If History Repeats Itself, Ex-Patriots Could Take Lions on Super Bowl Journey

John Maakaron

Signing several ex-Patriots during the first week of NFL free agency seemed to upset many supporters of the Lions. 

In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated's NFL writer Albert Breer presents a silver lining and reminds everyone Bill Belichick did the exact same thing when he joined the New England Patriots.

"It was amazing to see the number of ex-Patriots going from Foxboro to Detroit and Miami this week. As the Lions dealt away disgruntled CB Darius Slay, Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn imported defensive tackle Danny Shelton, linebacker Jamie Collins and safety Duron Harmon. And the Dolphins signed linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts and center Ted Karran, in addition to bringing on ex-Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, a 2016 Patriots draft pick who wound up cut but spent camp that year with Brian Flores as his position coach. My first instinct looking at all this? That they are are paying guys Bill Belichick wouldn’t. But then, it’s easy to forget that once upon a time, Belichick did the same thing, in bringing players like Bryan Cox and Roman Phifer (integral parts to his first title team) with him from the Jets."

At first glance, the additions of offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai, defensive tackle Nick Williams, defensive tackle Danny Shelton, linebacker Jamie Collins, quarterback Chase Daniel, cornerback Desmond Trufant, cornerback Tony McRae and safety Jayron Kearse have led many to believe Detroit was just exchanging parts -- having moved on from Graham Glasgow, Darius Slay and Devon Kennard.

For the past 20 seasons, the New England Patriots have experienced success at the highest levels -- securing 267 wins, 17 division titles, 9 Super Bowl appearances, and 6 Super Bowl championships. 

Belichick finished the 2019 season with 304 career wins behind only Don Shula and George Halas on the all-time head coaching list.

If Detroit is able to hit on the majority of their draft selections in 2020, then the path can begin to reaching the ultimate success. 

All the ex-Patriots on the roster, a returning Matthew Stafford, a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver and a secondary potentially led by Jeff Okudah, the most talented cornerback in the 2020 NFL draft class, could move Detroit forward on it's path to the Lombardi trophy.

For the full MMQ column, click here.

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

I think Belichick won SB year 3

  • J. Collins avg
    99 tackles top LB
    30.5 Total pressures strong Edge from standup LB
    55 targets S level, 6 PD, 87 QB rating in coverage, top DB rate.
    A 255 lb I. Simmons
  • Shelton #2 UFA NT 18 total pressures
  • Harmon 16 PD/17 GS, 57.6 QB Comp%, 60.4 QB rating, stunning!
  • J. Kearse 6’4” 215, SCB/ SS, Min big pkg slot last 2 seasons,
    472 snaps, 60 C TKL, 1 TFL, 38 targets, 8 PD, 66.1 QB rate, 63.1 Comp
  • trufant, (980 snaps) 60 Comb tackles, 1 TFL
    90 targets, 12 PD, 2 Int, 84.6 QB rating, 59.1 Comp%
  • N. Williams #6 UFA IDL 27 Total pressures.

Last yr:

  • Flowers was avg 63 Total pressures last 2 yr. worth every penny.
  • Walker was 100 TKL ( top LB count), 8 PD top 15 S, 57.6 QB Comp%

Tavai had 9 full gm, 443 snaps.
46 comb TKL, 5 TFL, 2 SK, 3 QBH, 1FF
23 targets, 2 PD, 1 Int, 78.4 QB rating. Top SS Level
We have 2 LB that cover like SS.

Quinn wanted strong CB & Safety coverage standard even in our LB
Jarrod Davis is brutal in coverage 100+ QB rating
Our Current Back 7:
Collins, Tavai
Kearse, Coleman, Trufant
Walker, Harmon

Our front: 4 x 1025 snaps = 4100 snaps
Flowers (750 snaps) 63 total pressures
Okwara 2018 (716) 44.5 Total press, 2019 (606) 26.5 TP
Williams (531) 27 TP
Shelton (492) 18 TP
2379 snaps 135.5 TP

Draft: #2 CB, edge, IDL,


Looooong way to go