ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -Rod Marinelli isn't a big believer in one of Albert Einstein's best-known axioms.
The physicist defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result each time. The Detroit Lions coach, though, sees that as the central theme of his coaching philosophy.
Despite Detroit's 0-10 start and the fact the Lions have now lost 17 of 18 games dating back to last season, Marinelli insists the solution is to keep doing what he's been doing for the last 12 months.
``I'm going to go at this like I always do,'' Marinelli said Monday, one day after a 31-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers. ``When I believe in something or someone, and I grow attached to that, I'm never going to go away from it.''
The Lions can't even cling to the idea they are playing hot teams, because eight of their first nine opponents lost the following week. Detroit hosts Tampa Bay (7-3) on Sunday.
ideas or his players. He puts the blame on himself and his assistants, saying they need to do a better job of coaching.
After the Panthers loss, though, there was one subtle shift. After Carolina rushed for a team-record 264 yards, Marinelli talked more about physical mistakes rather than mental errors - the failure to tackle rather than the failure to properly execute his beloved Tampa-Two scheme.
``Tackling was the No. 1 issue,'' he said. ``There were a few run-fit problems, but we aren't getting guys to the ground. That's something we have to work on - making sure we keep our heads up, that we keep our feet alive when we make contact, and that we have enough guys disengaging from blocks to make gang tackles.''
Marinelli also defended his decision to punt with 4:32 to play with the Lions trailing by nine points and facing fourth-and-4 from their 26.
``We had a chance to punt and stay in the game by making some plays on defense,'' he said. ``I felt like if we went for it and missed, the game was over, and I didn't want it to come down to one play.''
A bright spot for Detroit was rookie running back Kevin Smith, who finished with a career-best 112 yards on 24 carries.
``It was big to get that first 100-yard game, but I would have rather done it in a win,'' Smith said. ``Still, it gets me over the hump. Now I'm going to expect myself to do that every week.''
Smith acknowledged some of the thrill was taken away by Carolina's ground game. Jonathan Stewart finished with 130 yards, while DeAngelo Williams had 120 and two scores.
``Every back on the field had 100 yesterday, so I was just one of the group,'' he said. ``I was ahead of them at the half, but they blew me out of the water in the second half.''
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