With the Detroit Lions' 2012 season coming to a merciful close, we're back to looking forward to the offseason more than the regular season.
This offseason is probably the most important in the careers of both Jim Schwartz and Martin Mayhew at this point in their respective careers. The “rebuilding” honeymoon is over. Now it's time for Lions management to show that they can maintain a team over the long term.
For Mayhew and Schwartz, it's even more complicated than that. They need to recover from an incredibly disappointing 2012 season and deal, potentially, with major turnover in the defense and with a nightmarish cap situation. They also have to start making the call on potential draft busts like Amari Spievey and Titus Young.
This is the point where we have enough data to start making determinations on the first crop of Schwartz/Mayhew players, and make some calls on the success of those early personnel decisions.
But that's not what I'm doing here. That's what Mayhew and Schwartz themselves have to do with the decisions they make in the coming months.
And here's a roadmap to how they could make this offseason a successful one.