With each off-season there comes new hope and new promises for Lions fans, with heartbreak and letdowns to follow. Once again the Lions have a new coach and management leading yet another new direction for this down trodden franchise. Jim Schwartz comes in to the Lions den now talking of rebuilding this franchise to a winning team, which has all been said before.
This team has more holes to fill in it’s roster than any NFL team in today’s league should have. One could point to the Millen era as the decline of this team and there surely is no argument there as to who is to blame, but it goes even deeper than that.
Before Matt Millen came in as the new GM of the Lions they were only a last second field goal from the playoffs and possibly another first round exit from the playoffs, but look at the roster that was torn apart. Of all the players that were let go all but a few were out of the league, and only Jeff Hartings having a Pro bowl career after leaving the Lions.
The Lions have a solid and long history of letting top players leave and keeping and signing players that should have been out of the league long before they came to the Lions. All you have to do is look at the quarterbacks on the roster now and there are examples of that right in front of you.
Jon Kitna and Daunte Culpepper are the best two examples of players that are washed up, yet are Lions. Culpepper was a great player in Minnesota but those days are far behind him as other teams have found out, yet the Lions made sure to sign him when no other team would.
Jon Kitna is a player that at best is a backup in this league as Seattle and Cincinnati found out and moved on from with young inexperienced players. Name one other team in the league that would start Dan Orlovsky as their starter? Probably not one team unless they were desperate! And then you have Drew Stanton which does show potential to be a decent to good player in the league but has been injury prone even through college.
With the top overall pick in the draft the Lions have a lot of choices ahead of them of where to start trying to rebuild and any player taken is a gamble as to if they pan out or not but one thing is for certain, the Lions need to have a commitment to winning from the top, and William Clay Ford has never done that.
So my fellow Lions fans enjoy the off-season and hopes and dreams of success that come with it as it may be the best we’ll see.