Defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter spoke to the media Monday.
Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:
1. Asked about wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. going on IR Monday, and the adjustments he’ll continue to have to make without his 1,000-yard receiver from last year, Cooter seemed genuinely excited for the opportunity to see some of the players who haven’t played a lot.
2. What goes through Pasqualoni’s mind when watching the Rams’ high-powered offense?
“What goes through your mind is how can you slow them down?” he joked.
Pasqualoni sees a balanced offense with highly skilled players at every spot. He thinks Rams head coach Sean McVay does a terrific job of understanding the skillset of his players, and utilizing them perfectly with what they do well in his scheme.
3. What makes the Rams’ offense so good? The thing that impresses Cooter the most is how they mesh the run and play action pass game together.
4. Job No. 1 for the Lions’ defense Sunday, according to Pasqualoni, is stopping Todd Gurley and the Rams run game first and foremost. He thinks Gurley is too good to let him get going. Expect the Lions to really make stopping Gurley a focus early on.
5. Cooter has received some criticism for the way the offense has looked at times this season. He admits he has to do a better job getting the offense help the team collect more wins. He also said the NFL is a week-to-week and year-to-year business, and it wouldn’t be wise for him to worry about what outside people are saying. He thinks it’s best to focus on this football team and the next opponent.
6. Second-year cornerback Teez Tabor was a healthy scratch for the Lions last week vs. Chicago. Pasqualoni says Tabor is continuing to be a pro despite the demotion. He’s pleased with the work ethic, but obviously needs to see better results.
7. Cooter likened being an offensive coordinator to being a problem solver.
“It is on me to improve during the year,” he said. “To find problems, to find weaknesses and improve those. What is the problem? Can I fix it?”
With a 4-7 record, not enough of the problems have been fixed up to this point.
8. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison has made a big difference for the Lions’ defense against the run. He understands what it takes to be good, and brings that to both the meeting room and practice field. Paqualoni called him a true professional.
9. Cooter will square off Sunday against a Rams’ defense that features defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. The hard part about playing those two is the Rams line them up in different spots, and it’s really hard to zero in on where they’re going to be.
10. Is there a more complete back in the NFL than Gurley? Pasqualoni doesn’t think so.