Football website The 33rd Team has been posting previews for each NFL squad one per day since late July, and on Friday it was Detroit’s turn. Former NFL head coach Mike Martz, who led the Rams to the Super Bowl (and was offensive coordinator for a title team) when they used to be in St. Louis, was the analyst with the breakdown of the Lions’ prospects heading into 2023 and boy is he optimistic. In the embedded video at the top of Martz’s preview article, he says straight away that he believes the Detroit Lions will win the division.
The #Lions won 8 of their final 10 games to close out the 2022 season and narrowly missed the playoffs— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) August 4, 2023
In 2023, former #NFL HC Mike Martz expects that they'll hit the ground running
Full preview » https://t.co/fVVSpoAxfH pic.twitter.com/RlJPhQmjAo
Back in January, the man responsible for the Greatest Show on Turf called offensive coordinator Ben Johnson one of the best in the league. In the newly-posted preview, retaining Johnson to run the offense was Martz’s top off-the-field storyline. According to Martz, losing Johnson to a head coaching job elsewhere “would have been devastating for the football team because he really has a rapport. He’s very creative, and he really understands how to rush the football, which is pretty outstanding.”
Drawing on his own experience with the Rams in the late 90s, coach Martz had high praise for the improvements made by the Lions on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. On offense, he emphasized the run game again, citing David Montgomery as a “huge signing” and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs as a potential breakout player. A few months ago when the team drafted Gibbs, Martz pointed out the former Alabama running back makes the offense “instantly better.” In his Lions preview, the former Rams coach wrote Gibbs is “the first guy I’ve seen who reminds me of Marshall Faulk,” and believes he “might become the centerpiece of their offense” the way that Faulk was for the Rams.
On the defensive side, Martz liked the Lions’ pick of linebacker Jack Campbell, but much of the focus in his preview was on the defensive secondary. It’s natural to see he’s very high on the Lions’ hiring of former Rams cornerback Dre Bly as a new defensive backs coach. Obviously Martz knows Bly in a coach-player capacity from their time on the Rams, but he is also very familiar with Bly’s skill as an assistant coach. Bly was the cornerbacks coach for Martz in 2018 at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. It’s often pointed out that Bly got his official start in coaching later that year as a hire for the Alliance of American Football’s San Diego Fleet franchise right before heading to UNC as a position coach.
The head coach of the San Diego Fleet who tried to hire Bly? That was Mike Martz.
He’s a guy who knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level, and he’s excited about the prospects of this Detroit Lions team. Mike Martz believes they will take the NFC North crown in 2023. Do you? Check out his team preview for the Lions over on The 33rd Team’s web site and get hyped. We now proceed to the rest of your weekend Notes:
- The team posted video from media appearances by Kerby Joseph, Jerry Jacobs, and Kalif Raymond on Thursday for day 10 of training camp.
- The MMQB’s Albert Breer posted a 26-minute group interview video with Jared Goff, Dan Campbell, and Brad Holmes on YouTube:
- Offensive tackle Taylor Decker was the featured guest on the latest episode of Tim Twentyman’s podcast. You can watch it in its entirety on the team’s official YouTube channel.
- Our very own Meko Scott has a 15-minute look at the players who have risen or fallen the most so far after ten days of training camp:
- Kyle Meinke from MLive wrote a nice piece about former Eastern Michigan wide receiver Dylan Drummond, who he calls a darkhorse to make the Lions roster with his strong performance in camp. Additional background on Drummond’s path to the Lions like a big hit that resulted in a collapsed lung during his senior year in college is in an article by the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett.
- Kyle Meinke and Ben Raven from MLive also posted the latest episode of their Dungeon of Doom podcast earlier this week talking about five standouts from the first week of camp. You can listen to the audio in a web player on Spotify.
- Ken Brown and Mike O’Hara posted a new episode of the K &M Podcast at WJR 760’s about the second week of training camp. You can listen to audio of the entire 22-minute episode in a web player.
- The Lions players have takes on each other as golfing buddies:
The golf caddy is an important position! pic.twitter.com/ppJQgN2RJC— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 4, 2023
- If you have been around Pride of Detroit for a bit, you know that a ton of our staff loves pro wrestling. It turns out many of the Lions players do, too, and Kory Woods from MLive asked a bunch of them about their love for professional wrestling.