There isn't one particular player on this current Lions roster that is expected to step up and fill the void left by the retirement of Calvin Johnson. That would be a massive amount of weight for one pair of shoulders.
That weight distributed across eight sets of shoulders is a bit more doable.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn is expecting a team effort when it comes to replacing Megatron, and told host Jim Rome of The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday that his top eight skill players right now will all have to play a role.
"I've told this to many people over the last couple months that there's no one that can replace Calvin Johnson," Quinn said. "We're going to have to do this as a team."
Quinn went on to name receivers Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Jeremy Kerley and TJ Jones among those players needing to step up. Those players are the team's top four receivers heading into training camp.
He then mentioned tight ends Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew, the two players atop the tight end depth chart, needing to play their part.
After doubling his production in year two in just about every statistical category over his rookie campaign, Ebron could be a big part of Jim Bob Cooter's offense this year. Pettigrew is coming off a torn ACL suffered in December, but he's had very productive pass-catching seasons in the past. He's expected to continue his dual-threat role at the position when he returns later this year.
Quinn then mentioned running backs Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah, his top two running backs.
Riddick led all running backs with 80 catches last year and could see an uptick in carries this season as well. Abdullah averaged 4.7 yards per carry the second half of last season after Cooter took over the offense. He could be the primary ball carrier for the Lions in his second season.
"This is going to be a team effort," Quinn went on to say. "We can't replace that kind of player and that type of production with just one guy."
Quinn is expecting all of his top eight skill position players to play a role in pushing this offense forward post-Johnson.