The energy and demeanor of the current Lions coaching staff is a far cry from the previous regime, and there is little doubt at least part of the reason is their shared background playing the game at an elite level. Scanning the new staff, there are former pros at the highest levels of the staff setting the tone plus more working with the position groups those coaches actually played in the NFL.
On Friday, Eric Woodyard at The Worldwide Leader wrote a feature on the unimpeachable credibility the Detroit players-turned-coaches bring to the table. After all, who better to know what it takes to succeed on the field than the people who have actually done it themselves?
STORY: Filled with former NFL players, Detroit Lions coaching staff 'knows what it takes' to win.— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) July 9, 2021
Detroit has 7 former NFL players on their staff and is the lone NFL team to have HC, OC and DC roles each filled by ex-players.
LINK: https://t.co/fKBCxqgwXY pic.twitter.com/KVoLlOHph7
Woodyard’s article gets many different Lions players’ thoughts on how the coaches’ collective experience augments their message to the team, quoting veterans like Jared Goff and Michael Brockers as well as youngsters like Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift.
As pointed out in the article, head coach Dan Campbell is just one of six active NFL head coaches with experience as a former player in the league. Whether it works out or not, what the Lions are trying with their coaching staff is quite different from the norm, and appealing to both the players and the coaches themselves. When a former head coach like Anthony Lynn says he changed his career plans to come to Detroit because this looks like something special, he is not kidding. It seems like the fans agree, too.
Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- If you remember the Tight End University summit from a few weeks ago, it turns out the offensive linemen have a similar gathering of professionals going on this weekend:
- Jeff Risdon at Lions Wire has five college quarterback names for fans to keep an eye on in case the team needs to draft one in 2022.
- A tale in two charts from Seth Walder. First, how often each defense ran man versus zone coverage in 2020 (horizontal) against how much better they are at man or zone (vertical):
How often each team ran man coverage (x) by how much better they were in man than zone, in terms of EPA/P (y).— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) July 9, 2021
So top right = ran more man, better in man than zone.
Bottom right = ran more man, better in zone than man.
(ESPN / Next Gen Stats) pic.twitter.com/D0RvlUr01n
Okay, the Lions are somehow in the middle of the pack there! Are they like not that bad, then? What about just plotting how good they are in man (horizontal) against how good they are in zone (vertical)?
This is how good each team was in man (x) and zone (y) coverage.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) July 9, 2021
NOTE THAT THIS IS FROM THE DEFENSE'S PERSPECTIVE SO NEGATIVE EPA -- DOWN AND TO THE LEFT -- IS BETTER pic.twitter.com/jU9I0ElheR
- Word of Melissa Gonzalez heading to the Olympics made it to the national NFL coverage. Around the NFL’s Kevin Patra is spreading the good news on the NFL.com site.
- Okay, this is pretty cool. We’re too old for this stuff, but if anybody young is interested in getting into football media, there are some opportunities out there:
Some great entry/foot-in-door opportunities at NFL Films for the Fall— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) July 8, 2021
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