Gunther Cunningham Likes New Lions Defense, Happy To See More Blitzing

By Ashley Dunkak

ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Now a senior coaching assistant for the Detroit Lions, former defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham seems to love how the new Lions offense is taking shape under new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

“I like it,” Cunningham said Tuesday. “It’s very aggressive. They have a lot of blitz schemes. I think the coaches have done a great job. It’s not an easy scheme, and the teaching that I’ve seen has been outstanding. I really like the coaches and their approach to everything.”

Cunningham agreed that he’s favored more blitzing versus less throughout his lengthy NFL coaching career which has included stints with the Colts, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs and Titans.

Accordingly, he wanted to do more of that with the Lions, he admitted.

“I was just talking about that,” Cunningham said with a chuckle. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I did. A lot.”

As for why he did not employ more blitzes with the Lions, Cunningham remained mum and smiled.

“All I know is I used to like when the quarterback was on the ground,” Cunningham said. “I always had the idea you send more than they have protecting, so one guy should be free.”

While the longtime coach did not want to divulge in which areas he believes the Lions will make the biggest strides this season, he seemed overwhelmingly positive about the group’s progress.

“The only thing I want to do is see them win and play better,” Cunningham said. “And I think there’s no question. They’re heading in the right direction.”


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