Tuesday notebook: Lions coordinators address hot topics

Highlights of today's conference call with the media

Two days after the Lions' disappointing tie in Arizona, there were several topics lingering on the minds of fans. Today, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni addressed several of those issues with the media.

Highlights of today's conference call:

Darrell Bevell

On if there was supposed to be four wide receivers on the third-and-5 play after the timeout: “I’m not really going to get into specifics of the plays and what we’re trying to do. Obviously, we can put ourselves in better situations throughout the game and even in that moment. It comes down to getting into the right situation and being able to execute in that situation.”

On what he saw defensively from the Cardinals on the third-and-5 play after the timeout: “Basically what they were doing, I mean, it was a got-to-have-it situation, and they were bringing pressure and playing man-to-man coverage.”

On who called the timeout in the fourth quarter against the Cardinals: “We’re in constant communication during the game, but Lions head coach (Matt Patricia) calls all the timeouts. I think he addressed it yesterday. Obviously, we communicate, we talk about the situation as we’re going along and we wanted to make sure we stayed in a third-and-5 rather than a third-and-10 situation there.”

On if he wanted the timeout called: “Like I said, we’re moving past it. It’s neither here nor there because it doesn’t matter really what happened. I mean what happened, happened. We’re just moving on. We’ve been working on the Chargers all day today.”

On how he will get more efficiency out of the running backs: “We still need to clean that up. There were some nice block plays, (and) there’s some yardage there. I think there was still some more that might have been left out on the field, with one guy getting a little bit more (of a) piece of somebody or taking care of their assignments just a little bit more (picking up our feet and running through holes). I think there’s opportunities there, and it’s something that we’re going to pride ourselves on and going to continue to work on. I thought that there were some really close plays to being some really explosive gains.”

On his level of concern with Taylor Decker’s performance: “I’m probably no more concerned than he is. I think that he is a very prideful guy. He’s really worked hard, and he’s done an outstanding job this offseason of improving himself both as a player but also as a leader for us on the offensive line. I expect him to be able to come back and be at his best this next week.”

Paul Pasqualoni

On how different it is to prepare for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers this week in comparison to Kyler Murray last week: “I think it’s equally as difficult. Philip Rivers is a great veteran quarterback in this league, and has been for a long time. I’ve had the experience of playing against him before. It’s different, obviously, than getting ready for Murray. But there’s still a lot of work, and there is a lot of detail to it. It’s not an easy task.”

On if they can utilize more defensive-front looks against a less mobile quarterback like Rivers: “It’s like six of one or a half-dozen of the other. When you get a guy like Rivers, you certainly want to do a great job in the rush. You certainly want to create pressure, but at the same time, he is a very smart quarterback. He studies, he understands coverages and he understands pressures. He can direct the protections. He knows that he has to get the ball out quickly. Certainly, you’re trying to plan to rush and to have a good rush, and the marriage of the rush and the coverage have to work together. Certainly, it always does, regardless of if it’s Murray or Rivers. Like I said, it’s still a challenge. Now, obviously, he’s not going to try to escape the pocket. You don’t have those issues, but he presents quite a few other issues.”

On why they struggled to get pressure on Murray in the fourth quarter in Week 1: “Late in that game, as you’re saying, they hit a couple of third downs on us, and he got the ball out pretty quick. That kept a couple of those drives going, and obviously, he threw it up to No. 11 (Larry Fitzgerald). And No. 11 shows why he’s going to be a Hall of Fame receiver, and he went up, tracked the ball and made two amazing catches. I think, in part, they were able to hit a few third downs. But earlier in the game, they didn’t have a lot of success hitting third downs. Those plays kept the drive going for them, and they were able to make a couple of those conversions. Credit to him that he got the ball out quick enough to do that.”

On what the secondary did well in the first three quarters that didn’t happen in the fourth quarter: “I thought in the back end, overall, I thought we played fundamentally well. I thought that we played with great effort. Again, I’m just going to go back to (this) ... I was in Dallas in 2010. We had the game won, and they throw the ball up to Larry Fitzgerald. He made a great catch with a guy on him pretty tight, same scenario that we were in. And they come down with the ball, kicked the field goal and won the game. I think that again, they hit a couple third downs, including a pass to David Johnson. We had pretty tight coverage and we tripped. And he made that play and came back. Hit a couple balls to Larry again, (and) hit a third down. It’s a game of inches, men. This game is a game of inches, and there’s not very much margin for error at this level of football. In my mind, that’s what happened.”

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