Detroit Lions fans: The NFL draft is over, so what’s next?

Detroit Lions fans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions fans (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Bob Quinn, Detroit Lions
Bob Quinn, Detroit Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

A brave new world for football

This past Monday the Detroit Lions ‘virtual minicamp’ was in full swing for veterans. I suppose the best way to begin this whole virtual offseason is by confusing the veterans before the coaches start giving the rookies nightmares about what they should be learning.

This is a brave new world for football. Something that goes against 100 years of coaches gathering on the practice field and instructing their players in the nuances of playing the game correctly.

Granted the Lions haven’t played the game too correctly since their last title in 1957, but hands-on training has been essential to every coach’s toolbox in every sport for a long, long time.

Now they’re being asked to do something that doesn’t sound very promising, hands-off instructions. Something like the manual for a ‘some assembly required’ present you’ve bought your child for Christmas.

If any of you remember any of those assembly projects going awry, just imagine the Detroit Lions, the Charlie Chaplin incorporated of the NFL, trying to learn Darrell Bevell’s offense or Matt Patricia’s defense which nobody looked like they knew how to play last season anyway.

Yes, it’s definitely something new. Something that none of the fans will be able to watch, like an offseason practice, and say ‘boy, he looks good. I bet he has a great season.’

Instead, we will be relegated to reading articles that say something like, Jeff Okudah sees similarities between the Lions defense and what they did at Ohio State. Okudah’s abilities could make the transition relatively smooth.

But how smooth can it be going from a defense that has clearly known what they were doing and how to play their individual assignments, to a defense that doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing, has a high offseason turnover this year, and the player they look to as a leader, Jarrad Davis, is one of the most inconsistent players in the league?

That sounds like a recipe for opponents to set some scoring records next season. Yet, once we take a good look at what the NFL is saddled with, we need to remember that the Lions aren’t the only ones who have to face this daunting task.

There will probably be plenty of teams that struggle. Perhaps even some good ones.