Three reasons Detroit Lions fans should panic, and three reasons they should not.

Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford, Jake Rudock (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford, Jake Rudock (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions, Ricky Jean-Francois (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The elder defensive tackle

Ricky Jean-Francois is a veteran presence that is familiar with the scheme. He played for Matt Patricia in New England just last year. In the packages that the Lions were working on Friday night, Jean-Francois excelled. He looked much quicker off the ball than either Williams of Robinson had.

He has the ability to perform in a number of different assignments, which makes him incredibly valuable to the team. I would not be surprised if he led the Lions defensive tackle group in snaps, but did not start more than a handful of games.

Jean- Francois brings a different dimension to the Lions defensive tackle group. He brings pressure. On the weeks where the Lions want the defensive tackles to punch through the line rather than just eating space, RJF is their best option for getting that done. Williams and Robinson just do not provide the same pop.

Better for the team if Robinson steps up, but Jean Francois was brought on board as a contingency in case that didn’t happen. He is a known quantity to the defensive coordinator. No new elements need to be opened up in his game. This puzzle piece is fully formed and needed.

In a three-man front, which the Lions spent a lot of time in during the Raiders game, space eaters like Robinson and Williams will likely see the bulk of the time. when the Lions gameplan is to play more four-man fronts, Jean-Francois fits the traditional three-technique role better than those other men. It will likely vary week to week which player gets the most snaps.