Expecatations for the Lions This Season
The Detroit Lions missed the playoffs once again last year finishing with a record of 5-11. The team was lacking talent across the roster and they knew that things were not going to get any better soon. Detroit determined it was time to begin yet another rebuild this last offseason.
The Lions needed a new head coach to change the culture of the locker room. They did this by hiring Dan Campbell to fill that role. Campbell was a high-energy guy and came in with more passion than what their fans were used to having. Then they decided it was time to trade franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Lions sent him to the Rams in exchange for Jared Goff along with several picks in future drafts.
Everybody knew this was the first year of a long rebuild for the franchise. Nobody around the NFL expected they would be good this year, Those same people expected they would win at least one game this season though. It is looking like that may not happen.
Lions in 2021
Saying this season has been disappointing for the team would be a drastic understatement. They have yet to win a matchup this year. To make matters worse, they have only been able to keep it within 10 points against two opponents. Going winless is never something that inspires a team. This, however, would not be the club’s first season when this happened. Detroit went 0-16 back in 2008 under Rod Marinelli. A second season without one victory would be a new low for the Lions.
Part of the reason for the lack of success is the talent on the roster. Finding players the Lions can build around has been difficult. Goff has been serviceable but is not looking like the franchise quarterback they need. The only player they may be able to count on for the future is T.J. Hockenson. Maybe Taylor Decker, Penei Sewell, and D’Andre Swift can join that group, but it is too early to tell. Cornerback Jeff Okudah might be worthy of that title but has only played in 10 games in his career.
Acquiring talent is common in rebuilds. A team that is full of good, young players usually does not have to undergo this process, Campbell may be the answer though. He may not be great with the calling of plays in any phase of the game but seems to care deeply about his players. So much so that he was brought to tears after a loss earlier this season.
The Future for the Lions
Everybody knew there were going to be some growing pains this season. I do not think anybody thought those would be this severe but are not surprising. The future for Detroit may be bright. Get the right people in the building and they may have a chance. One thing they need to do is grow up.
Now, this is not directed towards the players, coaches, or trainers. Those individuals need to grow and learn, but they are not who I am talking about. I am purely discussing Sheila Ford. Ford is currently the Lions team owner. She also happens to be part of the family that started Ford Motor Company. Safe to say money is not a problem for her and all of her relatives.
Curse of the Lions
Retired Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson would beg to differ. He is currently in a dispute with the franchise over $1.6 million. Johnson was given that as a part of a signing bonus he signed prior to calling it a career. He was forced to pay that back to the team after his sudden retirement.
He was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Lions decided to honor the former All-Pro at halftime of a September game. The fans were excited to celebrate the great career Johnson had with the team. They were not however pleased with the Ford family. Fans even went as far as booing Sheila Ford during her speech.
If I was Sheila Ford, I would give Johnson his money back. You are part of one of the biggest and wealthiest families in the country. The $1.6 million is a drop in the bucket to an NFL franchise. Do not even think about asking him to do more for the team than he already has either. Pay the man, put this turmoil in the rear-view mirror, and go chase your first Super Bowl ring in team history.
This article was published on the Belly Up Sports website and specifically its NFL page. Belly Up Sports also has a Twitter page where you can interact with the network. I also have written for this outlet before so see my most recent story if you would like. If you would like to talk to me directly, feel free to chat with me on my Twitter as well. Try to keep it clean and proper. If you are incapable of doing so, ignore that completely and battle it out with me. Just a few warnings for those who dare challenge me. I am highly competitive and hate to admit when I am wrong. So be prepared for a war of words.