Detroit Lions defense switching to a 4-3
It has not been easy being a Detroit Lions fans in recent years, with the team missing out on the playoffs for the last five consecutive seasons. The last time they actually won a playoff game was back in 1991 when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 in the Divisional Round. However, the franchise is in the middle of a rebuild and hoping that better days are soon coming up.
One of the ways the Lions are looking to switch things up is with their defensive scheme, moving to a 4-3. They have been in pursuit of players throughout the offseason who are more suited for the attacking style of play and believe they have the components to make it work.
“We addressed our needs,” said Detroit’s defensive line coach Todd Wash, via DetroitLions.com. “It worked out exactly the way we planned it out in all our scenarios.
“To get the players we got for our team, it’s been really good. We have a lot of tools we can use in certain situations.”
With the league becoming increasingly faster each season, Wash is a firm believer the new defensive scheme will benefit his side throughout the 2022 campaign.
“I think it really fits the more athletic guys we have,” Wash said of the change in defensive philosophy. “The guys we have, were not overly big besides Mac (320-pound tackle Alim McNeill).
“Right now, we have to be able to take the fight to them. I think this really fits, with the athleticism we have up front right now.
“Obviously, the game is spread out. Offenses are starting to become basketball on grass. We have to be able to play on people’s edges. We have to affect the quarterback more than we have in the past.”
One of the most interesting things to keep on eye on this season will be how well Detroit’s first-round pick does within the new scheme. The Lions selected defensive end Adrian Hutchinson with the second overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and the club has high hopes for the 21-year-old.
He hasn’t been training long with his new team, but has already begun making quite the impression on Wash.
“I think he’s a better athlete than I thought he was,” Wash commented. “It’s kind of a unique way he can lean and bend that we didn’t necessarily always see on tape. But out here, we see it, and versus good competition.
“We’re very, very excited about where he’s at.”
The Lions had the second worst record in the entire NFL last season, finishing the campaign with a 3-13-1 record. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars were behind them, with a 3-14 record. However, Detroit still allowed more points than the Jaguars conceding an abysmal 467 points during 17 regular season games.
It remains to be seen if the switch in defensive philosophy and the new acquisitions will help the Lions be more competitive in 2022 than they were in 2021, but fans are beginning to lost patience with a franchise who haven’t even won a divisional championship since 1993.