In an ongoing offseason series, experts from The 33rd Team offer advice for each team for what they can do to improve in 2023.
AFC: BAL | CIN | CLE | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LAC | LV | MIA | NE | NYJ | PIT | TEN
NFC: ATL | CAR | DAL | GB | LAR | MIN | NYG | PHI | SEA | SF | TB
With the Detroit Lions, unlike other teams with several things to do to improve in 2023, there is only one thing they need to make a run at the Super Bowl. Why? Because they’ve set their foundation.
They’ve set it strong, with brick and mortar. I’m talking about the hard work that the whole organization puts in, especially the coaches and players. That’s all set. The team leaders, the players, need to make sure last season’s mentality carries over to 2023.
1 Way to Improve Lions
1. Infuse Defense With Top-Flight Players
They’ve already got some. And they’ve got a heck of a coaching staff, led by defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. They play hard. They’re prepared. They put the hard work in. They just need some top-flight players.
Why? They finished 31st in scoring defense and 29th in yards per game.
How do they get the players? NFL free agency is hitting us in the face really quickly (the window opens March 13). They need to go out and acquire one or two impact players. Let’s say, for example, Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams, his presence alone vaults that defense up in the standings, which equals more wins.
>> READ: Lions Double Down on Defense In Mock Draft 3.2
They are also beautifully set up in the NFL Draft. They have five picks in the top 81 selections and two in the top 18. They have four picks in the first two rounds.
I can see Joey Porter Jr. from Penn State, Devon Witherspoon from Illinois and Brian Branch from Alabama as options, and there are even more top-flight players to consider. Stick any of those guys in on defense, and within the next one or two years, they’ll have one of those top defenses.
You mix that hard work and preparation that already has been instilled with that third-ranked offense and a defense that has been infused with top-flight players, not only will it vault the Lions into a playoff berth, but it might, it just might, spur a Super Bowl run.
Marty Mornhinweg is a former NFL head coach and assistant. He is best known for coaching quarterbacks and coordinating offenses for the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles while winning Super Bowl XXXI. Follow him on Twitter at @MartyMornhinweg.