It’s Kool Aid season for all 32 NFL teams. With OTAs and minicamp underway, we’re deep into “best shape of his life” and “this is our year” territory.
But this seems to be a somewhat unique offseason for the Detroit Lions. There appears to be a leak in Kool Aid, as it has seeped into the national water supply. Analysts with no ties to the Lions have heaped a ton of praise on them, seemingly out of the blue considering this team finished the 2021 season with the second worst record in the NFL.
They had a top-five draft, according to a collection of NFL Draft gurus. ESPN’s Mina Kimes worries that the Lions may win too many games this year for their own good. Warren Sharpe picked them as a potential long-shot to win the division. Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger is optimistic that they could be playing meaningful football in December again.
But if you think all of this positive media attention is breaching the doors at Allen Park, you’ve got another thing coming.
“I don’t care,” Lions quarterback Jared Goff said bluntly. “We have a lot of work to do. If we win, great. If we don’t, not great. We need to win, and we will be ready to go.”
Okay, but surely you guys talk about it a little, right?
“No,” head coach Dan Campbell said. “Yeah, I don’t.”
Tight end T.J. Hockenson added that he can’t allow media narratives to impact him in any way, positive or negative.
“You can’t really ever listen to the good, the bad, the medium,” Hockenson said. “That’s one thing that I’ve always learned. You guys have your job to do and when we’re winning it’s great. When we’re losing, it’s not. So it’s one of those things where you can’t really ride that train, the ebbs and the flows. You gotta stay steady and really listen to what the guys are saying in here and not on Twitter and social media.”
Safety Tracy Walker, who is always one of the more honest and open players in front of the microphone, was the closest to budging. He noted that the media attention doesn’t impact him at all, but did admit that it is nice to hear.
“I appreciate all the status we’re getting right now and all the recognition, but at the end of the day, we’ve gotta go out there and still prove it,” Walker said. “It’s a great thing to see that people are starting to believe in us, but they should’ve been believing in us.”
After some pushing from the media, Walker did admit one thing: the Lions are a better team right now.
“Can I plead the fifth on that one? I’ll tell you what, yes. I’m a part of a better team. Yes. Yes. I am.”