Lions will try to move on from 2013 collapse Print
Written by Admin   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 08:11
NFL Headline News

 DETROIT (AP) - It's been five years since Detroit drafted Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick, and in that span, the Lions have progressed from miserable to maddening.
Needless to say, that's still not good enough.
''We think that our talent level is approaching a point where we should be contending - and we are not there now,'' general manager Martin Mayhew said.
Mayhew made that comment in December, when the Lions fired coach Jim Schwartz after a late collapse cost the team a playoff spot. Schwartz took Detroit to the postseason in 2011, but that was his only playoff appearance with the team - and amid heightened expectations, the Lions went 11-21 in the two years since.
So now Jim Caldwell is coaching the Lions, and the front office is hopeful he can help Stafford take another step forward after a promising but uneven start to his career. The 26-year-old Stafford has thrown for more than 4,600 yards in each of the past three seasons, but he threw 19 interceptions in 2013, his most since his rookie season.
The mistakes were magnified as Detroit dropped six of its last seven games and finished 7-9.
With Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh still in the fold, there's pressure on the Lions to take full advantage of that impressive core of talent. It's a group that came together because the team picked around the top of the draft so many times.
''There's a great nucleus here in all three phases, and I believe we're on the threshold of some great things,'' Caldwell said. ''I think the organization is ready, the city of Detroit is ready, our fan base is ready and I think our players are ready as well.''
Some things to watch for when the Lions start training camp:
NEW STAFF: Caldwell has worked with Peyton Manning in the past, and Detroit also hired Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator; he worked with Drew Brees as an assistant in New Orleans. The big question is how much Stafford will benefit from those two hires. He was intercepted 12 times over Detroit's final seven games last season.
MORE TARGETS: Johnson remains an offensive centerpiece after catching 84 passes for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns last season despite nagging injuries. Fellow wide receiver Nate Burleson is no longer with the team, but the Lions signed receiver Golden Tate away from Super Bowl champion Seattle.
Tate caught 64 passes last season, and Detroit didn't stop there. The Lions also used their first-round draft pick on tight end Eric Ebron. The commitment to the team's offense - the passing game in particular - is obvious.
SUH'S FUTURE: Suh has one season remaining on his contract, and if he enters the regular season without a new deal, the two-time All-Pro's future in Detroit will be in doubt. The Lions have already given pricey long-term deals to Stafford and Johnson, so can Suh and the team come to an agreement both sides are happy with?
The 27-year-old Suh has 27 1/2 sacks in his four seasons with Detroit. He and fellow defensive tackle Nick Fairley form a strong interior on the defensive line.
ON THE BACK END: There's concern that the Lions might not have done enough to address their secondary. Cornerback Chris Houston and safety Louis Delmas are gone from last season's team, leaving safety Glover Quin as the most steady returning contributor. The Lions added safety James Ihedigbo from Baltimore, but they did not draft a defensive back until the fourth round, when they took Nevin Lawson of Utah State.
KICKING GAME: Detroit also drafted Nate Freese of Boston College in the seventh round, and he'll have a chance to win the job as the Lions try to replace David Akers. Giorgio Tavecchio, a former college kicker at California, could also be an option.
---
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
 

NFL Team Pages

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 453 Dallas Cowboys 88%
#2 467 Indianapolis Colts 83%
#3 460 New Orleans Saints 82%
#4 471 San Francisco 49ers 78%
#5 479 Chicago Bears 74%
#6 462 Cincinnati Bengals 73%
#7 463 Baltimore Ravens 71%
#8 465 Green Bay Packers 65%
#9 457 Houston Texans 65%
#10 478 Carolina Panthers 65%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

NFL TEAM CONFERENCE ODDS CURRENT
DENVER BRONCOS 8/5
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 12/5
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 4/1
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 11/2
GREEN BAY PACKERS 7/1
CINCINNATI BENGALS 7/1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 8/1
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 9/1
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 10/1
CAROLINA PANTHERS 12/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com