Detroit Lions: There are no moral victories in another lost season
By Robert Jones
Progress hasn’t equaled wins
For those who believe that there has been no progress under the Bob Quinn/Matt Patricia regime, then you need to take another look. Bob Quinn has increased the talent level and depth on this team. Is it the job complete? Absolutely not, but it has improved.
Consider this; last Sunday when it was announced that Matthew would not play, the immediate thought of every Lions fan was that they had no chance to beat the Bears. Yet Jeff Driskel played better than expected. If the Lions had opened up the playbook more and the receivers didn’t have the dropsies, the outcome might have been different.
The point is that Driskel was serviceable against a team that is still pretty good on defense and as a four-year veteran had enough experience to be able to step in and contribute. Not carry the Lions, but contribute.
So while this isn’t a Super Bowl roster, the Lions are more talented and deeper than their record suggests. But that leads to the real question of what is wrong; why is there a disconnect between what Matt Patricia is teaching his players and what they are doing? Especially on defense.
In essence, when Matt Patricia says they need to coach better or execute the fundamentals of the game better, he’s pointing out that these Lions aren’t doing what they’re coached to do. Which can only mean there is a disconnect between the coaches and players or simply bad game planning.
No one wants to wait until next year again, but since the Lions are about as close to being eliminated from the playoff picture as any team can be, now is the time to pull out all the stops and find a solution. If the players can’t learn their assignments and execute, they need to be shown the door and Bob Quinn needs to find players that will execute.
If the coaches can’t get their message across or make the proper adjustments to get this team to perform like winners, then changes in the coaching staff are needed, because only when the players and coaches are on the same page with a good game plan does a team have a chance to become what their general manager and head coach are trying to build.
Anything can happen, but I’m inclined to believe that Martha Firestone Ford will not be pink slipping Bob Quinn or Matt Patricia yet. That means that next season will be the ‘prove it’ year. This team will need to find the identity that Matt Patricia is trying to mold, and win games. But until these Lions find the solution to their problems and create that winning identity, there are no moral victories.