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 Reasons for Optimism 
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Player of the Year - Offense
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Post Reasons for Optimism
We've heard the negative takes since before Suh left. What are you reasons for optimism? Here are mine:

-O-Line: The O-line was ravaged by injury and age catching up to guys last year. If we can get the RT position settled, we should be really solid.
-(Related) Running Game: I think back to recent times we had a really potent running game--namely, the start of the 2011 and 2013 seasons. When we could run, the offense was scary good. With the improved line and Abdullah in the mix, I'm optimistic about our overall offense.
-Defense: We're getting Tully back, and the nickel CB position should be stronger than before. Suh was a huge loss, but Fairley only played 7 1/2 games. Ngata is still a force in the middle and the other guys we've got should be able to play to CJ Mosley's level. Ansah could have a big year, and young guys like KVN and Webster will have a chance to make an impact.

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June 1st, 2015, 11:09 am
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RIP Killer
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Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
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Post Re: Reasons for Optimism
I'm not going to focus on personnel, that is a crapshoot and an injury here or there can have a huge impact. Here are some positives going into the year...

Experience - the Lions are coming off a season when they were one call from winning a playoff game.

NFC - the Lions barely lost to the Cowboys who barely lost (CJ rule) to the Packers who lost in OT to the Seahawks (who lost on a crazy play in the SB) - about half the teams in the NFC could make it, the Lions among them.

North - don't think much of the Bears and the Vikes look to be still a notch or two below Detroit. It should be a two-horse race again.

Win close games - the Lions know how to win close games, in a league in which the their isn't much difference - that is huge.

Coaching staff - got it done in year one, can they make another step forward. Our DC is coming off of an excellent year, excited to see what he can do.

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June 1st, 2015, 11:27 am
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Martha Firestone Ford
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Post Re: Reasons for Optimism
Pablo wrote:
I'm not going to focus on personnel, that is a crapshoot and an injury here or there can have a huge impact. Here are some positives going into the year...

Experience - the Lions are coming off a season when they were one call from winning a playoff game.

NFC - the Lions barely lost to the Cowboys who barely lost (CJ rule) to the Packers who lost in OT to the Seahawks (who lost on a crazy play in the SB) - about half the teams in the NFC could make it, the Lions among them.

North - don't think much of the Bears and the Vikes look to be still a notch or two below Detroit. It should be a two-horse race again.

Win close games - the Lions know how to win close games, in a league in which the their isn't much difference - that is huge.

Coaching staff - got it done in year one, can they make another step forward. Our DC is coming off of an excellent year, excited to see what he can do.


Ditto. And now that Suh is gone, next years cap is very attractive when you add the feed up dead money plus the new cap increases.


June 1st, 2015, 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Reasons for Optimism
I personally don't see Suh's loss as that big a deal. Why? Just look at the years prior to last. He was always vulnerable against the run. What changed was Austin's LB scheme that punished the run and allowed the men up front to rush through the line. How quickly we forget the inside trap that gashed us over and over in previous years. Suh never got a lot of sacks. The defense thrived because we forced defenses to become one dimensional. Ngata is still great against the run, and with Tulloch back, our LB corps is the deepest its ever been. We will continue to shut down the run and when the secondary knows its going to be on them, they can anticipate better.

Offensively, we have the 2nd youngest OL in the league. That will be a benefit as they grow together. IF they can maintain a pocket and open running lanes, the offense can only improve on last year.

I'll jump down to Pablo's points next.

Experience - The core of the team also knows what its like to make it to the playoffs and have a letdown year after. Being aware of that should put a little more desire in their hearts to not repeat that again.

NFC - Parity is still parity. No team has gone to 3 straight superbowls in the NFC, which the seahawks are trying to do. And coming off a loss, and losing their DC and key secondary personnel, I think they're in for a letdown this season. Hopefully at least early when we visit. Cowboys think it was ALL their offensive line and let the best back in the NFL walk, so I think they'll end up having to rely on Romo which never works out well. GB is always in the mix, but they've got a very young secondary that could end up giving up a lot of points if they don't get some early confidence.

North - agreed, it's a two-pony race.

Close games - There's a mixture of luck on this one. If the offense performs as its supposed to, it shouldn't be needed. I prefer not to rely on luck, but I think last years late-game heroics probably give a little more confidence should the need arise this season.

Coaching staff - I'll repeat this over and over. Coaches are responsible for everything during the week and the entire offseason. Once the whistle blows, the good coaches get out of the way and let the players talent dictate.It comes down to execution. Defensive calls were great for the most part last season. Offensive calls left much to be desired. Let's hope the offense picks it up without the defense sliding.


June 1st, 2015, 1:55 pm
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Post Re: Reasons for Optimism
- The emphasis we've put on getting smart players: It's good to see that the FO is making an effort to eliminate the mental errors that we were known for during the Schwartz era. Talentwise, I think we can compete with anybody but mental weakness lost several games for us in the past. We improved last season and should take another step forward this season.

- Year 2 of the new system: We won 11 games last year while being very conservative and vanilla on offense. Stafford and co. will have a better understanding of how to execute the offense and Ameer Abdullah is an upgrade over Reggie Bush if he can stay healthy.

- Oline: Dominic Raiola gave up sooo much pressure up the middle during his time here and I will never understand how he survived so many coaching changes. The new O-line should be much better and consistent than last season. The run game should pop a few more times and Stafford shouldn't get hit as much.

- John Matthew Stafford: He came into last season noticeably thinner and in better shape. His footwork still wasn't the greatest but it was the best I've seen from him. He looks to be in even better shape this year(looking at the OTA pics) and he is entering his prime years.

- Stephen Tulloch: Before he tore his ACL, Teryl Austin was blitzing him like crazy and he was getting home with some consistancy. He is a great leader on and off the field and could be in for a big year.

- The schedule: We have a ton of prime time games and with the experience of our coaching staff, we will be ready and I think our guys finally expect to win most games. Also, everyone knows we got screwed in the playoffs so hopefully we can get a friggin break this year.

honorable mention - Joe Fauria. When he played last year, he looked much improved blocking, running routes, and going to work between the 20s. If Ebron improves(which I think he will), we should get great production out of the TEs.

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June 2nd, 2015, 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Reasons for Optimism
1. Our defense is still littered with all pro and potential pro bowl talent. Suh was our best player, but still only one guy.
2. We have some resemblance of depth at spots that has doomed us in the past (interior o-line, secondary, LB)
3. If AP doesn't play the Vikings really didn't get any better and the bears still have to many holes to contend.
4. The second year of the offense should offset the drop off from top 2 defense to top 5-10.
5. We have a kicker to start the year. If we make two of 3 field goals against buffalo we would have had a home playoff game and a bye. Does anyone see another team coming into Detroit for playoff game and winning? I sure cant.

We do have a pretty rough schedule, if they go 11-5 again I'll be impressed. I think we will have to dethrone Mr. Rodgers and company for the post-season this year.


June 2nd, 2015, 2:56 pm
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Post Re: Reasons for Optimism
I kinda think the kicking thing kind of evened out last year. Yes it absolutely screwed us against Buffalo but Minnesota's kicking game doomed them against us. Blair Walsh choked horribly and even the final score was almost the same.

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June 2nd, 2015, 10:43 pm
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Post Re: Reasons for Optimism
The fact that the whole team is bought in to the system and, more importantly, Caldwell.
The newfound depth on the offensive line and in the secondary
A potential improvement at the RB spot
The fact that sophomore years are usually huge for TEs
Larry Webster and Devin Taylor getting their shots to shine

I'm a big homer, so I'm all but expecting a division title.


June 5th, 2015, 5:28 pm
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