The Lions’ holes were never properly addressed
Despite the glitz and glamour that surround the skill position players at the NFL Combine this week and even the great news about how well Tua Tagovailoa’s hip is doing by all the medical reports that seem to have put his recovery on a near-miraculous course, success in football starts up front in the trenches.
So where’s the beef, Bob Quinn?
With that in mind, even if Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah where the next Deion Sanders, he still wouldn’t succeed without help from the defensive line. No cornerback can cover a receiver forever. Remember how much time opposing passers had to throw the ball last season?
Of course, I suppose it becomes a little less of a problem if opposing teams just run the ball since the Lions have no one in the trenches to stop it.
And while it can legitimately be said that the Lions offensive line did generally pass protect well enough, they still didn’t create gaping holes for the ground game.
When the Chiefs and 49ers met in the Super Bowl becoming the last two teams standing, it was no accident that they completed their playoff runs sporting some of the best play in the trenches at that point. Nor was it a fluke that Kansas City was better in the trenches on Super Bowl Sunday than San Francisco.
The point is, plain and simple, regardless of all the other necessities that Bob Quinn has to address, the Lions will not make any kind of competitive bounce-back next season without dramatically better line play. On both sides.
Am I advocating selecting a lineman with the third overall pick? If Chase Young is available, then it should be a no-brainer regardless, but the point is that in a season where Martha Firestone Ford has given fans a reason to be especially critical of everything Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia do that doesn’t result in wins, they had better be ready to make some crazy-good, shrewd moves.
Because these lines aren’t improving without some really good collective moves in free agency and the draft, and if they do, there are enough other holes that need to be filled to keep Bob Quinn’s dance card full to overflowing. And the reason the Lions have these holes is that somehow in four years Quinn hasn’t filled them.
So enjoy the spectacle that is the NFL Combine and some of the near super-human feats we’ll see, but without much better play in the trenches, there are no quarterbacks or cornerbacks that can save the Detroit Lions from themselves.