Man vs Zone Defense - Lions change in philosophy

In week one vs the Bears… Mitch Trubisky made a comment that’s the Lions always go to man coverages when the game is on the line and he used that to exploit the defense. Here’s a look at the change in philosophy since then.

How much man vs. zone did the Lions play this week?

Per ESPN Stats & Info, here is a look at where things are week by week.

Man defense by Lions:

Week 1: 82.1 %
Week 2: 81.8 %
Week 3: 55.6 %
Week 4: 63.0 %
Week 6: 39.1 %
Week 7: 50,0 %

Zone defense by Lions:

Week 1: 17.9 %
Week 2: 18.2 %
Week 3: 44.4 %
Week 4: 37.0 %
Week 6: 60.9 %
Week 7: 50.0 %

All the games that we won are the ones where we played the most zone. Must be galling somehow to MP. The winning formula isn’t the ‘defensive guru’s’.

I hope the brief state of health doesn’t convince MP that he can go off of his medication, again.

In the offseason, some of us hoped that Undlin would have a genuine affect, and not merely be another toady to a system that was inherently inadequate. It may have take a shotgun to the head to budge Patricia, but let’s just hope he stays mindful of what’s buttering his bread right now.

Good leadership, while stubborn, always adjust with humility… between MP and our DC, we may see a great defense forming before our eyes!!


There’s a cart/horse thing going on here, too.
If you take Undlin’s word for it, the guys up front controlling the run game is what enables him to play zone more.

Blitzing is allowing them to run zone successfully… I’d love to see the blitz rate over the last 4 games. They’re actually pressuring the QB from time to time.

Does anyone buy that we had to run the defense we were running because of personnel…and somehow now we can run more zone because of personnel?

This defense through the first couple of weeks looked exactly like the same defense we’ve been running for the last two years under MP. To me, it seems like something is finally changing and I can only guess that it is Undlin’s influence. Quite possibly he was able to convince the rocket scientist that this ridgid defensive philosophy wasn’t working?!?!

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They simplified things… Meaning Undlin took over … lol

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Yeah (Undlin), “Hey, rocket man. I’m going to scrap your shitty scheme and use this one that I think will actually work”.
aka. “simplify things”


I think the playbook and scheme are relatively the same. But Undlin came from a back ground that blitzes more and uses more zone coverages. It’s more about game plan and play calling than anything else. I also think they are asking less from their LBers and more from their DL.

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New England lived on getting pressure from their LB’s. I will admit, when we run a 3-4 and a LB rushes, I don’t know if that’s considered “blitzing” or not. Or if we line-up 3 d-linemen and 2 LB’s on the d-line and send one LB and drop one, is that considered “blitzing” per the stats goons. Or if they consider a “blitz” more than 4 rushers or anyone other than a d-lineman? What if you drop a d-lineman and rush a CB off the slot?
I just don’t know what they consider a “blitz”.

I can’t stress enough how much of an impact Penisini’s play has made… What a great late round find, he’s keeping Shelton fresh and they make a wall between the two of them on running downs.


Do you notice Davis and Jones snaps? Ragland’s?

Personally, I’m just going to take Shelton’s and Undlin’s words for it.

What did Shelton and Undlin say?

I did notice Davis’s snap count has reduced a lot but is that because our personnel changed or is it a coaching decision?

Shelton has an interview with Rothstein, I think. Should find it from last week sometime. He talks about them playing “together” up front. Undlin takes that conversation a little further to explain he’s able to do more when they’re stopping the run. Just view his media sessions after the last 2 games.

Davis snaps are due to necessity. It’s why they brought in Ragland to begin with.