The Detroit Lions’ offensive line improvement this year has been noticeable, but probably not as significant as hoped or expected. The addition of Frank Ragnow has been promising, and the Lions finally have a running game that isn’t ranked towards the bottom of the league in every statistical category. Last week was the perfect example of how the Lions are now capable of putting games away with their running game, as they average 4.2 yards per carry (t-18th) and 103.0 rushing yards per game (23rd).
But one metric suggests that one of the bigger changes the Lions made to the offensive line—adding Jeff Davidson to the coaching staff—is a move that could potentially backfire.
Optimum Scouting’s Justis Mosqueda developed a metric combining the “sack value” and “TFL value” of every offensive line coach, using their resume dating back to 2004 to see which offensive line coaches have added the most value to their team.
Davidson came in dead last per Mosqueda’s ranks. Where he particularly has hurt offensive lines appears to be in pass protection. He has the second-lowest “sack value” of all 34 qualifying coaches, with only former Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable. It’s hard to argue against this point when the Lions have allowed 37 sacks this season (2.8 per game), just barely above their pace from last year (2.9).
However, this study doesn’t offer much context, either. Personnel is not part of the equation, and Davidson has had to take over some pretty unsuccessful offensive lines in the past. As we pointed out in our coaching resume earlier in the year, Davidson helped turn around some pretty poor rushing attacks in New England, Carolina and Minnesota. However, the pass protection issues did seem to follow him wherever he went—especially in Minnesota.
- This week’s “Sights and Sounds” from Arizona is pretty entertaining. Especially fun is listening to Jarrad Davis play with a little bit of confidence:
- Kyle Meinke of MLive makes the argument that winning is more important to this franchise than losing, despite the potential to drop in draft order.
- The 2019 NFL Salary Cap is expected to increase by more than $10 million for the sixth year in a row:
Another sign of the NFL’s continued success and growth. pic.twitter.com/K5Tw7nOnqE— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) December 11, 2018
- Here’s a double-dose of film breakdowns from Lions-Cardinals. First, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News points to a promising day from Tyrell Crosby and how the Lions limited Larry Fitzgerald, while Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire noted—as we all expected—that nobody is getting open downfield.
- Pretty cool of Nevin Lawson: This offseason he will help build schools in Jamaica:
I’m excited to announce this upcoming Summer me and my good Friend Chad Johnson will be Building a school in my Hometown of Kingston Jamaica. It will be something special and exciting to be a part of! pic.twitter.com/I0SeeQLcLx— Nevin Lawson (@nevin_lawson) December 11, 2018
- Ever wanted to know more about the art of punting? SB Nation has a really neat article on the intricacies of the overlooked position.
- If you want to get a Lions player to the Pro Bowl (SNACKS), Wednesday is a good day to spam Twitter with votes: