The Lions have holdovers with much to prove
In the minds of many Lions fans, there are plenty of holdovers who have much to prove. Some of those have less to prove now that Brad Holmes has started the infusion of new talent.
Right tackle Tyrell Crosby was one player that needed to be ready to prove himself, then Holmes added the very gifted tackle, Penei Sewell, from Oregon in the draft.
Often injured Kerryon Johnson had plenty to prove until Holmes signed former Packer running back Jamaal Williams and drafted Jermar Jefferson. Now Kerryon is in Philadelphia grumbling about his former team.
Almost all of the Lions’ passing game from last year didn’t even make it to OTA’s. Matthew Stafford asked to be traded and is now with the Rams. Kenny Golliday was allowed to walk as a free agent and has found a new home in New York with the Giants, while Marvin Jones flew south to Jacksonville joining the Jaguars and at present Danny Amendola is a free agent.
There has been plenty of change on the offensive side of the ball. Only the offensive line remains intact with the addition of Sewell.
Meanwhile, the defense has also seen change. Former nose tackle Danny Shelton has joined Golliday with the Giants. Linebacker Christian Jones and cornerback Desmond Trufant have moved on to the division rival Chicago Bears while safety’s Duron Harmon and Jayron Kearse are now an Atlanta Falcon and Dallas Cowboy respectively.
The turnover has started in earnest. However, there are some players left behind that have a lot to prove. Trey Flowers is no longer a valued former Patriot, but a player being moved to linebacker in Aaron Glenn’s new defense.
Tracy Walker is trying to bounce back and by all accounts has been impressive so far. Jamie Collins led the Lions in tackles last season, but it still wasn’t an impressive outing for him and while the coaching staff is excited to see what he can do, he will have to prove he can excel outside of the ‘Patriot way’ which he has never done.
However, I think there are two talented players that have the most to prove to their new coaching staff. Both have the ability to be impact players and both could just as easily become casualties of their inability to harness their talents.