Many Detroit fans are already trying to forget about this season’s disaster and are moving forward to next season. A lot of questions still need to be answered through out the draft and free agency. While everyone is talking about who the Lions need to pick up, we’re going to take a look at who the Lions need to keep in order to stay on course. Some will be obvious, others may not be.
No. 5: Calvin Johnson
Let’s just get this guy out of the way. As much as it pains us to say, Johnson IS the Detroit Lions. He provides far too much of a threat for the opposing defenses to ever give up. He’s our Adrain Peterson, our Peyton Manning….c’mon, he’s our Aaron Rodgers.
If your even the most basic and plain of all Lions’ fans, you have to go to Ford Field and watch him play. If you’re lucky, you might just be able to see him break a record or two while you’re there.
No. 4: The entire defensive line
With the exception of Detroit’s visit to Philadelphia this year, the Lions run defense was a brick wall. Very few running backs had a lot of success against this team. Even the young guys like Ziggy Ansah had fantastic years. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley were the best pair on the line in the league.
If you disagree, give Matt Flynn and the Packers’ offensive line a call and ask them about the Lions front seven. They will tell you all about how their Thanksgiving holiday went.
No. 3: Jeremy Ross
Ross may be the guy that sticks out the most. Aside from a few break-out games, he was generally pretty quiet all season.
So why is he ranked in the top five? The answer is because he as so much potential as the Lions’ kick and punt returner that he is a must-keep in 2014.
Field position can define whether a drive ends in a score or a punt. I am sure that potent offense would rather start their drive at 30 yard line than the 15 or 20. Ross brings that return game that the Lions have been lacking over the last decade and he is only going to get better.
I am not telling the organzation to break the bank on this guy just yet, but watch out, he has the right combination of speed, vision and versatility to break long runs and put points on the Lions’ scoreboard.
No. 2: Matthew Stafford
I am not giving up on Stafford just yet. Like Ross, he has all the right attributes to be an elite gun-slinger in the NFl. There just seems to be just one missing piece that he hasn’t found yet. He threw a ton of picks late in the season but he also proved he can get the ball where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
The Lions are going to be hoping that there new coach will be able to elevate Stafford to the next level and teach him to protect the ball better. For the record, not all of those interceptions are on Stafford. his recievers, including Johnson, made plenty of mistakes when trying to reel in what were solid throws from Stafford.
No. 1: Reggie Bush
No doubt about it. The Lions finally have the running game they were searching for. While the team is still considered to be a pass-heavy offense, the fact that Bush is in the backfield forces the opponents to reconsider their schemes. In short, they can no longer just stack up defensive backs on Megatron.
The best part about having Bush in Detroit is that he wants to be in Detroit. All of the guys listed love the team they are playing for. So while the lions are out shopping for players, trying to add the right pieces to the puzzle, they can sleep at night knowing that these guys are not going anywhere, anytime soon.
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