Brad Holmes has plenty of work ahead of him to build the Detroit Lions into champions. But he does understand that moving these Motor City cats to the fast lane will help.
In the beginning, football was a primitive sport. the flying wedge and the T- formation were predicated on the simplistic concept of stacking the line of scrimmage with big guys that could root out the defense and create room for a ballcarrier to gain yards.
The defense was predicated on the mirror image of stacking the line of scrimmage and keeping the offense from making any positive gains. In essence, the game plan week in and week out was ‘might makes right’.
Power was the flame that fueled the game. Not that great athletes like Jim Thorpe or Red Grange weren’t considered valuable pieces, because great athletes have always been integral in deciding the outcomes of games, but there weren’t that many of them to go around.
While the concept of controlling the line of scrimmage is every bit as important today as it was over a century ago, the game itself has vastly evolved. Even after it was decided that teams could take flight to attack defenses in those early days of the game, that was merely considered a desperation ploy that was utilized maybe a half dozen times, if that, in a single contest.
Today no one blinks an eye of a quarterback puts the ball into flight 40 times or more in a game. From those early days of ‘might makes right’ to taking away the title of America’s pastime from baseball, football has made huge strides.
Today the game is fueled by offense. The NFL has done everything short of making defense illegal to create scoring contests the fans appreciate. Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams have made offensive football an art form.
While new Lions head coach Dan Campbell is a bit of a throwback, he and new general manager Brad Holmes have a vision for this team. A vision that seems to understand what teams like Kansas City have learned; speed kills.