Detroit Lions: Trenches may not be flashy, but necessary
By Robert Jones
It’s not flashy, but it’s a foundation
While the passing game is a decided question mark, the defense is a complete concern.
We are all still wondering if the Lions defense was so pathetic because of how they were mismanaged by Matt Patricia and his staff or if they were just as utterly toothless as they appeared to be.
One thing we do know is that at the point of attack the Lions’ defensive line and linebackers were absolutely impotent. They couldn’t hold their ground to stop the run and outside of Romeo Okwara, there wasn’t a single player that proved they could pillage a pass pocket.
If you want to play good defense then it starts by controlling the line of scrimmage. It starts by not allowing opposing offenses to run the ball, then pinning back your ears and burying the quarterback.
The Lions defensive front seven-under Matt Patricia was awful, outside a good stretch three years ago in Patricia’s first season that was fueled by Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison.
They watched opponents run by them, and were apparently allergic to quarterbacks.
Last weekend Holmes picked more meat and potatoes that should help start to revitalize the Lions defense. An athletic nose tackle that causes pile-ups and another defensive tackle that is quick off the line and able to make plays in opposing backfields.
This brings a better chance to start controlling the trenches. Then how about the addition of a fast linebacker that can track down ball carriers and make plays. His versatility allows him to roam the middle of the field or go out on the edge and put pressure on enemy passers.
Was the draft flashy? No, but I think it would be incredibly short-sighted to not think of it as effective. The Lions have building blocks in the trenches. They have more ability than they ever did last year or the year before, to make a stand at the line of scrimmage.
Perhaps even exert their will upon an opponent.
Brad Holmes wasn’t flashy, but he has laid the groundwork. Sure the Lions could use more depth and talent still on both lines, but they are presently at a good starting point. A point that will give them more of an opportunity to compete than a speedy receiver or another talented tight end.
The Lions prospects this fall look a little different than they did just a week ago. Not necessarily in wins and loses, but in the ability to compete where it matters.
There is still plenty of work to do. If done properly, then we will see a few shiny new draft toys over the next couple of seasons, but laying the foundation was an outstanding start. One that should be the difference between building an actual contender instead of the ‘same old Lions’ of the past.