Lions are trying to improve
It was so obvious.
After posting an embarrassing 4-12 record last season, the Detroit Lions were in need of an upgrade in talent.
With no running game to speak of – the Lions had just four runs of 20-plus yards in 2012, tied for fewest in the NFL – quarterback Matthew Stafford wound up attempting a league-high 727 passes.
And the Lions’ defense, which ranked 13th overall, was too unreliable, especially in the secondary.
Earlier this week, the team decided to do something about both units.
The Lions signed free agent running back Reggie Bush to a four-year deal. He rushed for 986 yards with the Dolphins last season after gaining 1,086 yards the year before.
Assuming the 28-year-old Bush has something left in the tank and stays healthy, he should help the Lions.
With his running ability outside and his pass-catching skills in the flats, he should take a lot of pressure off Stafford, wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and the rest of the team’s offensive unit.
Said Stafford: “Football is about matchups and this gives our offense some options.”
Defensively, the Lions lost defensive end Cliff Avril to the Seattle Seahawks and released Kyle Vanden Bosch. But they signed Seattle defensive end Jason Jones to help take up the slack.
Detroit also re-signed defensive back Chris Houston, who recorded 56 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles last season.
In addition, the team inked free agent safety Glover Quin, who started 16 games each of his last three seasons with the Houston Texans.
ESPN analyst Adam Schefter said the Lions’ moves made them a “winner” in last week’s NFL wheeling and dealing.
In addition, former NFL executive and current ESPN analyst Bill Pollan said the Lions’ signing Bush will result in “The Greatest Show on Turf.”
Whew. He might need to take a chill pill.
The Lions no doubt improved their roster this week. But was it enough to make them a playoff team?
The Lions still need a defensive end, a wide receiver, an offensive lineman or two now that Gosder Cherilus and Stephen Peterman are gone and Jeff Backus has retired, and a linebacker.
With the moves they have made thus far, and ones no doubt that will be coming, head coach Jim Schwartz will on the hot seat this season.
If the Lions don’t make a major move to be a contender, he’ll be gone at the end of the campaign, if not sooner.
That’s the way it should be.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org