ALLEN PARK -- As the Lions offense makes improvements, offensive coordinator Mike Martz is making believers among the Lions offensive players.
Not only do they believe in Martz as an offensive innovator, they believe in his ability to diagnose opposing defenses and call the plays that will work effectively against them.
Going into their bye Sunday, the Lions had the third-rated pass offense in the NFL and were No. 11 overall, lending credence to the view frequently expressed in the Lions locker room that they are not stopped by opposing defenses as often as they stop themselves by failing to execute properly.
"Once Martz figures out the defense, it's hard to stop us," said fullback Cory Schlesinger. The most recent evidence came in the Lions' 31-24 loss to the Jets. Unfortunately for the Lions, their defense gave up two touchdowns in the first 11 minutes of the game but Martz got the offense working with 17 second half points, including two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Schlesinger said the Lions offense never feels limited or stymied with Martz calling plays.
"That's the thing about him, he's going to play offensively all the time," Schlesinger said. "He's never going to be defensive, like 'Oh, this is what they're doing so we can't run these (plays).' We're going to go after these guys and just run our plays, whatever he feels is best against a certain defense.
"Once he gets it figured out, it's hard to stop it."