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Lions G.M. says this year’s team is better than last year’s

Martin Mayhew AP

The Lions are coming off a season in which they made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Now can they make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1994-95? Their general manager says they absolutely can.

Martin Mayhew believes that this year’s Lions are actually a better team than the one that went 10-6 last season.

I think we’re a better football team for all the reasons we talked about before,” Mayhew said, via Anwar S. Richardson of MLive.com. “The continuity, the maturity of our football team, all those factors come into play. Again, the fact that we had to win some games in December, we haven’t been in that situation in a long time. We had to win some, and we actually did it, so we know what it takes to be successful, so I think we are a better football team.”

But are the Lions any better in the area that turned out to be their downfall at the end of last season, their thin secondary? It’s hard to see how, considering that they lost starting cornerback Eric Wright in free agency, then lost the cornerback they had planned to insert as Wright’s replacement, Aaron Berry, when they cut him following his second arrest of the offseason. But Mayhew said this year’s defense will surprise the doubters.

“I would say to just wait and see how we play,” Mayhew said. “I’m very confident in the guys that we have. Again, we return 10 of 11 starters. I think there’s going to be a good competition for the right cornerback spot. I feel good about the guys that we have there now. If we can upgrade that group, then we would upgrade the group, but I feel good about the guys that we have there right now.”

If Mayhew is right, this could be the beginning of a very different era of Detroit Lions football.

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52 Responses to “Lions G.M. says this year’s team is better than last year’s”
  1. icewalker946 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:24 PM

    I think it’s great for the NFL when the Lions are in the playoff hunt.

    Wait, what did I just type?

  2. jcbadger34 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:25 PM

    Mayhew says: ““The continuity, the maturity of our football team, all those factors come into play.”

    Ah yes. The maturity of the team. That is what has shown through this off-season. Maturity. Yep, when I think “Detroit Lions,” the first word that comes to mind is “maturity.”

  3. noeffinway says: Aug 1, 2012 9:26 PM

    Mayhew should have been GM of the year. He’s that good.

  4. nflfollower says: Aug 1, 2012 9:29 PM

    Well they should be better. Stafford and Johnson can continue to improve their chemistry, coming off their first full season together. Hopefully some of the young guys mature, and get less 15 yard penalties, which really held the team back last year. And if Fairley and LeShoure are healthy for the year, that’s two talented players that weren’t able to contribute last year.

    So yea, the secondary wasn’t really improved, but the rest of the squad should hopefully take a step forward.

  5. skinsrock says: Aug 1, 2012 9:32 PM

    Better at getting arrested.

  6. deadeye says: Aug 1, 2012 9:33 PM

    I think they are, but I also think they SHOULD be better. Another year of experience for all those young playmakers should give them a shot at 12-4.

  7. zoxitic says: Aug 1, 2012 9:34 PM

    If he is referring to number of arrests, then I agree 100%.

  8. mattjay0101 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:34 PM

    Forward down the field,

    A charging team that will not yield.

    And when the Blue and Silver wave,

    Stand and cheer the brave.

    Rah, Rah, Rah.

    Go hard, win the game.

    With honor you will keep your fame.

    Down the field and gain,

    A Lion victory!

  9. funktron2x says: Aug 1, 2012 9:38 PM

    I don’t for the life of me understand how people confuse maturity of four young players off the field, at home during offseason with maturiity of an entire team that battled through adversity to make the playoffs in a tough NFC. Teams that are not mature on the whole simply don’t dig themselves out of giant holes time and again, and they certainly don’t win every game they were supposed to … like they did.

  10. ezwriter69 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:39 PM

    Still one fragile Stafford shoulder away from total disaster.

  11. mjkelly77 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:39 PM

    It’s all good. The negative comments are based in fear. The Lions will play well this season.

  12. noeffinway says: Aug 1, 2012 9:40 PM

    jcbadger34 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:25 PM

    Mayhew says: ““The continuity, the maturity of our football team, all those factors come into play.”

    Ah yes. The maturity of the team. That is what has shown through this off-season. Maturity. Yep, when I think “Detroit Lions,” the first word that comes to mind is “maturity.”
    ———————

    Why is it that when a 22 year old gets a DUI you label them immature, but when your balding uncle gets one it’s because of a stupid decision? It’s a friggin DUI either way – a mistake, not a cry of immaturity. smh.

  13. lks311 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:42 PM

    As a preemptive strike against the “maturity” cracks: Seven off season incidents, four players. None more than third year. Two released. The Lions may have question marks, but maturity should not be one of them.

  14. stevenfbrackett says: Aug 1, 2012 9:43 PM

    Well they’re much better at getting arrested. We know that much at least. Now let’s see if they can play a game without multiple dumb 15 yard illegal hit-to-the-head penalties.

  15. khmer379 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:46 PM

    And then he woke up

  16. beerbudsnbevo says: Aug 1, 2012 9:47 PM

    Not a Packers fan, but I suspect they will rebound this year…rebound big time….

    See ya on “Cops”, Detroit…..

  17. hulkhogansays says: Aug 1, 2012 9:50 PM

    Look at the cover of the new Madden football game though brother…

  18. neauxgeaux44 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:51 PM

    Lions are a joke…Saints owned you last year…fact..

  19. scoobaj says: Aug 1, 2012 9:57 PM

    this would be a real story if the gm said we aren’t as good as last year, now that would be noteworthy

  20. randallflagg52 says: Aug 1, 2012 9:59 PM

    Better than last years team? Are G.M.’s allowed to be drug tested by the NFL?

  21. lionsdraftguy says: Aug 1, 2012 10:00 PM

    Man that’s all you guys do is trash talk the lions. It really gets old you know.

    Yes the saints beat the lions pretty good, and they were a better team. But the “fact” is, the saints get every single call to their benefit from the refs. If I had a dollar for every time vanden bosch got held by the saints left tackle….

    Not to make excuses, just saying it must be nice.

    Go lions!

  22. oilman989 says: Aug 1, 2012 10:01 PM

    Mayhew is absolutely correct when he says that “the maturity” of our football team will come into play. Truer words were never spoken.

    Which is exactly why the Lions will take a backseat to the Bears this year for wild card qualification.

  23. firstroyal says: Aug 1, 2012 10:06 PM

    nothing against the lions but wouldnt the real news be if a GM came out to reporters saying “Let me be honest, this team is worse than last years team”

    Now that would be news!

  24. imsmarterthanyou says: Aug 1, 2012 10:07 PM

    NFL Franchise GM – “Our team is definitely worse than they were last year. We’re going to have a terrible season.”

    When was the last time you heard a GM say that they didn’t improve?

    We’ll all know at the end of the season, but my guess is that the Lions will be arrested before then.

  25. angusosborne says: Aug 1, 2012 10:07 PM

    I’m tired of national media bagging the Lions secondary. The Lions secondary was bad at the end of last season because they were missing players, and the players on the field were severely limited by injury. That might happen again, but if it doesn’t the secondary will be fine.

    Now if there was some discussion of whether the wide 9 opens up overly-wide running lanes for the opposition, and whether or not the Lions bring enough pressure on the QB without blitzing it would prove that these guys had actually watched the Lions defense play last year.

  26. jaggedmark says: Aug 1, 2012 10:08 PM

    Eric Wright and Aaron Berry? They couldn’t cover a twin sized bed. Good they are gone. That automatically makes Detroit better.

  27. TIM says: Aug 1, 2012 10:11 PM

    Sounds to me like the GM is putting pressure on his looney head coach. That crazy HC doesn’t look like he can stand any more pressure ! He might snap and the guys in the white coats will need to be called…again ! It’s only a matter of time !

  28. croghan1919 says: Aug 1, 2012 10:16 PM

    Every team is better than last year at this point from I’ve heard and read.

  29. whammy24 says: Aug 1, 2012 10:22 PM

    What’s he supposed to say? “I didn’t do my job very well and we took a few steps back”?

    Even if he doesn’t truly believe it, it’s good for business if the fans believe it.

  30. sportmentary says: Aug 1, 2012 10:29 PM

    The Lions have done even better at being criminals. Kudos to the Lions.

  31. higgy5353 says: Aug 1, 2012 10:39 PM

    They are better at getting in trouble

  32. pencepost says: Aug 1, 2012 10:52 PM

    The Lions should have just agreed to be on Hard Knocks if they are so publicity hungry.

  33. spasticpickle says: Aug 1, 2012 11:02 PM

    The maturity of the football team? Riiiight, about that…

  34. seanx40 says: Aug 1, 2012 11:13 PM

    I am from Detroit. I have been hearing that same thing for my entire life. And every single year ends in disappointment. I will believe it only when the parade goes down Woodward to Ford Field. Even then, I will expect disaster.

  35. garyman1 says: Aug 1, 2012 11:14 PM

    Someone please find a quote from a GM who said that this years team is worse that last years team. It’s not going to happen….they would be criticizing their own draft.

  36. drgreenstreak says: Aug 1, 2012 11:15 PM

    Anybody wanna score some rocks from a dude down on tha cona? He plays NFL football so ya know it gotta be goood. Deeeetroit!
    Where the hell is Alex Karras?

  37. staffordsyear says: Aug 1, 2012 11:24 PM

    You dont need a good defensive backfield when you have the greatest defensive line in the nfl.

    #silver crush.

  38. rmc1995 says: Aug 1, 2012 11:33 PM

    Why is losing Wright a bad thing? It’s not as if he shut his side down after Delmas and Houston were out with injury or playing hurt. Just because the Bucs overpaid him doesn’t make him a pro bowler.

    Pundits who dismiss second day drafted DB’s are short sighted and those who conveniently ignore that the Lion secondary was riddled with injury the last few games are lazy. Consider this, the secondary gave up fewer passing yards in 2010 without Wright than in 2011 with him. Having a healthy Delmas and Houston for the last few games in 2010 was probably the difference.

  39. pappavike says: Aug 2, 2012 1:41 AM

    I think thier weak in the backfield! and thier offensive line has always been trouble! d line is most certainly the Lions strongest part! But Stafford still needs to show he can stay healthy? But hey they sure look good on PAPER!!

  40. angrylionsfan says: Aug 2, 2012 1:59 AM

    If key players STAY HEALTHY besides Stafford I see no reason why this team will not be better.

    We finally saw a glimpse of just how explosive the offense can be when Stafford is healthy and the team showed some incredible determination and poise to gut out some incredible comebacks under pressure.

    With even more time together for Stafford and Megatron and the potential that Titus Young has shown not to mention the kind of player that Broyles COULD be in the NFL the Lions will have a DANGEROUS offense even without a running game to speak of. If Jahvid “Humpty Dumpty” Best contributes at all and LeShore shows that he is good for something besides getting arrested they will be a force to be reckoned with.

    The secondary is still a question mark but I’m hoping that one of the 3 rookie CBs drafted can contribute and/or Lacey is useful. We’ve been screaming DRAFT A CB for a few seasons now but the cost of moving up for one just wasn’t justified and admittedly Mayhew has done a good job finding “reclamation projects” that fit the system so I wouldn’t be shocked if he also finds someone via training camp cuts or a sweet heart trade *coughcoughMichaelJenkinscoughcough* that could be helpful. If Houston and Delmas stay healthy and we get something out of the rest of the CB and Safety Platoon the Secondary should be “serviceable”.

  41. millerhour says: Aug 2, 2012 2:05 AM

    Does anyone remember the coachincident after the niners game? Or suh, or any of the other dirty plays the lions made last year? Or misconduct penalties? They were possibly the least “mature” on the field team last year in the league, who cares about the off the field stuff?

  42. theuglitruth says: Aug 2, 2012 2:33 AM

    The problem with the Lions…is the think they have “arrived”. They will be their own worst enemy this season.

  43. jimmylions says: Aug 2, 2012 3:21 AM

    Lions were dominant until Javid Best’s injury. With no running game, they still won a lot of games. If the running game plays up to potential this year, the sky is the limit.

    As for the defense … ask Jesus Tebow his opinion! Ask Jay Cutler how much fun he had playing the Lions against the Lions defense at Ford Field last year! Cutler was the only one of the Bears who showed any guts that night.

    The defensive backfield is definitely a question mark, and we’re all hoping for some Mayhew magic; however, keeping Louis Delmas healthy this year is a bigger issue than losing Wright or Barry. Neither of them were very effective.

  44. piemasteruk says: Aug 2, 2012 3:27 AM

    If you ask all 32 GMs whether their team is better, worse, or about the same as last year, all 32 will say that it is better.

  45. chi01town says: Aug 2, 2012 4:31 AM

    The Detroit Lions are a better team… OF CRIMINALS than the Saints. This season Lions fans the schedule is harder an everybody will see them coming. Stafford & the Transformer playing jump ball wont work. Now CB’s know to time the ball an jump with him.

  46. punkyqb says: Aug 2, 2012 6:38 AM

    Only reason they made the playoffs is because Cutler went down when the Bears were 7 and 3

  47. craggt says: Aug 2, 2012 8:14 AM

    Florio can you please stop talking about how losing Eric Wright was a loss? Please go back and look at last season, Wright was awful, simply awful. Losing Wright is addition by subtraction and actually makes the Lions’ secondary better.

  48. gordyb7 says: Aug 2, 2012 8:16 AM

    Four Lions players were arrested this offseason.
    Two have been released and are not part of the team.

    That means two Lions players have been arrested this offseason.

    2. that’s it.

    Two young players with arrests on a playoff-caliber roster of 53 guy does not merit the kind of criticism that a lot of the haters want to throw the Lions’ way.

    This is a good football team, and they’ll make a deep playoff run this year.

  49. kidpresentable says: Aug 2, 2012 8:58 AM

    “The Lions may have question marks, but maturity should not be one of them.”

    As long as Jim Schwartz is the coach, maturity will be a question mark.

  50. achamarro1 says: Aug 2, 2012 9:08 AM

    Stevenfbracket….what are you referencing when you sya hit to he head penalties. Most of there 15 yarders were for dumb crap like titus pushing dude in face in front of ref strfan logan “throwing” football after a return or pettigrew puttng his man hands on the wedges ref. I dont remember very many hit to the head penalties. Watch the games not just read the stat sheets. And painting the whole team criminals really dui’s and pot possession. Sure is better than beating your mom, allegedly raping multiple woman and other horrible go str8 to hell moments

  51. kidpresentable says: Aug 2, 2012 9:27 AM

    “Four Lions players were arrested this offseason.
    Two have been released and are not part of the team.
    That means two Lions players have been arrested this offseason. 2. that’s it. Two young players with arrests on a playoff-caliber roster of 53 guy does not merit the kind of criticism that a lot of the haters want to throw the Lions’ way.”

    Put it in perspective. If you worked in an office with a staff the size of an NFL roster, and one person was arrested, the reaction of the rest of the office would be “Holy crap! Did you hear Bob got arrested?” Now if a second person was arrested within 7 months, the reaction around the office would be, “What is going on around here? What type of people are we hiring? Are we not doing a thorough enough background check? We need to evaluate our hiring process. Do we need a new HR staff?”

    That’s how a normal place of business would view the situation. The Lions had four players arrested, but there were seven arrests. Step back and think about how crazy that is? Seven arrests.

    Now, add to the immaturity that we’ve seen. We get nationally televised games with the Suh stomp followed the next week with stupid penalty after stupid penalty against the Saints. How about the Bears game where Suh rips off Cutler’s helmet and Fairly was called for unnecessary roughness shortly after? We get Schwartz getting bent out of shape over a handshake.

    They behave like criminals off the field and petulant children on the field. As fans of the NFC North can tell you, we’ve seen this before. You have a team with talent, but they can’t quite avoid distractions. They can’t quite get over the hump. Immaturity costs them on and off the field. Congratulations, Lions, you’re the new Minnesota Vikings and the Vikings are the new Detroit Lions.

  52. diehardtwinsfan says: Aug 2, 2012 11:26 AM

    The Lions and the Bears both strike me as teams that are primed to step back a bit. They are still playoff contenders, but Green Bay is the class of this division and I woudn’t be terribly surprised if both Detroit and Chicago were on the outside looking in come January.

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