For the last few days, the Detroit Lions have made their position coaches available for plenty of media work, and it can be tough to keep up with some of the broader themes that have arisen.
From the offensive coaches to the defensive, there has been no shortage of information spread around in the last few days, and some interesting concepts have arisen as it relates to what the team might be on track do to at several spots.
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Here’s a look at some of the top themes from listening to the Lions coaches speak over the last few days, and what they could mean for the team moving forward.
Players on the Bubble Might Still be Safe
Fans probably thought that several names might not get a new lease on life with the brand new staff coming to town, but that’s not going to be the case whatsoever. It appears names like Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Jahlani Tavai might be able to work themselves into favor with their new position coaches, and there is nothing wrong with that. While many want to see the Lions simply give up on the struggling players, it’s possible that they will be given a new lease on life by the staff and get a chance to impress ahead of the team simply cutting bait. That would be the smart approach for the staff to make so early in the offseason.
Jared Goff is Going to Have Tools to Succeed
With Mark Brunell in tow, the Lions have a coach who understands what it means to play the quarterback position. It’s clear that Brunell already likes what he sees from Goff in terms of his mental makeup, and given what Goff has already accomplished in the past, he has major talent as well. A common theme from the offensive coaches has been that Goff is more than capable of being the guy for the Lions. With Brunell, the running game as well as the support behind him, it’s clear there is a major safety net being built in for Goff in terms of his next team. That’s good news for the player and for the Lions.
The Lions Defense Will Look Much Different
Finally, the Lions seem to have a defensive staff that understands how to put their best players in a position to succeed on the field. It seems the team is going to have more of a 3-4 look, and the roster might play to that strength given what the players on it will be asked to do now. Perhaps the best admission came from Todd Wash, the defensive line coach, who said that he wants to throw as many players possible at the quarterback. Combine that with Aubrey Pleasant saying Aaron Donald was his best defensive back, and it’s clear the Lions want to put a premium on the front seven. That should be welcome news given how this group has struggled in recent years.
T.J. Hockenson Could Become a Star Player
Listening to Lions’ tight end coach Ben Jones speak, it’s clear that Hockenson is going to be given all the chances in the world to show himself as an up and coming talent at a key position. He’s got the talent, and he should figure to have the coaching as well with former tight end Dan Campbell coming into the mix and connecting with him. The arrow is firmly upward for Hockenson in terms of becoming a force for not only the Lions, but a top 10 player at his position in the league as well. He has shown it in flashes on the field, but now, the sky could truthfully be the limit here.
The Lions’ Running Game Will Have Balance
No matter how you take Anthony Lynn’s words on what he wants to see from his running backs or who his preferred options might be between Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift next season for carries, it’s clear the ground game is going to be a primary focus for the team. Detroit’s offensive line is taking on the look of one of the best in the NFL, and now, they want to see either of their backs give them the type of toughness in between the tackles to get them over the hump. Previous coaches have talked about running the ball, but it’s clear the focus is firmly on it with the Lions in the future. It’s also clear every player will be counted on to bring something to the mix.
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