Considering the talent level on offense and the question marks on defense, it probably sounds odd to hear me say that I am looking forward to seeing the special teams in action.
Danny Crossman has taken over for the fired Stan Kwan and will bring a more aggressive style of play to kick coverage. The Kwan-era coverage teams always seemed to play to not give up a big return. In doing so, they usually gave up big returns.
Part of the problem undoubtedly hinged on the lack of talent on the field, a problem that plagued the Lions in all aspects of the game. The roster was filled based on quantity rather than quality, leaving the special teams with also-rans. Now that the Lions roster has begun to settle with established starters set for many offensive and defensive positions the Lions are afforded the ability to use roster spots on players that excel on special teams.
This past off-season brought safety Dante Wesley and linebackers Landon Johnson and Isaiah Ekejiuba to Detroit, players that the team doesn’t expect to see the field on defense but should play vital roles on special teams. Welsey and Johnson played under Crossman with the Carolina Panthers and should help set the tone for what their coach expects. Crossman has a history of producing quality special teams units that keep opposing offenses on long fields.
Don’t get me wrong, I really want to see what the offense can do and who will step up on defense, but the kick and punt coverage should provide something to look forward to as well.