One of the things that helped Detroit’s defensive players learn the new scheme Matt Patricia was installing in Detroit last year was to watch New England Patriots film. Patricia was the defensive coordinator there the previous six seasons.
In doing so, Lions defenders started to become pretty familiar with the Patriots’ defensive personnel. So, when Detroit was able to sign former Patriots defensive lineman Trey Flowers, one of the top players available on the free-agent market this offseason, linebacker Devon Kennard knew instantly the type of player the Lions had just acquired.
“As soon as we signed (Flowers) I thought it was a great signing,” Kennard said. “I really respect his game and what he’s done and his versatility and how he impacts the game in a multitude of ways. I’m excited getting a chance to meet him now and be around him.”
Flowers played in a similar system the last four years, and was the Patriots best pass rusher within it the last few seasons. He has speed, power and unrelenting effort.
In four years in New England, Flowers compiled 164 tackles and 21 sacks. He had 9.5 sacks this past season. He ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in hits, hurries, and total pressures in 2018, per Pro Football Focus statistics.
“Being able to watch him and see how he dominated throughout the season and see what kind of player he is, I’m really excited to have him on the team and on the unit,” linebacker Jarrad Davis said.
“Really just pick his brain to see what they did well. See what we can bring over here and help us out. Honestly, it’s just nothing but excitement to be working with him.”
Flowers is expected to be a three-down player with position versatility — Someone who knows the schemes and techniques, and can affect the quarterback and affect the run game.
“I just want to come in and be able to do my part as far as production,” Flowers said at his introductory press conference last month. “As far as disrupts and things like that. I just want to do my part in making this team better.”
The Lions are in Phase 1 of the offseason training program for two weeks, which is limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation. Starting the week of the 29th, the coaches can hit the field with the players and they can begin getting individual instruction and conducting football drills.
Davis and Kennard have seen plenty of Flowers on film, but soon they’ll get to see how Flowers fits into the mix here in Detroit and the impact he might have.