Detroit Lions: Can Cory Undlin have the same success as Darrell Bevell?

Cory Undlin, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Cory Undlin, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Can the Detroit Lions new defensive coordinator be as successful as his counterpart?

Out of all the Detroit Lions coordinator positions only one of them is returning from last year. And that is offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Even with an injury plagued team down to the second or third string players at important positions like quarterback, running back, and offensive line he was still able to find some success. Some people might be questioning what “success” I’m talking about when the end result of last year was a dreaded three-win season.

Although the wins didn’t exactly pile up, we saw Bevell take a team of back ups and put points on the board week after week no matter who was starting. Some people argue that it was the defense that lost games last year, as the Detroit Lions defense was ranked second to last in yards allowed in the NFL last year.

What does Detroit Lions new defensive coordinator Cory Undlin’s coaching history look like? 

For anyone who doesn’t know, Undlin started working in the NFL back in 2004 for the New England Patriots. Which is where he met Lions head coach Matt Patricia during both of their first year coaching in the NFL. Undlin did an interview with the Detroit Free Press back in January where he talked about his short time with Patricia.

"“That bond was formed back in 2004 when we both showed up in New England. You guys know how that goes, we slept in the office together for damn near a year. So, when you do that you have a tendency to get pretty close with people.”"

Undlin then went on to coach for the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos. Most notably, during his time with the Eagles, he won a Super Bowl in 2017.

How will Undlin’s experience help the Detroit Lions win games this season?

This will be the first time that Undlin will be a defensive coordinator in the NFL. He has mostly worked as a defensive backs coach up until now. This is his first opportunity to showcase all that hes learned under former Lions head coach and current Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

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During the Eagles Super Bowl run in 2017, their defense was consistently one of the top defenses all year. They finished fifth in overall defense, first in run defense, and ended the year 10th in blitz percentage with 38 sacks and 112 quarterback hits, which was ranked third.

Even though Undlin was the defensive backs coach, he’s learned a lot from great coach’s and great players as well. The Lions now have three Super Bowl winning coaches that understand what it takes to win.

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Everywhere that Cory Undlin’s coached has had a good defense or he’s helped bring the group to relevancy. I believe the Detroit Lions’ defense will flourish under Undlin and be much higher ranked ranked than last year come seasons end.