Detroit Lions: 6 tough questions after 6 games
Question 3: Which of the free agent signings are living up to their contracts?
Justin Coleman- Absolutely yes. Coleman’s 4 year/$36 million contract raised a few eyebrows back in March considering he hadn’t been a full time NFL starter to that point. Playing across from Darius Slay, Coleman finds himself busy in the secondary on most weeks as quarterbacks regularly avoid ‘Big Play’. Showing a special knack for punching the ball loose from receivers, Coleman has more than carried his weight in coverage as well (though his physical play opens the door for penalties); this newcomer has been one of Detroit’s best defenders so far.
Danny Amendola- Yes. At the start of the season, I would have laughed at you if you said Amendola would already have two 100-yard receiving games a month and a half into the season. He hasn’t gotten a ton of targets in every game, but for a supposedly washed-up 3rd receiving option (basically the 7th if you include TEs and RBs), Amendola has had some big games so far.
Trey Flowers- Nope. I’ll admit, It’s sort of hard to judge the play of a guy like Flowers, especially since I’m not a defensive line connoisseur by any stretch. Sack numbers don’t always tell the whole story (which is a good thing, because Flowers would have a pretty thin story if that were the case), but individually and as a whole, through six games Flowers clearly hasn’t been the key to a better pass rush for the Lions. I’m still holding out hope for a repeat of last year’s midseason defensive turnaround though. Flowers’s story in Detroit isn’t off to a great start, but is far from finished.
Jesse James- Woof. With only 7 catches on the season, James hasn’t set himself apart from last year’s motley crew of guys like Levine Toilolo. He hasn’t made an obvious impact on blocking either, as the run game isn’t even up to average yet, and Stafford is still on pace to be sacked over 30 times. None of this can be pinned directly on James of course, but the biggest issue in my mind is that James is pretty much invisible out there right now. As each game goes by, he’s on the field for a little more than half the offensive snaps, and you hear his name called maybe once or twice. That’s fine enough for the Levine Toilolos of the world, but the infamous Jasse James was brought in for more.