Okay, so this has been a really bad year for us Lions fans. Yeah, that’s probably an understatement. It’s rock bottom and simply can’t get any worse. But now we are on the cusp of the off-season and nothing cures the ills of a bad season like the hopes of next year. Add in the staffing changes and whether or not you like the moves, you become optimistic simply because it’s change. It’s unknown, so it’s better than what we knew from last year. Our current president was elected on this same concept. When people are unhappy, you simply change something or promise change. It’s gotta be better than what we have, right?
This concept has certainly been played recently in Detroit. Bad record… fire a coordinator. Three bad years in a row… fire the head coach. Eight bad years… fire everyone! Yeah, I know… Mayhew and Lewand are not new. But let’s just hope that their thinking is fresh and new.
So that being said, what are your expectations for next year? What will appease you as a fan, so that next season can be called a success or at the very least, progress? We’ve certainly made some changes. A smart, hot-shot coordinator is the new head coach and he brings in two experienced and successful coordinators. We’ve got an exciting draft coming up and a new General Manager that is promising significant roster upheaval. But trust me… that does not necessarily mean wins. But will the win-loss totals tell the tale in terms of progress? I’m not so sure. There will be a lot of young players starting and probably a lot of new veterans mixed in as well. Chemistry is an important part of the game and sometimes things don’t gel quite as quickly as planned. Just see last year and the horrible “former Tampa player experiment” if you don’t think that’s true. I guess my point is that regardless of the changes made, this is going to take a few years to build back towards respectability.
So I’ll tell you my point of view on what will make me happy next year. With respect to wins… yeah, there needs to be a few of those. I think they should win at least 5 games. If Schwartz wins more than 8, he needs to be considered for the Coach of the Year. There is some severe roster rot with this franchise and it will take some extreme genius from Mayhew and Schwartz to pull off a turn-around like those in Atlanta and Miami this year. Those two teams had much more talent than the ’08 Lions. Okay, so I’m looking for at least 5 wins, but what else? Well, they should not lose any games by more than 20 points. No more blowouts! Let’s see a little more consistency. If you’re an average team, at least be average consistently. I can handle some of the losses when we are in each and every game. No more of this down by thirty at halftime crap. Good teams just don’t collapse early in games like the Lions have over the past few seasons. Nothing creates more fan apathy than not being competitive. Lastly, I want to see a little fire and swagger from this new group. Nothing over the top, but just a quiet, visible confidence that says that they belong in this league. Both offensively and defensively, just show me some swagger and hit somebody. I don’t want to see any loafs, no indifference and no happy smiling faces shaking hands with opponents after a 47-10 massacre. Show a little dignity.
Really, I think I’m being more than reasonable in my expectations. I’m not expecting the playoffs, just be competitive. I just want to see a little fire from the players and signs here and there that show progress. So what do you all think would constitute a successful or progressive season next year?