Lions On Some Lips Leading Up To Super Bowl LI.
Surprisingly to me and many other Detroit fans, there has been a few news nuggets pertaining to the Lions coming out of Houston this Super Bowl week. The Lions have some ties to both organizations, but much more to the Patriots side of things over Atlanta. Obviously, new Lions GM Bob Quinn came from New England, and he also traded much maligned line backer Kyle Van Noy to the Patriots, who has looked like Tedy Bruschi re-incarnated as of late.
Chris Long divulged that the Lions were a team that he had mutual interest with during free-agency. He would’ve been an interesting fit with the team, and probably would’ve helped the Lions pass-rush had he signed. However if the Lions had signed him, it’s fair to wonder whether Kerry Hyder or Armonty Bryant would’ve been on the team, two guys I’d prefer to have over Long just from a youth and potential standpoint. Falcons DE Dwight Freeney also had expressed interest in the Lions last off-season, but ultimately went where he felt the best chance to win a championship was.
Looks as if he picked correctly.
Kyle Van Noy said that he’s happy with his change in New England, saying he’s in a better place because he’s in the Super Bowl, and frankly it’s hard to argue with that logic. What was more interesting was Van Noy’s complimenting of Matt Patrica, saying that he likes playing for him because he “believes in his players and lets them have a say in the defense.” Van Noy also said he has much more freedom in the Pat’s scheme. He said that from his inside position, he doesn’t have to worry as much about gap responsibilities, and just focuses on making plays. I don’t believe that this is Van Noy coming out and publicly blasting Teryl Austin, however one can read between the lines a bit and sense where Van Noy was frustrated in Detroit.
Robert Kraft heaped praise upon Bob Quinn, and Martha Ford as well. Kraft and Ford were in communication during the hiring process of the Lions’ GM search last year, and Kraft commended Martha’s commitment to the team at the age of 91. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff also commended Quinn, saying that he’s a good football mind.
The talk about the Lions from two teams at the top shows that as an organization, they’ve begun to gain more respect within the tighter knit groups of the NFL. It was only half a decade ago when the Lions were the only NFL team to not be profitable, and promise wasn’t exactly synonymous with the team.
We’ll see you in Minnesota.