Detroit Lions: Trolling the defensive scheme is just another overreaction

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Former players trolling the Detroit Lions organization has become quite common in 2020, today was no different.

Earlier today, a report surfaced about the Detroit Lions defensive scheme lacking disguise.  For years we joked about how predictable the Lions offense had been under the guidance of Jim Bob Cooter, today, it was the defense taking over as the laughing stock of social media.

But is the laughter and criticism warranted?

It’s no secret the Detroit Lions defense was nothing short of atrocious at all levels last season.  Each level feeds off of one another, and it starts in the trenches upfront.  If the defensive line is struggling to create any pressure on the quarterback, the secondary will struggle to cover their assignments.

That’s precisely what happened.

Even the great Deion Sanders would struggle to cover NFL pass-catchers for upwards of five-seconds per snap.

If the defensive front seven struggles to stop the run, teams will open up their playbook, and all bets are off.  Run, pass, play-action, a gadget play; who knows.  If the secondary can’t break-up a pass after the defense generates pressure, organizations will continue to throw the football. Playing as a unit on defense is vital; a playmaker on offense can make multiple people miss and create things single-handily.  Sure, some defenders can wreck the game, but Detroit currently doesn’t possess a player of that nature, further emphasizing playing as a unit.

Credit to Peter Bukowski.  As tweeted below, Green Bay Packers star receiver Davante Adams told NFL insider, Brian Baldinger, he knew from play-to-play whether the Detroit Lions defense had been in zone or man coverage.  Adams claimed the Lions failed to disguise any of their coverage, stating if corner Darius Slay traveled with Adams, it was man, and if Adams went into motion without Slay on his hip, he knew it was zone coverage.

Former Lions corner Slay, who has joined the Lions’ troll party of late with former safety Quandre Diggs quickly confirmed.

Now, that’s fundamental stuff.  How many times pre-snap will an offense move a receiver or running back in motion?

Almost every play.

The offense is trying to determine if it’s zone or man.  If you can tolerate listening to analyst Tony Romo, he nearly jumps out of his seat, exclaiming to the viewing audience the quarterback knows the coverage.

It’s generally not that simple.  We’re talking about the NFL.  Sometimes a defense mixes zone and man coverage at different levels of the football field on any given play.  Sometimes the linebackers have a running back flaring out of the backfield in man coverage or anything underneath, but the backend of defense is playing in a quarters’ zone or three-deep zone.

In closing, the Detroit Lions need to execute much better on defense in 2020.  It’s nice to try and disguise things, but the league knows how Matt Patricia’s defense schemes.  The league knows what Patricia is trying to do, if the players execute the play, garner a pass-rush, and make a tackle, things will be ok.

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The whole thing is just more of a troll-job rather than something to be concerned about over the long-term.