Detroit Lions must stick with the plan in 2019, build the lines
MORE LINE TALENT
The offensive line played better this year. And the run game showed vast improvement, although it isn’t elite by any means. Running back Kerryon Johnson looks like a possible star. Devote resources to help make that stardom a reality. That means investing more draft picks in the offensive line.
There still is a big hole at right guard as T.J. Lang’s career may be at its end – due to multiple head injuries. This should mean a second or third round pick at the guard position – someone that could start next year.
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The Detroit Lions also need to consider who will play right tackle once Rick Wagner’s contract is up in 2021. A mid-round pick at tackle isn’t out of the question to get ready for Wagner’s eventual exit. Tackle Tyrell Crosby (2018 Draft, 5th Round) does add some depth on the line. But you can never have enough good tackles.
The offensive line is the key to making this offense work. Hopefully, this past season (which was terrible) was just an anomaly for Stafford. One thing is for certain: continuing to build the offensive line can only help. When you have time (pass game) or gaping holes (run game) in the NFL, you make plays.
Fixing the defense is a different problem altogether. But it looked like Patricia and Quinn have an idea of what kinds of players they need. Another off-season of smart acquisitions in free agency and the draft will be crucial to helping the defense take another step. Of course, the defense is in serious need of an impact player, and those are never easy to find.
But if this going to be a defensive-minded team, then it needs solid blocking up front to create sustainable offensive drives. This team sorely lacks an offense that can execute. That is the main reason why 2018 was so awful to watch.
To avoid the same fate in 2019, the Detroit Lions must stick with a plan. Quinn and Patricia must keep building the roster on the lines and find guys that can contribute. It may not pay off with wins next season – although patience is already running out – but it will mean real strides down the road.
Super Bowl type strides. Teams built to play – and finally win – in January (and hopefully one day February). It is going to take discipline. It is going to take development of talent. But, most importantly, it takes the commitment of two men: Quinn and Patricia.