The Detroit Lions overhauled their secondary this offseason after struggling with depth and consistency the past two years. The Lions opened up the checkbook in free agency, signing Emmanuel Moseley, Cameron Sutton, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson, all prominent free agent defensive backs. They also spent a second-round pick on Brian Branch, the consensus best safety in this year’s NFL Draft. The Lions also return Tracy Walker III, who’s coming back from an achilles injury that sidelined him for most of the 2022 season.
A ways into offseason activities, word out of Allen Park is that the overhaul has paid off:
This is undeniably true.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) June 6, 2023
Lions defense is still outperforming the offense, even during 7-on-7s. https://t.co/9sGjWuhZHO
Question of the day: Are you buying the minicamp hype regarding the Lions secondary?
My answer: it’s just minicamp, so I’m cautious, but I’m inclined to take stock in this for a couple reasons.
For starters, as mentioned earlier, the Lions went to town on overhauling their defensive backs room. Aside from Jerry Jacobs and Kerby Joseph, the back end of the Lions defense is almost entirely different compared to 2022. Change is a good thing, and considering the resources the Lions spent on this unit, it’s believable.
The other thing is that this would be a fairer assessment of defensive backs coach Brian Duker. Duker took over after the firing of Aubrey Pleasant, which coincided with a strong turnaround by the Lions defense as a whole. It was hard to tell last season how much of that improvement was a true change to the secondary as opposed to the emergence of guys like Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston on the defensive front creating a ripple effect. If the Lions DBs continue playing this well into training camp, then perhaps we can start crediting Duker for that turnaround.
He has a lot more pieces to work with than he did in the latter half of 2022, when the Lions were putting makeshift pieces into their secondary every Sunday. Considering the level of performance Duker was able to extract out of those pieces, it makes sense that prized free agents would come in and hit the ground running.
Ultimately I don’t want to pen anything in until we have a larger, more physical sample size, like training camp. However, I’m inclined to believe that this time, it’s not just hot air coming out of Allen Park.
What do you think? Is this the usual offseason chatter or something more? Vote below and let us know your thoughts.
Are you buying the minicamp hype regarding the Lions secondary?
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