When they face the Cardinals on Sunday, the Lions become the first team tasked with stopping the new offense run by coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray. They’re not sure what to expect.
Kingsbury ran an offensive system at Texas Tech that hasn’t been seen in the NFL, and Murray ran a similar offense on his way to a Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma. So what should the Lions study? Tape of Kingsbury’s Red Raiders? Tape of Murray’s Sooners? Tape of the Cardinals’ preseason games? Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni says it’s a little of everything.
“Right now, you use every resource you can get your hands on,” Pasqualoni said, via ESPN. “Right now, you’re watching as much as you can watch and trying to write down and catalog anything that looks good. Anything that anybody’s done, you don’t care who has done it right now, but if it looks like it might work, you’re considering it.”
Lions head coach Matt Patricia says he isn’t sure how similar the Cardinals’ offense will be to Kingsbury’s Texas Tech offense, but he has to be ready for it.
“When you look at a big body of work like Texas Tech, there is a lot to that offense,” Patricia said. “How much are they going to run in the first game? We don’t know. We are just going to have to be able to handle whatever it is. Pace, tempo, line of scrimmage checks, different formations, different personnel groups, those are all things that will be in-game adjustments for us that are going to be really difficult, especially playing in their stadium.”
Everyone who follows football is going to be interested in seeing how well Kingsbury’s offense translates to the NFL. Patricia and Pasqualoni are hoping they can give Kingsbury and Murray a rude welcome.