Detroit Lions: Success will be determined outside the box

Detroit Lions receivers Tyrell Williams (6) and Breshad Perriman (19) (Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)
Detroit Lions receivers Tyrell Williams (6) and Breshad Perriman (19) (Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press) /
3 of 3
Amani Oruwariye, Detroit Lions (Photo by DetroitFreePress Syndication)
Amani Oruwariye, Detroit Lions (Photo by DetroitFreePress Syndication) /

The Key to the Lions success is outside the box

The secondary boasts some good young talent. Tracy Walker had actually played well up to last season. Fans should feel good about how he will do this year since he will be used to his strengths.

Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye are a pair of very talented young cornerbacks that need good coaching to achieve their potential. The battle between Dean Marlowe and Will Harris at the other safety position is interesting and will hopefully, alongside the coaching of defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant, allow the winner to be productive.

There are things to feel pretty good about in the secondary, but considering the lack of depth and enough young players that will need to prove themselves, the questions will linger until they are answered.

On the plus side, Glenn will be utilizing his front seven in an all-out aggressive manner to not only shut down the run but to live in the opposing quarterbacks’ face. If it is successful, that will help out the secondary tremendously. If not… well, I guess we’ll find out exactly what the Lions have back there.

But I think there are probably more questions at receiver.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson will be a very reliable target for Goff as will D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams out of the backfield. However, if the receivers can’t do their job then opposing defenses will zero in on Hockenson, Swift, and Williams in their game plans.

Unlike the potential of the young players in the secondary, the receivers are mostly a mix of castoffs who have a lot to prove.

Tyrell Williams could be very productive if he can overcome his injury history. Breshad Perriman has plenty of talent, but he has been inconsistent. The last two seasons with the Buccaneers and the Jets respectively showed some promise, but he has to bring that to the field.

Damion Rattley and Kalif Raymond have speed but have mainly contributed on special teams. Amon-Ra St. Brown lacks that extra gear but is a high-energy player who made many big plays at USC. Now he has to translate his game to the NFL.

Victor Bolden has turned heads in OTA’s but hasn’t done anything of note in his young career. Quintez Cephus has also been a steady performer but still needs to improve his game. Plus we are all waiting to see if one of the undrafted free-agent receivers like Jonathan Adams, Javon McKinley, or Sage Surratt will make any noise.

Everyone is wondering what Dan Campbell can do with these Lions, however, it is up to his players to do their job on the field in order to be successful. Would it be the end of the world for these Motor City cats to show progress and finish with a 4-13 record? No, because progress is the key.

Related Story. Is Dan Campbell a clown? Lions will find out on the field. light

The ability of Campbell, his staff, and their players to show that they are indeed building something even if the wins don’t follow immediately is imperative. But if the receivers and secondary can both maximize their contributions, then these Lions could be more competitive than expected, because the key to their success this year is outside the box.