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Notes: The Detroit Lions’ younger talent is improving

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The Lions suddenly have some serious talent under 25 years old.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions barely came in at the top half of the league, ranking 15th overall. However, it’s notable that Detroit is headed in the right direction. Last year the team ranked just 21st overall.

  • “Inside the Den,” the Lions’ cleaner version of “Hard Knocks” has finally dropped. Episode one covers everything from Matt Patricia’s first day on the job to the first week of training camp:

  • Ricky Jean Francois has taken his role as veteran mentor seriously. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has a great story on how Francois has put in the extra time to help his teammates—including rookie Da’Shawn Hand—get better.

  • Darius Slay didn’t just have a good 2017 season, he’s been one of the best cornerbacks over the past four years:

  • The Athletic’s Chris Burke has an emotional story (subscription required) on the toughest game Lions backup quarterback Matt Cassel has ever had to play: A must-win game for the Patriots less than a week after his father passed.

  • Someone from the NFL Players Association apparently messed up and sent Von Miller Matthew Stafford’s care package (and for the record, Stafford is listed at No. 24):

  • Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon thinks the Lions need to do everything in their power to trade for Khalil Mack, even if it means sending two first-round picks and a couple players to Oakland.