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The Patriots defense is ready for the Lions to punch them in their weak spot – Boston Herald


FOXBORO — During his introductory press conference, Detroit coach Dan Campbell talked about biting kneecaps.

This summer, he told Lions fans their team was “fricking starving,” so this season “the hyenas better get out of the way.”

And in virtually every address he made to his players in training camp, as recorded on the latest season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” Campbell revisited the same themes.

Grit, physicality and aggression.

That, Campbell declared, is what must define the Lions. That, he said, is who they must be if they wanted to win.

Through four games, Detroit sits at 1-3, having burned itself and benefitted from Campbell’s philosophy. The Lions boast the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense, an explosive, smashmouth unit whose success has stunned the entire league. However, their defense is equally porous, undisciplined and ranking dead last in several key categories, often over-pursuing plays and getting burned by their love of the blitz.

Bill Belichick knows all of this. He presented on the Lions during the Patriots’ Wednesday morning team meeting, noting, among other things, Campbell has surrounded himself with more ex-players than any other head coach in the league. Campbell is a grizzled ex-tight end who carved out an 11-year career by blocking, out-muscling and out-hustling his opponents. He hired assistants, from running backs coach Duce Staley to defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who once did the same.


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