Detroit Lions Offense Taking a Smaller Playbook to New England


When the Detroit Lions head east for New England this week they’ll be taking a smaller playbook along with them. In fact, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi says, the play calling sheet for Sundays match up with the New England Patriots will be reduced by about 20 percent.

The goal?

To make things simpler.

“It will simplify it for us. We won’t be thinking as much because we’ll have less plays and will be able to play fast.’’ – Reggie Bush

By reducing the amount of plays in the playbook, it will allow the offense to have more repetitions for the remaining plays, according to Lombardi.

The Detroit Lions offense has struggled throughout 2014. Against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, Detroit managed just six points off of two field goals and only made it to the redzone one time. Missed assignments throughout the game hindered the Lions greatly.

"“We had a couple of failures on third-and-1, which we’ve been pretty decent over the course of the year,’’ Lombardi said. “So, I think that could’ve made a difference and then the big thing is we found ourselves in like seven third-and 11-plus situations. And so, how do you get in those situations? It’s like you said, something went wrong. We weren’t really on our details this last game and when you miss those details, bad things happen and can kind of put you in the hole.’’"

Simplifying the game plan could be one way to get everyone on the same page, and by practicing the plays more the offense should execute better come Sunday.

"“As a coach, you look at that and know that’s largely your responsibility, and so we have to be more detailed,’’ Lombardi said. “Maybe try to do a few less things and so all of those alignments and execution things that maybe we missed out on, we can practice them and be a little more detailed during the week so that we don’t find ourselves in those tough situations.”"

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The decision to reduce the overall number of plays this week is also a part of the Detroit Lions coaching staff’s game plan for taking on the Patriots NFL ranked, 15th best defense. Head coach Jim Caldwell said that the coaching staff examines every aspect of every game, including the number of calls they have offensively, defensively and special teams.

“(We) make assessments accordingly depending on who we play. So, some weeks we may reduce, some weeks we may increase it just kind of depends.” – Jim Caldwell

Every team and every game is different. Lions fans know first hand how important a good game plan and smart play calling can be. However, ultimately, the offense and their execution has got to be better — starting this weekend. Hopefully the simplification will jump-start the Detroit Lions 26th ranked offense.

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