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All Lions Mailbag: Should Next Lions Coach Be an Offensive or Defensive Mind?

Latest SI All Lions mailbag focuses on whether next Detroit coach should be offensive-minded or defensive-minded and more

Somehow, there are only three weeks left in the NFL regular season.

At this point, the biggest storylines are off the field for the Lions. Their games are rather pointless outside of draft position. 

Naturally, most questions this week are about the future of the team, and involve decisions that will need to be made down the road. 

Here we go.

*Questions edited for clarity

1.) If Kenny Golladay doesn't re-sign with Detroit, who do you suggest the Lions go after? -- @5xs_the_density

Answer: First off, I would not let Golladay walk away for nothing. Yes, there is the potential to land a comp pick in the 2022 draft, if he were to sign elsewhere in free agency. But, there are no guarantees. 

The Lions should try to franchise tag him, and then trade him if they can’t come to a contract extension. 

With the future of Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola also in doubt, the new general manager will need a complete rebuild at the position.

Fortunately, the wide receiver position is one of the easier positions to find through the draft, and there will be quite a few serviceable free agents on the open market. 

If Stafford remains at quarterback, he can make decent receivers even look good. I would go after mid-tier talents such as Corey Davis -- my personal favorite -- or Sammy Watkins. Maybe a speedster like T.Y. Hilton or Will Fuller, as well.

Ultimately, the Lions will need to probably invest in the position through the draft, as well.

2.) What do you think Chris Spielman’s role will be exactly? Do you think he can help the franchise and how? -- @DrBainyo

A: I really am interested to see how Spielman impacts the Lions organization. 

Once a general manager is hired, I really don’t think he will do all that much honestly, in terms of personnel. 

To me, I believe he will be the football mind of the Lions' higher-ups. He has a passion for Detroit football, and wants nothing more than to see the Lions turn around the team. 

And despite not having experience per se, he still knows more about the game than ownership.

3.) Do the Lions have the RB of the foreseeable future already on their roster? -- @slighdiggity

A: D’Andre Swift will definitely be part of the equation. However, to me, he isn’t a guy who can handle a heavy workload on a weekly basis. He has quite a history of smaller injuries. 

Swift deserves to see plenty of playing time, and is a mismatch in the open field. He shouldn’t be run into the ground, though.

Swift is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive back Kris Boyd. 

Swift is tackled by Minnesota Vikings defensive back Kris Boyd. 

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There needs to be another complementary back in the running backs room. 

At one point, Kerryon Johnson was thought to be the guy. But, it just seems like injuries have started to take their toll for him. 

4.) Where the team stands now, what would be your first order of business this offseason? -- @DerekOkrie

A: After the obvious general manager and head coach search, it would be finding a pass rush. 

One of the biggest reasons the Lions have struggled so much on defense has been the lack of pressuring opposing quarterbacks. It puts the secondary in horrible situations, and in turn, you don’t see as many big plays on that side of the ball. 

Former head coach Matt Patricia didn’t emphasize getting to the quarterback. Therefore, the Lions have work to do in finding legit pass-rushers. 

It all starts upfront on defense, and a great defensive line can mask a lot of issues on the back-end.

5.) After having a defensive-minded head coach, do you go after an offensive mind for the next coach or keep it defensive? -- @C_Lions81

A: Personally, I would like an offensive-minded head coach, because they generally seem to be a little more aggressive and the NFL is an offense-driven league. 

Obviously, it never hurts to have an elite defense, but a great offensive coach brings more stability. A great defensive coach can typically only have a great offensive coordinator for so long, before the OC gets a chance of their own to be a head coach. 

In saying all of this, the Lions need a leader first and foremost. They shouldn’t just limit their options to one side of the ball. Whoever the best man is for the job, whether an offensive or defensive mind, pull the trigger.

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