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High Expectations for Lions?

Less than a week after the 2010 NFL Draft, the Lions fans seem to have high hopes. Just don't expect too much in the upcoming season.

The Detroit Lions are headed in the right direction for the first time in over a decade. Forget baby steps. The Lions have moved forward in leaps and bounds. It is almost shocking when you look at the additions in the last two off-seasons since the horrendous 0-16 season. Here is a quick look at the starters who did not play in 2008.

QB- Mattew Stafford
RB- Jahvid Best (R)
WR- Nate Burleson
TE- Brandon Pettigrew
TE- Tony Scheffler
LG- Rob Sims

DT- Ndamukong Suh (R)
DT- Corey Williams
DT- Sammie Lee Hill
DE- Kyle Vanden Bosch
LB- Julian Peterson
LB- Zach Follett
LB- DeAndre Levy
CB- Chris Houston
CB- Amari Spievey (R)
FS- Louis Delmas

That is 6 of the 11 offensive starters that are new and 9 of the 11 Defensive starters for a total of 15 of the 22 starters. That is 68% of the starters. All of them upgrades over their predecessors. SO it is very understandable if the fans are excited about the Detroit Lions now. But it is important to keep a level head in your expectations.

First off, you need to understand that 9 of those players have 16 games or less experience. With this many new players, they have not had a lot of time playing together so there is not the level of cohesiveness that is necessary for real good teams. As high as everyone is on Ndamukong Suh, as well they should be, he is a rookie and will likely not play at the level we want in his first season.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Stafford, as high as some fans are on him, has yet to show he can truly be a great quarterback. He was very inaccurate on short passes in his rookie season and rarely showed any touch on his longer throws. The fact that he was injured a third of the season also hinders his growth. So until he shows he can improve in certain areas, you cannot have too high of expectations on the offense.

The Lions are headed in the right direction. They have given the fans a reason to have high hopes for the future. It is even possible that future could happen this coming season, but in all likelihood, it will be another year before they take that step forward and become a playoff hopeful. Even so, one has to ask himself... Isn't it nice to have those hopes?

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