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NFL team preview: Dan Campbell is bringing new energy to Detroit

The Detroit Lions are hitting the reset button. Again. With a new mentality and energy coming from Dan Campbell, Detroit is hoping to build a foundation.


The Detroit Lions went through a complete makeover this offseason. After firing Matt Patricia mid-season last year, they decided to go with a whole new vibe at head coach. Patricia was a quiet, reserved coach who tried to emulate Bill Belichick in everything he did. We now have Dan Campbell who crushes 800 mg of caffeine before 9 am and will play scout team tight end if he has to.

Campbell takes over a torn-down roster, trying to rebuild Detroit for the billionth time. For as much heat Campbell takes on from the national media, I like what they're building over there. It seems like most people don't like Campbell because of his quirky press conferences and crazy football attitude. I'm sorry, is having a ton of energy for a football coach a bad thing?

Who knows what's going to happen, but it's ridiculous to already cast him off as a head coach because he did up-downs with the players. Our team preview of the Detroit Lions.


The defense wasn't great under wiz-kid defensive genius Matt Patricia. Don't expect it to be great because he's gone.

Their pass rush is iffy but has potential. Romeo Okwara recorded double-digit sacks and is looking like a solid player for Detroit. Okwara has carved out a nice role ever since he got released by the Giants. Trey Flowers will line up on the opposite side of him after an injury-riddled 2020. The year before that, he recorded 7.5 sacks and has at least 6.5 sacks every year besides his rookie season and last year.

They have some experience at the linebacker position. Campbell brings Alex Anzalone along with him from the Saints. Anzalone was solid for New Orleans. He helped lead a group that was one of the best in the NFL. Jaime Collins returns at linebacker as well.

The secondary is one of the worst units in the NFL. Jeff Okudah needs to step up this year after a shaky rookie season. Understandable as rookie corners usually struggle. If Okudah can't take that leap in his second year, I pray for this defense. On the opposite side of Okudah, you have Amani Oruwariye. Oruwariye was their best corner last year. If this defense wants to be somewhat decent, these two need to play well.


Boy oh boy, where do I even start with this offense.

I guess we will start with the biggest change. Jared Goff comes in as the Matthew Stafford era ends in Detroit. I guess Goff has some big shoes to fill around there? I like Stafford, and the Lions didn't do enough around him to win games. At the end of the day, he didn't win shit. I think Goff is good enough to win games, he just needs the right pieces around him. Unfortunately, Detroit doesn't have those pieces. Goff is probably the stepping stone for their next QB, but I think he plays better than what people expect. He's going to play with one big chip on his shoulder.

The running back duo for the Lions is pretty exciting. The Lions are hoping for D'andre Swift to be their lead back and be the guy they drafted from Georgia. Swift had some flashes last season and is looking to take over that backfield. Behind him, the Lions brought in Jamaal Williams from the Packers. Williams is a solid back who can catch balls out of the backfield as well.

Their top two receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones left during free agency. That leaves the Lions with one of the worst WR rooms in the league. Their best receiver is easily tight end TJ Hockenson. Hockenson should lead the team in every major receiving category this year. I think he will be talked about as one of the best tight ends in the league after this season. The Lions will rely on Tyrell Williams, Quintez Cephus, Amon-Ra St.Brown, and Kalif Raymond. Yeah... not great for the Lions.

The Lions are obviously fired up drafting Penei Sewell in the draft.

That clip is the reason why I love the Campbell and Holmes duo. I don't know much about this offensive line, but Sewell and Frank Ragnow are solid pieces to have upfront.


To be honest, just draft one of the receivers and hope they get a big target share. One of them has to emerge as the number two target behind TJ Hockenson. I like Tyrell Williams to take that role, but look out for Quintez Cephus and Amon-Ra St.Brown to compete for that role as well.


I think the Lions go over 4.5 wins. Although I can easily see them go 2-15 or 3-14, I think the Lions could sneak a few wins with Campbell's tough-guy mentality. They might suck, but Dan Campbell is going to have these guys play hard. Biting knee caps baby.

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