The Lions are scheduled to report to training camp July 30 and get to work on the field July 31. I will be counting down the days with a daily post that will highlight a piece of Lions history based on the number of days remaining. That series begins today, 15 days away from the first practice of camp.
15 also happens to be the average number of losses the Lions have suffered over the last two seasons. The memories may be painful to drum up but the fact remains that last year’s 2-14 season did little to help escape the shadow of the first 0-16 season in league history.
The fingerprints on the 2009 season looked very different than the Matt Millen fingerprints all over the 2008 crime scene. No one is disputing that this regime is vastly different from its predecessor, but the challenge for Schwartz, Mayhew, and Lewand will be to make sure different means better.
There is reason to believe that different might mean better, even for those that don’t partake in the cornbread buffet, but we have been fooled by the one or two year returns of a draft class before. Matthew Stafford will need to show he is more Peyton Manning than Tim Couch, DeAndre Levy will have to prove he can be a viable starter over the course of a full NFL season, Jahvid Best must avoid the kind of nagging injuries that can derail a career, and Ndamukong Suh has to keep the kind of motor that made him a Heisman Trophy finalist.
For now, 15 is the average number of losses over the past two seasons. For this regime to be successful we will need future countdowns to cover this same topic much, much closer to the opening of camp.