By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN
After a disappointing season, the Lions fired their head coach Jim Caldwell, and have replaced him with Matt Patricia, former defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. That was the first of many moves that need to be made this off-season. After ending his season a few weeks ago, Patricia and his newly assembled staff have work to do.
First up on their “To Do List” is free agency. They’ve got to make decisions on defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and center Travis Swanson to name a few. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how I would manage this, but if it were up to me, I’d let Ansah and Swanson go and rebuild in the draft for their positions. Ngata is a beast who I think the Lions could still use on the line this next season, so maybe just sign him to a shorter deal.
Next up is the draft. While Patricia and Quinn don’t necessarily have to get an A+ on the draft, they at least should get a C. There are plenty of issues that need to be addressed in the draft. Edge rusher is a good place to start, defensive linemen is another one. There have been plenty of names tossed around in mock drafts. Names such as Marcus Davenport, a defensive end from University of Texas San Antonio, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. from Michigan, Arden Key from LSU.
The run game needs to get addressed, and this is a deep running back class. I wouldn’t draft a 1st round RB this time around. Players like Sony Michel from Georgia, Nick Chubb from Georgia and LSU’s Derrius Guice could potentially be there for the Lions in the second round. However, you never know what could happen. But based on what the team needs, going defense first round will probably be what happens.
A good draft will really help Lions fans get really excited about the future. Matt Patricia is bringing his staff together as well. He is keeping current offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter since he’s already familiar with this offense. The thought here is that Caldwell may have been holding back his playcalling. Paul Pasqueloni is defensive coordinator. He’s someone who has been a mentor to Patricia. He’s bounced back between the NFL and college, with the last stint at Boston College.
They also hired Jeff Davidson as the offensive line coach. People are pretty high on this hire as well. Davidson is a former offensive lineman himself and should bring a different coaching philosophy to the line. The offensive line has been a weakness for the Lions, a coaching change could be just what is needed.
Jeff Davidson will bring a calming effect to Lions’ o-line, according to one former player https://t.co/maTSwEtf1F
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 14, 2018
And last but not least, the upcoming season.
The #Lions are tied for the second toughest strength of schedule in 2018.
Patricia and company will have their work cut out for them next season.
If the offseason is as successful as Lions fans are hoping, despite the 2018 schedule being pretty tough, it could end up being pretty special. #OnePride
Talk Lions with Sonja on Twitter // @Mom23RN