It’s over, it’s finally over, and the chance to move on to football that counts towards records, playoff berths, and draft picks will soon be upon us. The first preseason of the Dan Campbell era has come and gone, so how are you feeling after Detroit’s winless batch of exhibitions?
This leads us to today’s Question of the Day...
Do you feel better, worse, or the same after the Lions’ preseason finale?
In the aftermath of the Detroit Lions' last exhibition of the preseason, I’m still left with questions I thought I’d have better answers to when training camp initially got underway, so I think I’m feeling slightly worse than I did before these games kicked off.
At the beginning of this preseason, I was hoping to get a glimpse of what Detroit’s first-team offense would look like after over a decade with Matthew Stafford under center. Four weeks later, I’m equal parts curious and concerned. Part of that is due to injuries to expected contributors D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson. Do Swift, the team’s lead running back, and Hockenson, their top tight end and likely to be Jared Goff’s No. 1 option, make enough of a difference to offset some of the other deficiencies on offense—like those at wide receiver? Another part of that concern is the up-and-down play from a first-team offensive line that was supposed to be one of the up-and-coming units in the NFL. That looks like much more of a work-in-progress than most were expecting.
And of course, the biggest question of all remains at the forefront for every person watching the Lions: who is Jared Goff in this offense? In training camp, he was constantly checking down to receivers, refusing to stretch the offense vertically, and getting a little too careless with the football. Is it because he’s lacking the weapons? The confidence?
While the offense remains a complete mystery, what’s much more clear is how this team’s defense is going to take time to be re-tooled—to borrow Brad Holmes' own terminology.
Among Detroit’s toughest decisions when it comes to cutting down this roster to 53 players is along the defensive line. From the stellar play of Kevin Strong to the surprising production from waiver-claimed Bruce Hector, the Lions might lack an All-Pro presence, but they certainly have more than enough depth to keep them effective for 60 minutes.
But what can be said about the Lions' defensive line can be echoed for the rest of their defense—they simply lack elite talent atop their depth chart at each position. Now, it’s up to this coaching staff to help develop some of the players on this team who have potential like Jeff Okudah, Romeo Okwara, Tracy Walker—and trust me, it’s not too soon—Derrick Barnes. It’s unreasonable to expect that to happen in just one season, let alone a preseason, but it’s something that’s going to take time.
How do you feel after the Lions’ preseason finale?
This poll is closed
A lot worse
A little worse
A little better
A lot better