This past week the Detroit Lions were back on the field. The newly minted rookies had their first chance to measure themselves against actual NFL competition and the free agent signees had their first opportunity to prove they could be part of the answer to the puzzle known as trying to build a contender.
The media and team release articles and videos of what has occurred and try their best to paint a picture of what everything happening at O.T.A’s mean. But when all the smoke and mirrors of the exhibition are over there is one undeniable conclusion to reach; no one knows for sure how this new recipe for a Lions contender will work out until we see it in action in the fall.
For better or worse, there are just no guarantees to come out of O.T.A’s other than Matthew Stafford will be the Lions starting quarterback and head coach Matt Patricia will work this team to the extent he is allowed to.
Everything else is just pure speculation.
While we sit back and get excited about two-minute highlight reels of each day’s endeavors on the field, bear in mind that those videos are compiled by the Detroit Lions organization. They are put together with the very idea of letting us see the best of each day and not having to suffer from watching rookie mistakes or mental breakdowns.
Then, of course, there is the fact that about half of the Lions key personnel are on the sidelines doing individual workouts and not even participating.
Is this a valuable tool for NFL coaches? Yes, because with all the limitations on how much teams can practice and even what drills they are allowed to use anymore, every bit of time the coaches are able to work with their players is like gold.
It does shape the very foundation of building a coherent team that can compete in the fall. Yet despite its importance, it never really gives the fans the immediate gratification of the answers they are searching for.