Detroit Lions: Will Matt Patricia be the difference this team needs?
By Robert Jones
The Detroit Lions are aiming for a new and much more competitive future, but in order for that to happen Matt Patricia will have to live up to expectations.
As we near the start of training camp for the Detroit Lions, the organization and fans alike are all encouraged by the moves this team has made in the offseason.
They have bolstered the offensive line, added more talent at running back, revamped the linebacking corps and acquired more overall depth for the entire roster. In general, there has been much that general manager Bob Quinn has accomplished in order to help improve this team.
The downside that most fans see is the question marks at tight end and on the defensive line.
Yet every team has their strengths and weaknesses, it’s just a matter of them being able to utilize their strengths to the fullest and covering up or compensating for their weaknesses. This last area is where depth and coaching make a difference.
There have been successful teams in NFL history that did not have great players at some positions, but because of their scheme and the strength of depth, they were able to compensate and still be competitive enough to contend for championships.
Consider the Denver Broncos. After the 2003 season, they traded one of the best running backs in the NFL, Clinton Portis, to the Washington Redskins. Yet for the next four seasons, the Broncos still had a top 10 rushing offense even though they had a different rushing leader each season.
Reuben Droughns, Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell and Selvin Young were those leading rushers for the Broncos and all of them, except Young, rushed for over 1,000 yards. This was a testament more to the ability of the Broncos offensive line than the backs.
Yet they were able to compensate for not having a true game-breaker in the backfield and made the playoffs twice in that period. Head coach Mike Shanahan can be given much credit for getting the most out what he had to work with.
The question is; will Matt Patricia do the same for the Lions this season?