After Sunday’s miserable performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell was clearly heated and frustrated with the team’s play. Whereas last week, Campbell was emotional due to his team getting its heart broken again, this week the Lions coach was, for lack of a better term, pissed.
But amidst that anger, Campbell noted that he had some ideas—specifically for the struggling offense—to change things up.
“I’ve got about a million ideas just floating around up here right now as to what I want to do,” Campbell said in his post-game press conference.
A day after the game, Campbell reiterated that changes are going to be made. When asked if there are alterations on the roster or in how the team practices he has in mind this week, Campbell confirmed that there is.
“I would say all of the above,” Campbell said. “I don’t want to get too far into where that will go as far as the roster, but we’re looking at that. I think we’re going to shake things up here a little bit.”
We don’t exactly know what sort of changes we can expect on the roster, but we do have a few clues. For one, we know a change at quarterback is not coming. Despite Jared Goff’s struggles through six weeks, Campbell made it pretty clear on Sunday that they are not considering a move at that position right now.
However, a change at wide receiver seems likely. Detroit has struggled to find a combination that works after devastating injuries to both Tyrell Williams and Quintez Cephus have decimated an already weak unit. The Lions tried putting Trinity Benson—a player they traded for after cutdowns—in a prominent role only to make him inactive last week. KhaDarel Hodge stepped up in his place against the Bengals, but only had two catches for 9 yards to show for it. It was pretty clear after the game that Campbell was frustrated with their performance.
“(Goff’s) trying to make a throw with guys that are MA-ing (missed assignment), and so he can’t even trust where the hell they’re supposed to be at,” Campbell said. “So I’m with you. I don’t mean to get upset. Look, he’s got to make some throws and then our receivers have to be where they’re supposed to be when they’re supposed to be there.”
Additionally, there are already rumors out there that the Lions have been seeking to trade for more receiver talent. On Monday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that the Lions have had trade talks ahead of November 2’s trade deadline.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they go out and at least talk to some teams and they’ve done so already,” Rapoport said.
In addition to shaking things up on the roster, Campbell noted that they may make some drastic changes in how the offensive is run in an effort to create some rhythm and tempo. Last week, it was about shortening the verbiage to help some of the younger players out. This week, it sounds like they will be considering fewer huddles and more playcalling at the line.
“I think maybe there is a time where we don’t need to be huddling and we need to just get back to the line and call everything at the line instead of huddling,” Campbell said on Monday. “I do think there is a place to huddle. I think there is a place to huddle, run a play, and then get right back to the line. I think that you just have to keep tinkering with it and you’ve got to explore some of these things that we haven’t quite done yet.”
Whatever the Lions do, they need to figure out their offensive issues in a hurry. The Lions are currently averaging just 18.2 points per game (28th) and they’ve been held without a touchdown for the first 57 minutes in back-to-back games.