For the first time in a long time, the Detroit Lions head into the offseason feeling pretty good about their future. After finishing out the season on a four game winning streak, players are genuinely excited about the improvement the team has made since firing Matt Millen. Just two years removed from the historically terrible 0-16 season, the Lions are back to a respectable 6-10 (actually 7-9 if you count week 1 in Chicago).
After a decade of embarrassment, the Lions finally look like an actual NFL team. Not only did they triple their win total from last season, they were competitive in all of their games this year. And unlike the 2008 7-9 season, this Lions team has the talent to back it up.
Lions fans are already giddy about the possibilities of 2011, and with good reason. The Detroit Lions have a young core group of talented players in Suh, Levy, Best, Stafford, Johnson, Delmas, and Pettigrew, among others. The Lions will look to build around these guys, and with the right additions they can be a legitimate contender for a long time.
Now, before we start, I want to say that there is no guarantee the Lions will continue to improve next season. After all, we have season the incredible ways this team can self-destruct. However, I do think this regime understands what it takes to be successful in the NFL and is heading in the right direction.
Here is my plan for the 2011 NFL offseason: