Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ndamukong Screwed

The NFL refs have no idea what to do when they see Ndamukong Suh going beast mode and wreaking havoc on offenses. Their solution, throw a flag.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Enough Excuses We Were Out Coached

Does talent play a role as to why the Lions are 0-3, yes. Losing your #1 QB is bad, Losing your #2 WR when there is nobody to replace him is horrible, and losing your #1 RB to top it all off is so unbelievably bad all you can really do is shake your head.

Through 3 game even with the injuries piling up, coaching could have easily turned two if not all three of our losses into victories. Let me start with my favorite target since week 1 of this year, Scott Linehan. Now Scotty's play call hasn't just bothered me this year, no, his play calling has bothered me since he was hired. From a article I wrote last November...

"I just don't believe in Scott Linehan at all; I'm willing to give him till the end of next year to show me something, but right now, he really isn't. Yeah, it's the players' first year in his system, but his system looks like crap."

"I swear that I sit there every Sunday feeling like a physic when the Lions offense is on the field. The worst part about it is the plays I'm predicting don't match the situation the Lions are in on the field. Case in point, if I see a 3rd-and-short, I predict pass because that's what this genius usually dials up, no matter how many times it burns us. Even if they are in a position where they have to go for it on fourth down if they don't convert, it's still a pass!”

"Linehan has managed to take us from crap to crap, but we're all okay with it because we have low expectations."

Linehan tried pounding the ball with Best up the middle all game in Chicago and it didn't work. He came back in week two and ran Best up the middle on 3rd and short against Philly then Schwartz let him do the same crap on 4th and short. Shockingly we didn't pick up the first and the worst part about it was we were in field goal range. This week against the Vikes I think it was Morris they tried it with but we got the same result, if Linehan is dead set on running right up the middle in those situations why not use Felton? Jahvid Best is more talented? Very true but how many times do we have to get stonewalled on 3rd or 4th and short before Linehan realizes that JAHVID BEST IS AN OUTSIDE THE TACKLES RUNNER! I'm not saying Best can't run up the middle but obviously he is better in space not trying to pound the ball up the middle with 8 or 9 guys in the box.

I’m sure everybody noticed the quote that doesn’t quite match up well with the others, last year I was complaining that Linehan always passed on 3rd and short and it burned us, this year I’m doing the same thing because he’s running and its burning us. Smith is 6‘’1 around 220, Best is 5‘’10 around 200, Linehan should have rolled out some of these HB Dives last year for Smith instead of trying to pass it on 3rd and short all the time. This year it seems as though watching HB Dives on you tube during the offseason has become Linehan’s new fetish of choice. Running the HB Dive a a couple times is fine but running it to the point where every fan watching at home knows your going to run it is downright stupid. There are things called HB pitches, there are HB off tackles, there are HB sweeps, there is even something called a play action pass. When everybody is stacked in the middle waiting for your small speedy HB to try to pound the rock between the tackles, good teams usually utilize one of the plays I’ve mentioned to pick up first downs. If Linehan doesn’t stop being so damn predictable I hope Schwartz takes Linehan out for dinner at the end of the season and buys him a big plate of “Your Ass Is Fired”.

Next on my **** list is Gunther Cunningham aka Rod Marenelli. What the hell was Gunther thinking this week against the Vikings? I seriously can’t come up with an explanation as to why we were letting the Vikings negate the talent on our defensive line by having the CBs playing 5 to 10 yards off. We could have had 4 clones of Reggie White playing on our defensive line today and it wouldn’t have mattered because as soon as Farve got the snap his was chucking it to the outside for an easy completion. It went on all game and I honestly don’t remember us adjusting to it and playing press any, it was kind of like having Rod back.


Last but not least is Schwartz and the special teams, again I’ll revert back to the articles I wrote last November...

“Secondly, does Schwartz not realize that not one person who the Lions have trotted out there has even resembled a competent kick returner?

We started the year with Aaron Brown taking kicks, but the Lions figured they would get more production out of Derrick Williams. Well, it hasn't happened and Williams' stats are actually worse than Brown's. On punt returns, we have Dennis Northcutt—do I even need to say anything else? It's Dennis Northcutt.

Meanwhile, the Lions had a good college kick returner on their practice squad in Tristan Davis and they cut him. I also wrote an article earlier in the season about the many good free agent return men out there.

However, the Lions still stubbornly continue to handicap themselves on special teams and on offense since they're getting horrible field position. So I guess Schwartz is okay with the fact his team will never have good field position. “


Anybody else think this sounds eerily familiar? If Stefan Logan isn’t cut this week it’ll do nothing but make my argument stronger and make me think I stepped into a time machine and went back to last year.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Detroit Robbed By Chicago

By now everybody knows the Lions were screwed out of a game winning TD against the Bears by a horrible rule, or interpretation of a rule.

The Rule - If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

With that rule there is no consistency because plays that are obviously in violation in the rule and are called TDs. The fact of the matter is no matter how you slice it Detroit got screwed, the rule is bad, enforcement of the rule is bad, and the TD was obvious. Had it been the Pats and Tom Brady or the Colts and Peyton Manning, then CJ's catch is a TD. Or maybe The Saints and Drew Brees....


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hillarious Ndamukong Suh Commercial

Saw this commercial for the first time today and it made me laugh.

Lions Making More Moves

Due to the injury he sustained in Detroit's preseason opener, the Detroit Lions placed Jordon Dizon on injured reserve ending his season.

To go with that move, the man that fell into Dizon's leg causing the injury, Jason Hunter, was released.

Also on the way out is Tight End Richard Dickson who was waived. Dickson was injured in the steelers game just like Dizon and will revert back to the Lions injured reserve if he isn't claimed off waivers.

To replace the cut players the Lions signed The Boz! Okay, maybe not that one, actually the Lions signed Brian Bosworth's nephew Korey Bosworth.

If you were wondering, he's the one on the right (Kidding).

After the Bosworth signing, the Lions would then sign two more players to the team. Cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels, and Linebacker Lee Campbell. Again, most of these players won't make the team and the only one I can see having a shot is Kore Bosworth.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Detroit Lions Superbowl Celebration

Madden 11 hit shelves at 12:01 AM today and this is a little glimpse of what every Lions fan dreams of.

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

The Detroit Lions have made a flurry of here today gone tomorrow moves over the past couple weeks. First the Lions cut CB Paul Pratt to make room for veteran CB Dre Bly.

The Lions would then go on to release DT Robert Calloway in order to reseign Paul Pratt due to multiple injuries throughout the Lions secondary.

Next the Lions placed Joe Cohen on the waived/injured list in order to resign Robert Calloway.

None of these moves are of particualr importance and all of these players may end up being camp fodder. Paul Pratt may have a shot to make the team simply because of the way the Lions secondary has been deapleated by injuries since last season. Neither Calloway or Cohen are likely to make the team due to the sheer depth Detroit has on the defensive line.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All Aboard The Pain Train

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jim Schwartz: Genius Is As Genius Does

The Detroit Lions have done a lot of things over the past few years that make you cringe. The one that recently comes back to mind is the release of Mike Martz, say what you will about him, the Detroit Lions were a top ten offense with him but what did they do without him? Exactly, we haven't done anything and now we will most likely have a Mike Martz run offense ripping through our defense twice year for the foreseeable future.

However they say that every cloud has a silver lining and I suppose the Detroit Lions releasing Mike Martz has one as well. The Detroit Lions release of Mike Martz helped spark an 0-16 season which resulted in the the resignation of Matt Millen and the firing of head coach Rod Marinelli who has now reunited with Martz in Chicago. Where is the silver lining you ask? I believe that would be the hiring of head coach Jim Schwartz who I believe is the best hire the Lions have made since head coach Bobby Ross. Remember those days? That was back when we were practically guaranteed a finish within the 7-9 to 9-7 range and were at least in the running for a wild card playoff birth. Now with all that being said Jim Schwartz was not perfect in his first year as a head coach and in this article I will be critiquing his first season in Detroit.

To begin with Jim Schwartz walked into the disaster left by coach Rod Marinelli and his terrible Tampa two defensive scheme and offensive coordinator Jim Coletto's non-existent offensive scheme. There was a lot of work two be done on both sides of the ball especially on defense since Rod Marinelli invested in smaller speedy players with "good motors" while Jim Schwartz's scheme relies on bigger versatile players. So to begin with the Detroit Lions defensive players were playing catch up because during the off season not only did they have to learn Jim Schwartz's scheme but they also had to bulk up.

The off season also brought the trades of Jon Kitna for Anthony Henry with Dallas and Corey Redding for Julian Peterson with Seattle. Add those to the previous mid season trade with Dallas which sent Roy Williams to Dallas for multiple draft picks and the Detroit Lions were in prime position to add multiple talented players on draft day.

When draft day rolled around mos Lions fans were salivating at the prospect of Aaron Curry with the first pick of the 2009 draft or possibly an offensive lineman with the first pick in the draft and Rey Maualuga or James Laurinaitis with the twentieth pick in the draft. As we all know the Lions decided to go with Matthew Stafford with the first pick in the draft and shocked everyone with taking tight end Brandon Pettigrew twentieth overall.

The Lions had horrible blocking during their 0-16 season and Brandon Pettigrew was supposed to be a good blocker. It was also said that Scott Linehan's offense relied heavily on the tight ends as a receivers so Schwartz made the pick that pleased his offensive coordinator. To me this was the first mistake of Jim Schwartz tenure as head coach, I understand the logic behind it but I still can't justify this pick. You NEVER, take a tight end in the first round of the draft as far as I'm concerned especially if your coming off of an 0-16 season with a billion other holes to fill. Just for reference CB Vontae Davis was taken five picks later at number twenty five by the Miami Dolphins. Davis finished the year with four interceptions which was two more than any player on the Lions defense.

The next mistake of Jim Schwatz's tenure and of the Detroit Lions 2009 draft was the selection of Derrick Williams with the eighteenth pick of the third round. Derrick Williams was supposed to jump start the Detroit Lion's return game as well as provide newly acquired quarterback Matthew Stafford with a speedy target in the slot as a compliment to Bryant Johnson and Calvin Johnson who were slated for the number one and number two receiver positions. I'm not quite sure what Jim Schwartz and company saw in Derrick Williams to prompt his selection in the third round. At this point in his career I'm not ready to call him a bust but things aren't looking that great for him. Williams was pushed to the fourth receiver on the depth chart by the stone handed remains of what used to be a good slot receiver when the Lions traded Gerald Alexander for Dennis Northcutt. Williams also battled with sixth round draft pick Aaron Brown all season to see who could be a more mediocre kick returner. To make matters worse, two picks after the Lions drafted Derrick Williams the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Mike Wallace with the twentieth pick in the third round of the draft. While Williams was a non-factor in the Detroit Lions passing game, Wallace lit it up in his rookie season with the Steelers to the tune of thirty nine receptions for 756 yards and six touchdowns. To put that in perspective the Detroit Lions number two receiver Bryant Johnson had thirty five receptions for only 417 yards and three touchdowns.

The rest of the Draft was solid with the Lions finding good quality players like Sammie Lee Hill, Deandre Levy, and special teams ace Zack Follet throughout the later rounds.

That brings the Draft portion of this article to a close and moves us into the preseason where Jim Schwartz would also have his fair share of hits and misses. To begin with we had the motto of "the player who gives us the best chance to win will play" drilled into our heads. I have a problem with this philosophy because NOBODY thought the Lions were going to win the Superbowl coming off an 0-16 season and practically everybody agreed that the Lions were at least two or three drafts away from being competitive. With that being said if there isn't a huge drop off in production why wouldn't you play your younger guys?

Coming out of the preseason Matthew Stafford would earn the starting job at quarterback,Brandon Pettigrew the starting job and tight end, and Louis Delmas the starting job at one of the safety positions. Sammie Hill was number two on the depth chart and defensive tackle, as was Deandre Levy at linebacker. Derrick Williams was buried on the depth chart behind Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt. Former second round pick Drew Stanton was also buried on the depth chart behind Daunte Culpepper. Williams being buried on the depth chart coming out of the preseason was fine in my book because I figured he have the opportunity to work his way up. Stanton on the other hand should have been placed above Culpepper because while Culpeper did nothing in the preseason. Yes Culpepper played against the starters and Stanton played against third stringers but he still played very well.

As the regular season progressed we saw the Detroit Lions secondary turn into a revolving door to the point where they would sign a guy and he would start. However not only would he start but he would get hurt that very same week! Also guys like Phillip Buchanon and Anthony Henry who were healthy would get rotated in and out of games to to their lackluster play. The Detroit Lions linebackers and offensive lineman would see the same kind of rotation dictated by their play. I liked that aspect of the team, if somebody wasn't playing well they were taken out of the game in favor of somebody else. My only question is why didn't that same philosophy apply to quarterback, wide receiver, and to a certain extent kick returner?

When Matthew Stafford was healthy enough to start then he should have but there were a few games he had to miss due to injury. The first o which happened at the end of the Lions week four game at Chicago. During week five and six Daunte Culpepper got the start at Quarterback. Culpepper proceeded to show everybody that he was washed up and couldn't throw a deep pass to save his life. It was during the week six game at Green Bay that I figured would assure that Culpepper never started another game as a Detroit Lion. Culpepper was six of fourteen for forty eight yards and one interception. Once Culpepper went down with an injury Drew Stanton came into the game and threw five passes for eleven yards and two interceptions. Looking solely at the numbers it would appear that Culpepper had the better day but you have to look at the big picture to truly understand why Stanton should have been elevated over Culpepper on the depth chart after this game. Culpepper had his glory days when he was in Scott Linehan's system so he should have been able to run the Detroit Lions offense in his sleep, which it looked like he was at times. Culpepper also got the benefit of being able to practice and play preseason games the first and second string offense. Stanton on the other hand hasn't been in Linehan's system until this year and spent most of his time practicing with the the teams backups. With all that being said after Stanton came into the Green Bay game the team looked unbelievably better on offense. Staton actually had some down field passes and had the offense moving the ball well. His first interception came after a pass bounced right off the hands of Brandon Pettigrew, he really can't be blamed for that one. The Second interception came in the red zone when he tried to force a pass to a wide receiver in the end zone. He shouldn't have tried to force the pass in there but hey when Culpepper was on the field the Lions offense didn't even sniff the end zone. Had Detroit pulled the plug on Culpepper then and upped Stanton's practice reps he probably would have been better prepared for when Matthew Stafford went down with an injury later in the season. Yet even when that happened they gave Culpepper even more chances to show us how horrible he could be with the occasional glimpse of mediocrity. When it finally came time for Stanton to get his chance he started a single game and didn't play well which prompted Daunte Culpepper to start at quarterback in the final game of the season. The same Duante Culpepper who will be gone next year due to free agency while Drew Stanton remains a Detroit Lion. For a so called genius simple logic seems to escape Mr. Schwartz at times.

Moving on from the quarterback situation the wide receiver situation also boggled my mind. If you haven't seen the Detroit Lions 2009 receiving stats leaders they look a little something like this.

Calvin Johnson - 67 Rec – 984 Yards – 5 TDs

Bryant Johnson – 35 Rec - 417 Yards – 3 TDs

Kevin Smith – 41 Rec – 415 Yards – 1 TD

Dennis Northcutt – 35 Rec – 357 Yards – 1 TD

Brandon Pettigrew – 30 Rec – 346 Yards – 2 TDs

Kevin Smith went down with three games left to play in the season and had 6 more receptions for two less yards than the Lions second leading receiver Bryant Johnson. Brandon Pettigrew who also went down with injuries before the season was over was also right there stat wise. With Calvin Johnson drawing double teams your telling me that Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt couldn't beat single coverage? Not only that, your telling me that those too guys are so much better than Derrick Williams that he didn't even deserve the opportunity to prove himself why they struggled. For some reason highly doubt that Williams is so bad he didn't warrant at least an opportunity to start. Just like with the quarterback situation the Lions dropped the ball here, they should have had a rotation for the receivers just like they did for the secondary players. They could have picked up a free agent wide receiver too but instead they chose to let Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt struggle to get open, then drop passes when they finally did get separation. I guess you could argue that a wide receiver rotation could throw off the offenses chemistry. To that all I can say is look at the stats above again, does that look like an offense with good chemistry?

Last but not least is the kick returning situation. There may be some people who don't see this as a huge problem but I beg to differ. Due to the Detroit Lions defense (mostly the secondary) the Detroit Lions special teams had the opportunity to return ninety six kicks, the most in the NFL. Out of those ninety six attempts the Lions special teams scored zero touchdowns with the longest return being eighty seven yards by Aaron Brown. Look what happens when you compare Detroit's stats to the team with the second most kick returns in 2009, the Chicago Bears.

Detroit - Kick Returns – 96 Ret (most) - 2,050 Yrds (most) - 21.4 Yrd Avg (26th)
Chicago – Kick Returns – 80 (2nd) – 1,999 Yrds (2nd) – 25.0 Yrd Avg (3rd)

3.6 Yrd Avg Difference X 96 Returns = 345.6 Yrds Of field Position

The difference in average would have been 75 yards away from our second leading receivers yardage total for the season. Unlike the wide receiver problem the Lions did try to address this one...kind of. The Lions chose to keep switching back and fourth between Derrick Williams and Aaron Brown both showed they couldn't cut it as the Lions kick returner. Meanwhile the Lions released kick returner Yamon Figures and brought in Adam Jennings who found his way on injured reserve quickly. The Lions would also cut Tristan Davis from there practice squad even though he showed he was a speedy halfback in preseason and was also a good kick returner in college. That flurry of moves happened in the first few weeks of the season and for the rest of the season the kick return situation was only addressed by the constant switching of Aaron Brown and Derrick Williams. During the final weeks of the season the Lions would sign Brain Witherspoon to take over kick return duties. Witherspoon didn't do anything spectacular either and ultimately the special teams coach Stan Kwan was finally released at the end of the season. However that still doesn't excuse the Lions essentially turning a blind eye to the kick return situation between the first few weeks and the last few weeks of the season. Why did it take so long for the Lions to finally address the problem?

I'm not a head coach but in my opinion Jim Schwartz and company should take a good long look at the decisions they made this year so they don't make the same mistakes in the future.