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Motor City MoJo: Detroit Lion updates

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I think the Lions are in a tough spot this year.

They've got Stafford and 3 good WRs (Jones, Tate, Golladay), plus the OL should be good or at least OK. Maybe Kerryon Johnson finally gives them a rushing game. They don't have a TE but the offense should be half decent as long as Stafford has a good year. Prater is an excellent kicker. 

But the defense is in rough shape. Ansah is the only player in their front 7 who'd definitely play for the Vikings rotationally, let alone start. Maybe Ashawn Robinson would play ahead of Jaleel Johnson? That's about it. They're planning to start Sly Williams and Anthony Zettel. Jarrad Davis has been disappointing as a 1st round pick MLB. Somehow Devon Kennard and Eli Harold are going to play OLB at 250 pounds, or maybe they'll be rotational edge rushers? In the secondary, Slay is an excellent CB and Quin is a very good safety, though Quin is 32 and may not maintain that level of play much longer. Across from Slay they're starting Nevin Lawson or maybe Teez Tabor. Quandre Diggs is a pretty good NCB but that's not a good secondary by any means despite 2 blue chip pieces. 

Maybe Matt Patricia can continue the Belichick tradition of turning odds and ends into a good-to-great defense, but unless he can work some serious magic, they're going to need to score 30 every week to win games. 

And suddenly the other 3 teams in the division have defenses that are probably good (Packers with Pettine's scheme and an infusion of young talent at CB), very good (Bears adding Mack) and great (Vikings adding Richardson, Iloka and Hughes) with offenses that can take advantage of Etroit (no D) -- Packers with Rodgers back healthy, Bears with a huge infusion of talent at WR and a new scheme for Trubisky and Vikings adding Cousins and getting Cook back healthy. 

Lions seem very likely to end up last in the division. Wouldn't be surprised if they only won 5-6 games this year. 

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Zettel's release is puzzling. He led the team in pressures last year (narrowly more than Ansah, though Zettel played over 200 more snaps) and had the best PFF grade of their DL during preseason. He's only 26. He wasn't great last year but he was respectable, including against the run.

The Lions have now moved on from almost everyone who played DL for them last year: 

Only holdovers are Ansah and Ashawn Robinson. 

Unclear who's playing edge across from Ansah this year. They claimed Romeo Okwara on waivers from the Giants. He played well in preseason but has one career sack in 22 games since 2016. More likely it'll be Devon Kennard (OLB from the Giants, 9 career sacks since 2014) or Eli Harold (OLB from the Niners, 4 career sacks since 2015). 

It's fair to imagine that the Vikings had 6 DEs on the team in preseason (the 4 who made the team plus Robison and Odengibo) better than the Lions' starting DE2. 

I'll repeat the point that Matt Patricia is going to have to work some serious magic to turn the Lions defense into anything this year. 

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20 minutes ago, swede700 said:

Apparently, they claim that Zettel wasn't a really good fit for Patricia's defense.  

He played a lot of snaps in preseason and graded out well so it seems like a late realization, hard to know what that's based on. 

Are they asking the edge rushers to play more of an OLB role, drop into coverage?

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