T.J. Lang Was A Pro Bowler His First Year In Detroit, But Improvement Is Needed.
One of the biggest free agent additions to the Detroit Lions in 2017 was stealing starting guard T.J. Lang from divisional rival Green Bay Packers. Lang signed a three-year deal last season for $28.5 million and was brought in with right tackle Rick Wagner to help turn this offensive line around.
That mission wasn’t fulfilled as many players, including Lang, would get injured. Last season all five starting offensive linemen played together in just two of the 16 games. Lang would become a pro bowler after 2017, his second time making the pro bowl roster. While Lang did help the offensive line out a great deal, his 2018 season must be better.
In 2017, Lang only allowed one sack, a repeat of 2016 and since 2013, he hasn’t allowed more than two sacks in a season. The biggest pain for Lang was penalties, getting seven, tying his career high in a season.
T.J. Lang Must Get Used To Being A Lion
This is where Lang must be adjusted to playing for the Detroit Lions. Now I am not here to point fingers and say the league colludes against the Lions when it comes to NFL games but I could list multiple games where the Lions were screwed due to one simple play. Lang is just going to have to adjust to being a Lion.
While in Green Bay, Lang was able to get away with holding. From 2009-2016, Lang was called for holding seven times, which is very impressive as that is less than one holding call a year. His first year in Detroit? He was called for holding four times, which is one more than his last two seasons with Green Bay.
Lang is going to have to learn that he can’t get away with holding like he was able to in Green Bay and that he is going to have to get stronger and learn a better way to stop defensive linemen to the quarterback. Lang did have some nagging injuries as well, forcing him to miss three games last season, the most he’s ever missed since 2010. Lang, like starting left tackle Taylor Decker, is going to have to stay healthy if this team is going to succeed in the long run, and the dreaded running game to be an actual threat to opposing defenses.