In the first game of the year, the Lions were playing in front of a juiced-up sellout crowd at Ford Field. Wanting to make an impression, the defense may have forgotten a bit about the fundamentals in the process.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, September 15, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn offered some thoughts after looking closer at the tape. As he said, it’s possible the energy may have been a disadvantage for the team overall.
As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News pointed out in a tweet after listening, Glenn seems to think that the team has a chance to improve by dialing it back a bit.
“Aaron Glenn describes the Eagles game performance as disappointed but encouraged. Said the energy level was so high that some of the guys, particularly the young players, got away from their discipline and assignments. Says they need to better harness that energy,” Rogers tweeted.
Energy can serve as a boost for a team, but it’s also important to remember it can be a disadvantage as well. Players fly around, make mistakes and struggle with assignments if they are sloppy. That may have been what happened here.
The good news? That’s correctable, so it will be interesting to see how the Lions do with a week under their belt and the excitement worn off.
Glenn Reacts to Aidan Hutchinson’s Debut
One player who made a lot of headlines was defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson. In his debut, Hutchinson didn’t make a huge statistical impact, but Glenn isn’t worried about him at all.
As he explained to the media including Woodward Sports, Hutchinson isn’t someone he has to be concerned about in terms of effort and consistency.
“I would say I’m not worried about that player, not one bit. Every player’s going to do that. That’s a player I’m not worried about, not one bit. Every player’s going to do that. Sometimes you want players to go make plays. Sometimes you go out of character, you’ll do that. You can’t have that consistently, but that’s a player I’m not worried about, not one bit,” he said.
Naturally, some fans were a bit jumpy not seeing Hutchinson make a huge impact on the stat sheet, but it’s important to remember that it was his first game in the NFL. There is a learning curve, and now, Hutchinson understands the speed of the game.
Lions Defense Offered Shot at Week 2 Redemption
Other than the energy aspect, one thing the Lions could use is a bit more attention to detail in terms of making big plays on the field, especially takeaways and sacks.
Detroit struggled with regards to both factors last year, and in the first game of the season, the defense didn’t make a sudden-change play to help support the offense. There was no interceptions, no fumbles and no forced fumbles from the Detroit perspective in this game.
Having to deal with a mobile quarterback like Jalen Hurts impacted the game plan for the Lions in a huge way, but this week, the team will get to go up against Carson Wentz, who is more of a pocket passer that can be prone at times to making mistakes.
With the opener out of the way, perhaps the Lions can scale things back a bit and dial in the intensity a bit more. Doing so might help them make more big plays on defense.