Detroit Lions Stock Report: Week 4

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Stock Up: Teryl Austin

The stats weren’t really showing it, but Teryl Austin hasn’t been having a bad season.  His defense is sitting statistically in the bottom half of the league, but anyone who watches the games closely can see the culprit pretty clearly is not play calling on defense.  There was no clearer example than the Jason Jones missed fumble, where Austin called a beautiful play that gave Wilson no option unless something went wrong.  Several something went wrong, starting with Jones and ending with a first down that should have been a huge sack.

Austin has been covering up the loss of Suh and DeAndre Levy‘s injury since the start of the season and while it started rough it has gotten better every game.  Despite linebackers as slow as molasses, Austin has managed to keep the run defense strong and has improved pass defense each week.  It’s depressing to see a perfectly called play break down because of missed tackles (there were a lot this week), but it’s encouraging that his strong play calling abilities and adjustments are not lost on the season.

One wrinkle that showed up against the Seahawks that gave Russell Wilson fits all day was the DB blitz.  Traditionally, Austin is more of a LB blitzing kind of guy, and there was some of that (Including a fantastic blitz with Devin Taylor at LB), but his best plays were called with a defensive back getting in Wilson’s face quickly.  Facing a more statuesque quarterback this week, I doubt we see more of that against Arizona, but it will come back against more mobile passers.

Next: Starting Receivers

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