For all the yards the Detroit Lions offense has gained over the last few years, they didn’t always lead to as many points as they probably should have and they certainly didn’t lead to as many wins as anyone would have liked. That’s a big reason why Jim Caldwell and Joe Lombardi are now in Detroit.
The Lions added more weapons on offense in the offseason and the new offense looks to be coming together nicely. Lombardi touched on the state of the offense when meeting with the media at practice today.
Where do we stand? I’m encouraged, I’m optimistic. I think as coaches it’s always, ‘What does tomorrow bring?’ I know in New Orleans we set records in 2011 and we got to the San Francisco game and we were like, ‘Man, I don’t know if we’ll be able to get a first down this defense is so good.’ I’m sure the Broncos felt the same thing last year going into the Super Bowl. So I think you always have, I don’t want to use the word insecurity, but you always feel this urgency. If we had scored 80 points a game in these first two games I would still feel the same way I feel now like, “Hey, we’ve got to do it tomorrow and the next day and the next day.’ So, I’m encouraged, I’m optimistic, but I’ve always got a little bit of that nervous tension.
The first team offense led by Matthew Stafford was very impressive last week against the Raiders. In his two drives, Stafford completed nine of ten passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns as the offense had little trouble taking it to the Raiders defense.
It was a very public showing that the Lions are coming together on offense, but Lombardi’s optimism is based on much more than what happened on the field in Oakland.
You know, it was nice in Oakland that we had a couple good drives, but if we hadn’t, I don’t know if I would feel a whole lot different. I think that helps with the confidence of the whole team, but it’s really just execution.
The key to watch in the next preseason game against the Jaguars is whether or not the Lions first-teamers can continue looking sharp as their workload increases. It won’t be just a series or two and then done on Friday so we’ll get a better look at what may be in store for the regular season than at any other point during preseason play.