One of the positives from the 2019 season for the Detroit Lions was the way the offense was playing the first half of the season under Darrell Bevell's tutelage and with quarterback Matthew Stafford under center.
Stafford was first in passing yards per game (312.4), second in touchdown passes (19), fourth in yards per attempt (8.6) and fifth in passer rating (106.0) at the time he suffered a back injury Week 9 and was out for the season.
Detroit had the No. 4 passing offense, No. 11 overall offense and No. 12 scoring offense through their first eight games.
With most of the players on offense expected back in 2020, including a healthy Stafford, plus any additions via free agency and the draft, expectations should be high for this offense's potential next season in year two under Bevell.
"(Excitement) I think for everybody kind of in that room," Stafford said of the chance to get a deeper dive in Bevell's offense in year two. "Not just me at quarterback, but just having familiarity going into an offseason and being able to build on what we did this year.
"Obviously, we have to spend a bunch of time and a bunch of hours and hard work to make sure that we play at a high level again and that starts in the offseason. Guys will show back up here ready to go, and I know I will too."
Detroit top two wide receivers, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr., are under contract next season, as are all three tight ends, led by 2019 first-round pick T.J. Hockenson. Running backs Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough, their two leading rushers, are also under contract next season. Four of Detroit's five starting offensive linemen are under contract.
"I love the offense," said Golladay, who finished with 65 receptions for 1,180 yards and an NFL best 11 receiving touchdowns. "Just build on this year. Hopefully, we get everyone back and we stay healthy and I feel like we'll be pretty good."
As every good coordinator does, Bevell plans to do an evaluation of his offense this offseason and continue to tailor to the talent he'll have back.
"You're evolving all the time, and you're evolving really with the players and what their level is and what they can handle," Bevell said. "Obviously, with a guy like Matthew (Stafford), he really opens up a lot of things for you just because of the experience that he has, the things that he's seen from the defensive side of the ball.
"He can make great adjustments and checks for you, so it all just depends on who you have out there. But yes, there are definitely different levels and things that you're allowed to do with different players."