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Detroit Lions free agent signings already making big impression

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The Lions have only been working out together for a couple weeks, but two free agent additions are already making a big impression.

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Flowers and Frank Ragnow didn’t spend a ton of time together at Arkansas. As a true freshman, Ragnow only got to see Flowers’ senior year, in which the defensive end racked up a modest 68 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks.

But Flowers apparently made a huge impression on him.

On Tuesday, Ragnow spoke with the media, and when a reporter asked about reuniting with Flowers, his eyes lit up.

“I’m telling you, I can’t speak highly enough about (him)” Ragnow. “I came in as a freshman and he was a senior and I’ve never seen a guy—doesn’t say much, you’re not going to hear much from him, you’re not going to get much from him, he may frustrate you guys (media) a little bit, but I’m telling you, he gets into the weight room, he gets into wherever he is, and he works. And he just puts his head down and he works, and he’s a dog. So I’m very excited to be back with him.”

This appears to be a common theme among the players the Lions have plucked from free agency this year. Fellow former Patriot Danny Amendola has already made an impression in the Lions’ wide receiver room. Just two weeks into offseason workouts, Kenny Golladay has been inspired by Amendola’s work ethic.

“His work ethic is crazy, through the roof,” Golladay said. “And he wants to push everyone. When you’ve got a guy like that, a vet guy like that—a savvy vet—you really just want to follow up under him. I’m not going to let him go out there and outrun me, but at the same time, he’s going to try to get the best out of everybody. And, especially, I know he wants to get the best out of all the receivers, so I appreciate it.”

This all speaks toward the culture change we’ve heard so much about since Matt Patricia arrived in Detroit last year. The intense practices. The high demands on the players. The strict rules. Amendola and Flowers appear to be key pieces in the “lead by example” puzzle.

Changing a culture is never easy and the additions of Flowers and Amendola, among others, will certainly help ease the transition. But, ultimately, the question is whether the culture change is worth it. Will it translate to wins? Will this big endeavor pay off in time for Patricia to save his job?