There are six critical steps that the Detroit Lions must take in 2013 if they plan on becoming a perennial playoff contender in the NFL.
These steps include management, financial and personnel decisions. They require reviewing and acknowledging some hard facts and dealing with the departure of some popular/valuable football players.
I was originally going to write one lengthy article. But as I compiled more and more information, it became apparent that it would be unfair to summarize some mystifying and, in some ways, frightening facts into anything less than a series of articles.
So I am taking off my “fantasy” sports cap and sharing with you six steps that I believe are necessary to turn the Detroit Lions from also-rans to contenders. As a boy born and raised in Detroit, maybe it’s time to share some solutions and see if it reflects the consensus of loyal Lions fans.
Here’s a list of the steps for you to chew on in preparation for the next six articles:
- Tell Mayhew and Schwartz the Lions must be 9-7 in 2013 or they’re gone.
- Resolve if Matthew Stafford or Ndamukong Suh deserves a long-term contract.
- Do not re-sign Cliff Avril or Louis Delmas.
- Select the best linebacker or pass rusher with your first pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
- Draft defense first and offensive line personnel second.
- Fill roster spots with medium and low-cost free agents.
Step #1 “sets the table” for the remaining steps, though they are all dependent on each other. For example, if the Lions plan to sign both Stafford and Suh to long-term deals, it will sabotage steps 3-6. If they decide neither player is worthy of a long-term contract, then they can focus on signing Avril.
There are undoubtedly more than six steps, but these are the ones I believe are fundamental to achieving the objective of every football team. It’s an objective that was best identified by Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis during their championship years: “Just win, baby!”