Dan Campbell explains why Detroit Lions have not been able to Get Home
In the heart of the Detroit Lions football frenzy, one thing has become abundantly clear – the Lions' pass rush has been more of a whisper than a roar. In a league where sacking the quarterback can change the course of a game, the Lions have found themselves struggling to make their presence felt in the trenches during the opening two weeks of the NFL season.
Why it Matters: The Gospel According to Coach Dan Campbell
In a recent candid interview, head coach Dan Campbell laid bare the pressing issues that have been ailing the Lions' pass rush – and there's no sugarcoating it. Campbell is known for his unvarnished honesty, and he didn't disappoint this time.
What did Dan Campbell Say?
First and foremost, Dan Campbell pointed to the glacial transition from run defense to pass rush as a major stumbling block. He stressed the need for a quick shift in mindset, urging his defensive linemen to bring more violence and urgency to their play. The numbers back his claim, especially when dissecting their struggles against play-action passes.
“I felt like just from transition into rush, some of this play (action)-pass, now we’re from reading the run into pass. Man, we’ve got to transition much quicker,” Campbell said. “Our urgency has to go up there and our violence has to go up to shed those blockers. That’ll go a long way.”
Another thorn in the Lions' paw is the lack of discipline when facing elusive quarterbacks. Campbell highlighted how the Lions' defensive strategy is built around containing quarterbacks, and any deviation from that plan spells disaster. Players need to trust each other and stay disciplined in their assigned pass-rushing lanes.
“The discipline to just do your job and trust the guy next to you is going to do his. And (at the) perimeter, we can’t rush high,” Campbell said. “We’ve got to close this in on the quarterback. We rush high and we don’t have somebody that can cover, we’re going to be in trouble.”
In addition to these woes, the Lions have been faltering in the art of winning one-on-one battles. Campbell pulled no punches when he asserted that players need to seize their opportunities when facing single blockers. The numbers speak for themselves, with only a select few, like Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston, consistently generating pressure.
“A guy’s got a one-on-one, he’s got to win,” Campbell said. “We’re getting chipped on this side, you may be getting chipped, you’re getting doubled, a center, guard, this guy’s got to win and we’re not winning our one-on-ones.”
Although Campbell refrained from naming names, he issued a clarion call to the Lions' foundational players, urging them to step up and provide much-needed stability on the defensive front. With optimism abounding regarding the revamped front seven, the onus is squarely on the Lions' pass rush to deliver.
“And the other thing I think just defensively is man, we need our most reliable players to be reliable,” Campbell said. “That was a big thing that came out of that game.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Lions' pass rush has been in dire straits this NFL season.
- Coach Dan Campbell dives into the issues: slow transitions from run to pass defense, a lack of discipline against mobile quarterbacks, and a shortage of one-on-one victories.
- Campbell calls on foundational players to step up for the struggling Lions' defense.
The Bottom Line: The Lions Must Find Their Roar
The Detroit Lions' pass rush woes are evident, and Dan Campbell has peeled back the layers to reveal the root causes. Swift transitions, discipline against mobile quarterbacks, and one-on-one victories are the glaring needs that demand immediate attention. As the season unfolds, the Lions must look to their key players to rise to the occasion and breathe life into their pass rush.