Matt Patricia and Todd Bowles on Tuesday both downplayed statements made the previous night by New York Jets players, who said they knew exactly what the Detroit Lions were going to run offensively during a season-opening 48-17 win.
Patricia, the first-year Lions coach, said every team has an idea of what will be run by its opponent.
“I would say in general there are a lot of things that go on in the game that are identifiable to players on both sides of the ball,” Patricia said. “In the course of a game, that kind of happens at times that those things come up. There’s certainly very simplistic things that are used in the course of a game where guys do a good job of hearing things or studying things and seeing things, seeing stuff.
“At the same time, we try to do the best we can to keep it moving on both sides of the ball. We certainly have the same situation from our side, we study opponents the same as everybody else does and you kind of, group, I would say, things into categories based on schemes and systems. And that’s really important to understand. So, if you do that, sometimes that’s helpful and sometimes it’s not.”
Jets linebacker Darron Lee said after Monday night’s win that defenders were calling out Lions plays as Detroit was headed to the line of scrimmage. Lions quarterbacks were intercepted five times — including four by starter Matthew Stafford — and had at least one other pass that could have been picked.
“We knew his signals,” Lee said. “We knew everything. That’s just preparation as a defense. … It seemed like we were in his head as a defense.”
Asked during an interview on FOX2 in Detroit if he felt that the Jets were tipped plays, Stafford said that he “didn’t feel it out there” but that New York’s defense, after the way it played, were “probably feeling pretty good.”
On Tuesday, Bowles said his players didn’t know any specific plays or audibles. Like Lee and Morris Claiborne, he said it had to do with the preparation the Jets had during the week.
“Those guys did a good job following out their assignments that the coaches taught them,” Bowles said. “They were anticipating certain things if they saw certain formations and they were in good positions to make those type of plays. I don’t think we knew the plays.
“The coaches did a good job preparing them. That was about it. We didn’t know their plays, per se.”
On Tuesday, Patricia also downplayed that the Jets were able to figure out so much of what they were going to do in Week 1, when teams in theory have some surprises in store for opponents due to the lengthy buildup. He said the Lions knew what the Jets were going to do as well, but that they were “obviously outexecuted.”
Patricia was also asked about his team’s effort Tuesday. He didn’t seem to have an issue with it.
“I think our guys fight hard all the time,” Patricia said. “I think they really try to do everything they can to win. We have competitive guys.”
ESPN’s Rich Cimini contributed to this report.