Lion fans are always looking for signs of a great season. That is why I receive globs of email every time the team gets together.
Already people have asked me if the Lions look focused and hungry? Do they look like they are ready to make the next step? I hate to tell you that it is impossible to tell during OTA’s. They are not in pads. They are not running real plays and they are just sort of going through the motions. These practices are not about improving the team. They are about shaking off some rust.
The young guys go all out because they are trying to land jobs. Veterans are trying to stay in shape and get into a repetition. It really does not mean much. I asked veteran cornerback Chris Houston how some of the younger corners are looking and he could not even give me an answer. He doesn’t even know his teammates yet.
“Are you talking about number 33,” he asked when I spoke to him.
You really don’t begin learning about a team until training camp. That is when they come in hot and lathered. That is when you see people competing for jobs and fighting in the heat of summer. Even then you don’t really know about a team until they play against others. The Lions always look good in training camp because they are going up against each other.
The key with the Lions is not what you see during meaningless practices. The key with them is between the ears.
Can they shake off the marijuana problems during summer? Can Ndamukong Suh rebound after an off season and can the offense keep pace with the torrid pace it set last season?
I do not know those answers and OTA’s definitely won’t give you any answers. These practices are more like a bunch of high profile athletes stretching themselves out.