Dan Campbell: We’re in trouble if second-year players don’t make a jump

Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks
Getty Images

The Lions added players like edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, wide receiver Jameson Williams and defensive end Josh Paschal in this year’s draft, but those players weren’t the focus of head coach Dan Campbell’s comments on the first day of training camp.

Campbell’s attention was on the players who the Lions added in the draft during his first year with the franchise. Tackle Penei Sewell and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had big roles as rookies while defensive linemen Levi Onwuzurike, Alim McNeill, and Derrick Barnes made smaller contributions. Cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu was also in the latter category and Campbell said that the entire group has to take a big step forward if the Lions are going to make progress over last year’s 3-13-1 record.

“I mean, we’re counting on it,” Campbell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “We got to have it. I mean if they don’t make a jump, we’re in trouble. That’s the bottom line, cause those guys are kind of our core and our foundation.”

In a perfect world, the players picked this year would join last year’s selections to form the backbone of a consistent winner in Detroit. Without the jump that Campbell is looking for, however, that will be a tall order.

8 responses to “Dan Campbell: We’re in trouble if second-year players don’t make a jump

  1. This Lions off-season hype is so ridiculous. The foundations of a 3 win team are still there: Campbell and Goff. Until one of those guys is replaced it will be more of the same.

  2. This guy is very immature/unqualified for this role. This is the kind of thing you say personally to the 2nd year guys privately, not publicly.

    He needs to stop talking so much in the media.

  3. They seem to have added some good pieces but it isn’t going to be fixed in one year. They need a QB, will likely be in great position next year to pick one they like. Much work to be done, they will need time.

  4. OK – I can deal with people saying “Goff will always create a ceiling for this team”. I totally agree. But I don’t think he controls how HIGH the ceiling can be. I think he controls how much higher the ceiling can be based on the team around him.

    I don’t think anyone can say the roster last year (when taking into account the injuries that happened over the year) is not tangibly worse than the roster this year.

    `At WR, when Tyrell Williams and Cephus went down, there was NOBODY behind them. This year Cephus and Reynolds are technically the backups. Chark, Reynolds/Jameo(when healthy), and ARSB are a huge upgrade over the planned WRs last year of Tyrell, Breshad Perriman, and Kalif Raymond
    `The LBs last year to start the year were markedly worse than this year, and they still suck this year…
    `CBs last year were unproven, and this year they are deep but mediocre.
    `Safety was wildly improved with Elliot starting and Joseph as depth
    `The Oline has yet to all be healthy at the same time.
    `Replacing Trey Flowers with Aiden Hutchinson should be an extreme improvement, and the Okwaras, Pascal, Harris give them a great rotation of edge players to get to the QB.

    Defensively they still have a ton of needs at LB and DB, but DB might be better than they appear if Okudah and Elliot can stabilize CB and S respectively.

    I don’t think they are a great team, but they are no doubt an improved team. Nobody thinks they are a contender, but I expect them to take a huge step forward this year regardless.

  5. Chickensalad43 must be a Vikings fan…

    Thankfully the Lions have drafted well, and have a very solid OLine to help build on last year.

  6. In my very non-expert opinion, the Lions have one of the better O-lines in the NFL. That unit can dictate offensive success and help overcome some of Goff’s limitations.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.