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Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press Lions Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2024 9:08 pm

Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press Lions Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR

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May 14, 2024 9:08 pm

Dave Birkett joined JR to discuss if he was surprised with the amount of money Jared Goff got in his new contract and if the expectation for the Lions this season is Super Bowl or bust. 

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The all-new season of The Kardashians premieres May 23rd streaming on Hulu. Dave, thank you for taking the time. Yeah, absolutely. How are you? I'm amazing.

Listen, first things first. We knew the deal was ultimately gonna come. Any type of shock that it was $53 million per in regards to Jared Goff? No shock.

I mean, maybe a tick higher than I thought. I thought it'd be $50 million, but, you know, kind of splitting hairs when you're getting paid that much, I guess. Now, look, I mean, you know, Brett Holmes said it a week or so ago that Jared deserved this extension.

The Lions had already paid Amman, Ross, St. Brown, and Penay Sewell. And the reality is, you know, they have a window right now, a Super Bowl window that they should contend for a couple years. And their best chance of doing that is with Jared Goff at quarterback, keeping him happy, you know, keeping that offense intact.

And so, you know, there was no real surprise that they got this deal done. Dave Burkett is here with us. When you talk about the Lions and the offensive numbers, Jared Goff was very clear, very fast to point out in the postseason how many weapons that they had. I don't even think we've seen the fall of Jameson Williams yet coming off of his suspension last year. What's the next level that this offense can go to?

Well, you're right about that. I mean, this is, I think, just top to bottom on this roster, it's one of the best in the NFL. And that's why this is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

I think a lot of people will probably pick them to win the Super Bowl this year. If you're speaking offensively, I mean, as long as that offensive line stays healthy, this is going to be one of the best offenses in the league. And you mentioned Jameson Williams. We saw last year, end of the season, into the playoffs, just a little bit of what he meant to the offense, not in terms necessarily of statistics, but just the things that he could open up underneath. And so, you know, maybe Jamel has bigger numbers this year. Maybe it's just he continues to give Amenra, St. Brown, Sam Laporta, those guys breathing room, and that keeps the Lions offense clicking no matter who they're facing. They did have a couple lulls last year, but and that's going to happen over the course of the season. I just like what they have all the way around as long as that offensive line stays healthy.

Dave Burkett is here from the Detroit Free Press. We know about the Lions offense. The defense was lagging behind them in certain regards last year.

We all know about Aiden Hutchinson. What has the defense done? What has the team done?

What do they need to do to lower the points that they give up? Yeah, the biggest thing they did this offseason was, you know, remake that secondary and specifically at the cornerback position. Obviously, Cam Sutton has some legal problems. He started last year, most of last season, all of last season.

He's gone. Jerry Jacobs started most of last season. They let him go in free agency. So, completely new set of cornerbacks this year, really four of them. And we'll see who starts because they spent their first two draft picks on guys. They traded for Carlton Davis and Meek Robertson isn't going to get one of those jobs up easily.

You know, he had a nice season for the Raiders last year. So, I think that's the biggest thing is that, look, it's still going to be a lot of Aiden Hutchinson up front and they, you know, really could use the second pass rusher. We'll see what James Houston or some of the other guys provide in that regard. But I think having a better secondary, better cornerback play will help that pass rush a little bit. So, I do expect to see them take a little bit of a step forward last year. The one area for concern, I guess, would be maybe that that second pass rusher opposite Aiden Hutchinson.

And, you know, if something happens to Aiden or any of their other starters, they're really without a difference maker up front. What was the fan response as you talk about cornerback when they decided to draft Terrion Arnold? Oh, people loved it over here. You know, I think it was, you know, one thought Terrion Arnold was a top two cornerback in the draft, along with Quinon Mitchell. And just about everyone thought he was going to be out of the Lions reach.

And that includes people inside the building. And, you know, when he fell enough that they could trade up to get him, they gave up a third round pick, not cheap. But I think everyone looked at that as like the cherry on top of the offseason. You know, they added to a position that was still a weakness because of the Cam Sutton incident. And they did it with one of the two best players in the draft at that position. So I don't think a lot of people saw them doubling up at the position with Rakeshaw. But you go back to before the draft, and Rakeshaw was the very first player I sent to the Lions in a mock draft. So everyone knew he fit, everyone knew he was the Lions type of player.

And for the way that the first two rounds to play out the way they did, I think it's a win for the Lions. Well, Dave, you cover this team, you're out in the city. Dan Campbell, we see the man gambling. Has that reached a point? Do people appreciate the grid? Or has it reached a point where it's just like, hey, Dan, what are we doing? There's definitely some people that, that scratch your head at some of those decisions. You know, I heard from a bunch of people after that NFC Championship game and, and his decision to pass on those field goals.

Look, that's who Dan is. And, you know, people in the team, the players, they love it, you know. And I certainly would rather have a coach like that that's aggressive and that goes for it than someone who's always sitting on his hands and knees. And, you know, Lions fans remember that 2014 playoff loss to the Cowboys when they punted on fourth and one, or they took a delay a game and then punted. But, you know, that's, I think you'd rather have the aggressive coach than the coach that's going to sit back and let the other team, give the other team chances. So, you know, that's part of the allure of the Lions. That's part of the love of them is that they play fun and Dan's a big personality and that's not going to change even though they have an even better team in 2024.

Dave Burkett is here with us from the Detroit Free Press. Is the expectation Super Bowl a bust? Look, I think that's fair. You know, I mean, this is a team that got to the NFC Championship game last year. They were really a bad half away from, from winning that. And had they got to the Super Bowl, they would have played a team that they beat week one on the road. So, the expectations for this team is going to be win a Super Bowl this year. And, you know, you don't get there, you know, without winning the division probably and without getting a home playoff game or two.

So they need to take care of business the first 17, 18 weeks. But ultimately, this season is going to be all about whether they make it to New Orleans or not. We can always look at all the talent that the Lions now have on the field. Outside of the owner, Sheila Ford moving out the way or what have you, is this basically at the hands of Brad Holmes having helped construct and do this? Yeah, I mean, you know, the thing that Sheila did is, you know, she put the right people in place at every level and trusts the football people to do their job. Brad Holmes is a fantastic evaluator of college talent. And they've let him do that. And that's really built this roster up.

Dan Campbell is a great people person. You know, people in the locker room love and respect him and want to play for him. And they've let him be himself and that lets everyone under them be themselves. And they've got a good contract negotiator who they let handle the contracts and a good pro personnel department who sort of handles that. And so everyone has a lane that they collectively fill. And I think that is the strength of this organization is that they've empowered the people to do what they do best.

And those people are content doing that. It's not a power grab where they need to do something else to make themselves feel like they're the best, most important person in the organization that's really had a huge effect on this team. When you think about the sports scene that currently exists in Detroit, the Lions are the, they're the belle of the ball, right? Have they not taken over the city hosting the draft that's had to help them, especially when you look at the Tigers and the Pistons, the wings are pretty basic. It's not all that hot right now.

No, no, no, you're right. I mean, it is, look, we always knew it was a football town, right? When you get $70,000 at a Michigan State game and $110,000 at a Michigan game and, you know, $65,000 at a Lions game and a weekend like, you know, this is a city that loves its football. But I was, I will say, you know, I was having covered this team for now 14 seasons.

Like I was surprised even at the level that it reached last year. It was a legitimate fear of missing out. Like after they beat the Chiefs in week one, everyone wanted to be a part of it. I got to go on the road. I got to go see a game. I got to go to home with a playoff game. I need to be there.

And it was, if you didn't, you felt like you were missing out on the biggest party. And so it's the same thing this year. Season tickets are sold out already. I expect that, you know, fans will, fans will eat this thing up again. And again, and again, those, those, those expectations are Super Bowl or bust and everyone here thinks that they have a chance to make it.

Well, I know you'll have a busy day tomorrow. Next couple of days as the schedule is released. I'm so happy for everybody in Detroit, all the Lions fans, everybody certainly deserves it. It's still even wild to think that about a season and a half ago, it looked like Dan Campbell was on his way out the door. How fast things can change, Dave? No doubt. And, uh, you know, I mean, look, I don't know that anyone thought he was going to be gone midway through the season, but you're a hundred percent right.

Three 13 and one followed by a one and six start. Like there were a lot of people that were wondering, uh, whether this was, whether they had made the right hires and whether this thing was ever going to turn itself around. And look for the last season and a half, I don't know that there's been many better teams in football. And that's a, a credit to everyone in the organization. And, you know, Dan has certainly led the charge in that regard.

Yeah. More hard knocks. That's what I want. I need Lions hard knocks all season, every off season, put it in my veins. You know, they, uh, they may be done with that, but, uh, Hey, Dan is a big enough personality that, uh, you're going to see plenty of him on TV and he's going to be the face of this franchise.

And that's a good thing. I'll take the press conferences. Dave, where can people follow you and all your great work with the Detroit free press? Uh, free press is free.com. You can check that out.

F R E P.com. And you can follow me on Twitter or X at, uh, at Dave Burkett. Hey, thank you, Dave. Enjoy the rod, man. It looks like it'll be another good one. You got it, man. We'll talk to you again. This episode is brought to you by progressive insurance, whether you love true crime or comedy, celebrity interviews or news, you call the shots on what's in your podcast queue. And guess what? Now you can call them on your auto insurance too, with the name, your price tool from progressive.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-14 23:05:00 / 2024-05-14 23:11:22 / 6

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