Earlier in the season when the Lions faced a dynamic rushing threat of a quarterback in Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts, the defense elected not to use a “spy” on Hurts. After Hurts gashed the Lions for 90 yards on 17 carries, defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn remained adamant that he was not a proponent of using a spy on Hurts.
Glenn wanted the Lions to focus on personal responsibility and “not being reckless” in their pass rush. It didn’t work.
Now the Lions face Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears in Week 10. Fields set the NFL record for rushing yardage by a quarterback in a game last week, blitzing Miami for 178 on the ground. That has head coach Dan Campbell rethinking Glenn’s anti-spy attitude.
“Well, I think you’ve got to use a little bit of everything,” Campbell said of containing Fields. “Really, I think there’s a place to spy, I think there’s a place to pressure, I think there’s a place to really play more coverage and keep everything in front of you and then rally to it. So, I think it’s all encompassing.”
The Lions did do a decent job in handling the scrambling of Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa, who rushed for just 19 yards against Detroit in Week 8. Fields has been thriving on designed QB runs, and that is a different style the Lions haven’t seen since Hurts, however.