The Detroit Lions are hoping to be competitive in 2021. But the reality is the team is in the midst of a rebuild that just kicked off this offseason. And there’s been so much change so quickly, it’s hard to envision it all coming together in the span of a handful of months to equal consistent winning football.
Still, the organization has to sell a competitive football team to its fanbase this year. After all, there are tickets to sell and jerseys to move. The NFL is a business more than a sport at the end of the day.
This means there’s a thin line new Lions’ general manager Brad Holmes must walk in his first season in the Motor City. It’s the line between hope and reality. The challenge for the first-time GM in year one? How do you field a competitive team after losing several big names on offense this offseason and inheriting the worst defense in the NFL?
The answer is you probably can’t. Here’s what Holmes told DetroitLions.com via columnist Mike OHara recently …
"“I’ve said it all the time, and I’ll probably always say this: It’s not enough. I’m just used to saying that. There’s still a lot left to do. I don’t think there’s a point in this league when it’s ever truly enough. You can always add more depth, especially with the way the game keeps changing.”"
According to OHara himself, Holmes didn’t do everything he wanted to do in his first offseason as new Lions’ general manager, but he did what he could. And he certainly started the rebuild process.
Admitting that the moves that have been made so far this offseason are not enough and there’s a lot more work to do before your new team even touches the field feels like hedging your bet. If the Lions perform better than expected, you’re the hero. If they underperform, you warned everyone this would happen.
No one expects Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell to undo the wrongs of the previous regime in a single offseason. Especially not after trading away your best player in quarterback Matthew Stafford. Still, selling the possibility of a single-season turnaround is a necessity as part of the business of the NFL.
In the end, the only thing the Detroit Lions can sell this summer to fans is hope. Even Brad Holmes freely admits there’s a lot of work still to be done. With statements like the above, it appears Holmes might be preparing the fanbase in Motown for a rough season in 2021.