You could see during the first exhibition game Friday against the Jets what the Lions want to do on defense. You could also see why there is a chance they won’t be able to do it as much as they’d like. The Lions want to be disruptive. They went out and either signed or drafted bigger stronger and faster players on the defensive line and in the secondary. They want to hurry harass and badger offenses out of their comfort zone which they hope will facilitate more turnovers. And they are no longer content relying on the defensive line to create all the pressure. The Lions want to blitz. They showed that especially early Friday. But as the game went on and the play of defensive backs particularly the corners regressed the coaches became reluctant to risk the blitz. “The blitz in a lot of ways is dependent on corners how well they can cover and how well they can tackle” coach Jim Schwartz said. “If you aren’t a very good tackling secondary and your safeties can’t tackle a wide receiver when the nickel blitzes off the corner or you are blitzing and a linebacker can’t make a play on the tight end you are going to hurt yourself.” Sunday was a sobering day particularly for the secondary. The film from Friday’s win wasn’t particularly flattering. “The old saying is it’s never as good as you think it is and it’s never as bad as you think it is” Schwartz said. “This was definitely one of those cases where it wasn’t as good as we thought it was.” The Jets threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns with a 100.1 quarterback rating. “There were a couple of plays where we had bad leverage and missed some tackles and in the secondary that’s critical” Schwartz said. “You can’t do that. There were a couple of plays on third down where they made plays into the strength of our defense.
Lions cornerbacks hold the key to unlocking blitz packages
Detroit News | Aug 12