The Detroit Lions defense is bad enough when it gets the proper personnel on the field. Playing with 10 men would like watching a blind man tie his legs together and waddling down Woodward Avenue.
At least if Matt Patricia’s Lions are going to play porous defense, you’d think — given all the veterans they’ve imported from the New England Scraps Pipeline — they’d at least get lined up properly.
The past fortnight that hasn’t been the case.
Multiple times in the past two games — both blowout losses — the Lions have gotten caught playing with 10 men. Sunday in Minnesota, it resulted in a 70-yard Dalvin Cook TD run.
Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin called it “just poor, poor coaching” before mundanely summarizing how defensive calls are made to get personnel on the field.
Veteran safety Duron Harmon tried to shoulder the blame this week for the mishap, but Undlin said it was a coaching problem.
“It’s poor coaching,” he said, via the Detroit Free Press. “I met with the whole defense yesterday and I told them exactly the same thing. We’re trying to be critical of these guys, put a lot of pressure on these guys all the time. Then when we as coaches can’t get 11 guys out there — that’s on us.
“So the remedy is we have to do a better job. I heard some comments about Duron trying to stand up and say, ‘Hey, man, I have to do a better job counting.’ Duron has enough stuff on his plate. He doesn’t need to be counting how many guys are on the field.”
Ultimately, all the coaching problems in Detroit sit at the feet of Patricia, who is perched on a calescent seat that seems ready to explode and rocket-ship the scientist out of town like a befuddled Wile E. Coyote .
It’s one thing for a defense to screw up and only get 10 men on the field once in a blue moon. Sometimes mishaps happen in the mayhem of quick shifts. It’s quite another for it to happen in back-to-back weeks, without even a timeout taken to save the defense from giving up huge plays.
“I know I said that last week,” he said. “I failed you guys at that. I failed the players at that. But ultimately it comes back to me. But that’s how it goes down. Coaches have to get their guys out there. We have to be on the same page. We have to make sure that we communicate to him on the sideline before the series starts so everybody knows. It’s bad coaching.”
Bad coaching has defined the Patricia-era in Detroit.
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