The Detroit Lions are down half their team Sunday—figuratively, that is, if you’re talking about the players. If you’re talking about the coaches, well, then literally. That has propelled quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan into his first gig as a play caller.
Ryan has a strong track record as quarterbacks coach and has been a large part of Matthew Stafford’s progression the last two years. It hasn’t gone unnoticed across the league, and neither did his work with Deshaun Watson before coming to Detroit. Ryan was a candidate for offensive coordinator gigs in Cleveland and Minnesota following the 2017 season, and it was rumored that Matt Rhule wanted to take Ryan with him when Rhule was named head coach in Carolina. Saturday should be a great audition for Ryan to finally get his shot as acting offensive coordinator.
Bold prediction of the week: Sean Ryan makes a flashy debut as OC, Lions put up 30+ points
The Lions are going to need to put up serious numbers to compete with Tampa on Saturday. The Buccaneers have scored 25 or more points in their last nine games, and done so against defenses that are a lot scarier than Detroit’s. Tom Brady and Bruce Arians are hitting their stride at the right time and will be having a field day against the Lions’ ragtag defense.
For Sean Ryan, that means getting creative right out the gate with this offense. Already down Kenny Golladay and potentially numerous offensive linemen, it’s going to take a strong push to get this offense going and keep it rolling, especially considering the Tampa Bay defense is no joke. Depending on how many starting linemen are available on Saturday for Detroit, the Bucs could be tempted to turn up the heat with Ndamukong Suh, Devin White, and the likes.
It’s brutal circumstances for Sean Ryan to make his debut as a coordinator, but he’ll have to make the most of it, and so will the Lions.