Detroit Lions scaling back the defense doesn’t inspire confidence
By Robert Jones
The difference a choice makes
I was wrong.
This is something I have admitted before, but this is the first time I have admitted it in print. When general manager Bob Quinn was searching for the Lions new head coach after he had fired Jim Caldwell on New Year’s Day 2018, we all knew that Matt Patricia seemed to be the big favorite.
Yet as the process drew on and then the rumors started to circulate that Patricia would take the New York Giants job, we all had to re-assess who might become the Lions’ next head coach.
It was at that point I started to think that Mike Vrabel could be the man. I was also completely against it. I didn’t believe that Mike Vrabel was ready to be a head coach in the NFL yet.
Just as quickly as it seemed like a possibility, the Tennessee Titans hired Vrabel to end any debate. Now, with the aid of hindsight, Tennessee got the better of the two former Patriots. I was completely wrong.
Probably the best way to punctuate that thought is this; Vrabel took over a team that was in similar straights as the Detroit Lions were when Patricia waltzed in the door. The biggest difference was that the Titans young franchise quarterback wasn’t living up to his billing and Matthew Stafford was an established player that could win with some help.
Today the Lions are riding a 10-25-1 record under Matt Patricia and have never threatened for anything other than the first pick in last year’s draft. Last season the Tennessee Titans were in the AFC Championship game with a retread quarterback that flourished under Vrabel.
Perhaps the more to the point comparison would be this; the Lions have lost three games they had a double-digit lead in this season while the Titans are still undefeated.
This includes basically missing two weeks of practice due to positive COVID-19 testing and then returning to the field to beat up on the previously undefeated Buffalo Bills. Titan fans have every reason to be optimistic about their team and where they’re heading. Meanwhile, Lions fans are still stuck in the same endless misery we’ve been trapped in the last 60 plus years.
I was definitely wrong.