Restore The Roar?

Sometimes it’s not about the destination point but the journey to get there. For the Detroit Lions, the journey has been filled with potholes the size of the Grand Canyon!

The Lions had to begin this journey at rock bottom. The 2008 season was the most disastrous season any team could ever had. The Lions finished 0-16, which led to some major changes within the organization. Gone was president and GM Matt Millen, who had absolutely no success with the Lions. Millen is generally regarded as the worst GM in the history of the NFL. Also gone was head coach Rod Marinelli, who brought a tough man’s approach, but supplied little brainpower. Finally gone was WR Roy Williams, who started out with such promise, but like most of Millen’s draft picks, was considered a bust.

In came new GM Martin Mayhew, Coach Jim Schwartz, and first overall pick, QB Matthew Stafford to try to turn the ship around. Everyone in the Motor City knew the Lions had a long way to go. Baby steps were required. in 2009 the Lions did manage a couple of wins, but were still languishing at the bottom of the NFC North. But after drafting hulking DT Ndamokung Suh from the University of Nebraska, along with the emergence of WR Calvin Johnson, the Lions had a foundation to build on. A strong finish to the 2010 season saw the Lions end up with a 6-10 record and moved them above the Minnesota Vikings in the division. They even defeated the eventual Super Bowl Champions Green Bay Packers in December.

So what does this bode for 2011? Well for starters, Stafford has to stay healthy. Knee and shoulder injuries kept Stafford on the sidelines for most of last season. If the Lions want to continue their climb in the standings, Stafford must stay healthy. The Offensive Line must do a better job protecting Stafford. Easier said than done but nothing is ever easy in the NFL.

The defence must continue to improve. While the Defensive Line, led by Suh is one of the best in the NFL, the Linebackers and secondary need shoring up. Signing Stephen Tulloch is a step in the right direction, but there is still a lack of depth at those positions.

While some prognosticators are picking the Lions to make the playoffs, I believe they are a year away. Stafford needs more seasoning, and there needs to be improvement in other areas. But for the first time since Barry Sanders was electrifying the masses, the Lions are headed in the right direction. 2008 won’t be forgotten, but it won’t happen again either.

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About Jsportsfan

Covers the Winnipeg Jets for jetsnation.ca. Likes many but not all sports. I'm loveably annoying. You can also follow me on Twitter @jstar1973
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5 Responses to Restore The Roar?

  1. Bheise says:

    The Lions are either going to be really good and surprise a lot of people or they’re going to be right on the cusp of the playoffs. Really like the pieces they have in place and the things they’ve done. As a Browns fan I’m jealous. it looks like the lions are getting to where we all want the Browns to be.

  2. Picking up Mike Bell and Jerome Harrison to maybe replace Leshoure is a good move as well. Depth, depth and more depth.

  3. Jsportsfan says:

    Depth is so important to every team in the NFL. Still thing they’re holes in the O-Line and Linebackers. But we’re heading in the right direction. Stafford is the key.

  4. 7Boss1 says:

    I hope they make a nice run but until they tighten up that secondary and LB corps and more consistency out the running game its gonna be tough but I’m pulling for them

  5. Bobby Charts says:

    Nice Lions piece. I would love for that first game on Turkey Day to start meaning something, lol. I’m tried of blowouts. I think there is a upside started and coming.

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