Lions likely need turnaround to save Quinn, Patricia’s jobs
DETROIT LIONS (3-12-1)
CAMP SITE: Allen Park, Michigan
LAST YEAR: Lost last nine games and 12 of 13 to close season with Detroit’s worst record in decade. Late in season, general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia were told they would get another chance to lead franchise in 2020 when contending for playoffs would be an expectation.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: CBs Jeff Okudah, Desmond Trufant and Darryl Roberts, LBs Jamie Collins and Reggie Ragland, S Duron Harmon, DTs Danny Shelton and Nick Williams, DE Julian Okwara, RB D’Andre Swift, OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OGs Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg, WR Geronimo Allison and QB Chase Daniel.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: CB Darius Slay, OG Graham Glasgow, LB Devon Kennard, OT Rick Wagner, DT Damon Harrison, CB Rashaan Melvin, S Tavon Wilson, P Sam Martin.
PANDEMIC CHALLENGES: Okudah lost opportunity during offseason to learn what it is like to play CB in NFL from Trufant, who started each of 97 games he played for Atlanta. Lions will lean on Okudah, No. 3 overall pick, and have to hope he can overcome pandemic-related obstacles that took away chances to learn from veterans and coaches on field.
CAMP NEEDS: Keep QB Matthew Stafford healthy. Lions found out how much they rely on No. 1 pick from 2009 when he missed last eight games of last season. That led to offense struggling and team collapsing. Stafford’s backups are Daniel, who has 2-3 record since making NFL debut in 2010, and David Blough, who was 0-5 for Lions as undrafted rookie last year.
EXPECTATIONS: If Lions can keep Stafford on field, .500 record realistic. If they have to put Daniel or Blough under center, likely means another woeful season and would probably cost Quinn and Patricia their jobs.
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