Even though the Lions aren't one of the two teams gearing up to play in Super Bowl LIII, there's still reason to pay attention to the news coming out of Atlanta.
From commissioner Roger Goodell's press conference, to former players and analysts on Radio Row, the Lions came up more than once.
Former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest spoke highly of Lions head coach Matt Patricia, saying it takes time to change the culture of a team.
“Patricia is a great coach," McGinest said. "I like the fact that he’s doing it his way. He’s not trying to be [Bill] Belichick or all those other coaches. I like the fact that he’s taken everything he’s learned and he’s doing it his way, but it takes time. You have to break things down before you build it up.”
Patricia wasn't the only Lion getting love in Atlanta, running back Kerryon Johnson also got his fair share. Both LaDainian Tomlinson and Reggie Bush like what they're seeing from Johnson so far.
“I was impressed with Kerryon,” Tomlinson said. “I really was. I think he had a great stretch (Week 3-7) there that was maybe better than any running back in football at the time. He had a nice little stretch there.
“I think for him, obviously, the injury concerns are there a little bit because he did get hurt in college and then this year. But I think he showed enough where you can say, ‘This is a kid that can be our guy. Yes, we’re going to have someone to spell him, but he should be the guy in the backfield and just let him go. Let him be the three-down guy. He has that type of talent.”
The Lions had a couple more changes to their coaching staff this week.
Running backs coach David Walker announced Tuesday he is stepping away from coaching.
“I am at peace with my decision to step away from the coaching profession to pursue other opportunities," Walker said in a statement. "At this juncture of my life I realize that my family needs outweigh my desire to continue coaching football. I’ve appreciated my time working in Detroit and I wish the entire organization nothing but future success.”
The Lions have yet to name a replacement for Walker, but they did announce the hiring of Sean Ryan as quarterbacks coach. Ryan spent the last three seasons with the Houston Texans.
With all the changes to the offensive coaching staff, it should be interesting to see what the Lions look like on that side of the ball in 2019.
Former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson did give some insight down at the Super Bowl on what to expect from new coordinator Darrell Bevell.
“You’re getting a guy who is very serious about his job,” Robinson said. “Very much attentive to details. Very much a guy that cares. He’s not going to be a guy that’s going to MF guys all the time. He’s not going to be a guy screaming and yelling in the quarterback’s ear.
“He’s going to be a calming voice. That’s what I always loved about coach Bevell. At halftime we can have all types of stuff going on. You got Richard Sherman yelling at the offense to get our stuff together, and Bevell would come in and just be that consistent calming voice to get us right.”
OTHER NOTEWORTHY ITEMS
- Go behind the scenes with cornerback Darius Slay from his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance in Orlando.
- Will the Lions go offense or defense with the No. 8 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft? Tim Twentyman covers that and more in his latest 10 Questions column.
- This week's Monday Countdown takes a look at how teams fared with the No. 8 pick in the last 10 years.
- Find out who the experts have the Lions picking in the first round of the draft.