The Detroit Lions entered this offseason in uncertainty. That after firing longtime general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia in late November after a disastrous three-year run in Motown.
In their attempt to turn the Lions into the midwest version of the New England Patriots, they dismantled a team that was a playoff contender, having gone to the postseason twice in four years under the previous head coach, Jim Cadwell.
In an attempt to right the ship, the organization went into full rebuild mode this offseason. The Lions hired new general manager Brad Homes and head coach Dan Campbell to led the team into a new era. And earlier this year both went about the business of rebuilding this franchise from the front office to the coaching staff and the roster.
The most impacted positional group due to this change is undoubtedly the wide receiver corps. The Lions choose not to heavily invest in this group allowing big names like Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to leave and replaced them with free-agent veterans on one-year deals and rookies.
And while fans have held their collective breath hoping the Lions would bring in more talent at the position, the new regime seems more than satisfied to roll with the players they have. And according to Tim Twentyman, senior writer for DetroitLions.com, it appears that the team’s depth chart at wide receiver is now all but set.
“Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Kalif Raymond and Amon-Ra St. Brown have consistently been the first four receivers up with the first-team offense all camp. Where it gets interesting is when we start to talk about the fifth receiver. Second-year receiver Quintez Cephus has been steady, and looks to have the edge, but there’s still time with two preseason games remaining for someone else to also put their hat in the ring.”
This news might be disconcerting to some fans who were hoping the Lions would introduce more talent at the position. Especially considering media outlets like Pro Football Focus predict that Detroit is on pace to field one of the worst receiver corps in the NFL to start the regular season.
Perhaps the Lions’ preseason opener gave some fans hope that this group could exceed those low expectations. Against the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Jared Goff was able to complete seven of his nine passes for 56 yards and was able to put together one decent drive in limited snaps.
Tyrell Williams was targeted four times and was able to bring in two catches for 30 yards. Rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown caught both of his targets for 12 yards. And Kalif Raymond had one reception for five yards.
Based on the Detroit Lions performance in their preseason opener, albeit with a vanilla game plan in place, Motown could imply a ball-control offense using a combination of short passes and the running game to win time of possession. While this might not make for exciting football in the Motor City, it could keep the score low and keep this rebuilding team in several ball games right until the end. And in that kind of offense, this quarterback and set of wide receivers might excel.