Darius Slay, Damon Harrison eyeing paydays: How far will this go?

Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions Darius Slay and Damon Harrison have been a no-show for mandatory minicamp, so now it’s a matter of how far will this go.

This week the Detroit Lions gathered their entire roster together for mandatory minicamp, with two notable exceptions that are key pieces of Matt Patricia’s defense.

If you break the game of football down, many coaches will, in essence, say it’s a game of ‘blocking and tackling’. Now that abbreviated answer is missing some of the nuances of the game, but when broken down to its essence, it gets the point across.

For any team to be true contenders, they need to be able to be productive on both sides of the ball. Generally speaking, teams that can block well give their offense every opportunity to be successful. Meanwhile, teams that tackle well give themselves the chance to make stops and limit their oppositions scoring.

Together they make a well-rounded team that is tough to beat.

This essence is what Matt Patricia is seeking. He wants to build an offense capable of dictating to defenses what they will do because they run the ball well and pass it well. That is the whole point of new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell’s existence.

Take the ground game to the next level and build a diversified offense that is unpredictable and capable of doing whatever is necessary to be productive. By land or by air.

After last season’s disappointing offensive displays, it would seem that about the only way they can go is up, but this is the NFL and the Detroit Lions. Whenever we find solace in believing they can’t get any worse, they prove us wrong.

So while there is every reason in the world to believe this will be a much better offensive attack this coming season, it still has to be proven on the field.

The Lions have very few proven features, but two of them are on defense. A defense that started very slow last year then picked up the kind of steam that can carry over to another season. Provided those pieces are in uniform.