Brad Holmes is moving the Detroit Lions into the fast lane
By Robert Jones
Plodders need not apply
The roster turnover has started with some cost-effective signings in free agency. It will continue in the draft and with every opportunity Brad Holmes has to improve the roster without mortgaging its future.
But if we look at what Holmes has done already, it is very obvious what type of athlete he wants wearing the Honolulu Blue and Silver. Free-agent signees Breshad Perriman, Tyrell Williams, and Khalif Raymond are all speed merchants at receiver. They all have to prove they can catch the ball consistently, although Perriman is coming off two promising seasons with the Buccaneers and Jets respectively, but they can create separation with their speed.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone is an athlete that can move, just like Jalen Reeves-Maybin who the Lions re-signed, and the big-ticket signee Romeo Okwara, who led Detroit in sacks last season, is quick off the edge.
I’m not saying these pieces will make the Lions contenders or even winners, but the type of players Brad Holmes wants, especially on defense, is in direct contradiction to what Matt Patricia wanted. Plodders need not apply.
Holmes thinks that these speedsters at receiver are what quarterback Jared Goff, who is coming off two subpar seasons needs and is wagering this will to reignite Goff’s long game. On defense, players that can move from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ quickly and arrive with an attitude will make for a team more capable of making plays at the line of scrimmage and hounding opposing passers.
This isn’t like Holmes will be reinventing the wheel, but if his apparent vision can find play-makers on offense to rival the Chiefs and building blocks on defense to punish opponents like his former team the Rams, I think it’s safe to say that Motor City fans would be pretty happy with even a poor man’s version of that recipe.
Make no mistake about it, what Holmes and Campbell hope to eventually field is a complete team that can not only run the ball but scares secondaries senseless with the possibility of being torched deep and a defense that attacks on every down putting pressure on every facet of opposing offenses.
The plodders of the previous regime are giving way to the athletes that the new regime believes will turn this franchise into winners. It won’t happen overnight, but if Holmes can find the athletes he’s searching for, then in the near future these Lions will not only look completely different but give themselves an opportunity to be winners.