Training camp is just over three weeks away, so let’s hit this mailbag—and let’s hit it hard. If you want to submit questions for our weekly mailbag, be sure to use the hashtag #AskPOD on Twitter, or be on the lookout for our weekly Ask POD posts here on the site.
Here we go:
#AskPOD what position group are you worried about most on each side of the ball— Gary Goldenstei (@Garyberry95) June 23, 2019
As we embark on this national holiday week, let us get our insecurities out of the way first. The Detroit Lions’ roster is far from perfect and there are undoubtedly some weaknesses.
On offense, the answer has to be interior offensive line. Your front five is only as good as its weakest link, and right now it’s unclear who the starter will be at left guard. The Lions have their choices of two veteran journeymen in Oday Aboushi and Kenny Wiggins. Aboushi has experience in this offense, but has never started for an entire season. Wiggins is a proven backup, but was a clear downgrade from T.J. Lang last season. Or you could hold onto hope that an undrafted guy like Beau Benzschawel will emerge as a starter, but don’t count on it.
For a team banking on running the ball a lot more, it should concern Lions fans just how thin they are on the interior.
Defensively, the only real position I’m legitimately concerned about is the outside corner job opposite Darius Slay. The Lions made a lot of changes—moving on from Nevin Lawson while adding Rashaan Melvin and fifth-round pick Amani Oruwariye—but I’m not completely convinced yet that it’s an upgrade.
Last year, the Lions’ corners proved to be a big liability, and I don’t really see a lot of good depth at outside this year again. Imagine if Darius Slay went down with an injury... yikes.
What do you expect in changes in the offensive personel from Bevell and the offseason roster moves? #AskPOD— valakis (@TamsValakis) June 28, 2019
While I think the tight end (12 personnel) stuff was a little overblown early on, the truth is this team is going to lean heavy on their tight ends. No team spends the amount of offseason resources on the position like the Lions did unless they have big plans. I would expect to see tight ends all over the place: in the slot, in line, in the backfield, out wide.
Still, expect the Lions to go three-wide more often than not, because Danny Amendola should be a bigger role player than many are projecting.
3 Lions players under contract for 2 seasons. Next off-season you have to cut 1, keep 1 for just 1 more year, and extend 1 long-term (4 to 6 years). Who do you choose for each? Decker, Golladay, Slay.
I both hate and love hypotheticals like this. I love them because they’re out-of-the-box questions. I hate them because I’m horrible at making decisions. But let’s try.
This team’s wide receiver depth is extremely poor, and I think Golladay is the most well-rounded receiver they’ve had in some time. Extend him.
Taylor Decker has been solid, but unspectacular as a left tackle. It’s extremely hard to find good left tackles in this league, so it pains me to say this, but cut him. Hopefully, Tyrell Crosby can fill in while the Lions try to find a replacement.
Darius Slay is just too darn good to let go. The only reason I’m not extending him is age. Cornerbacks tend to fall off quickly when they hit 30, so Slay may realistically only have 2-3 more elite years in him.
If you had to pick one nfl player to come to the lions to win a super bowl this year who would it be? #AskPOD— Hans DeJong (@hdejong88) June 29, 2019
We had a Question of the Day similar to this last week, and here’s what I think is key about this question.
- You have to get a player from an elite position that will earn you the most value. So that pretty much limits your options to quarterback, edge defender or cornerback, in my opinion.
- Since the question says “this year,” it simply has to be a player in his prime. Doesn’t matter if he’s 23 or 31, as long as he’s at the top of his game right now.
- Ideally, but not necessarily, it’s at a current Lions’ position of weakness.
So while I don’t necessarily disagree with people saying Tom Brady or Khalil Mack, give me the best non-Darius Slay corner you’ve got. Because I love the guy, I’ll take Patrick Peterson sans his suspension.
I heard on a podcast (I think Jeff Risdon said it) there was a “win one for Martha” mantra in the building. Haven’t read/heard the same this year, but with her matching contributions to the players’ social awareness programs, I’ve got to believe it that mantra would have grown. Now that you’re there regularly Jeremy, have you seen/felt any evidence of it existing?
I don’t have any direct evidence of this existing, but you do get the sense that Martha Ford pulls a lot of respect from that locker room. If nothing else, the fact that she’s out there every day of training camp in the devastating sun at 93 years old certain commands some props.
Because she doesn’t really talk with the media, it’s hard to get a grasp of how she connects with the players, but she certainly does seem to chat it up with them when given the opportunity.
Would you rather...
Watch a live Lions game in a 90 degree room with flies swarming around you and all you have to eat is stale corn chips and warm milk.
Miss the Lions game to Watch golf in a air conditioned rich penthouse with a hot tub and a masseuse at the ready while sipping on your favorite cold beverage.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 33 years on this Earth, it’s that comfort is everything. I had the pleasure of having my first massage this year, and I have no idea what took me so long.
I love the Lions. I love them so much I made it my occupation. But if you’re telling me I can take a week off, get a free massage with a hot tub and cold drinks, I’m taking that 11 out of 10 times.
Of course, if this is the Super Bowl we’re talking about, crank it up to 110 degrees and curdle that milk.