Lions think they're close?
Admittedly I'm reading between the lines here, but I wonder what Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazer's comments Monday from the Senior Bowl mean for the future of the Lions.
In case you missed it, Frazier told the Free Press and News that he and Lions management had a difference of opinion in how we saw the current Lions and going forward. He didn't specify what the difference was, but presumably it had something to do with how close the Lions are to contention after going 0-16. Just a guess here, but Frazier, who played the Lions twice last year, thinks the team is further away than general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand, who helped Matt Millen assemble the talent at hand.
If Mayhew and Co. think the Lions are just a few pieces away, maybe that means Daunte Culpepper will be back next year. Surely being that close they wouldn't want to start anew with a rookie quarterback, who, unless he's Matt Ryan, will need a year or two to develop, thus keeping the Lions in their state of perpetual rebuild. (Remember, Mayhew signed Culpepper with at least one eye towards 2009: Get him in the system, knock the rust off and let him rip next year.)
Maybe that means they think they can add starters with picks 1, 20 and 33, and with a year of seasoning that'll be enough to challenge for the NFC North in 2010. No other team in the division is in great shape for the future, though the Packers at least have their presumed franchise quarterback aboard in Aaron Rodgers.
Without question it means the front office is comfortable going forward with the scouts and processes already in place to evaluate talent. An assistant general manager still needs to be added, but only one scout was let go since the end of the season.
Mayhew reiterated last week that the Lions need to upgrade this roster. How much and in what areas remains to be seen.