Nate Burleson

Lions still looking for a second receiver to step up

The Lions have had too many problems on their roster to count over the Jim Schwartz era. When one problem gets solved, another one immediately pops up. This offseason has been no different for the Lions.

One of the Lions' biggest offensive problems has been the lack of run support for Matthew Stafford and Detroit's passing offense. There's been far too much pressure on Stafford to score with a one dimensional offense as the defense allowed teams to march up and down the field. That problem was, at the very least, helped by the signing of Reggie Bush. In addition to a homerun threat in the running game, Bush is excellent in catching passes out of the backfield.

The next issue the Lions hope to solve is the lack of a second receiver to line up opposite Calvin Johnson. The short-term solution seems to be Nate Burleson, who has considerable work to do before teams begin to fret over him.

"It's important to have him out there for our offense for a lot of reasons," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said of Burleson, according to the Lions team website. "No. 1, he's a good player, he brings something to the equation that goes beyond what his playing ability is."

"He still probably isn't 100 percent, but a lot of guys aren't 100 percent right now, but he's able to do what he can out there and it's a good time of year."

The long-term solution appears to be Ryan Broyles who is recovering from and ACL tear. The problem with such injuries is that they tend to happen again and again. The Lions are banking on that not being the case with Broyles.

With no truly healthy options, the Lions are being forced to move forward with Burleson opposite Johnson, and they're just hoping he can draw a little attention away from Calvin Johnson. It's a big gamble by Jim Schwartz, largely because they won't get another chance to get it right if the Lions can't produce this time around.

Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.

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