In 2014, the Detroit Lions won 11 games and earned a berth in the NFL playoffs. Some people may consider that a successful season. Safety James Ihedigbo is not one of those people.
“That’s not our goal,” Ihedigbo said of the playoff berth. “Our goal is to win championships. We want divisional championships. We want conference championships. We want Super Bowls.
“So us making the playoffs last year, although we had a good season, it wasn’t a great season.
“That’s our benchmark,” he said of the Super Bowl. “Everything we do is toward that goal.”
Ihedigbo was one of the leaders on the defense last season, a defense that was one of the best in the entire NFL. But after losing arguably the best defensive player in the league, Ndamukong Suh, the Lions will need other players to step up in 2015 if they want to get back to the playoffs.
The Lions cannot replace Suh, but they did go out and get Haloti Ngata to help fill the void on the defensive line which dominated in 2014. If Ngata, along with players like defensive end Ziggy Ansah and cornerback Darius Slay can raise their game to the next level, the defense could be one of the best in the league once again.
On the other side of the ball, Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and the rest of the Lions offense looks for big improvements in 2015. Last season the offense struggled to put up points under their first year of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi‘s system. So far in offseason camps, Stafford and company look and feel much more comfortable than they did one year ago.
With training camp about one month away (veterans report August 2nd), many of the Lions players seem extremely optimistic. Of course players from every team seem pretty optimistic in July. When the regular season begins, then we will see who walks the walk.