Detroit Lions principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp is busily trying to rebuild her team in the image of a winner. And if we pay careful attention to what has happened this offseason, it’s easy to see the difference between what is being built now as compared to what the previous regime did.
Everything the Detroit Lions accomplished under former head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn is being flushed away. Quite frankly with the job they were doing, ‘flushed’ is the most apropos term we can use.
Between the heavy-handed ‘Patriot Way’ approach that soured so many players to the inability to build a team that had enough talent and depth to compete to the belief by Matt Patricia that his defensive scheme was more important than who was playing in it, it’s very easy to see why the ‘Patriot’s Mid-West’ didn’t work.
There is nothing wrong with emulating a winning franchise, but the key is being able to do so with a personalized twist that makes it uniquely your own. Carbon copies rarely succeed, while using elements that have proven successful elsewhere combined with a new path and foundation can be fruitful.
In today’s NFL, the biggest commodity for success is talented players that buy into a system and execute it with ruthless efficiency. Consider the execution of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense this past weekend in the Super Bowl against Kansas City.
I think most onlookers felt like the Chiefs’ offense, as powered by outstanding young quarterback Patrick Mahomes, couldn’t be completely bottled up. Sure there were those who thought Tampa would win, but did they imagine Kansas City’s offense being strangled like that?
Buc’s defensive coordinator Todd Bowles came up with the right scheme to slow down Patrick Mahomes. Yet the reason it worked is because Bowles has many talented players on defense and his front four was up to the task of harassing Mahomes.
Sure Kansas City was missing both of their starting tackles, but without the talent up front to do what Tampa Bay did, that scheme wouldn’t have stopped the Chiefs cold like that. Which highlights the difference between the pathetic defense Patricia ran here in Detroit and one capable of winning a championship.