The Detroit Lions finished Dan Campbell’s first season as head coach with a 3-13-1 record, but there is optimism that the rebuild is on schedule to take the next step in 2022.
While its record was dismal, Detroit played tough, with five of the Lions’ 13 losses coming by fewer than five points.
Veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers, entering his second season with the Lions, sees a team that plays hard under Campbell, with a host of youngsters with the potential to grow.
“(Opponents) knew we were coming the whole 60 minutes of the game,” Brockers recently told Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. “So that’s what I love about being here. You just see it. It’s generated that enthusiasm to be in Detroit, to play for Detroit, to be a Lion. You’re seeing it, starting with the younger guys… We have a team full of young guys who are buying into the system, and it’s going to be scary to see us in the future.”
The biggest name among the young foundational pieces is Detroit is No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, who the Lions hope will rejuvenate a quiet pass rush.
“He is a man that’s on a mission,” Brockers said of Hutchinson. “He does everything he’s supposed to do. You don’t even have to tell him. This is him doing a lot of his rookie duties… We didn’t even ask him. He just went on and did it. ‘What do you guys need for the room’ and stuff like that. I’m like, OK, this is a man who thinks ahead of time. You can respect a guy like that. He has a lot of respect in my book.”
Along with Hutchinson, the Lions added first-round receiver Jameson Williams, who is coming off an ACL tear. Detroit also boasts second-year receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who shined down the stretch last season, right tackle Penei Sewell, tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D'Andre Swift, who will all play key roles if the Lions are to make a big leap in 2022.
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