I've got to be at my office at 6am to get some paperwork ready for an early appointemnt, so I'm just going to leave a quick comment or two tonight.
In response to a comment from last post, I've not looked into who the Lions coaches are, although with the seemingly large number of inuries, I would think maybe the conditioning coaches could be looked at. However, when you look at other teams -- while the Lions seem to have a lot of injuries, they actually are right in the middle of the pack injury wise of IR and guys missing games league wide. What has hurt the Lions in the past is that the starter was average or even above average, but the guy behind him had trouble getting signed form the practice squad, and the guy behind him was selling insurance last week. Teams not only need good starters, but also quality, cost-efficient role-payers for depth.
To me, what a lot of people are missing is all of the depth improvements Marinelli has been making, especially this off season. Good depth players that are also great ST players are the backbone of any contender. Look at the rosters of the best teams, and they all have a core group of 5-6 guys who contribute at varying levels, from a bit of playing time to almost none at their relative positions, but who are the heart and soul of the special teams unit. That is something the Lions didn't really have last year. It was a glaring weakness not a lot of people were looking at (outside of firing Kwan). Marinelli made moves this off season to fix that, while at the same time bolstering the secondary and the LB depth.
I'm actually getting a little tired of the RB-or-OT debate. I have the solution:
DEFENSIVE TACKLE - Kentwan Balmer!!
Kid is a hard working beast, slated to go anywhere from 5-8 picks after DET. Take him at 15 if they can't trade!!
They can still use a 3rd and 4th or 5th to target into the second round (2 2nds) to be sure they get the RB/MLB/OT they want. We may say they need a DE -- I use the "Stanton argument" to say they spent a second rounder on it last year -- IAF will start and a high pick will not be used on a DE in 2008.
Also, judging by team needs -- Mendenhall, McFadden, and all 4 of the top OT (Long, Clady, Otah, Williams) may be gone before the Lions pick at 15. I do NOT advocate moving up -- so, assuming those players are gone, who to pick and why?? Who would be left that a team may want to move up for in exchange for maybe their 1st and a 3rd or a low 2nd? All scenarios I am sure they are running past Millen written on the sides of his Lionel's so he'll at least look at the ideas as they steam by...
Have to go sleep now - keep up the great positive dialogue fellas!
PS - LMAO on the S. Rogers cheeseburger comment last blog. Hilarious. Thanks for the comedy.