Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said the team’s defense will be better next season despite losing a pair of key players in free agency, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
The No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh signed a six-year, $114 million contract with the Miami Dolphins earlier this month. During five seasons in Detroit, Suh was a four-time Pro Bowler and recorded 36.0 sacks.
Nick Fairley, the No. 13 pick in 2011, signed a one-year contract with the Rams that could be worth up to $7.5 million.
“We plan to be better this year,” Austin told a group of season-ticket holders at Ford Field on Tuesday. “It’ll look a little different, but the objectives will remain the same.”
“Our goal is not to look much different,” Austin said. “If we look different, it should be better.”
Last season, the Lions finished No. 2 in yards allowed and No. 3 in scoring defense. They finished No. 8 in the league with 42 sacks.
- Phil Watson