The Detroit Lions Will Be Better This Year
It seems like year after year, us Detroit Lions fans say the same thing. “This is our year, we’re making a playoff run.” And everything goes downhill from there. The Lions start looking just good enough in preseason for us to get our hopes up, and then they start falling off as soon as the season starts. They have literally only won one post season game in more than 60 years. 60 YEARS! Some key additions this year may help turn this around, but there are some key pieces missing that may keep the lions on a losing track.
We will start with the positives for the team. Defense is Matt Patricia’s specialty. The team had a solid defense last year, and the addition of Trey Flowers at defensive end this year will help strengthen that. He had great success in New England as Defensive Coordinator, but did not translate that too well his first year in Detroit. But hey, it was his first year so I am not holding this against him. They have also brought in another linebacker, Jahlani Tavai to help lock down the opposing offense.
One thing to watch for on the defensive side is if there are any contract changes for Darius Slay or Damon Harrison. Neither of them are holding out on the team over contract disputes, but both have voiced that they believe they are underpaid. The actions taken here could have a large role in the future of the Lions organization. If they both end up with bigger contracts, this would set the precedent for future contract changes with other players who have good years. If they do not get new contracts, this could be a detriment to the team from resentment and a lack of trust. Ultimately, I hope they get restructured deals that are heavily weighted on performance so they have to continue to be great to get paid the big money.
The offense is where I am worried with the Detroit Lions. I think Kerryon Johnson will have a great year this year. Stafford has plenty of targets to throw to, especially with the additions of Danny Amendola, T.J. Hockenson, and Jesse James. It is the offensive line that really scares me. It will wind up being a chain reaction that we have seen before. The line can’t hold up, or someone gets hurt. There is little depth to replace anyone with. This means that Stafford takes more pressure and more hits. From this, he gets beat up and injured. Then we have a backup quarterback that hasn’t shown us much promise thus far.
If, however, the offensive line can get the job done and stay healthy, then the Lions may look likethe team we have been waiting to see shine. I don’t expect them to make a crazy playoff run or win the Super Bowl. Just a single playoff win will be more than enough to make Detroit fans happy. If we get knocked out in the second round, who cares? It is a step up from the past. I would expect a wild card push though, the Bears are looking pretty scary in the NFC North right now.
The Lions have made some moves in their coaching staff as well, which hopefully pans in out developing team chemistry. For starters, Kyle Caskey is the new runningbacks coach. After showing success with Bengals RBs Giovanni Bernard and Joe Mixon, I look forward to seeing Kerryon Johnson develop as well. Rodney Hill, a former assistant for the Jets has become the assistant strength and performance coach. Stephen Thomas has joined the team as the defensive quality control coach. Leon Washington is a former NFL runningback turned coach. He is now the WCF minority coaching assistant for offense and special teams. I honestly have no idea what that means, except that the WCF is in tribute to William Clay Ford. Ford was the owner of the team until he passed away in 2014. The Lions have also brought on Marquice Williams as the assistant special teams coach. He played the same role for the Chargers for several years, so I trust he has a plan of action in the works.