Under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, the Detroit Lions are still working out what their offense will look like in 2019.
During much of the Jim Caldwell era, the Detroit Lions‘ offensive gameplan was dominated by their passing game. That was due in part to that talent within that unit starting with the man under center, quarterback Matthew Stafford. It was also due in part to the lack of talent Detroit had at the running back position.
And while that unbalanced style of offense did result in three winning seasons and two playoff berths, it also led to a lack of success in the postseason that ultimately got Caldwell fired at the end of the 2017 regular season.
Caldwell’s replacement, former New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, has been an advocate of a more balanced offensive attack in the Motor City. And if he can remain healthy, Patricia appears to have found his workhorse running back in Kerryon Johnson, a second-round selection in last year’s draft out of Auburn.
Detroit made an even bigger commitment to running the football this offseason when they fired offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and replaced him with former Seattle Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell. Also a former offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, Bevell has helped field dominate rushing attacks in the NFL with such heavy-hitters like Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch.
It seems to make sense that the Lions will likely be a run-first team now with Bevell at the helm. But the veteran coordinator warns that his offensive-style is predicated by the talent on the roster. Here’s what Bevell told the Detroit Free Press about how the Lions’ new offense is currently in flux.
"“We’re still in the phase right now where we’re trying to find ourselves, what we’re going to be as an offense. Find who the guys are, how we’re going to use them … how they read, how they react, what their experience levels are, and then of those things, what do they do really well.”"
Although all signs point to the Detroit Lions being a run-first offense in 2019, the reality is they also have one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL under center. They also possess a talented group of receivers led by budding superstar Kenny Golladay and 2019 first round selection, tight end T.J. Hockenson. Expect Darrell Bevell and his offense to try and field a very balanced attack based on their personnel.