Let’s be honest here, if the Lions had any kind of consistent ground game, no one would be chirping about Cooter’s return. The criticism of not being very creative is valid, but nothing has proven to be the answer yet to unlock the running game and since opposing defenses know the Lions have to pass, it puts more duress on the offensive line to protect Stafford not to mention his ability to complete passes.
The fact that Bob Quinn has already pointed out that improving the ground game is a very high priority, just goes to show the commitment they are making to it. Both of the last two seasons Quinn has added talent to the offensive line through the draft and free agency. While there is still room for more help, if the Lions can stay healthy in the trenches that alone should go a long way towards improving the running attack.
So that leaves us with the idea that if Quinn and Patricia add a feature back (most likely through the draft) and the new coaching regime is able to solidify the line play, then the Lions could be on their way to a big offensive season. Why would I say that? Because if the Lions rushing attack becomes productive, the passing game will be almost unstoppable.
The installation of the ground game will be a work in progress for the offensive line this offseason as well as the Lions backs, but generally speaking the ground game takes less time to assimilate than the passing game. The biggest key is trying to get the line to work as a cohesive unit, which can take time, but if the individual talent is good enough, that could help speed up the process.
Whether retaining Jim Bob Cooter was a mistake or not will only be answered in time. Yet considering where he has taken the Lions passing game, if this organization is finally able to figure out the line play and ground game, they should be able to put plenty of points on the board since they don’t have to slow down to lean a new system.