The Detroit Lions have been hard at work this offseason getting ready for the 2021 season, and their players have put in the time on the practice field in order to set them up for success.
With the amount of commitment the team has had so far, it stands to reason that there would be multiple standouts on the team from the offseason period. But it can be a hard duty to pair things down to the best of the best early on with this in mind.
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Interestingly enough, Bleacher Report recently took a look at picking out the player they think has stolen the show thus far during workouts for teams. As writer Brent Sobleski explained, D’Andre Swift is the pick for the site, who believes the Lions are seeing a true feature back emerge before their very eyes.
“The Detroit Lions’ offensive approach under new head coach Dan Campbell and coordinator Anthony Lynn is rather plain to see. The team’s strength is its offensive line with a beefed-up backfield capable of carrying the load since the Lions lack talent at wide receiver.
D’Andre Swift should be the offensive focal point after finishing with 878 yards from scrimmage as a rookie. Lynn plans to utilize the 22-year-old back even more in the passing game this fall. Swift impressed as a receiver during organized team activities.”
Getting Swift going on the ground and through the air figures to be a significant hope for the Lions, who need to find more playmakers out of the backfield and elsewhere to account for some of their bigger losses this offseason. Swift setting himself up for success with a solid offseason would be huge news for the Lions, and the team would have to love if he could get this done.
Nate Burleson Called Out Lions Running Backs
Detroit has longed for a team that can take no prisoners in establishing the run, but for one reason or another, it’s evaded them through the years. Former Lions wideout Nate Burleson has a message, and that is how it can no longer happen again.
Recently, on Good Morning Football, Burleson explained that for the Lions to be successful this season, the ground game has to step up in a major way and finally take flight as they have failed to do for years.
“I know we’ve been talking about this every single season, but this is the time you have to lean on the run game, especially with Jared Goff learning the playbook, trying to figure out his rhythm. Them shipping out a couple of wide receivers, no more Kenny Golladay, no more Marvin Jones. D’Andre Swift last year showed some glimpses. That guy is a fantastic talent. He has speed, he can get up and down the field. He can get north rally fast. He can also catch out of the backfield. In free agency they went out and got Jamaal Williams, a very high-intensity, high-enthusiasm, high-energy back from the Green Bay Packers. They needed it. Only four times in the last 116 regular season games the Lions have rushed for over 100 yards in a game. The fewest individual 100 yard games. In a day in age when offenses have versatility, the Lions are sitting at the bottom of the pack. It can’t be that way. You look at what the Minnesota Vikings are doing with Dalvin Cook. They can establish the run any game they want. That’s all across the board in the NFC North. The Lions, they have to do that. I love Jared Goff, but you don’t want to have to lean on his arm week in and week out, so hopefully, what they have in the backfield this year will suffice.”
It’s been clear from the start that Anthony Lynn is going to try and rely on a strong ground game to get by this season and help set up the pass. It’s long been a goal for the Lions to control the clock and use the ground game to set up everything else, but finally, it seems as if the team has the right mindset in order to get this done and the right offensive line as well.
2021 is the time to see Detroit get tough and flourish in the trenches, and a healthy and solid Swift could be a big reason why they get this done.
Swift’s Career Stats
Coming into the league as a rookie, Swift has seen the ball plenty with the Lions and he has done a nice job to deliver for the most part when his number has been called. 422 yards and 7 touchdowns have been a nice start to the career for Swift, and if anything, he has proven he can be elusive and be the lead dog for the team’s backfield situation moving forward.
It’s great to see many assuming that Swift is the standout for the 2021 edition of the Lions’ summer workouts, and such a revelation could lead to a great season from the team in the near future.