By Emily Waldon
The slogan, “Patience is a virtue” is lived out on a daily basis in Allen Park and has become the lifeblood to the never-say-die faithful who stick with the Detroit Lions organization each season.
Since the franchise landed on the east side of Michigan in 1934, there has been little cause for celebration.
Sure, the four NFL Championships are fun to reminisce about, but sadly they are quickly outshined by the gaping hole in the Lions trophy case. As one of four teams who have yet to step foot on the field of a Super Bowl, they currently hold the second longest drought of being without a Championship since their last win in 1957.
The drive for a title amongst the fans this year is stronger than ever.
The resigning of tight end Brandon Pettigrew, to a 4-year, $16 million deal, brought the assurance of a seasoned household name returning to the offensive squad.
And after witnessing a secondary that ranked 23rd against the pass during the 2013 season, it seemed pretty clear cut that some changes were needing to be made in the defensive secondary.
So, when the name of tight end, Eric Ebron out of North Carolina came across the microphone, it left more than one person scratching their heads. Not one, but two offensive additions came very quickly to the Lions courtesy of general manager Martin Mayhew.
Along with Ebron, Mayhew welcomed Arkansas center Travis Swanson. While these roles may not be viewed as ideal for the upcoming season, both additions bring much needed youth and raw talent to Detroit. Ebron, who draws strong comparison to Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas, boasts rare speed, as well as large hands which land him among the elite pass catching tight ends coming into the NFL.
There are areas of concern regarding his contribution to the program, such as a noticeable lack of focus in receiving simple passes, which greatly decreases his reliability. Some would argue that these are details that can be refined with the combination of practice and good coaching, but at Ford Field, you have to be ready to prove your worth as soon as the first game day rolls around.
Swanson is no stranger to collegiate football success with a resume that boasts consistent growth throughout his time at Arkansas. He brings quickness, strength and intelligence to his position.
The Lions defense was shown some notable attention with the additions of cornerback Nevin Lawson, defensive end Larry Webster and defensive tackle Caraun Reid. Most notable, falling under the strategic trade by Mayhew with the Seattle Seahawks, was securing outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy will contribute a much needed upgrade to the pass rush with his strength and speed.
Contested moves, combined with a bright spot or two leaves us once again at the mercy of the Lions management as we sit back, with our fingers crossed, to begin preparation to coach from our respected recliner locations around the country this fall.
Emily Waldon was raised in Howard City and currently resides in Wyoming, Mich. A lifelong sports enthusiast, she also enjoys photography, traveling and bringing a fresh outlook to the world of athletics, both collegiate and professional. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.