There was good and bad seen on the road in Minnesota in the Lions’ second loss of the year to the Vikings. Aside from the game being in reach and ending on a controversial decision by Dan Campbell, improvements are expected to be made specifically on defense.
Report from Allen Park:— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) September 30, 2022
-Ben Johnson confident in others to step up
-TJ Hockenson acknowledges slow start to season, ready for more
-Aaron Glenn says defense is learning to execute games in crunch time
-Aidan Hutchinson said no need for "bounce back" but just keep it rollin' pic.twitter.com/7eivgWu19R
Aaron Glenn definitely sees the positives of his unit, but with learning will come better execution. He said he talks to the players a lot because as a coach, he knows he needs to put his players in positions to be successful.
“We’re playing some really good football early, some really good football,” said Glenn. “Issue is, man, our ability to finish, our ability to execute during crunch time, and that’s one of the things that I talked about last week. With our ability to understand what’s it take to win games and not lose games, and with the youth that we have, those are some of the things we’ve got to continue to learn.”
One of the glaring areas of improvements from the Vikings loss is finding the balance between physicality and penalties with CB Amani Oruwariye.
AG isn't concerned about CB Amani Oruwariye & the penalities he committed against Minnesota. In fact he said: "welcome to the NFL, life of a corner."— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) September 29, 2022
"I have full confidence in Amani. He’s a guy that can get the ball back for us & we expect him to do those things this week.” pic.twitter.com/5d93O34c5A
“Welcome to the NFL, life of a corner,” said Glenn. “And the way they were calling it, and they were calling every little thing that he was doing. It seemed like he was bullseye that game, and the thing that you have to do is make sure you get yourself back up. Man, go back the next week and be just as aggressive, but just understand where your hands at, alright? If your hands are up high, they see that, and I think a lot of that was just the technique that he was doing that week. We talked to him quite a bit about that, and he worked on that yesterday. And that’s something he’s got to continue to work on, and listen, I have full confidence in Amani. He’s a guy that can get the ball back for us, and we expect him to do those things this week.”
On the other side of the ball, the Lions offense is still producing at a high level in comparison to the rest of the league, but the challenge now will be operating at that level without your key pieces. Both D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown are injured and both are offensive leaders for Detroit. Ben Johnson offered the usual “next man up” mentality.
With injuries on offense, Ben Johnson is confident in others stepping up- specifically #Lions WRs Kalif Raymond & Quintez Cephus:— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) September 29, 2022
"Anybody in this building right now, active or practice squad, we know what they’re capable of, & we’ll be ready to put them in the right positions." pic.twitter.com/gzEla4f2m9
“Everybody in the building whether it’s active or practice squad, they all have things that they do well or else they wouldn’t be here,” said Johnson. “So, that’s kind of – over the course of the week we’re trying to hone in, ‘Hey, how can we get this guy here against this guy to do this?’ That’s been within the course of the game, sure yeah a guy goes down and if we do have to tweak a few things. That happened this game, that happened this past game where a guy – maybe a formation needs to change, so we move a guy to different spot and the other guy does it. Those are things that we adjust with.”
One thing no missing with Ben Johnson is the confidence he has in other guys to step up in the receiver role, specifically speaking about WRs Kalif Raymond and Quintez Cephus.
#Lions OC Ben Johnson talks about executing his playbook without many of his starters available.— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) September 29, 2022
He reiterates every player in their locker room "all have things they do well or else they wouldn't be here." pic.twitter.com/Z3dgWdOFpV
“We know what they’re capable of, and we’ll be ready to put them in the right positions,” said Johnson. “I know Q’s ready. He’s answered the bell before the past few years since he’s been a rookie. Leaf’s the same way, and so if we need to dive deeper into those guys, they’ll answer the bell.”