Analyst highly praises Lions' calculated, patient approach to building roster

It would have been easy to change course this offseason, but the Lions deserve a lot of praise for maintaining their steady approach to roster building.
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After the gut-wrenching loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes had a memorable season-ending press conference. He also dropped an appropriate punch line.

"Look, the reality is this, everyone can't play here. Everyone can't play for the Detroit Lions, and that's just the reality, and that's just the standard that has been set."

The Lions, led by Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, value culture fit right alongside (it not more than) a player's talent. Holmes has noted how sheer talent is not a great differentiator, it's the other things a player brings to the table that make the difference in who's a fit and who's not.

On the doorstep of going to the Super Bowl, leading the conference title game at halftime, it would've been easy for the Lions to change course. In a certain light, it might have been nice to see them take advantage of a perceived all-in position and make some big moves this offseason. Holmes has more recently made it clear he doesn't buy into the idea of being in a "Super Bowl window."

Analyst heaps praise on Lions' approach to their roster build

Ari Meirov of The 33rd Team recently broke down the Lions' approach to their roster build, partly as a direct contrast to how the Buffalo Bills went all-in a few years ago after some playoff setbacks.

"Let's talk about the Detroit Lions' offseason, because it's been fun to see their roster-building approach throughout this process...Sometimes when you're a team and make it to the championship game, and you lose, especially in heart-breaking fashion, you go into the offseason and sometimes, it's like 'you know what, let's just go for it, we are so close...let's add a big name'"

"There's probably no better example than the Buffalo Bills a few years ago..."

Meirov notes how the Bills have had to reset this offseason, cutting multiple key players and taking on dead money. The Lions of course did not do take that approach this offseason, knowing that the "all-in" piper will surely have to be paid at some point.

Meirov also lauded how the Lions moved quickly to get long-term deals done with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell, with the cost only going to go up. The roster-building approach guided by Holmes has been methodical, as Meirov noted.

"It should be a college course on how to build an NFL team", Meirov said. "From the ground up, draft, develop, culture, sprinkle in free agents wherever you feel like you have needs, but don't go too hard."

The Lions' approach to roster building is not all-together revolutionary. But the "draft, develop, keep your own" idea can be a hard approach to stick to, and Meirov echoed the masses when he lauded their approach to this offseason.

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