The hype in Detroit is palpable. The Lions have opened their 2021 rookie mini-camp and fans of the Honolulu Blue and Silver are getting excited to see if Dan Campbell can handle his end of this Motown rebuild as well as Brad Holmes did.
This is year one of the Holmes/Campbell era. This is a process that Brad Holmes has called a ‘retooling’. Yet fans of the Detroit Lions have seen retooling frequently. It doesn’t look like this and quite frankly it has never worked with this franchise anyway.
This is a brutal ‘tear down what wasn’t working and build something that can’ process that this new regime has embarked upon. Holmes may want to spare us the news that this rebuild won’t happen overnight and sure Lions fans have no interest in going through another period of being asked to be patient. However, if it shows real progress, then we are more willing to be patient.
Nationally the Lions aren’t expected to do much this fall, but there are some locally that keep saying how this team will be better than expected. Despite optimism over the work Brad Holmes did in free agency and the draft, there is a brand new coaching staff that is learning to work together and a roster with a major facelift that will need to learn to be cohesive and execute together.
Rarely do turnarounds of this magnitude go without growing pains. It’s part of the territory. So when the Lions 2021 schedule was announced this past week, I resisted the urge to make an all too early prediction of what Dan Campbell’s initial record will look like after the dust has settled.
Much more important than what the Lions 2021 final record looks like will be if this team shows progress. Will these Motor City cats display the effort, execution, and grit that Dan Campbell will demand?
That is a question that will only be answered when the season arrives, then unfolds before our eyes. However, there is one game on the schedule that Lions fans will be particularly intrigued by and for some might be considered the most important contest of the 2021 campaign.