NFL

SCOUT'S HONOR: Scouting the Lions

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Offense

The key for second-year QB will be to continue expanding his capabilities within this offense under new head coach Steve Mariucci. The have a winner here with Harrington. Mariucci knows how to mold quarterbacks who possess natural instincts. Harrington has the leadership ability and arrogance of a winner. will evolve into a pass catcher that opponents have problems matching up against. Look for the offensive line to begin coming together. continues to mold himself as a steady left tackle. may be seeing the light turn on, and look for big strides in the pivot with . The seedlings are present for this to develop into a strong offense. We'll begin seeing flashes of that this season. Mariucci likes to build around a strong run game. is a steady starter, but it's tough to rely heavily on him as a cornerstone. Durability is always a concern and he doesn't quite grade as a dynamic performer.

Defense

There are still a lot of questions here. The hope to see the rookie along the interior. And the emerging begins to establish a foundation to build around upfront. Edwards has a lot of potential off the perimeter. They could still have problems against the run, but veteran will be a steadying influence at middle linebacker. certainly brings more speed to this front seven, but could need time to become comfortable on the strong side. The secondary remains a concern, but they'll be more active. Dre' Bly can make plays, but also gives up a lot of them. Andre Goodman and Chris Cash bring a healthy energy, but will have their ups and downs. Expect inconsistency at times, but they'll be more competitive than a season ago. This will continue to remain a building block process for the . They need to continue adding more pass rushers along the front four and matchup guys at cornerback.

Special Teams

K and P are aging, but remain a comfortable duo to rely on in the kicking game. The feel should provide some plays in the return game. The coverage units should remain very solid. They've added speed and rookie should make his presence known.

Coaching

Steve Mariucci brings more credibility to the sidelines. Mariucci knows how to set the standards and build teams. Sherman Lewis and Kurt Schottenheimer are capable running the offense and defense, respectively. But you have to wonder how the chemistry will be across the staff since Mariucci really didn't get to pick many of his own guys after being hired late.

The Bottom Line

The will make progress this season and give the franchise some hope. Don't be surprised if Mariucci squeezes five or six wins out of this team.
Tagged: Lions, Jeff Backus, Shaun Rogers, Dominic Raiola, Earl Holmes, Charles Rogers, Boss Bailey

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