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Notes: Orlovsky believes Lions will get ‘ultra-aggressive’ with Stafford’s throws

Going way downtown this year.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Meinke from MLive mused about the future of Matthew Stafford with the Detroit Lions in a long article on Friday. Although he concedes the “do-or-die” thing seems to pop up every season, the state of the current regime and Stafford’s contract really make that characterization seem legitimate to the writer this year. A good deal of what Meinke explores in the column is the aggressiveness of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense attacking down the field with deep throws. This is something we’ve talked about often during the last eight months.

The vertical design of the offense showed up in Kenny Golladay’s outstanding yards-per-catch and yards-per-target figures and Marvin Hall’s array of big plays last season. Could the return of a healthy Stafford bode well for the return of the deep threat version of Marvin Jones Jr. that the Lions had in 2017? Although it’s not mentioned much in Meinke’s piece, an underrated factor in how the Lions attack the deep part of the defense may actually be the new personnel in the ground game.

Adding a very likely future Hall of Fame running back who has a history with coach Bevell and a dazzling second-round talent like D’Andre Swift (well, when he gets healthy) to Kerryon Johnson and the stable of running backs should cause opposing defenses to think twice about selling out to play the pass every down. Pulling up the linebackers and giving even a momentary pause to the pass rushers creates opportunities for veteran quarterbacks with cannon arms like Stafford. We leave you now to fantasize about what Stafford could do with a competent rushing game, and move on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • According to the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, even Peanut Tillman thought the Calvin Johnson non-touchdown catch against the Bears should have counted.

  • Chris Burke and Nick Baumgardner are great writers with The Athletic. You can now find their podcast on Google as well as their own web site: