In Motown, the offense has the weapons to be a very solid group. The issue that could very well hold the Detroit Lions back is the defense. I will be the first to say when GM Brad Holmes took over, the Lions roster was in shambles. Two drafts is simply not enough to fix the many issues. During training camp it is easy to see which group has improved and which group is still very much a work in progress.
The Detroit Lions actually look like they have a pass rush! Having largely been absent in recent years. The addition of Aidan Hutchinson and the improvement of Alim McNeill and others this camp have been a welcomed sight. When not getting to the quarterback the Lions defensive line has been in the backfield causing trouble.
The secondary has performed so-so but look like they could round out to be a nice group. I’d like to talk about safety Kerby Joseph for just a moment. Drafted in the third round this year, Joseph has looked very good. While he has misread a couple plays his speed allowed him time to recover. But the ball just finds Joseph, he is a player to watch for sure.
Other than rookie Malcom Rodriguez, the Detroit Lions linebackers have been a bit of a train wreck. This unit is serious cause for concern. Rodriguez (drafted in the 6th round) has outperformed veterans by a long way. He hits his gaps, reads the run very well and drops back in pass coverage. The other linebackers struggle to do what a 6th round draft pick is doing.
The Detroit Lions will score this year, as I said the offense is loaded. The team will have more sacks than they have at any time in recent seasons. But the linebackers could cause a lot of heartache if they can not pick it up.
As I mentioned, Brad Holmes took over a really bad roster and he is still working on building his roster. He has a done a masterful job at adding talent, but two drafts is just not enough time.
Let me know your thoughts on the Detroit Lions defense. Drop a comment and air it all out.
Embed from Getty Images It was not going to be easy to replace Devin Bush Jr’s production. Yet the Wolverines may be able to use two to get the production of one. At least that is the thought process.
Michigan will count on a pair of experienced veterans Khaleke Hudson and Devin Gil to help bolster the linebackers. Hudson, rings speed and skill that few others can match on the roster.
Hudson brings a flexibility to the field as he can line up as a hybrid linebacker-safety. Khaleke is also a two-time all-Big Ten honorable mention selection so that brings hope that he can help out a starter.
Devin Gil, brings perhaps the best run-stopping ability to the linebackers. In 2018 Gil had 33 tackles (3 1/2 for a loss) and 1 1/2 sacks. Nice stats. Again Gil is likely to be named a starter in 2019.
As with the entire Michigan defense depth is a real issue and a real concern. It simply is not there. That puts pressure on both Hudson and Gil. Both played in a backup role last season will now have the spotlight on them this season.
This is not the kind of sink or swim moment either one was looking for. Yet, that because of the lack of depth is exactly what it is. Sink or swim. Part of it is on the coaching staff to put them in position to succeed. Part of it is on the two players to do their job and make plays.
Michigan should find out if Hudson and Gil can bring stability at the linebacker position during spring practice. They will be under the microscope fair or unfair. That is what happens when it is the next man or men up.
In theory the Wolverines should be alright. They are getting Devin Bush’s run-stopping ability as well has his pass coverage ability. Only it is not just one player it it two. So there will be an adjustment period.