By Jeff O'Brien


CAMP SITE: Allen Park, Michigan

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LAST YEAR: GM Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia were fired 11 games into the season, which ended with double digits in losses for the third straight year. Detroit’s defense gave up 519 points and 6,716 yards to break the team records set by its 2008 winless team and to rank among the worst in NFL history. The offense simply couldn’t keep up with the porous defense in QB Matthew Stafford’s final year with the team, especially because standout WR Kenny Golladay was limited to five games due to injuries.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – JUNE 09: Detroit Lions head football coach Dan Campbell watches the afternoon practice session on June 09, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: GM Brad Holmes, coach Dan Campbell, QB Jared Goff, RB Jamaal Williams, WRs Tyrell Williams, Geronimo Allison and Breshad Perriman, TE Darren Fells, OT Penei Sewell (No. 7 overall draft pick), DT Levi Onwuzurike (No. 41 overall draft pick), DT Michael Brockers, CB Quinton Dunbar, K Randy Bullock, returner Kalif Raymond.

IMPORTANT LOSSES: Stafford, RBs Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson, WRs Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola, TE Jesse James, DT Danny Shelton, CBs Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman, S Duron Harmon, K Matt Prater, returner Jamal Agnew.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – JUNE 09: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass during the afternoon practice session on June 09, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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CAMP NEEDS: The Lions’ new leaders in the front office, on the sideline and field are aiming to begin turning around a long-suffering franchise. Holmes, a former Los Angeles Rams executive, was given his first shot to be a GM. Ex-New Orleans Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell earned a second chance to lead an NFL team. He was 5-7 as Miami’s interim coach in 2015. Goff gets a chance to redeem himself after being dealt by the Rams for Stafford and two first-round draft picks.

KEY CAMP COMPETITIONS: Detroit’s strength used to be its receivers with Golladay, Jones and Amendola. The rebuilding team let each of those players leave in free agency and didn’t invest much to replace them by adding Williams, Allison and Perriman. Second-year pro Quintez Cephus and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown will get every opportunity to push the trio of veterans for playing time.

Offensive Coordinator of the Detroit Lions goes through the afternoon drills during the practice session on May 27, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

EXPECTATIONS: While the retooled franchise has infused enthusiasm in players, a defense that doesn’t appear to be dramatically improved will likely lead to a fourth straight season with 10-plus losses. The offense may have a chance to control the clock with a running game that features a solid offense line that can open holes for second-year pro D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.


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