Lions fans are worried at the start

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions underwent a regime change in the offseason, and the early returns already have long-suffering fans of this team fearing the worst.

A 1-3 record in the NFL preseason saw the Lions finish with a minus-34 point differential. But if this is cause for concern, new coach Matt Patricia isn’t showing it.

“I think for me, I’m really just trying to look forward as far as what we’ve got to do this week,” Patricia said. The Lions open the regular season playing host to the New York Jets on Monday, and that’s where Patricia is placing his emphasis.

His players are also opting to take the same approach as their coach.

“We’re kind of using the preseason as a stepping stone,” linebacker Jarrad Davis said. “Now we’re playing and practicing for a new team, somebody that we want to go beat, and it’s actually going to count.”

Defensive back Quandre Diggs, who agreed a three-year, $20.4 million contract extension with the team on Monday, figures the Lions are simply in the midst of the natural growing pains that come from a transitional phase.

Still, surrendering a league-high 27.75 points in preseason play has to be a worry for a team that put its future in the hands of Patricia, formerly the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.

“I think we got some things accomplished as far as player evaluation,” Patricia said. “That was our biggest point of emphasis. We got some fundamentals laid down.”

He’ll continue to evaluate and reassess. On Monday, Patricia reached back into his past as the Lions claimed linebacker Marquis Flowers on waivers from the Patriots.

COMMENTS