Brad Holmes somehow had better expectations for Lions backup quarterbacks

Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell walk off the field after practice Thursday, July 28, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.Lions1
Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell walk off the field after practice Thursday, July 28, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.Lions1 /

Somehow, Lions general manager Brad Holmes actually expected better from the team’s backup quarterbacks this preseason.

Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes has done a lot of good work through two offseasons in the job. There are little things to possibly take issue with, but they are mostly just that–little things regarding moves not made, etc.

As the Lions trimmed their roster to 53 players this week, the preseason game performances of Tim Boyle and David Blough practically left no choice but to part ways with both backup quarterbacks.

Boyle was released on Monday, and Blough was waived on Wednesday to make room for new backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld.

Boyle started three games for the Lions last season, in the first substantial NFL regular season action of his career. Blough started somes games for the team when Matthew Stafford missed the second half of the 2019 season. Both had lackluster results.

But Holmes, with seemingly little consideration for outside options, re-signed Boyle and tendered Blough a contract as a restricted free agent. The lot was cast with Jared Goff as the starting quarterback, but just bringing Boyle and Blough back felt like an oversight that could prove costly if Goff missed any time this season.

Brad Holmes somehow expected more from Tim Boyle and David Blough

Holmes and assistant general manager Ray Agnew spoke to the media on Thursday about roster cuts and some other things. Holmes was asked about what happened with the backup quarterbacks. He said they felt good about the situation overall and, via multiple reporters,

"They just didn’t quite make the jump we expected them to make,”"

Holmes went a little further about Boyle.

Boyle didn’t show many, if any, “promising things” when he played last year. Unless a 63.5 passer rating, a completion percentage close to 65 percent and/or a neutral touchdown-to-interception ratio in one of the three games qualifies. But Holmes did say “some promising things”, so maybe those things are the completion percentage and not crushing Amon-Ra St. Brown’s late-season surge.

It’s safe to assert Boyle will not be employed by another NFL team, which says it all. Blough is likely to clear waivers and be a candidate for the Lions’ practice squad, which even with the idea they want him back says it all.

Holmes having any level of expectations for Boyle and/or Blough to “make a jump” has to be him talking himself into the idea that what he did to fill the depth chart behind Goff would work fine. The eye test certainly didn’t justify that belief, though Blough at least has the potential to be interesting while Boyle does not.

Lions fans may lament the signing of Sudfeld, and there’s something to it. But that late-August move just further confirmed what was already known to everyone–besides Holmes at least. More should have been done to add a credible backup quarterback far earlier in the offseason, or else any games Goff misses this season will become automatic losses.

Next. 3 biggest takeaways from the Detroit Lions 53-man roster. dark