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Detroit Lions mailbag: Projecting lineups in 3-4 base, nickel, dime formations

We got some hints this week from Lions coaches, but how will the rest of the defense look in 2021?

NFL: SEP 01 Preseason - Bills at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week, the Detroit Lions positional coaches met with the media, some of them for the first time since being hired by Dan Campbell and company. The conversations were loose, insightful, and informative. It was a bit disorienting compared to what we’re used to hearing from Lions coaches.

But perhaps the most interesting findings from those sessions were what defensive line coach Todd Wash revealed about their defensive personnel. He straight up told us that Trey Flowers would be playing outside linebacker in 3-4 base and defensive end in dime situations. He told us Levi Onwuzurike would be defensive end in base, but will move inside in subpackages.

So on this week’s Locker Room Q&A session, we were asked: What will everything else look like? Who will be at inside linebacker in base? Which defensive backs will come on the field in nickel and dime? Who will come off the field in subpackages? And what roles are still to be determined?

Other questions from our hour-long session include: Have the Lions truly adopted a “Detroit” mentality under Campbell or is this more phony “blue collar” talk? Who has the best chance to win the TE3 job? Which players will be the future at guard for the Lions? How have the Lions taken a different approach to player health already?

You can listen to our session below or on any of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or iHeartRadio.

If you want to join us live and ask us questions next time, download the Locker Room app (available only on iOS for now), follow @PrideOfDetroit on the app, and then tune in around 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday mornings to join the live show.