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.