The Detroit Lions are exiting the preseason. Let’s look at how they’ve addressed carryover problems, dealt with new problems, and what big issues remain.
Bob Quinn, the Detroit Lions general manager, has had some large decisions looming over this season; the biggest issue was signing quarterback Matthew Stafford. After the Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh incidents, it was most important to extend Stafford.
Suh and Johnson leaving for another team, or retiring, respectively, both leave that Same Old Lions taste in your mouth. Detroit fans are accustomed to losing. Our best players leave or go elsewhere due to the hopeless feeling of being on the Lions roster.
Stafford’s twenty-seven million dollar annual salary makes him the highest paid player in the NFL for the time being. Done deal, he’s not going anywhere.
Another big issue that has persisted is the run game, or lack thereof. The Lions addressed some with signing guard T.J. Lang and tackle Rick Wagner. Unfortunately, a newer development, Taylor Decker‘s shoulder injury, forced the Lions to have to find a tackle to replace him. The Lions made no major moves to upgrade the running backs this off-season.
The other big issues were on defense, have been exacerbated by more current events. The biggest issue was the health of Ziggy Ansah, our best defensive end who is among the players who struggled to generate a pass rush in 2016. Ansah has been sitting out of preseason, which coaches insist is precautionary.
Pass rush and poor play from the secondary plagued the Lions all of the 2016 season.