Just a few years ago it would have taken a strong belief in alternate universes to think that there could ever be a time when the Detroit Lions gained a leg up on the University of Michigan football program.
We may not have fully reached that point but I am starting to sense a strong shift in the space-time continuum towards that reality. The Wolverines defense is getting worse by the week while the Lions have built up a world-class defensive line that can dial up pressure without calling on a blitz and a make shift secondary that can occasionally make a big play.
When trying to explain Michigan’s defensive woes, Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg offered this explanation:
There has been no consistent defensive philosophy, no big-picture vision. There have just been a lot of reactions to whatever just went wrong.
Is it just me or does that sound eerily similar to the Matt Millen-lead Lions?
Matt Millen never looked to create any sort of identity. He was always grasping for this player, that coach, or the latest scheme. It all failed miserably. The inability to decide what he wanted the Lions to “be when they grew up” was ultimately his undoing. The constant tinkering and changing on the fly only lead to the league’s first o-16 season and a franchise.
Fast-forward to 2010 and the Lions fans can tell this a new regime not only by the names next to the titles but by the way the organization is being run. The Lions are finally taking a big-picture view while not making excuses for the present. All levels of the organization seem to be on the same page and the results are beginning to show.
No longer are the Lions content to fill a roster with bodies, even if it means forcing a square peg into a round hole. The Lions decided what they want to do and are adding the pieces to make it happen. No one will say the Lions are a finished product, but the way they have gotten from ground zero to here gives confidence that they can get from here to where we all want them to be. The same can’t be said in Ann Arbor.