Tue, 19 Jan 2021

10 takeaways from Undlin, Coombs & Ryan

Detroit Lions
02 Dec 2020, 19:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin, special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs and quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan spoke to the media Tuesday following the dismissal of head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn over the weekend, and the naming of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as interim head coach.

Here are 10 takeaways from those media sessions:

1. What changes can we expect on defense? Nothing big schematically, at least this week in Chicago. Undlin said it's hard to make any drastic changes in three days. How it might look different in five weeks is something Undlin said we'll have to wait and see.

2. Coombs expects to be more involved in some of the big picture stuff moving forward with Bevell having more on his plate now. The coaches are continuing to talk through all that stuff and any added roles. It's still a work in progress.

3. How can Ryan help Bevell the most in this transition?

"I think the biggest thing I do to aid him is make sure his message is clearly delivered to the quarterback room," Ryan said. "I think once you do that for him as the head coach and OC, then you're helping him out."

4. One other way Ryan expects to help Bevell is to be more involved in the game plan. Ryan said Bevell's been good all year about getting the input of his offensive assistants when game planning, but the expectation is for him to lean on them even more now.

5. Undlin said it's been a tough three days for him personally, as Patricia was one of his closest friends on and off the football field. He also said everyone in this business knows that if they don't produce enough wins, this is what can potentially happen.

"I think you can probably imagine if one of your buddies called you and asked you to come over and help and then you came over and helped and it didn't work, not a good situation to be in," Undlin said.

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6. Coombs was asked about the uncertainty moving forward in terms of the coaching staff after these last five games. Coombs said he always tries to "be where my feet are," and that's probably the best approach any Lions coach can have right now.

7. All the assistant coaches will try and step up and take on a little bit more to help try and reduce Bevell's workload leading up to Sunday. On top of helping more with game planning, Ryan said he also expects to help more in planning practices and scripts for the week.

8. Ryan was asked about the Broncos situation from last week when Denver went into the game with no rostered quarterbacks because of some cracks that came up in Denver's COVID-19 protocols. Ryan said the Lions have been very proactive right from the beginning in their protocols in terms of mask mandates, social distancing and contact tracing, and because of that they haven't had any conversations about quarantining a quarterback or doing anything different than they have all year.

9. Coombs was very appreciative of Patricia giving him his first chance to be a coordinator. Coombs said he has a notebook of things he's gleaned from every head coach he's served under - a list of ideas, things he likes, and things he'd do different - as he hopes to one day get an opportunity to be a head coach. The next five weeks gives him exposure to another way of doing things.

"It's really just an opportunity to gain a new perspective on the head coach's chair and I'm looking forward to working with Bev and seeing what kind of ideas he has," Coombs said.

10. There's a little uncertainty with who will play quarterback for Chicago Sunday. Undlin said they'll prepare for both Mitchell Trubisky, who beat Detroit Week 1, and Nick Foles, who's also started for Chicago this year.

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