Does the Lions defense have enough talent to compete?

Detroit Lions defensive end Julian Okwara (99) (Syndication: Detroit Free Press)
Detroit Lions defensive end Julian Okwara (99) (Syndication: Detroit Free Press) /
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Detroit Lions vs Buffalo Bills (Photo by DetroitFreePress Syndication)
Detroit Lions vs Buffalo Bills (Photo by DetroitFreePress Syndication) /

Communication issues were a problem

It’s very difficult to read too much into the preseason. For the good or the bad. After all, the last time the Lions went undefeated in the exhibition season was 2008.

For those of us who remember that year, the Lions followed up that undefeated exhibition by not winning a single regular-season game. They rode their 0-16 record to the first pick in the draft and got Matthew Stafford as their reward.

So there is only so much that happens in the preseason that means a whole lot.

But for those of us looking for signs of life on the defensive side of the ball, it should be reported that they do seem to have a pulse.

Now the Lions did play a vanilla defense against the Bills and didn’t seem to really script anything as Aaron Glenn basically turned his defensive players loose and besides running zone and man coverages, he just gave his defenders a chance to show what they could do.

Overall as a unit, there didn’t seem to be a lot of good communication. Especially in the first half. In the second half, the defense which had fallen prey to a steady diet of misdirection bootleg pass plays actually became aware of this problem and played them much better.

Tackling was an issue. This seemed to be painfully clear from the linebackers in the first half. Plays that should have been stopped for little to no gain picked up more yardage than is reasonable. Considering Aaron Glenn’s competitive personality, that will be rectified or those players that can’t make a tackle will be gone.

For a team that has made many roster moves this offseason and are learning a new system, it is understandable that they are still trying to get everyone on the same page and building communication. The cohesiveness will be expected to improve over these next two exhibition games with the idea that this Lions’ defense will be ready for the opener against San Francisco.