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Barry Sanders’ time with the Detroit Lions was not pleasant by any means. But he’s beyond ecstatic that things in the Motor City have changed for the better.
Speaking on the “Don’t @ Me With Dan Dakich” podcast, Sanders discussed the differences between the Lions of the 1990’s and the Lions of the present.
The first thing the Hall-of-Fame running back highlighted was the unity between the franchise leadership regarding what culture they want to implement. General manager Brad Holmes, president Rod Wood, and head coach Dan Campbell have turned a team that for decades was a laughingstock in the NFL into one of the league’s elite teams.
“They seem to be really coordinated,” Sanders said. “Everyone’s on the same page, everyone is buying into the standard they create.”
Additionally, the all-time great said that the production from Detroit’s younger core of talent excites him. Players like Jahmyr Gibbs, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Sam LaPorta have all played major roles in propelling the Lions to an 8-2 record.
“You see all these young players who are contributing, the kind of contributions you’re getting from these young players…it’s exciting,” Sanders said. “You see how coordinated the top brass is in creating this culture. That’s probably the biggest difference.”
The Lions have drafted well and made key additions in free agency over the past several season, something Sanders said was missing during his time we the franchise.
“I certainly think we dropped the ball back then on some choices with players, guys who we may have drafted, or guys that we decided not to draft,” Sanders added. “And maybe some of the guys you let go too soon if I were to try to critique it.”