ALLEN PARK -- Coach Rod Marinelli says he might cut back on his defensive playbook with the goal of improving on the execution.
"Sometimes you actually add to your playbook by subtracting and that's something we've got to look at and how do we maybe cut back some things, make sure we're giving them the chance to get better at some of the fundamental things that we want to get done," Marinelli said.
"As a staff we've got to look at that and go back and re-teach. No panic. We just go back and see it and make corrections."
The defense has been a major disappointment in the Lions' 0-4 start. During the pre-season there were times it seemed the defense might have to carry the offense during the early portion of the season but it has been the other way around in the 0-4 start.
The offense has been progressing but the defense has been a major disappointment, giving up 106 points in the past three games. Only two teams -- San Francisco with 126 and Tennessee with 121 -- have given up more points than the 115 the Lions have allowed for the season.
Marinelli said he believes the Lions have enough talent to play his system effectively but he and his staff have to make sure they put their players in a position to succeed. They have been able to do that in run defense, where the Lions rank 10th in the NFL.
"Our only identity, I think on defense, is stopping the run," he said. "That's been our identity right now."
Since getting five sacks against Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in the season opener, however, the Lions have had only one sack in three games and they rank No. 30 in pass defense.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I got no problem with it. Just give me a play and I'll go out there and play it." -- Linebacker Ernie Sims on the suggestion by coach Rod Marinelli that the Lions might cut back on their defensive playbook to simplify the game plan for the struggling defense.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Both have been hampered since training camp with injuries and have gotten only limited playing time, but the pass protection and running game have flourished in the past two weeks.
Rick DeMulling, who lost the starting left guard job a year ago after being
signed as a free agent from Indianapolis, drew praise from coach Rod Marinelli
for his work in the 41-34 loss to St. Louis last Sunday and rookie Jonathan
Scott, although seemingly a step slow coming off the snap, has been encouraging
at RT playing against veteran pass rushers.