The Seattle Seahawks proved one thing this year: Building successful teams comes from the inside out. What I mean by this phrase is that by developing their drafted or undrafted players that the team acquired, the Seahawks were able to build a complete team full of players with favorable contracts and players who have major chips on their shoulders.
The Detroit Lions, on the other hand, have been the antithesis of this soon to be popular formula. The Lions in their putrid history have constantly searched outside of their own walls to find answers on how to improve the team. From Scott Mitchell to Bill Schroeder, this team has been the worst in terms of trying to find other teams’ problems and “hope” they can turn it around in Detroit .
Another new trend that will come to fruition is hiring a general manager to go “with” the new head coach. Pete Carroll‘s success in Seattle can’t be made possible without the concurrent hire of John Schneider as general manager. For the Lions, they again have pulled the exact opposite. General manager Martin Mayhew is back while new head coach Jim Caldwell is brought in.
Finally, the Seahawks have been successful developing their team with late-round and undrafted players. All-Pros like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Russell Wilson had been selected with mid-round picks, and unsung heroes like Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin went from undrafted free agents to key starters.
The main criticism for the Lions under Jim Schwartz was his inability to develop the younger players. Draft picks like Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure and Amari Spivey all have flamed out with only Leshoure still on the roster.
So take notes here, Lions fans; until Detroit follows these steps, nothing will change in Detroit and even more disappointment will linger.