What I wrote was an incomplete version of that whole thought. It’s obviously not exactly the same team, but it’s got starters / main contributors who are either:
- The same as last year
- A clear upgrade from last year
- Changed out at the direction of Patricia
The talent on offense has been upgraded, with the addition of Ragnow, Johnson, and Blount. Many would argue that Ebron was addition by subtraction, but at the very least one has to acknowledge that his touches are being aptly handled by Golladay and the TE by committee. A clear step forward from a talent perspective.
There was more churn on defense, but who did the Lions really lose? They sent away a bunch of substandard defensive linemen for a different group of substandard defensive linemen. Kennard was a clear positive add, and the rest of the linebacking moves were to fit Patricia’s vision. Quin has lost a step, which does hurt. Overall, I’d say the level of talent is the same, albeit made to Patricia’s wishes. If you’re going to argue it’s markedly worse, fine, but then it can’t be an excuse for Patricia, since the changes were by his design.
It’s pretty tough to argue that the Lions got significantly worse from a talent perspective.
That’s my entire point. There has been zero proof that Patricia is a better coach than Caldwell and mounting evidence that he’s significantly worse.