Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday following Sunday's 31-27 loss to Miami, Detroit's fifth straight defeat, and after the news broke that he's made a change to his coaching staff.
Here are the key questions from Campbell's Monday session:
What went behind the decision to move on from defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant on Monday?
The Lions' defense, and in particular their secondary, has been one of the worst units in football this season. Detroit is last in points allowed (32.1) and total defense (421.3), and also ranks last in yards per attempt (8.4), passer rating (108.5) and completion percentage allowed (69.3 percent).
The tipping point appears to have been Sunday's loss against the Dolphins. Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed 81 percent of his passes for 384 yards, but according to Campbell after the game, the secondary didn't execute the game plan drawn up during the week to be more physical with receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who combined for 294 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
"I think Aubrey is a hell of a coach," Campbell said Monday. "I've got a ton of respect for him. It was a tough decision, but we're in a production-based business and after seven weeks I felt like this change needed to be made."
Campbell thought it was time after seven games that the defensive backs needed to hear a new message.
Pleasant is the second coach Campbell has demoted or fired in-season in his less than two seasons in Detroit.
Last year, he stripped offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn of play-calling duties after eight games.
View photos from the Miami Dolphins vs. Detroit Lions Week 8 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Oct. 30 in Detroit, MI.
Who takes over as defensive backs coach?
Safeties coach Brian Duker will now coach the entirety of the defensive backs. Duker enters his second season on Detroit's coaching staff. Prior to 2022, Duker worked on staff as a defensive assistant, working closely with the secondary unit and the team's defensive passing game strategies.
Duker came to Detroit after spending the previous three seasons (2018-20) assisting the Baltimore Ravens' defense.
Campbell said defensive quality control coach Addison Lynch will assist Duker with the defensive backs.
Does Campbell still have faith in the talent the team has in the secondary?
"I still believe in the guys that we have," he said. "I know what we have on the backend and I think they are good enough to help us compete and win. We'll just see if we can get them going a little better."
Campbell has zeroed in on the secondary being the biggest issue on defense right now, which is why he made the move Monday in relieving Pleasant of his coaching duties. He said there are way too many missed assignments going on in the back end and that was part of the reason why he made the decision.
"I just want to see us all on the same page," Campbell said of his secondary moving forward. "If we're going to get beat it's because maybe we're getting outrun or we're not quite in phase. At least we're kind of there. We have to cut our mental (mistakes) in half."
Will the Lions be involved in any trade moves before Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline?
At 1-6, it's seems unlikely the team would look to give up assets to be buyers in the trade market, but Campbell said GM Brad Holmes will look into anything and everything on both sides of the trade market ahead of Tuesday's deadline.