After visiting with the Detroit Lions on Wednesday, Darius Heyward-Bey left the facility with nothing but good things to say about the team, calling the opportunity “very appealing.” He left the city without a contract, but was clearly impressed with what the Lions would have to offer.
First off, he would be lining up opposite Calvin Johnson. With the threat that Heyward-Bey’s speed would present on one side of the field and arguably the greatest receiver in the game on the other, the Lions’ passing attack would be extremely difficult to defend.
Both receivers would be catching balls thrown by Mathew Stafford, a quarterback Heyward-Bey already has experience with. The two worked together as they prepared for their draft day, and the speedy receiver had nothing but praise for the Lions’ signal-caller.
“No. 1 he’s a great guy. I’ve known him since we were coming out in the draft. And just the ability for him to throw the ball and how smart he is. Coach lets him do his thing back there.”
He also pointed to the rest of the skill players the Lions have on their roster. Add to that the opportunities presented by the running game led by the Lions’ addition of Reggie Bush, and you are faced with an offense unlike any other.
Heyward-Bey recognizes this as a unique opportunity, but he may want to go a team where he would be sure to get more touches. This is understandable if his contract were performance-based. If you have to share the ball with at least five proven offensive weapons, the amount of yards and catches may be limited.
On the other hand, signing with Detroit would present the fifth-year starter with an opportunity to be a part of something special — an offense with the ability to rewrite the history books as they contend for a Division Championship and more.
There is no doubt the Lions would benefit from having Heyward-Bey on the field. His presence on the field would force opposing defenses to trust their corners with one-on-one assignments, leaving them susceptible to the deep threat on every play.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg. The Lions are going to be a handful in 2013, with or without Heyward-Bey. He certainly knows this and he may have left without signing, but it will be hard for him to not return.
The bottom line is, Detroit has something special in the works, and it is better to be a part of that then to have to go against it.