The Detroit Lions are trying to build a winning culture. But without results soon, this team may get another reset from top to bottom.
The Detroit Lions want to build a winner. The blueprint for that winner is clearly the New England Patriots, who represent the greatest dynasty in the history of professional football. The Patriots have accumulated six Lombardi Trophies in just eighteen seasons of play – plus an additional three appearances in the Super Bowl over that span.
Both general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia come from the New England Patriots front office and coaching staff respectively. They have learned at the foot of head coach Bill Belichick, who -along with quarterback Tom Brady – has become the face for everything right in the NFL.
New England is far from perfect. The Patriots don’t hit on every draft pick – making them like their 31 NFL counterparts. At the conclusion of each season, other teams pilfer away their best talents for more money (and usually less production). And coming into every season, analysts give a plethora of reasons why the Patriots dynasty is now a its end. And they still end up winning.
But, the best thing about the Patriots is the immense contributions they get from each of their parts. The players, the coaches, the front office, and everything in-between are committed to winning a championship year after year.
On Tuesday’s Around the Horn, Israel Gutierrez talked about the winning culture in New England. Specifically in reference to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (also known as “OBJ”) saying that the Browns are ready to become the new Patriots. Gutierrez wasn’t quite ready to agree (05-07-19, “Resilient Rockets”):
"“I don’t know if that’s exactly what the Patriots do – announce their team success. And I do believe they have a little bit of coaching involved. So, unless we’re calling your coach Freddie Kitchens, ‘the next Bill Belichick,’ I don’t know if those [claims] really hold up. Talent is what the Browns have. Established, winning culture is what the Patriots have. I don’t think you’re on the same level.”"
You could take out the Cleveland Browns and replace it with the Detroit Lions, and the argument would be pretty much stay the same. It’s not about talent necessarily, but about the culture of the Patriots franchise.
Unfortunately, going into the 2019 season, the Browns look more talented than the Lions. Although picking at the top of the draft for several years tends to help a team talent-wise – something the Lions seem dead set against this past season.
But the Detroit Lions are vying for the same thing as the Browns, and really any franchise in the NFL: a sustained run of winning football. Quinn and Patricia are the ones responsible for changing the culture in Detroit so that everyone focuses on winning instead of whining.
There needs to be a commitment to winning that permeates everything that this team does. Could this be the year that it finally comes to fruition?
It seems so unlikely with some questionable moves in this past draft. But hopefully Quinn and Patricia have the conviction to stick with their plan – that’s the only way this could possibly turn out well.
All that matters is putting 10 to 12 checks in the win column. If it doesn’t happen this year, it is hard to see a future where this team is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy anytime soon.