Expectations are probably higher in Detroit right now than they have been since the Lions were winning NFL championships in the 1950s, and Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew is embracing those high expectations.
After the Lions’ first playoff appearance in 12 years, Mayhew says they’re building the kind of team in Detroit that has a chance to contend for titles consistently for years to come.
“I think the key thing is to continue to perform at high level to get to the playoffs consistently, and then let the chips fall wherever the chips fall,” Mayhew told Anwar S. Richardson of MLive.com. “It’s hard to win a championship and have things line up for you the right way. We expect to do that eventually, but we want to keep being there, keep knocking on the door consistently.”
The Lions had some good teams in the 1990s, but they haven’t been consistently among the elite teams in the NFL in more than half a century. Mayhew believes, however, that the current roster can be great.
“I think the continuity we have going for us is one of those special things that a lot of the good teams, and good franchises have,” Mayhew said. “You look around the league at some of the model franchises that really have improved themselves by maintaining continuity and keeping their coaching staff in place and just building upon what they did the previous years. Teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, some of those teams. I think that’s been really big for us. Now we’re at a point where Matthew Stafford is not a young player anymore. Ndamukong Suh is not a young player anymore. These guys are veterans in the prime of their careers.”
And when you have good veterans in the prime of their careers, you expect to win. Maybe even win the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.