Detroit Lions Getting the Handle on this Consistency Thing


Since when did my Detroit Lions become a model of consistency? The Lions are returning 21 of the their 22 starters from last years playoff team; it appears the days of the Lions dragging someone off the street during the week and placing him in the starting lineup are over. The words “Detroit Lions” and “consistency” used to be best pals for all of the wrong reasons. They consistently blew draft picks, they consistently lost games in the last minute to lesser teams, they consistently changed coaches and schemes, they consistently were inconsistent.

Ever since the Lions brought in Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz in 2009, they have been one of the steadier teams in the NFL right down to their ability to keep their coordinators in place. Football relies on repetition more than any sport on earth. Those 11 guys absolutely have to know what each guy is doing during every single play. That repetition has to start in the front office by having the same men in control year after year. “I think one of the hallmarks of consistently successful franchises around the NFL is stability,” team president Tom Lewand said just days before the Lions’ playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.

Lets avoid the black hole that was the Matt Millen era, and skip back to the days of Wayne Fontes, for a historical point of how the Lions consistently couldn’t make up their minds. Wayne Fontes in charge of the Lions always reminded me of Fred Flintstone. He looked like him, and he was sure that his next get rich quick plan [his latest coordinator hire] was going to be the one that put him over the top. Of course it wouldn’t work out and Ol’ Wayne-o would have to sweet talk Mr. Ford out of firing him by sacrificing a coordinator. The worst was going from Mouse Davis’s run and shoot where you needed receivers who did their clothes shopping in the boys section to the Dan Henning’s power offense that required behemoths at every position. No wonder the Lions’ records those years had more up and downs than Jennifer Lopez’s career. The Brutal stats for the eight years Fontes was head coach is 5 Offensive Coordinators and 4 Defensive Coordinators. He changed a coordinator every year from 1991-1996. The good ol’ days weren’t so good.

One of the good things about the Lions horrid past is that they know what NOT to do. This Stability concept is something new to the Leos, and we should start to see results this season in this administration’s 4th year. And by results, I mean Playoff wins. That’s the great thing about this franchise and the players that have been here for awhile – every year they expect more out of themselves, and every year they’ve delivered. That’s the kind of consistency that wins Super Bowls.

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