With a new defensive coordinator and linebacker coach how will the Detroit Lions improve

Embed from Getty Images A couple weeks ago the Detroit Lions brought in Cory Undlin from the  Philadelphia Eagles as the teams new defensive coordinator. That news was met around the NFL and in the media at large as a solid hire. Needing to fill the linebacker’s coaching position the team then hit a home run and brought in  Tyrone McKenzie.

With the two most important defensive coach’s positions filled, what is next? What does it mean for the toothless Detroit Lions defense? Can the two coach’s both widely viewed as very good at their jobs take the majority of players still on the roster and improve them?

The Detroit Lions linebackers were bad and well below average to just plain awful in pass coverage and did not provide much hope in general with their play. The one thing the unit did reasonably well was rushing the coverage on delayed blitz play calls.

In Cory Undlin, the Lions are getting a coach who understands man coverage, something Patricia loves. In Tyrone McKenzie, who comes to Detroit from the Tennessee Titans, the Lions are getting a coach who immediately got his players to provide a much bigger impact on the defense and overall improvement in their play.

The Tennessee Titans linebackers were the third best tackling linebackers in the NFL this past season. That is something that has sorely been lacking from the Lions defense for a while now.

The Lions do have a couple of linebackers who were drafted in the first and second round. Neither of them excel or are even okay at pass coverage, making that a priority in either free agency or the 2020 NFL draft.

So far, Matt Patricia has at the very least upgraded a couple defensive coach’s. He needs to leave them along and allow them to do what has made them and the players they coach successful. If that happens and the Lions bring in a coverage linebacker the defensive turn-around could be swift.

***Breaking news*** The Detroit Lions have just hired a new defensive coordinator

Embed from Getty Images We have a developing story, The Detroit Lions have named Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach Cory Undlin defensive coordinator. This is from NFL insider Field Yates. A formal announcement from the Lions is coming shortly.

Cory Undlin, has been coaching in the NFL since 2004. Undlin started as a defensive assistant with the New England Patriots, the same year current Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia started in the Patriots organization.

Coaching with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos, Undlin has been the defensive backs coach in Philadelphia for the past four seasons.

During his coaching career, Cory Undlin has produced mixed results with the defensive backs units he has been part of. This past season the Philadelphia Eagles secondary struggled with pass defense. To be fair, the Eagles did not have the best player personnel to work with in the secondary.

During the 2018 season Undlin helped the Eagles weather the storm of a rash of injuries to produce a solid if not spectacular secondary. This is an expected type of move for Patricia and his Lions staff.

In my opinion Cory Undlin was brought in for a couple of reasons. The primary reason being, Undlin already knows, understands and has a firm grasp of the defense Patricia wants to run dating back to their time in New England.

It goes without saying that because his background is in the secondary the Detroit Lions need to bring in a home run hire for the linebacking unit. In a move that may surprise some. Undlin really is not that far fetched.

People inside the Philadelphia Eagles organization have has internal conversations if current Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz leaves the team who would replace him, the answer was Cory Undlin.