The Detroit Lions defense has been quite bad through the first two weeks of the 2020 NFL season. Detroit has given up 69 combined points to the Bears and Packers, who averaged a combined 6.5 yards per play. A full 50 percent of Chicago and Green Bay drives ended in scores, zero percent of them ended in turnovers, and the average drive has somehow started on nearly the 50-yard line.
So, things are not going well. As such, head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn are turning to what they do best: trying to find another former New England Patriots player to add to the roster. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Lions are bringing in former Pats defensive lineman Jabaal Sheard for a visit, and presumably, a potential contract.
Sheard spent the past three seasons with the Colts, collecting 15.5 sacks, 28 tackles for loss, and 36 quarterback hits during that time. He was, essentially, what he has always been: a solid, if not necessarily spectacular, rotational contributor along the defensive line who can play on the edge and occasionally inside. His snap rate dropped off dramatically last season as he struggled to defend the run as well as he usually does, however.
It's difficult to imagine Sheard solving the Lions' issues up front, in other words. But this is what the Patricia and Quinn-led Lions do. Whenever there's an issue with the roster, they just go get a former Patriot. Need a slot guy? Sign Danny Amendola. Need an edge rusher? Trey Flowers. How about a nose tackle? Bring in Danny Shelton. Want a versatile linebacker? Go get Jamie Collins. Have a hole at cornerback? Give Justin Coleman a call. Desperate for safety help after trading Quandre Diggs? Trade for Duron Harmon.
Shockingly, this has not led the Lions to the same degree of success as the Patriots, just as hiring former Patriots assistant coaches has not led franchises to the same success as Bill Belichick has had in New England. Winning doesn't transfer by osmosis. You have to get the right players, and more crucially, you have to put them in position to succeed. Perhaps the Lions should focus on that.