The Detroit Lions linebackers have been horrible so far in the preseason. With Derrick Barnes being the only bright spot, Dan Campbell might as well just start him.
It is a new regime in Detroit and they are rebuilding these Lions from the bottom of the barrel up. If general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell succeed, it will be in the long run, not the short term.
The barrel that was left behind for Holmes and Campbell wasn’t exactly overflowing with talent. As a matter of fact, the best player left behind was the Lions’ all-time leading passer Matthew Stafford who requested a trade because he just couldn’t bring himself to go through another rebuild again.
Quite frankly, in a complete rebuild like this, it is in the Lions’ best interest to have dealt Stafford. It would have been very tough to rebuild and not just tinker with the roster if Matthew was kept in the fold. And even if it had been a full rebuilt, Matthew would have kept the Honolulu Blue and Silver competitive enough to not bottom out like they need to.
Instead, armed with an offense that has holes in the passing game and a defense that has been molded into the image of complete putridity by the previous regime, this is a team that can compete hard, but still bring home a high draft pick, if not the top overall.
The real key to the Lions’ ability to battle for the first overall pick in next year’s draft is the defense. It has gotten worse and worse over the last three years bottoming out last season as the most inept in team history.
Dan Campbell’s hand-picked defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn will be tested this season as he tries to restore the roar to the Lions’ defense. Especially given what we have seen so far in the exhibition season. There is still plenty of talent needed to turn this defense around, but it does have some positives to work with.