Former NFL head coach notes biggest lingering concern for 2023 Detroit Lions
It feels very obvious, but a former NFL head coach has noted a point of real remaining concern for the 2023 Detroit Lions.
The Detroit Lions defense, especially the run defense, played far better late last season. Not coincidentally, the team went 8-2 over their last 10 games. The one big exception was against the Carolina Panthers on Christmas Eve, with shoddy field conditions likely an early factor--but not an excuse.
Overall for the 2022 season, the Lions had the NFL's 29th-ranked run defense (146.5 yards allowed per game). As expected, they were also near the bottom in yards per carry allowed (5.2, tied for second-worst in the league).
The Lions priortized the biggest weakness on the defensive side of the ball in free agency, turning over the cornerback depth chart. Defensive tackle stood as a need too, to help the run defense and ideally add someone who also has some pass rushing prowess on the inside of the defensive line.
Former NFL head coach can't ignore biggest concern for 2023 Detroit Lions
After a stint back in coaching at Arizona State, former NFL head coach Herm Edwards is back with ESPN as an analyst. And since the Lions are a popular topic heading into a promising season, he offered some analysis of the team's prospects for 2023 during an appearance on "NFL Live" Tuesday.
"Don't buy into the hype and I don't think their head coach will allow that to happen," said Edwards. "But this is a team that was surging at the end of the season. They were five and one in the division. Think about that. They had the best division record, although they did not win the division." "- Herm Edwards
Edwards went on to note the biggest lingering concern for the Lions heading into the 2023 season--the run defense.
"Offensively, we know they can move the ball and score. Their problem has been on the defensive side, especially the run defense," said Edwards. "They were 29th in the National Football League versus the run. So they've got to they've got to get a little stouter inside there against the run game. And they got better toward the end of the season, but they were giving up 25 points a game. So, this team has some improving to do on the defensive side of the ball. And if they do that, they have a chance to win this division.""- Herm Edwards
Edwards did not offer any fresh insight regarding the Lions' defense, or the run defense in particular. The "don't buy into the hype" line on the team as a whole was eye-opening to start his comments, but he softened it quickly by saying Dan Campbell won't allow players to buy into said hype.
That said, the interior of the Lions' defensive line and the run defense is a bit of a concern still. Edwards just brought it back to light.