What’s it going to take for this community to totally buy into the Detroit Lions?
Every loss was met with doom and gloom. Even when the Lions advanced to the NFC Championship game, where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, local pundits warned us that the Lions may never be in this position again.
Even Lions Coach Dan Campbell sounded the alarm.
They told us about all the teams that reached the mountain top only to slide to the countryside never to return again. But how many of those teams were led by a bunch of young pups whose future lies ahead of them?
How many of them had a chef in the kitchen like General Manager Brad Holmes, who is easily the best GM in Lions history? How many of them have a culture like the Lions, one that is still being soiled?
What about how many of them have a head coach like Dan Campbell who can motivate a tree to run laps and do extra pushups?
The Lions are not finished. They are just getting started. That was a major point of the friendly fire and brimstone press conference put on earlier this week by Holmes.
Taylor Decker is one of us 😂 pic.twitter.com/TQCxp9xtIs— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) February 5, 2024
I get why some of you remain skeptical. Our debates in the past were not about how good the Lions could be. Rather we squabbled whether this was the worst franchise in professional sports history.
“Every single move we make — and every single move we do not make — is to sustain what we’ve been building,” Holmes said. “But we love where we’re at. … And we love the window that we’re in.”
The Lions are now the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills. These are all teams that open the season with Super Bowl aspirations. They don’t always make it there. However, that Super Bowl or bust mentality exists throughout these organizations.
Alex Anzalone backs Dan Campbell 🔥 pic.twitter.com/h7lKetgjLh— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) February 6, 2024
That mentality never existed with the Lions. When I talked to players in the past they often said “we can win football games. We can beat anybody in the league.” Well so can the Carolina Panthers and New York Jets.
It was a weak small-minded mentality.
Now the Lions are talking big and bad. They won’t always achieve their goals, but they are in the hunt.
“It’s only going to get better,” Holmes said. “We’re only going to get better. I don’t want anyone to think that this was a one-shot, Cinderella journey that just happened. No, it’s real. This is exactly what was supposed to happen.”
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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK