Bravo on hiring Dan Campbell, one of the few first-year head coaches that actually deserves an applause despite logging a losing season in his first with the Detroit Lions. That's because given the context of what he's trying to turn around and in just hot super-competitive the Lions were in 2021 -- something rarely seen within that organization -- it's clear the team got the right guy. But for as much ovation as Campbell deserves for being on the verge of flipping several of his losses into wins (seriously, he destroyed the spread nearly weekly), there are obviously still some tweaks that need to occur for the Lions to take that next step.
They have the right head coach, presumably, and they have some strong talent at key positions, but the reason they couldn't get over the hump many times is because, bottom line, they need more firepower. Get to work on that and the Lions will be a migraine for NFC North opponents, and others, for a long time to come.
Give Dan Campbell whatever he wants
Speaking of trying to change the Titanic's course, say hello to Campbell, a first-year HC tasked with uplifting an entire city that is as football maniacal about its team as it is unconvinced things will ever change for the better. When Campbell said he wanted guys who'd "eat kneecaps," he meant it (proverbially speaking, of course), and the Lions easily and instantly became one of the most competitive teams in the NFL -- period. They destroyed the spread in 2021 and no one wanted to play them because what was once seen as a bye week against the Lions became anything but, and you can ask the Arizona Cardinals to weigh in on that one.
The Lions finished 3-13-1 but seven of those losses were close to being victories, and I personally can't wait to see what Campbell does in Year 2. Campbell has shown he's the perfect blue-collar guy to lead in Detroit, and with the football mind to help get the job done, but he didn't have enough firepower to get it done so whatever he asks for in 2022 -- just say "yes".
More firepower in the pass rush
A major Achilles heel for the Lions was their inability to consistently get after the opposing quarterback. They had some very good showings at times -- e.g., the regular season finale against the Green Bay Packers wherein they delivered four sacks as a unit -- but it was Chris Harris leading the team with "only" 7.5 sacks over the course of 17 games played. That simply won't get it done when you also consider the defense logged only 30 sacks as a whole and, for contrast, the Minnesota Vikings racked up 51 sacks on the year while the Chicago Bears gained 49, meaning the Lions pass rush is far from those two (who were both in top-5 in the category).
The bottom line is if you want to get the job done in the NFC North, you better start hitting and/or pressuring the quarterback. And considering that, at least for the moment, Aaron Rodgers is still the quarterback of the Packers while a super-mobile Justin Fields looks to take the next step in 2022, it's paramount Campbell have some nuclear weapons at the edges to give them and Kirk Cousins hell.
A complement for Amani Oruwariye
While trying to level up the pass rush, multitask and address the secondary as well. Credit to Oruwariye for having a breakout season that saw him reel in six interceptions this season, but the second-most in that category on the team was a big fat uno, with five players grabbing only one INT and the team finishing with just those 11 on the season. Circling back to the above point regarding bullying opposing quarterbacks, when that becomes a consistent thing in Detroit, the next task will be to turn those opportunities for interceptions into just that: interceptions.
Giving Jared Goff more opportunities with the ball increases the chances of the a more restful defense over the course of four quarters, and serves the added duty of, well, keeping the score low enough to avoid needing Goff to throw 50 times in an attempt to win games (bad formula). Find a stud cornerback in either free agency or the 2022 NFL Draft to complement Oruwariye, and prosper.