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From Rob Parker at the Detroit News.

ALLEN PARK -- Unless the defense improves dramatically overnight -- which is highly unlikely -- the Lions will have no choice.

If they aren't forced to do it at some point during the season, it definitely must happen at the end of the season.

They must fire defensive coordinator Dick Jauron.

The offensive numbers by opponents are just too gaudy to ignore anymore.

What happened in Chicago last weekend wasn't a one-time deal. Sadly, it's been the norm since Jauron got here last year.

Against the Bears, who started rookie quarterback Kyle Orton, you would have expected the defense to blitz -- constantly. You need to rattle a young quarterback, make him uncomfortable and force him into mistakes.

Some analysts honestly expected the Lions to put nine men in the box and make Orton beat them by throwing the ball. Instead, the Bears cruised to 187 yards rushing.
"Here's the thing in our game," Jauron said after practice Wednesday. "You're questioned every time you lose.

"Whenever you win, you do everything right and people come and study you. And whenever you lose, you do nothing right. We expect that to happen. It's a part of the game. And we obviously should have done different things than we did on Sunday because we didn't succeed."

Second-half points

But this isn't about one game.
Last season, the Lions probably would have made the playoffs if the defense had made a couple of big plays. That 6-10 record easily could have been 9-7.
And consider that Minnesota and St. Louis made the playoffs -- at 8-8.
But the Lions allowed big points in three crucial losses.

• Dallas scored 17 points in the second half.
• Minnesota scored 15 fourth-quarter points.
• Green Bay rang up 16 unanswered points in the second half.

You could give Jauron a pass -- maybe -- because 2004 was his first season with the Lions and he was getting to know his players and how to use them.
But the same things are still happening.

Surprisingly, the players haven't given up hope.
"I believe we have the personnel," All-Pro cornerback Dré Bly said. "I feel like they have to put us in position to make plays. And when they do put us in position, we have to make plays."

Defense too passive
Entering the season, the Lions' biggest concern was defense.
Even though they added a few players -- Boss Bailey back from injury and free-agent safety Kenoy Kennedy -- there was still a concern the unit would not be successful playing a nonaggressive style. Apparently, the concern was justified.
The players won't say it. And it's understandable. It's hard to rip your boss publicly.

But it's obvious. Jauron is the problem.
Not only does his game plan not fit the personnel, it's also way too passive.
When the Lions finally realize it, they'll get rid of Jauron.
It's what the Lions do -- fire defensive coordinators.
Just ask Vince Tobin and Kurt Schottenheimer. Neither lasted more than two seasons.
Add Jauron to that list.

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