The “Same Old Detroit Lions” are Gone, and its Time to Move on

It’s a new ERA of Detroit Lions football.

The NFL offseason is in full swing, as the league has already flown through the first wave of free agency. The combine is over, and most pro universities pro days are done with. One of the teams busier than anyone across the league was the Detroit Lions.

If the moves the team made this off-season are an indication of what’s to come it’s safe to say Detroit Lions we have all known and some have loved for our whole lives, may have officially been buried in the depths of NFL history, and a new age of Lions football is upon us.

No more do Lions fans have to worry about if Jason Hanson can make five kicks a game to keep Detroit in the game.

There’s no more yelling “what the heck are you doing?!” at Joey Harrington.

No more wondering if Kalimba Edwards will finally figure out how to pressure the quarterback.

Finally and, most importantly, no more feeling absolutely helpless, knowing that the executives being paid over 60 times most peoples annual salary have no more knowledge of player potential than the fans do.

Thanks to the arrival of general manager Bob Quinn these worries are no behind the organization.

The 3rd year general manager of the Lions has done nothing short of work miracles since he put his fancy new name badge on Martin Mayhew’s old desk.

If Detroit fans had a nickel for every time they had heard fellow fans express their confusion over a minor roster move, such as a backup kicker signing, or a futures deal on an un drafted wide receiver, they’d still be broke, but that’s beside the point.

Minor roster shifts are essential to all successful NFL franchises.

The problem is many fans are not used to seeing these things taking place in Detroit.

Bob Quinn has seemingly never stopped working since he took over in 2016.

Since his arrival, the roster only has seven players to remain throughout his tenure- (Matt Stafford, Darius Slay, Matt Prater, Sam Martin, Quandre Diggs, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner).

Six of these players are guys who have clearly defined, non-replaceable roles on the team, with Zenner acting as the Cinderella story with untapped potential.

The amount of roster turnover in such a short time is tremendous and due to it there is plenty of reason for optimism moving forward.

This off-season, Quinn and company have done well to plug any glaring holes through a solid free agent class.

In the first day alone, they stopped the bleeding at cornerback, filled the void left by Ziggy Ansah at defensive end, picked up a starting tight end and slot receiver.

At this point, the only glaring needs the team has and are back up quarterback, an additional tight end, rotational defensive end, and an edge rusher.

Of course, there are a few places that could be upgraded, but these are the critical needs as of now.

With Quinn at the helm having a few draft picks that feel like a “luxury,” and there’s confdience the players Detroit selects can develop on the bench for a season before being placed into starting roles.

Quinn has said in the past that the Lions evaluate talent based on what they will be year two, not what they are right now.

That creates excitement for the future.

With former Patriot defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as head coach many Lions fans have heard the term “the Patriot Way” thrown around left and right.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, they’re only the most dominating franchise of the last 20 years.

It’s important to remember that the Lions have the former director of pro scouting for the Patriots in Quinn running the show now.

He knows what it takes to win, and he also knows what players and coaches work with what he wants to do.

The recent signings with Patriot ties aren’t necessarily Patriots players, they are Quinn’s players.

He evaluated guys such as Danny Amendola, Trey Flowers, and Justin Coleman during his time in the Patriots office, and it’s worth betting on that he convinced Bellicheck and Kraft that they were right for the Patriots back then.

It’s an exciting time for any Lions fan as things are starting to come together.

The roster is the strongest it has been in recent memory, and the draft will only bolster that, regardless of selections. This coaching staff led by Patricia is one of the most dedicated and prepared, and slowly but surely, players are coming in that will buy into the system.

Keep watching Lions fans. Optimism has burned you in the past, but believe it is justified this time.

Drink the Kool-Aid. It tastes so much better when you get it before the bandwagons arrive.

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