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Mailbag: It’s time to stop being nervous about the Detroit Lions

We address the lingering anxiety from Detroit Lions fans, and explain why this time the optimism is extremely warranted.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

You’ll have to forgive Detroit Lions fans for being an untrusting bunch. For decades upon decades, it’s felt like we’ve always been Charlie Brown ready to kick the football, only for Lucy to pull it out from under us time and time again.

Offseason optimism is an annual tradition in Detroit, and we’ve been promised time and time again that “this year is different,” “this regime is different,” and “these players are changing what it means to be a Detroit Lion.” We’ve seen the organization bring in Super Bowl coaches, All-Pro players, “can’t-miss” draft picks. We’ve seen them take a no-nonsense attitude in leadership and we’ve seen them bring in players-coaches, too. None of it seems to work.

But the tide certainly seems to be shifting right now. The Lions haven’t accomplished anything truly tangible yet, but expectations are higher than they have been in at least 20 years. They’re favored to win the division. They’re expected to contend for the NFC crown, and that means—yes, the Lions and “Super Bowl” are going to be mentioned in the same sentence several times this year, and it won’t be about droughts.

Is it all setting us up for disappointment again?

On this week’s Spotify Live call-in show, we address our own anxieties with this franchise and whether it’s finally time to put them to bed for good. That discussion kicks off our second segment this week and features a pretty epic rant from Erik Schlitt starting at the 33:30 mark of the show.

Here are some other topics this week:

  • Analyzing the Lions’ 2023 schedule and predicting the number of realistic wins (3:30)
  • Should offense be a bigger priority in the draft after hitting defense in free agency? (12:30)
  • Who are the best developmental quarterbacks in this draft? (19:00)
  • Is there anywhere the Lions could regress in 2023? (38:45)
  • Get ready for rookies not making as big of an impact in Year 1 (41:00)
  • Would you rather: James Houston and Aidan Hutchinson combine for 30 sacks, or Jameson Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown combine for 2,700 yards and 15 touchdowns? (47:00)
  • Would you rather: Get a CB at 6 and a second-tier DT at 18 or take a shot at Jalen Carter at 6 and get a second-tier CB at 18? (54:30)
  • Are the Lions protected in case they start losing some of their front office employees? (1:02:45)
  • How many free agent signings are placeholders? (1:12:00)
  • Was the Jamaal Williams deal in New Orleans a win for both the Lions and Saints? (1:16:30)
  • Dan Campbell’s connections (1:18:00)

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