Detroit Lions' bold moves make sense, but it's now playoffs or bust
“The Lions got a new player,” I said.
“Who?” Emma, my 21-year-old daughter, said.
“Danny Amendola,” I said.
“He was just in the Super Bowl.”
“No, not Julian Edelman.”
“Yeah, I know, Danny Amendola. He’s one of the sexiest humans on the planet. He was in Miami.”
“How do you know that?”
“I kind of stalk him occasionally,” she said.
So there you have it.
Welcome to Detroit, Danny, you have yourself a stalker.
I think you are going to like working here.
Because it’s going to feel a lot like home.
You certainly know a lot of people here in Detroit, where the Detroit Lions’ organizational slogan has become: “Come one, come all, especially those who have tried Boston clam chowder, know Tom Brady and have played for Bill Belichick.”
A short time later, there was a report that the Lions have agreed to terms on a four-year deal with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman. Of course, he’s a former Patriot.
A short time after that, there was a report that the Lions are close to signing Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers to a five-year deal, according to ESPN.
So welcome back to the Patriots guys!
I mean the Midwest Patriots, where losing is the norm, not the exception.
Let’s take this in order:
Signing Amandola makes sense. And they got him on a relatively cheap contract, which allows them to spend money in other places. The Lions needed a slot receiver, and he is certainly less expensive than Golden Tate. Only he’s not Golden Tate. And he’s 33 years old.
I question how much Coleman will be getting paid. The NFL Network reported Monday he will become the highest-paid slot cornerback in the NFL. That’s concerning but he’s certainly an upgrade.
And I love what Flowers can do, by himself, for the Lions’ defense. He is a talented pass rusher, who had 7.5 sacks last year.
The Lions’ defense needed all kinds of help, and Flowers will improve it immediately. As he proved last year, Flowers fits this scheme perfectly; and he has versatility, something the Lions value more than anything.
This was a huge, bold day for the Lions.
For general manager Bob Quinn.
And for coach Matt Patricia.
Both for what they did and what they didn’t do: I like bringing in Flowers more than paying safety Landon Collins at six years at $84 million, which is what the Redskins are reportedly paying.
Obviously, both Patricia and Quinn know these players. They know how they will act. How tough they are. How smart they are. How they will lead. How they will help change the culture. And that’s just as valuable as what they will do on the field.
In one bold day, Quinn has built up his defense, which makes all kinds of sense, with a coach like Patricia.
The Lions' second new slogan: We are going to run the ball and play great defense.
Which, of course, sounds a lot like the Patriots last season.
So I have no problem with it. And I understand it. It makes some sense to bring in guys you know.
But these guys are about to be shocked. This is an organization that hasn’t won in forever. Losing oozes out of the ground around the Lions’ facility. And three guys will have a hard time changing 50 years of history.
And I fear something.
The Lions are trying to create the Patriot Way in the Motor City. But the Lions don’t have Belichick on the sidelines and they don’t have Brady at quarterback.
And remember: Belichick decided to let Flowers go, and that’s something I can’t forget.
Then, just around the time I almost finished writing this column, absolutely stunning news hit the internet. There was a report that the Lions are going to sign Jesse James, a talented tight end from Pittsburgh.
This was stunning for one reason: He has no apparent ties to the Patriots.
But some believe Flowers was the best defensive end on the market and James was the best tight end.
So it was a productive day for the Lions.
They made this team better.
But still, I’m skeptical.
I don’t trust Quinn and Patricia yet. I have to see it on the field.
The Midwest Patriots have to get to the playoffs.
Or this will all be considered a failure.
Contact Jeff Seidel: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @seideljeff. To read his recent columns, go to freep.com/sports/jeff-seidel/.
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