Williams' injuries are unknown, and Caldwell declined to comment if Levy was expected back at practice this week.

With Ameer Abdullah dealing with a foot injury, could we see an expanded role for rookie running back Dwayne Washington moving forward?

The severity of Abdullah's injury is unknown, but Washington stepped in Sunday and gained 31 yards on just four carries (7.8) after Abdullah went down.

"He was productive obviously on the carries that he had and I think he's coming along," Caldwell said. "I think without question he's certainly capable of giving us some unique production in his way because he's a little different type of back.

"He's a pretty powerful guy. He's fairly close to 230 lbs. and he's got speed. He runs behind his pads, but it's just been a sampling of him right now at this point in time, so we'll see what happens if he gets an opportunity to get a few more carries, but he has ability."

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