One of the biggest questions hovering around the Detroit Lions as they prepare to kick off training camp this week is if this team is capable of winning now despite being in the middle of a rebuild. While that’s a matter of debate for fans and media pundits, the answer is clear for someone like defensive end Trey Flowers.
Arguably the Lions’ most talented defender, Flowers arrived in the Motor City in 2018 as a free agent to play under former head coach Matt Patricia. The two found Super Bowl success together during their time with the New England Patriots and hoped to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Detroit as well.
While Patricia’s tenure as the head coach of the Lions ended last November, Flowers is primed to enter his third season in Motown playing under his third different defensive coordinator in Aaron Glenn. But despite all the changes made by the organization during their rebuild over the offseason, Flowers only has one thing on his mind. Winning.
Here’s what Flowers told Kory Woods of the Woodward Sports Network recently in an interview when asked about delivering a winner to Detroit despite all the current rebuild talk.
"” … We want to win. [And] we want to put on some wins for the fans. We want to make the playoffs, championship, all of that. I know a lot of people are saying rebuild, but to us, we are not thinking rebuild … What’s the point in going out here risking our bodies if we’re not looking to win? We definitely want to win. That’s definitely at the forefront of our minds. That’s why we give our all out there.”"
The career of an NFL player is fleeting. You only have so many seasons in you. And you must give your all whenever you have the opportunity to compete for a championship because you never know if that season will be your last.
Flowers clearly has a similar mentality entering the seventh year of his NFL career. And regardless of all the rebuild talk, the soon-to-be 28-year old defender knows every season is an opportunity no player wants to squander.
Last season was a down year for Flowers. And that was mainly due to injury, a hairline fracture in his forearm that ended his season by Week Eight. The veteran defensive end played in only seven games and recorded just 2.0 sacks, his lowest sack total since his rookie season.
While Flowers’s motivations are clear, the real question might be if the Lions’ new regime has given the team the tools to be competitive this upcoming season. Or have their long-term plans handicapped this team’s ability to truly compete in 2021, sacrificing wins today for a better tomorrow?
The Lions do have several young, but extremely talented players who must develop this summer to become true difference-makers if this team is going to be competitive this season. And there’s hope that this exciting new coaching staff, which is made up of several former NFL players themselves, can help them take that next step.
But if you simply compare the Detroit Lions’ roster from last season to today’s version, it’s difficult to point to many upgrades outside of the trenches on a team that went 5-11 in 2020. But don’t tell that to players like Trey Flowers, who are putting their bodies on the line every week to try and win for the Motor City … and its fans.