There are plenty of conditions to put on this one, but the Lions are in a condition they hope passes soon.
According to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, through two weeks of preseason games, they’re the only team in the league which hasn’t recorded a sack. Now, starters aren’t playing full games, and some of the guys who get sacks in August never make regular season rosters. And preseason defenses are generally vanilla because teams spend more time evaluating than game-planning, but there’s still at least a mild cause for concern.
“Now since you guys are telling me that — because I didn’t realize that myself — now I know what I have to do,” veteran defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said. “Or what we have to do as a group and a unit, to get on that field and make sure we get to the quarterback, because we’ve got to get pressure. You can’t sit in this league without no sacks.
“And I understand it’s preseason and most people may be like, ‘Aah, it’s no biggie.’ It is a biggie, because if you can’t execute that now, imagine when the season comes up and you’re playing against ones the whole time where people have a whole game plan and video against you. So you can only imagine how (much) harder it’ll be then than trying to get it done now.”
When Lions coach Matt Patricia was in New England, his defenses were in the top seven in sacks two of the last three seasons. And the rookie coach shrugged off the statistical anomaly.
“Again, we’re really not into stats here right now,” Patricia said. “As far as that’s concerned, we’re into evaluation. That’s the biggest thing and that’s the most important process for us right now. Stats aren’t going to get us anything as far as the regular season is concerned right now in the preseason. But evaluating our team and our talent and our ability, and what we have from that standpoint, and making sure we really understand that’s the biggest concern for us and the biggest thing that we have to try to figure out.
“So obviously if we’re not getting great production, we’re going to make sure that we try to improve that the best we can.”
The Lions are also just getting star defensive end Ziggy Ansah back in action, after he started camp on the physically unable to perform list and played in his first game last week, so it might be a little soon to panic.