Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia spoke to the media Monday following Sunday’s 31-24 loss in Oakland that dropped Detroit’s record to 3-4-1 on the season.
Patricia said the message to his team Monday morning focused on being more consistent in all aspects the second half of the season.
Detroit hasn’t been consistent enough in a lot of the things they’re doing, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Here are the key questions to come out of that media session:
View photos from the Detroit Lions honor flight featuring military veterans and Lions Legends as part of the team's Salute to Service initiative presented by Humanetics.
What is the health update on rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson?
Hockenson left the game late in the fourth quarter after taking a big hit. Patricia said Hockenson took a shot in the middle of the back and that it was a good, clean hit that knocked the wind out of Hockenson.
“He went through the evaluations,” Patricia said. “It was a hit in the middle of the back and really that was it. Everything else checked out normal, checked out fine. He’s pretty sore, but other than that we’ll be ok.”
Hockenson wasn’t on the field for the last play of the game, an attempted touchdown pass to tight end Logan Thomas on a fourth-down play in the back of the end zone.
Hockenson caught three passes for 56 yards before leaving the game late.
Guard Joe Dahl also left the game late with an undisclosed injury that Patricia called “day to day.”
Does Patricia plan to take over a bigger portion of the defensive play calling?
Detroit’s defense currently ranks 31st overall, 27th in points allowed, 30th against the pass and 27th against the run.
“Coach P (Paul Pasqualoni) calls the defense,” Patricia said. “Certainly there’s situations where he and I talk about calls or there might be calls that I feel we might want to make in certain situations. The good part about being head coach is you can make those calls in any three phases of the game.”
Patricia obviously has an extensive defensive background, but it doesn’t sound like any play-calling changes are imminent.
“Coach Pasqualoni is doing a great job trying to get all that organized,” Patricia said.
“I’m concerned about the entire team. Certainly I spend a lot of time on the defensive side of the ball, and I have the utmost confidence in coach Pasqualoni and the defensive staff to get the calls and the communication and get the game plan put together the way that we want to and I’m certainly involved in that and get that orchestrated.”
Patricia thinks it’s best at this time to continue to focus on the head coaching role and managing the game and making sure he’s paying attention to all three phases of the team.
What is the fix on defense right now, as opponents continue to gash them?
The NFL is a copycat league and for whatever reason Detroit’s coaching staff and players haven’t been consistent enough being able to make the proper corrections on a consistent basis.
“Right now we’re seeing a lot of that,” Patricia said. “I’d say the run game, there’s been different types of run systems that we see and the one that we saw yesterday in particular had a couple plays we’ve seen in previous week, and then actually they had a couple new schemes that were good schemes that we hadn’t seen before.”
The Raiders rushed for 171 yards and two scores Sunday, with rookie Josh Jacobs leading the way with 120 yards. Three of Detroit’s last four opponents have gashed them for better than 150 yards on the ground. Detroit’s allowing more than 135 yards on the ground on average through eight games.
“Just in general for the coaches and the players it’s difficult to see plays we’ve seen before and they still have success,” Patricia said. “We have to do a better job executing on the field when we see those situations.”
What did Patricia see on the final Lions offensive play after watching the film?
The 4th and goal play from the 1-yard line was a play-action pass to the back of the end zone to Thomas that was broken up by Raiders safety Karl Joseph after Stafford was pressured on the play.
“One of the things on that play is it actually gives us a couple different options out on the edge,” Patricia said. “They were able to get inside the edge of our offense there pretty quick before we were able to kind of seal off the edge and try to get Oday (guard Oday Aboushi) and the quarterback outside on the perimeter.”
Patricia said the defensive end made a good recognition play on the edge.
“Just a really good play by the defensive end to recognize it, see it, get vertical and he’s probably the one guy that just read the play really well,” Patricia said.