Detroit Lions Midseason Grades: Coaches Report Card

5 of 5

John Bonamego

Oct 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin (6) holds the football as kicker David Akers (2) kicks a field goal during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Eight games into the season, the Lions have not given up a special teams touchdown. How about that? Is that what it looks like when coverage units are competent?

Bonamego owes Sam Martin a great deal for making him look like a genius, because with Martin putting major hangtime on 60-yard punts and kickoffs going eight yards deep in the end zone, special teams coverage units have things a lot easier than they did last year.

Still, the special teams units of last year would have found a way to mess up an easy assignment. The kicking game is improved, and the coverage has improved along with it.

The return game is roughly the same as it was in 2012 (though without the mental gaffes and turnovers), but Bonamego said in an interview with Tim Twentyman on the Lions’ official website that his priority was fixing the coverage units, which it appears he has.

“The first way to win is to not get beat,” Bonamego said in the interview, having clearly seen the Titans and Vikings games from last season in which the Lions gave up 28 points in special teams mistakes.

Bonamego has successfully done what he set out to do this year. So maybe he can help find someone to bolster the return game in 2014?

Grade: B+