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 Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive lapses 
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Post Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive lapses
detnews wrote:
Jim Schwartz disgusted by defensive lapses
Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

Allen Park -- The Lions and the Packers lead the league in sacks with 10, but Detroit is 30th in overall pass defense.

Not even coach Jim Schwartz could sugarcoat the reason.

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"We didn't play well enough on the back end, our linebackers and defensive backs, to complement what our defensive line is doing," he said Monday. "Our defensive line has played well but we haven't played anything close to our best game in the secondary or linebackers. We've given up way too many big plays, in the run game and pass game, and it's not been the fault of the guy's up front."

A perfect illustration of the ills of the back seven was LeSean McCoy's 46-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. On the play, a linebacker missed his gap and the free safety missed a tackle.

"We had a good enough scheme to stop that for one, two or three-yard gain and they turned into a 46-yarder," Schwartz said. "There is no excuse for giving up a touchdown when we are in an eight-man front with post defense behind."

The Lions also gave up a 45-yard touchdown pass and a 53-yard reception to DeSean Jackson. Several of the defensive backs talked about miscommunication issues after the game. Schwartz didn't want to hear that.

"Miscommunication means missed assignments," he said. "It means mental errors and that's where our problems were. Philly has a nice scheme, a diverse scheme, but they didn't give us anything we hadn't practiced. It was miscues; somebody messed up."

Schwartz said the issue wasn't talent or having the wrong personnel. It was a lack of consistency.

"We can't give plays away with missed assignments," he said. "We have a lot of experienced players back there. They have to find a way to make it work."

The Lions didn't even capitalize when their coverage was sound.

Both Jonathan Wade and C.C. Brown had interceptions bounce out of their hands.

"We've looked good in practice, but that's worthless," Wade said. "It's like studying for a test. If you know it while you're studying and you go put the wrong thing on the test, it's wrong and you flunk. We have to make sure we start passing some of these tests."

No better time to ace one than Sunday against the Vikings.

"We are fortunate to have such a great defensive line, but we have to give them some help," Wade said. "In the air is the way people are attacking us. When a fire starts you have to put it out fast or it will burn the forest down."
No Stafford news

Schwartz said there will no update on quarterback Matthew Stafford (right shoulder) until Wednesday.

"He will play quarterback for us again when he's healthy and he's able to do all the things he needs to do," Schwartz said.

Stafford watched last week's game with a headset on from the coach's box.

"Just to give him a little perspective," Schwartz said. "It was interesting, his whole career he never spent time up there. We wanted to let him see the game and get him away from the emotion of the game. We wanted him to be a little less of a cheerleader, so to speak, and more seeing how a game is managed from up there."
Another milestone

One more historical note about Jahvid Best 's 232-yard effort: He became the first rookie in history with at least 75 yards rushing (78) and 150 yards receiving (154) in a game. The last time that happened was 1981 (Joe Cribbs ). Best's 154 yards receiving was the most by a rookie running back in the Super Bowl era.

But here's an addendum: He only had two yards rushing in the second half and was stopped for losses or no-gains five times.

"It had a lot to do with us being behind by 18 points," Schwartz said. "It's hard to run then. But they made a few adjustments. They took the run away and we started using him in the passing game. He still got his hands on the ball."


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100921/SPO ... z10P8Djd1T


Lot of people hitting the panic button for various reasons, but I think Schwartz nails it on the head. We've been in a position to win both games, but obviously lost in the waning moments. Decrease a big play per game and we are 2-0. Not saying that we're perfect everywhere else, but we are good enough to win on offense, and the Dline is the close to being absolved of any problems. They aren't perfect, but I don't know how you can ask of anything more.

After re-watching the games I can pinpoint it on what everyone else does the back 7, but more precisely it's the downgrading of our LB corp without Levy, and a clearly affected Delmas.

Without Levy, we go from a below average LB corp to a very bad one. He's also the playcaller. Several times you could see defensive players in the back 7 yelling at each other to get in position. Clearly they weren't on the same page. Are we better organized with him? My guess is probably.

The bigger culprit is Delmas groin injury. If you watch him he occasionally is his usual self blowing plays up. He still has the ability to reverse the field, but uncharacteristically, at times he looks like every other safety detroit has fielded being a step slow and out of position. Most glaring is when we have those big plays. He's the man you see in the picture of some of those big plays, but he's just a second too late to make the stop. Things like the screen pass to Forte. And the deep passes to Desean Jackson. It's not his fault that they happen but I can't help but think a healthy Delmas can blow those up.

At least we get Levy back this week, but it looks like he will have to deal with the same thing Delmas does, and my fear is that these groin problems may be the difference in giving up one too many big plays.

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September 23rd, 2010, 9:37 pm
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
On that McCoy run, it was JP who missed the hole and CC who whiffed on the tackle.

JP has really had a poor start on the year

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September 24th, 2010, 8:12 am
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
Actually it wasn't CC, it was phillips. Phillips is talented, but he needs to learn to wrap up instead of trying to just hit. He whiffs too much. He went undrafted so he's more than proving his worth, but until he starts tackling, he's a liability.


September 24th, 2010, 12:54 pm
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
Det News wrote:
Gunther Cunningham lashes out at struggling Lions 'D'
Chris McCosky / The Detroit News
Allen Park -- This has not been a great week to be a Lions' defensive player.

The back seven, the linebackers and defensive backs, felt the full fury of defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham's wrath this week, as you might expect after the Lions have yielded nearly 700 yards of pass offense (681) and three touchdowns of 45 yards or longer in two games.

"(The Eagles) were sending two receivers out and we were in a cover-two, and they had eight guys blocking," Cunningham said, frustrated that despite that they threw for 329 yards. "Somebody has to pay for that, and they did. We can't let that happen. I looked at the tape and four or five times they had four guys blocking (Kyle) Vanden Bosch.

"I can't tolerate four guys blocking one."

Other players must make plays to keep teams more honest.

"That (message) was made loud and clear this week and I think we got results on the practice field," Cunningham said. "Now it depends on how we play in the game."

Cunningham also directed his wrath at a couple of veterans. Outside linebacker Julian Peterson was benched for the final two defensive series last Sunday.

"There was a reason and he understands the reason," Cunningham said. "We expect certain things. He had a good week of practice."

The starting safeties, both Louis Delmas and C.C. Brown, also were singled out for not making plays.

"The one area I was impressed with was how our cornerbacks played man-top-man," Cunningham said. "The breakdowns were with our safeties. Those guys need to step up."

Delmas, who wasn't on the field for two of the Eagles' long plays Sunday, was asked what he thought about Cunningham's challenge.

"With all due respect to my coach, I take that as an insult in a good way. He's trying all he can to get us going," Delmas said. "As safeties, and me as a leader, I need to do my job and get my teammates going. Coach Gun stated a fact. We didn't make any plays last week."

Delmas, who besides the groin was fighting through calf and biceps soreness, practiced Thursday. It was the first and, if he sticks to his pattern, last practice of the week.

"When you are out there and you are not 100 percent, they are going to run right past you," he said, claiming he has been close to 100 percent on Sundays. "Nobody even cares about (whether you are injured). All they know is you got beat for a touchdown and that's not what I'm about."

There were a couple of signs this week that there might be a small break in the clouds for the back seven. Middle linebacker DeAndre Levy, who has been out because of a groin injury the last four weeks, is expected to make his first start.

"We've missed him and we need him on the field," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "I like the path he's on."

They might be without starting outside linebacker Zack Follett, though. He still hasn't passed all the necessary neurological tests after he was concussed Sunday. If so, the Lions would start Landon Johnson.

Johnson started in place of Levy in the middle the last two games. The drop-off from Follett to Johnson on the outside will be far less than the drop off from Levy to Johnson was on the inside.

"I think we are coming around," Cunningham said. "Delmas is practicing more than he has and Levy has stepped up two straight days (of practice). I'm taking him home with me. He's not going anywhere. Hopefully we will have our middle linebacker back."

Cunningham and Schwartz both have been consistent in saying talent is not the issue in the back seven. Health and consistency have been the problems.

"We haven't done a good enough job in the back end," Schwartz said. "We haven't done a good job of capitalizing when we have opportunities to make plays. Basically, we haven't done a good job of marrying our rush and our coverage."

The Lions will face a Vikings offense that has sputtered in the first two games. Quarterback Brett Favre has struggled to find an aerial rhythm without his go-to guy from last year, Sidney Rice (hip surgery).

But nobody has to remind the Lions of Favre's success against the Lions -- he's won 15 of the last 17 starts against them and he's thrown for nearly 9,000 against them -- or the threat running back Adrian Peterson poses.

"Brett's a great quarterback," Delmas said. "You can give him all the respect in the world but you've got to go out and play him. You've got to calm down and treat him like every other quarterback in the league even though he's been a million years in the NFL."

Calm down? Not sure Cunningham is ready to calm down.

"I think we've made some headway," he said. "It's hard when you don't have everybody in place and we haven't had what we felt was our best 11 players on the field at the same time from preseason through the first two games. Levy and Delmas are back practicing now, so we will see what happens."

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100924/SPO ... z10U0i0NHe


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September 24th, 2010, 5:01 pm
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
Cunningham seems to think the sky is fallling..

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September 24th, 2010, 6:24 pm
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
I wonder if the coaches will use the concussion as an excuse to end the Follett experiment.

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September 24th, 2010, 7:53 pm
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
thelomasbrowns wrote:
I wonder if the coaches will use the concussion as an excuse to end the Follett experiment.

ya ashley palmer is a better lb

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September 24th, 2010, 9:05 pm
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
Chicago Bears
2nd Quarter 1:18 1st and 20
Lions: Nickel Package Package
Bears: 4 Wides Single Back

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSaMNuAfniQ

The Play: The Bears get caught in a holding penalty and are pushed back. It looks like all 4 receivers on go routes. It's a clearout for a screen pass to Forte. Lions DB's all play well off receivers to keep them underneath. The streaks clear lots of space underneath. Olin Kreutz leaks out to the strongside as the lead blocker. Peterson is the the first to recognize but gets cut block out of the play. Peterson may have been able to shed the block to make the play, but at this point it's a guessing game of which side Forte goes. He guesses wrong. However he isn't at fault, it should schematically buy enough time for the rest of the back 7 to make a tackle and end the play.

At this point it's a footrace. There's no excuse for any of the back 7 to be out of position because they're in the secondary and have time to converge. Who's the biggest culprits? First off CC Brown was the second to make a play. He takes a bad angle and whiffs on a tackle. Landon Johnson is the third with an opportunity but he overrruns the play making him have to backtrack and whiff on Forte who has at this point reached his top gear. In my opinion though, the worst in this situation is our promising young nickle back Aaron Berry, who half-asses a jog towards the play. Young man needs to hustle. Because he not only takes himself out of the play, but he's in the way of Louis Delmas who is coming over from deep coverage on the weak side. Delmas has to slow down because Berry is a slow moving obstruction in his way. Unfortunately a few others are merely jogging to the play, and it's sad because at that critical point there are all blue jerseys and one downfield blocker.

These guys should be embarrassed for needing to take a cue from our 1st round pick who seems like the only one hustling at this point. You've got to be embarrassed to have a dlinemen coming all the way from pass rushing into the backfield and then turning around and pursuing only to get blocked out of his play by, you guessed it, his own guys. That's the only positive I can take from this play.

4th Quarter 1:40 2 and 18
Bears: 3 Wides, TE, single back.
Lions: Nickel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k0WBqUQLxw

The Play: Wheel route for touchdown.
Lions play a mix of press/zone coverage. 3 Corners play tight jam coverage on the wideouts. CC Brown playing extra deep in the secondary. Peterson is matched up on Forte again. Delmas is showing blitz but is actually covering the tight end. The defensive call was good enough to stop this play but a mishap by Jonathan Wade causes a touchdown.

What went wrong: everyone is covering there receivers with the exception of Wade. His mans route starts from the wide weak side, he motions closer to the hash and when the ball is snapped goes short over the middle, designed to pull coverage away from the wheel route on the weak side. He makes what appears to be a wise decision in letting the zone coverage by the linebacker in the middle to take over, but then he gets caught in the middle of that decision, I don't know looks like he's watching to make sure that everything is okay. Meanwhile his back is turned to the wheel route, and instead of dropping back deeper and helping Peterson on the route, Forte already has Peterson beat and is catching a touchdown pass. CC Brown who is also playing deep also is 2 steps slow, Don't know where he's looking because he's out of view in the tape, but he's the primary help man on these deep balls. He gets there even later than Wade.

Also note that If the coverage is better by just a half second, Cutler is getting sacked on the 39 yard line moving the bears close to out of field goal range in this 1 point game. Jackson is double teamed by the Center and Right Gaurd. Turk McBride is well blocked on the Strong side. But both Vanden Bosch and Suh absolutely destroy the single blocks they have and are in Cutlers face when he lets go of the pass.

Of course if that happens it's 3 and 39, which would probably dictate a run to get into field goal range, but then the Lions would only need a field goal to win instead of a touchdown. Then again it's Martz calling the plays and then maybe it's another big gamble which would heavily favor the Lions, and who knows maybe the lions are taking knees from here on out.

Nevertheless the point stands that these big plays gotta stop. Schematically they're good enough to win.

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September 24th, 2010, 9:35 pm
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Post Re: Big Plays Killing Us: Schwartz disgusted by defensive la
your my boy blue. good write up.

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September 25th, 2010, 1:26 pm
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