- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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We concluded our last Detroit Lions chat of the offseason Tuesday and, as always, there were a ton of questions.
If you want to re-live the chat, check that out here. Here are some more questions we didn’t quite have time for, but were of major interest. If you have more questions, you can submit a question for the last mailbag for a few weeks at Michael.email@example.com or on Twitter with the hashtag #LionsMailbag.
Andrew (Michigan) Can you tell me why the Lions have one of the worst secondaries in football, but still draft every position other than secondary? What’s your philosophy? Best player overall or best player for a specific position?
A lot here, Andrew. Let’s start with your first question because the answer is I have no clue. It really seems to be an organizational philosophy, although I don’t believe it is a concrete one. Part of it might be how drafts have fallen -- for instance, if the Lions were able to get Patrick Peterson, they would have. That said, I’ve been on record saying I would have drafted secondary in this draft, or at least defense with Aaron Donald, the defensive tackle who went to St. Louis. My philosophy is best available player that fills a need -- at least early on in the draft. In this particular draft, I would have tried to move back and grabbed a corner or safety then. But overall, best player available that fills one of my top two or three needs. If I were running a draft room, that’s how I’d approach it.
Mork (Omicron Persei 8): My question is, at which position do you think the vet camp signing occurs, wide receiver or cornerback?
Mork, glad to see there is NFL interest in the future of Futurama -- and really, shouldn’t you know the answer to this coming from the future and all (How’s Fry doing?). Personally, I think the vet signing comes in the defensive backfield somewhere. Might not be corner, could be at safety. That said, I think the Lions will try to upgrade there if it makes sense, especially now that Chris Houston is out of their plans. I’d hesitate to give a name right now because there is a lot of time and all it would take would be a timely release for a move to happen -- see Brandon Flowers and the attention given to him this week. It would not stun me, either, if the Lions made moves on a vet receiver as well, especially if they don’t have confidence in Kris Durham or Kevin Ogletree. The Lions, barring injury, are set in the slot.
Jeremy (Brooklyn): MR, looking at the schedule, what do you think their home/away record could look like? Thanks.
Interesting question. At some point during camp I’ll end up doing a game-by-game prediction but still think it is too early for that. I have said I think the Lions will go 7-9 this season, so let’s use that as a baseline. At home, I think Detroit goes 5-3 and that means the Lions go 2-6 on the road. The interesting thing is this – on paper, the Lions schedule sets up for a strong start and then a rough finish. Sound familiar?
Marc (Las Vegas): I am not trying to dwell in the past, but just out of curiosity do you think Ken Whisenhunt would have been a good fit in Detroit? Was he the best available coach for Detroit at the time?
Interesting question, Marc, because I think many people will pay attention to how Whisenhunt does in Tennessee if Jim Caldwell struggles with the Lions. Personally, he would have been a fit considering what Detroit was looking for (someone who could mentor Matthew Stafford and someone who had been a head coach before). Best available coach? No. Mostly because money can make a lot of folks consider new jobs, but the Lions seemed to not be interested in looking at college coaches, so that eliminated guys who might have been interesting or good fits. Using their own metric, Whisenhunt or Caldwell would have been the likely best options. That said, I don’t necessarily agree with their metric. Oh, and by the way, the best available coach was Lovie Smith, but Detroit never really had a chance there.
Chris (Lansing, Michigan): Caldwell seems to be focusing on Stafford’s mechanics (ladder cam). How receptive has Stafford been to change and has he actually shown signs of improvement?
Chris, I’ll start with saying it’ll be tough to gauge any sort of real improvement by Stafford until the season starts -- and maybe even when it concludes considering how he started and finished last season. Plus, this is all without pads and Stafford and the offense spent most of spring learning a new offense, so a lot is still to be determined. He seems willing to learn, though, and is receptive to using the different tools like the ladder cam. As he said, though, he used something similar when he was in high school. So he has some familiarity with the purposes of it.