Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/15/14
Teryl Austin (Photo credit: Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports) After a tumultuous tumble in the standings, a reconstructed Detroit Lions squad hopes to make last year’s nightmare a distant past. This top ten list focuses on new blood needed to spark a renewed Detroit pride: 1.Teryl Austin Defensive Coordinator- The former Defensive Backs Coach for the Baltimore Ravens has a plethora of young corners he must develop.  If he can turn the secondary into an above average unit, there is no telling how good the Lions could be.  By far this is their greatest weakness, and with the news of Chris Houston’s release to boot, Austin must be a miracle-worker to keep Aaron Rodgers under 400 passing yards. 2. James Ihedigbo Free Safety- For better or likely worse, the Lions have elected to rely on Ihedigbo to be the full-time starter this season.  Austin’s familiarity with Ihedigbo from Baltimore led to the front office forgoing to use a draft pick on a safety.  Ihedigbo makes it to the number two spot not because of his talent, but because the Lions put so much faith in him at arguably the most valued position on defense. 3. Jim Caldwell Head Coach- Other than wins, Caldwell will be measured by the success of Matthew Stafford and the overall discipline of his team.  The previous quarterback he worked with, Joe Flacco, won a Super Bowl, and we all know his history with Peyton Manning.  Caldwell is calm and cool in demeanor and will look to translate a soft confidence in his players.  It may seem foolish to have the head coach at number three instead of one, but Caldwell will have little affect on the defense. 4. Joe Lombardi Offensive Coordinator-  So long to the days of Scott Linehan’s all-or-nothing playbook.  Former Saints quarterbacks coach Lombardi brings in a highly complex system that, if executed correctly, can finally turn the Lions offense from inconsistent to devastatingly unpredictable.  Remember when the Lions were crushed by the Saints offense .  Wouldn’t it be nice if that was the Lions? 5. Golden Tate- Unlike Burleson, Tate has a clean bill of health and youth to bite.  A clear improvement as the team’s number two wide receiver, Tate has nice speed mixed with excellent hands. 6. Eric Ebron- If his blocking technique improves drastically by midseason, his impact will rise as the unquestioned starting tight end for the Lions.  Currently, his value lies as a massive slot wide receiver who can throw the occasional, but impressive, bump.  Ebron joins Calvin Johnson, Khris Durham, Joseph Fauria, Brandon Pettigrew and Michael WIlliams as a 6-foot-4 plus red-zone target.  Most importantly, he has the speed that will draw safety help up the middle, giving Megatron more room to operate. 7. Kyle Van Noy- Another play-making linebacker alongside Stephen Tulloch and Deandre Levy should make for mayhem in the middle of the field.  While Tulloch is better against the run and Levy excels in pass coverage, Van Noy mixes size and athleticism to be a plus-factor against both. 8. T.J. Jones- A young Golden Tate without the extra shake and bake.  Jones is a sure handed slot man with decent speed, who could emerge as the Lions number three wide receiver by week one. 9. Nate Freese- The next Jason Hanson?  Possibly, as Freese has not missed a field goal in over two years.  After being victimized by the remains of David Akers, the Lions made the easy choice of drafting a kicker for the first time since 1992.  Last season, Freese went 20-for-20 last season at Boston College with 52 yards as his long. 10. Jim Bob! Cooter Quarterbacks Coach-  Honestly, I have no idea what kind of impact this guy will give, but his position on the team is reason enough to have him on the list.  His name is ridiculous and so is his past, but he did work as the Denver Broncos quarterbacks coach last season.  Maybe Jim Bob can relay some of Peyton Manning’s secrets to Stafford.  Along with Caldwell and Lombardi, the Lions coaching staff has taught to and learned from the elite at quarterback. The post Most impactful additions to the Detroit Lions appeared first on isportsweb.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jerry Jones supports Joseph Randle as Cowboys’ starting RB

Dallas Cowboys place Darren McFadden on PUP list

Mark Cuban: Brady suspension should be more severe

Darrelle Revis thinks AFC East will be NFL’s toughest division

David Price traded to Blue Jays


Joey Bosa among four OSU players suspended for opener

NFLPA: NFL didn't respond to Tom Brady settlement offer

Tom Coughlin calls Jason Pierre-Paul situation a ‘fiasco’

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Tom Brady lawsuit transferred from Minnesota to Manhattan

LeGarrette Blount failed conditioning test

Spurs Jesus catches burglar, holds him down for police

Will the San Francisco Giants end up standing pat?

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

Cole Hamels deal: What is the true price of rebuilding?

William ‘Refrigerator’ Perry auctioning off Super Bowl ring

Affairs of the Hart (Trophy)

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Terry Collins writes letter to widow of longtime Mets fan

Jets fans fly "Cheaters Look Up" banner over Patriots practice

Dodgers upgrade rotation in unexpected, intelligent way

For some NFL players, life begins at undrafted

Lions News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Will the Giants end up standing pat?

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker