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Mailbag: Would Dan Campbell Ever Bench Jared Goff?

The latest SI All Lions Mailbag focuses on the possibility of Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell benching quarterback Jared Goff and more.

The Detroit Lions are heading into Week 6, and they still haven’t been able to find a way to secure a win. There has been a couple of close, heartbreaking losses, but nevertheless, the Lions' hopes of putting together a meaningful season of any kind are pretty much nonexistent. It’s not like there were high hopes to begin with, either. This week's questions once again revolve heavily around the future of the team and how the Lions can get better down the line.

*Questions edited for clarity

1.) Is there a player the Lions can trade at the deadline for picks? -- @RodStone55

Answer: The most obvious would be outside linebacker Trey Flowers. As I mentioned in my last mailbag, I think it would be wise to see what kind of offers other teams would consider for the pass rusher. Flowers isn’t old by any means, but at the same time, he will be 29 next season. As he approaches the dreaded 30-year-old benchmark, "Father Time" will slowly begin to catch up. The Lions need to be looking long-term with their roster. Flowers has two years left on his deal after this season, is pretty expensive for his production, has an injury history and may not be the best scheme fit for what defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn wants in a pass rusher. Due to all those factors, Flowers probably wouldn't even provide much of a return. At the same time, Flowers could be more useful on other rosters who match better with scheme-fit, are more in win-now mode and have some cap space. But, that ultimately limits his suitors.

2.) At what point do we see David Blough getting reps with the starters/starting a game? I figure we don't see it unless Goff gets hurt. -- @Matt51396

A: I think you answered your own question. Goff hasn’t been great, yet he hasn’t been horrible considering the circumstances, either. It’s highly unlikely Blough would turn the offense around with the talent surrounding the quarterback. Also, general manager Brad Holmes likely likes Goff more than most. Goff’s contract almost forces the Lions to play him and keep him on the roster next season. What’s the point of having a highly paid backup quarterback? If the Lions were in a different situation with the expectations of winning this season, maybe it’s a different story. The unfortunate reality is that Goff is the bridge quarterback and Lions fans are stuck with him for a while.


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3.) Is Golden Tate desperate enough for a job yet to sign with the Lions? -- @5xs_the_density

A: I can’t say I know what Tate is thinking or how desperate he is regarding getting back into the league. If he really wanted to play, it sure seems like he could at least have found a team to join in time for training camp. Even if he did want to play, it doesn’t make much sense for the Lions to spend money on the veteran. The Lions need to find out what they have in their younger players anyway. Tate is obviously at the end of his career, and spending more money on a rental is counterproductive for the good of the Lions' future. It may be painful right now, but the Lions need to continue to play their younger wide receivers and only add developmental types at the position.

4.) Are you okay with Aaron Glenn’s late-game defensive scheme? -- @LCDog44

A: I’m assuming this question is mainly regarding the decision to rush three defenders and deploy a prevent-style defense on critical late-game downs. It hasn’t worked in multiple weeks. As always, whenever something doesn’t work, criticism runs rampant. However, the prevent defense might allow yardage, but there are plenty of examples when it does work -- with more competent teams. I don’t have a problem with how Glenn has called the games. Given the talent he is working with, there is a good chance no matter how he schemes things up, the opposing offense will exploit weaknesses. I see the defensive issues right now as more a personnel problem. The Lions' secondary needs all the help it can get in coverage, the pass rush has injury issues and there is no easy way to get stops with the roster Glenn is working with. It’s really tough to truly evaluate the coaching staff when it is working with subpar, fringe NFL talent.

5.) Should the Lions draft two receivers first? -- @_KidPhresh

A: I’m going to answer draft questions the same, all the way up to the 2022 draft -- draft the best player available. Holmes needs to inject playmakers anywhere he can, regardless of position. The Lions definitely have a need at wide receiver, but that doesn’t mean they should reach for one either, especially at wideout. The receivers group has strong mid-round options every year. It’s a spot where you can find serviceable and even great players after the first two days of the draft. So, to answer your question, if the top options remaining in the draft with both first-round selections are receivers, then you should take them. I just doubt that will be the case with their first pick -- which is expected to be a top-three pick.