The Lions are obviously in rebuilding mode. The question is, how do they go about rebuilding the team. The “Restoring the Roar” series will look at the different parts of the team that the Lions need to focus on to get the team up to NFL caliber.
The Offensive Line
The Lions have had a very poor offensive line for years. This year has seen 6 different offensive line combinations in 7 weeks. Rod Marinelli cannot seem to focus on a tandem that will protect the QB. He simply does not have the talent to put together an NFL quality line.
Last season the Lions allowed a league high 54 sacks. This year is looking to be the same with 25 sacks allowed in 7 games. It is no wonder Jon Kitna is on injury reserve. Kitna has never been my choice for the Lions QB but I admit that he one tough SOB. If you are wondering, the Lions lead the league in sacks allowed last year and are close to the top this year.
Gosder Cheriluswas a heavy investment as the Lions first round pick in 08. He is a big part of the Lions protection future. Rod Marinelli needs to keep him in there for every snap and let him make mistakes. Chasing a free-agent linemen to mentor him and any 2009 OL draft picks would be a key to rebuilding. Matt Birk and Marc Colomboare two of the many free agent linemen who will be free agents in the off-season. The Lions need a quality leader on the line to teach and keep the young guys straight.
Drafting will also be an avenue the Lions will have to get better at with a new GM on his way. The offensive line is one of the biggest holes and needs to be addressed with at least one of the Detroit’s two first round picks.
With Edwin Mulitalo getting older and Jeff Backus not playing up to expectations, the LT, LG, and RG all need replacing. Stephen Peterman has been playing better at the RG position. The coaches need to evaluate if the RG spot need addressing in free-agency or thorugh the draft. If he continues playing well, the Lions could use there 3 high picks in the draft to help the defense and left side of the offensive line.