2015 Detroit Lions: A Slappy’s Guide
By Kent Platte
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
As the Detroit Lions have looked pretty good coming into this season, there was some vocal uproar when I discussed the points that “Hater Steve” had brought up about the team. While that doesn’t encompass the views the average fan, I found it interesting just how against those obviously slanted views were. Thankfully, we have a whole other side to that conversation to go over! See, Hater Steve was talking with a guy I’ve dubbed Joey Blue Skies. Joey had a somewhat more ‘sunshine and rainbows’ view of the Detroit Lions season outlook, so let’s dive into his reasons here!
The Lions Replaced an All Pro with a Different All Pro
Losing Ndamukong Suh stings, but the Detroit Lions were smart to act quickly and fill his spot with a player who could fill it better than any other available option. Rather than draft Malcom Brown or Eddie Goldman, both players I campaigned against even being 1st round choices, the Lions traded a couple of mid round picks for the former All Pro nose tackle, Haloti Ngata.
Ngata played nose for most of his time in Baltimore, which wouldn’t have fit well in Teryl Austin’s 4-3 Over scheme (Except for the very, very few 3-4 looks he employs). Thankfully, Baltimore had already done a majority of the work transitioning Ngata for us. Ngata played primarily the 3T defensive end in Baltimore’s scheme last season, and he was damn good doing so.
Replacing Suh is a huge task and it’s highly unlikely Ngata will do so completely. Still, the primary focus of Teryl Austin’s scheme is stopping the run and the only interior defensive lineman who did that better than Suh is Haloti Ngata. That interior pressure is likely to suffer somewhat, but I have no doubt Ngata will keep the middle plugged up just as Suh did, forcing teams to go to the air to challenge the Lions.
Next: Natural Progression of Players