The Detroit Lions have struggled on defense this season, and specifically, haven’t even been able to keep track of having the right number of players on the field lately during plays.
That isn’t sitting well with safety Duron Harmon. Asked about the mistake, which has happened in back to back weeks for the Lions, Harmon admitted that he himself is going to take accountability for the mistake, and is also going to be in charge of making sure it never happens again on the field.
This is a nice and noble thought from Harmon, but reality says that the team’s coaching staff should be doing the job from the sidelines and making sure the Lions have the right amount of players on the field. It’s an awful look that the Lions haven’t been able to figure this out lately and have seen a couple major mistakes doom them in a pair of critical weeks. Besides, if the staff was doing their job, the Lions wouldn’t have been caught with their pants down in such a way and have to worry about these issues.
It shouldn’t be Harmon’s responsibility to take stock of who’s on the field and who isn’t. Matt Patricia should be in charge and the fact that a player feels compelled to do a coach’s job is a bad look for the team and the staff. Its also on Cory Undlin to have his team better prepared.
Credit Harmon for taking the fall and accepting responsibility for the defense, but the fact is this one isn’t his fault at all. Players have enough to worry about on the field without having to count out their teammates.
That a veteran player feels compelled to take over a coach’s responsibility is a very desperate sign during the middle of a season.
Lions Had 10 Players During Play in Minnesota
During the team’s ugly 34-20 Week 9 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, the Lions once again made one of the worst kind of errors a team can make when they had 10 players on the field on defense. Here’s a look at the visual evidence of the play.
On the play, the Vikings blasted through for an easy looking 70 yard touchdown, aided greatly because the Lions didn’t have enough players on the field to slow them down. The worst news about this mistake for Matt Patricia and the Lions is the fact that it also happened in Week 8 a pair of times.
There’s no excuse for Patricia and Cory Undlin not to have the right players in the game in key moments or have this kind of confusion midway through a season no matter what changes have come in 2020. It’s a sloppy look and something which could eventually cost Patricia his job moving forward considering the way the mistakes have been playing out.
Lions 10 Men Problem Has Happened Before
Such a mistake is embarrassing enough once, but when it plays such a visceral role twice in a tough loss, it can be even more frustrating and magnified. Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin was asked about the plays last week and his feelings on it and offered a blunt assessment regarding why it happened.
It was simply a case of bad coaching on his part and nothing else.
For a team to have problems with substitutions and personnel it often speaks to confusion on the sideline and with regards to what packages and plays are being run. Given the offseason NFL teams just had, a degree of this was to be expected, but for it to be playing out in Week 8 during an important game is a tough look for the Lions.
Harmon doesn’t have to take accountability, and shouldn’t for the failings of his coaching staff.
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