It was opening day, again. The Lions had come to Soldier Field to show the Bears that they had a coach, quarterback and a defense that should not be reckoned with. This division rivalry was about to get heated. I remember sitting in the north end zone cheering when Julius Peppers sacked Matthew Stafford. We as fans would soon realize that Matthew Stafford had been injured and wouldn’t be able to finish the game, something you never cheer about. The Lions brought out the Bears kryptonite, the “back-up quarterback”. I don’t know what it was, but for the last few years, it felt like the Bears didn’t know how to defend against the back-up quarterback when they come in for an injury. If it wasn’t for the infamous Calvin Johnson “not completing the process of the catch” thing, the Bears would have lost that game. Does anybody remember that? Well, just in case you don’t, here you go.
In this weeks edition of 5 Questions, we chat with Zac Snyder from SideLion Report.
1. What did you like and/or dislike about what the Lions did in free agency and the draft?
I like the way the Lions aggressively targeted Reggie Bush and Glover Quin to fill specific needs and did so without having to really break the bank. I would have liked the Lions to have ended up with Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel in the draft but that wasn’t an option so I think they made the right choice with Ansah and I really like the pick of Larry Warford in the third round. I dislike that the Lions didn’t draft a safety given the deep class and the questions about whether Louis Delmas is capable of staying healthy through a season.
2. What do you feel is the Lions weakest link is?
Given that the Lions have done a good job to fill holes I don’t know that they have weak links as much as they have unproven links. Those come in the form of Riley Reiff stepping in as the full-time left tackle, the battle between Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox at right tackle and the battle between Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead and Travis Lewis for the second outside linebacker spot.
3. How do the Lions fans feel about Jim Schwartz?
I like him in general but this is definitely a make or break year. It’s time to show what this team really is and how he has developed as a coach. Is it the team that made the playoffs in 2011 or the team that was beyond disappointing in 2012?
4. From a fans standpoint, the Bears hate the Packers, the Packers hate the Vikings and the Vikings hate the Packers. What team do the Lions fans want to beat the most every year?
That is a really interesting question because the Lions really don’t have a single big rival. I would say there is a more natural rivalry between Detroit and Chicago that spans the sports landscape but beating the Packers is probably first in the minds of Lions fans because they are the class of the division.
5. Everyone knows about Suh, Stafford and Johnson. Can you tell us about a player that will make a difference in 2013 that hasn’t reached the spotlight?
Ryan Broyles. He was showing glimpses of why the Lions took him in the second round of the 2011 draft before ripping up his other knee. Working back from the knee injury he suffered at Oklahoma kept him under the radar last season and he didn’t play long enough before suffering the other knee injury to really get noticed by most fans, especially outside of Detroit. He has a natural feel for the position and was able to participate in the Lions’ minicamp a couple weeks ago.
I want to thank Zac Snyder for taking the time to answer our off-season questions about the Lions. Be sure to check out SideLion Report for all your needed info about the Bears division rival Detroit Lions.