Three different quarterbacks started (and won) games for Detroit last season, combining to rank third in the NFL in completions, third in attempts and tie for 11th in touchdown passes.
Unfortunately, injury was the root cause of Detroit’s three-QB rotation, leading to debate of whether the Lions’ offensive line should be seriously addressed in this year’s NFL Draft.
“I think guys get injured and you don’t know when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen or how frequent it’s going to happen,” said General Manager Martin Mayhew.
“I think our offensive coaches and our offensive line are to be commended for performing (how they did last season) in terms of protecting the quarterback.”
Detroit finished fifth in the NFL in sacks per pass play (one sack per 42 pass plays), which also ranks third on Detroit’s all-time list.
“(We gave) up 27 sacks, which was tied for sixth in the league for fewest sacks given up,” said Mayhew. “We understand the importance of protecting the quarterback. At any level, whether it’s high school or college, if you have a passing game you have to be able to protect the quarterback.
“So I don’t want to act like I’m saying that’s not important, it really is important to us as an organization.”
Mayhew also isn’t satisfied with the status quo, stating that, “until you’re No. 1, you can always get better.”
“Philosophically, I think it’s always important to build your offensive and defensive lines,” he said. “I think you can never really let your guard down in those areas. You always want to continue to build that depth and have young guys in the pipeline that can play.
“You’ll see us continue to address those areas.”