The Detroit Lions 2019 training camp will be different
By Robert Jones
The second difference is that there are very few starting positions up for grabs. Only left guard has some mystery as to who will be lined up there on opening day. The rest of the starters are pretty much written in stone. Not that position battles are a bad thing. But unlike years past the majority of those battle will be for depth. Something we have highlighted as being a rarity for the Lions.
The lack of depth in the past has hurt this franchise greatly, but this years squad, while still needing more talent like any other team in the league, has depth that can come off the bench and win games.
The defensive line which was a concern last season is now a strength. There is more talent at linebacker and in the secondary than last season and both of the Lions biggest question marks, cornerback Darius Slay and defensive tackle Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison have decided to report to training camp instead of holding out.
In other words, the defense has every opportunity to be very good.
Meanwhile, the moribund tight end position is considerably improved and the backfield has a bonafide young star in Kerryon Johnson and enough talent behind him to be productive. The offensive line does have question marks, but it also has some building blocks which should only improve. At receiver Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola can match up favorably with most teams. The question will become how quickly the young depth develops.
Then there is the quarterback position. The depth behind Matthew Stafford is questionable and quite frankly if he were to be sidelined with injuries, the season will be over. But the truth is that the vast majority of teams in the NFL have the same situation.
The final difference will be new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell. His history of producing productive ground games is very good. In combination with what is expected to be a diverse passing game, which he often hasn’t gotten credit for in the past, the 2019 Lions offense should be much less predictable and much more productive overall.
So does all of this mean that the Lions are finally ready for their much-awaited first championship since 1957? Well, let’s not go too far here. But on paper, these Lions stack up as well as any of their NFC North brothers. However, championships aren’t won on paper. They are won the field with hard work, astute coaching, and play-makers.
The 2019 Detroit Lions training camp feels different and would seem to be different to all the senses involved. They have every opportunity to make a statement by finding their way into the playoffs and maybe even stunning some unsuspecting opponent there. But all those difference’s we’ve looked at won’t mean anything if Matt Patricia and his team don’t get it right on the field.
But don’t be too surprised if they do.