Darrell Bevell came to the Detroit Lions and turned around the offense immediately. Can Cory Undlin have the same impact on the defense in year one?
Last year’s hiring of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was the best move Matt Patricia made since becoming the head coach of the Detroit Lions. In hopes of replicating some of that same success on the other side of the ball, Corey Undlin was brought in this offseason to ‘coordinate’ the defense.
Through Week 8 last year, prior to his first benching due to injury in years, quarterback Matthew Stafford was first in the NFL in touchdowns (19) and passing yards (2,499). Granted, the Lions were still 26th in rushing yards per attempt, but that speaks even louder to just how much the passing game was clicking.
Can Patricia’s second coordinator hire in Undlin have the same positive impact as his first one? This time on the other side of the ball? Short answer, no.
Though Undlin is the defensive coordinator, I would assume it’s more like an assistants job with Matt Patricia still the one calling the shots. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Patricia still calling plays here and there, if not even more often than that. But you’ll never see Patricia calling the offense … that is Bevell’s baby.
If this defense does a turnaround similar to the offense last season, it will be because of a much more collective effort from new and old coaches in Allen Park. It will be because of the talent brought in and the talent shipped out of Detroit.
With the offense last season, it was a change in philosophy brought in by Bevell that married so perfectly with Stafford’s playing style that sparked the turnaround. Not to say that the Detroit Lions defense can’t do that same 180. After all, ranking 31st in the league is a hard spot to not improve from. But Cory Undlin isn’t coming to Detroit and changing any philosophies on defense. He’s just re-enforcing what’s already here.