Last offseason, after the hubbub of the front office turmoil and coaching search had settled down, I took a long, hard look at the Lions’ roster, position by position. I titled the series “Old Mother Hubbard”, with obvious implications—Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli had left the cupboard bare for Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz.
In the ensuing calendar year, the Lions went shopping time and time again. They drove from store to store looking for sales, clipped coupons, brought in their cans--everything they could to try and fill those shelves. They’d turned over half the roster before training camp, and the bottom ten spots on the roster churned like crazy throughout the season itself.
I haven’t counted yet, but I’d be willing to bet that over 80 players spent time on the Lions’ 2009 53-man roster. Further, I’d be willing to bet that whatever the number is, it’s the highest in the NFL for last season. Taking it even further yet, I’d be willing to bet that the NFLPA has a database that could be queried in such a way as to verify those numbers. If anyone out there has access to such information, I would be extremely interested in seeing it.
For this season, I’ll be taking a look back at the old entries, reposting some of the highlights, and illustrating A) just how far the Lions’ roster has come, and B) how far yet it has to go to become competitive. Also, we have a lot more information now about the kind of schemes the Lions employ, the types of players they’ve sought out, and the types of players they’d like to acquire.
Last season, due to all the coaching-search stuff, I didn’t get started until after the Senior Bowl—and it took me so long, I didn’t finish all the positions before the start of free agency. This season, I have a head start—but what I have in mind for these things is going to take me a little longer. So, if you folks will grant me your usual patience, I promise you’ll be at least partially rewarded. First stop, defensive tackles . . .