The heat is on

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Terry Foster and John Niyo of the Detroit News collaborated to tell us all about the suffocating heat wave that’s coincided perfectly with the Lions’ minicamp.  There are a couple of great quotes from Jim Schwartz in there about what camp was like with the Titans: sweltering in the Tennessee heat, it really prepared them to do battle with the other teams in the AFC South. 

This can only be a positive for the Lions; the new veterans and rookies need to be pushed as hard as possible.  The roster turnover has been extensive—outside of OLB Ernie Sims, and DEs Cliff Avril and Dewayne White, every defensive starter has been replaced.  Similarly, at least two--and as many as four--offensive line starting spots are up for grabs.  For now, Jim Schwartz has even dispensed with the depth chart entirely.  With every position up in the air, and so few players having any history here, it’s almost impossible to have a sense of team—even seven-year-vet Nick Harris says he feels like a stranger.  It’s all about putting pressure on the veterans—holdovers and newcomers alike--to perform their best, and evaluating the rookies against the fiercest possible competition. It’s in the figurative heat and pressure of these competitive flames, and literal heat and pressure of the sweltering summer sun, that this team will be forged.

To expect the Lions to make up for a decade of constant turnover in one summer, and play like a team that's had a decade of continuity is expecting too much.  However, at the very least, two-a-days in a pressure cooker will reveal who can stand up to the heat, and who can’t.

Discuss it here, in The Den!