Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cambell ships out, other News and Notes

As the Lions had their first meetings in preparation for the first practice tomorrow morning, it appears that they will be down one man, as Caleb Campbell will instead be reporting to West Point. Mrs. DetFan1979's take on this: What do they need more in the Army? One Lieutenant now, or 100's of new soldiers in a few years? She was of the mind that his abilities as a recruiter over the next two years would bring in at least a couple hundred young men (or more) who wouldn't otherwise have joined. And now, she says, they are likely to get one officer now, and lose a dozen or more later due to the bad publicity this will garner. [it's headlining Yahoo's front page as I'm writing this.] After all -- if they are willing to break a promise like that at the last minute, what other promises are they going to break when it really counts?? Smart woman Mrs. DetFan1979 - and not just for marrying me.

There are obviously a lot of passionate takes on Mr. Campbell and this situation, and I wrote about just one. Feel free to share yours [if appropriate, as always] -- and I'll leave this subject with what should impress those reading and watching the most: Rod Marinelli is not whining and asking for "help". Caleb Campbell is not throwing anyone -- the Detroit Lions or the Army -- under the bus. He is doing what he has said he will do all along -- follow the orders of the United States Army and fulfill his obligation to the military in the capacity they choose to use him. Marinelli's quote: “Obviously, he’s disappointed,” said Marinelli, a Vietnam veteran. “But I obviously know what he’s about. He got his orders and he’s ready to report.” Class acts, and actions, by both of them.

Also in the news, apparently the Lions were unaware of Jordon Dizon's DUI arrest prior to drafting him. He is unsigned as of this writing, although I've seen several places, including the Freep, that they are close to a deal, and that hemay make Thursday's afternoon practice at worst, tomorrow morning at best. [As I was writing this piece, Cherilus' 5 year deal was announced]

In regards to Dizon -- I am pretty certain that, after reading post-draft comments by various teams, that the NFL as a whole was not aware of what had happened prior to the draft. Please keep in mind that police reports are NOT instantaneous. Since he was not belligerent or violent, there was no reason to lock him up -- thus expediting processing. Also -- being in insurance, around here it is sometimes two weeks or more before the police report is available even for those who were actually involved in an accident or transgression. A couple years back I was hit by someone at at red light, and it took me over a MONTH to get a police report from the department I will not name for its' incompetence -- and keep in mind, I knew the details of the incident and called every other day. Last summer, a car drove through my back fence (missing a house and several tress to do so) while I was gone, and it took me over a WEEK to track down which police department was preparing the report, much less get a copy of it. It still hadn't been filed at that point. (I live about a block over the county line, which also hits a demarcation point nearby for two different townships and the city. Figuring out who is responsible (or not) for things takes up a lot of time...)

Long story short: You can background check all you want, but if the report isn't filed yet, it won't show up. End of story. I will say give Millen a break in this case, since I think if any team had already known about his incident you can bet they would be "I knew but you didn't"ing the rest of the league to show their fans how superior their scouting departments are. (similar to those following the Lions drafting Crog) No one has -- so I'm guessing no one knew but Dizon and law enforcement at the time of the draft. Keep in mind as well he is fighting the charges.

In other news, our division rivals, it seems, can't wait for the regular season to get into it as the Packers' tampering charges may actually bear fruition if rumors of Favre using a GB issued cell phone to call the Minny HC and OC are true. Maybe he isn't coming back after all, and just couldn't resist an opportunity to help GB out by pulling one over on the Vikings. That, or he figured his exit would be better received if GB gains draft picks off its' retired QB AND a division rival gets buggered in the process. Either way, it looks as though we Lions fans no longer even hold the title of "Stupidest Front Office in the NFC North." If this is close to true, I think Minnesota has that one wrapped up for a couple of years at least.

In addition, Chicago's only real offensive weapon, Hester, has decided to hold out and has not yet reported to training camp. I don't think holding out of camp is going to really help develop him into a true offensive threat instead of only on PR and KOR. I can handle that pain just fine as a Lion fan. My Bears fan boss, not so much.

Also, FFB news agencies are saying that Forte will be starting the season as KJ will be on PUP...LOL -- my thought is not if KJ has anything to say about it. If he has shown one thing in the NFL, it is his ability to productively come back too early from a major injury and eventually re-injure himself. Here's thinking the Bears go for it too. Heck, for what little they are paying him -- I would too! Save the Buzz Lightyear rookie, work him in slowly and break KJ-Dollar-Ninja early on instead. I know my boss the Chicago fan is rooting for him to have a few great games before he falls apart.

BTW -- With Chris Williams signing today, I see Cherilus' deal getting done ASAP since, as the next tackle taken (albert, surprise, is being listed as an OG right now) he knows where his market value lies. [After I wrote this section, it was announced Cherilus has signed a 5 year deal and will be there for the first practice tomorrow.]

In regards to RB's -- I received a couple of emails wondering if the Lions should maybe pick up a FA RB since it appears to be 5 guys fighting for 4 spots. Shaun Alexander and Mike Bell were floated as possibilities. Of the two, Mike Bell intrigued me most as he was able to take carries away from Tatum Bell as a rookie, and was then ignored by Shannahan when he signed Travis Henry, and 'discovered' Selvin Young. He could have potential, and may be a value priced addition to the RB competition. Since he also knows running in a zone blocking scheme, if he can contribute on special teams then he may be a good guy to throw into the mix and see what he can do.

As for Alexander, I said even before he got hurt and during his then-record breaking season that he was more a product of his O-Line than an ultra talented runner. Time has shown that to be the case. Add in injuries, age, and a boatload of guaranteed money he got following his big season -- and he is the poster child for not giving aging RB big contracts. Unless his game picks up this year, Larry Johnson will follow in his footsteps. It's almost equal parts line and RB in the NFL.

I also got an email from a Dallas fan asking about this rumor he had seen up on a couple of Forums:

"I'm hearing rumors here in the Dallas area on The Ticket and ESPN radio of the Cowboys trying to work a trade with Detroit for Roy Williams. Dallas is trying to give up Greg Ellis and Anthony Henry for Roy Williams.

THIS IS A RUMOR RIGHT NOW, nothing more. Still interesting and the Cowboys have pieces in place to replace both Greg Ellis and Anthony Henry, so there is no doubt they could do it. We'll just have to see if it happens." [hyperlinks to player stats on added by DetFan1979]

My response:

I haven't heard a peep on this from the Lions side. Rod Marinelli seems intent on running the ball up the gut with the rook K. smith, and then throwing deep to Calvin Johnson and/or Roy Williams, since teams won't be able to stack the run and still double cover both guys. I don't see any trades of Williams until after the season. He is in a contract year, and I think the Lions want to take full advantage of it -- then sign him, franchise him and/or trade him after what they think will be a monster year for him.

I would say that these are just rumors at this time.

Josh aka DetFan1979

While I think adding a vet OLB like Ellis, who is also a solid pass rusher, the Lions already revamped their secondary -- which is actually pretty crowded right now. And Ellis is a 3-4 outside backer, not a 4-3 guy so wouldn't be versed in the defense. Next question: Are those two guys worth the two first rounders (or near equivalent) the Franchise Tab will bring in trade if the Lions want to? Drafting WR is a crap shoot, and if Roy has a monster year and the Lions do decide to trade him, they are both in for a huge payday. I don't see a trade right now.

PS -- funny, that Roy camp holdout isn't happening as predicted by ye olde clouds of doom. Go figure. So disappointing. (dripping with sarcasm)

Great thoughts on the QB's and RB's -- and I have put a poll up -- if the Lions decide to sign one FA heading into camp, who would you want them to sign most?

Your thoughts on the topics above? The state of the team series? Be sure to post them below! Your thoughts are a big part of what makes the dialogue on this site great!


Anonymous said...

I think its a load of crap!! They wait till the last minute to decide this, which doesnt surprise me at all comming for the armed forces and our WONDERFUL government!! Oh well, he probably would have had a great NFL career with Lions so we didnt lose out much!


Anonymous said...

As I said on the MLive forums, Campbell going into active duty sucks, but in the end the impact is pretty negligible for the team overall. He was *highly* unlikely to have an impact, and would have almost certainly landed on the practice squad if he made it at all. For now it was just a matter of that dreaded P word -- Potential. That being said, hopefully he'll be back in training camp in a few years and have another shot at this. A lot of talk was made about a compensatory pick but I don't see it happening since this wasn't a football matter. Most of the people complaining about the compensatory picks are the same ones who say that Millen wastes draft picks so I don't see what the have to complain about anyways...

The Hester situation is laughable. He is there last ditch effort at WR and now he's holding out. In my mind he's really not an offensive threat at all, but it's just another headache to go along with the contractual issues of Briggs and Urlacher. I think these guys saw dollar signs after winning the NFC championship two years ago and they'll continue on the downward slope that started last year.

I recall a nationally renowned sports writer mentioned the Lions picking up Alexander in free agency (I wish I could remember who it was). I just remember thinking, "yeah, so you can talk about how they overpaid on an overpaid, over-injured, soon-to-retire running back as soon as they pick him up". I have a hard time believing Alexander will find a job until a team gets absolutely decimated by RB injuries.

I'm really hoping we can bring in Spikes. He's a former pro-bowler who knows how to win. Plus, it would elevate the pressure on Paris Lenon to perform. Right now the competition at ROLB is laughable and Spikes will either be a solid starter or a tremendously serviceable backup depending on his post-injury status. He could really be a free-agency steal, although I'm doubting it considering that he still hasn't been picked up after all this time on the market. If nothing else, he'll be a great mentor to have on a youthful LB corp.


CHIEFGER139 said...

on m-live this morning looks like we gave spikes a offer and its up to him now-hope we get him

jreffy said...

I saw your post over on the MLive BVO smear piece. Great retort, and 100% dead on, something Mr. VanOchten still has to learn.

Honestly, I'm getting so sick of writers and fans, who no matter what actually happens, are determined to talk about how crappy "their" team is, and look for every little thing to criticize.

As for Mr. Campbell, I wish him luck. While I'm dissappointed in the last-minute reversal (they couldn't do this a month or two ago?), as Caleb said, it's what he planned on doing from the start. With all the attention he's been getting, perhaps he could setup a blog for his future experiences? I'd read it.

Can't wait for the season to start!

MrsDetFan1979 said...

When DetFan agrees with my pure genuis in the first paragraph, he can blog about me all he wants.

Post away, my friend, post away.

JJLions20 said...

I feel bad for Campbell because he had to have his hopes up. I wished they would have given him the training camp before reassigning him. I also wish him well in his assignment. Not all assignments are in Iraq and Afghanistan, so I hope he gets a cushy assignment. One where he can hit the weights through the year. Maybe, just maybe, the DoD will change it's interpretation of the rule, after a year of service, and he will get his chance next year.

As for the most likely FA signing... Spikes makes a lot of sense. This would be a Marinelli move, because he was not all that Keen on starting Dizon in the middle. Putting Spikes at SAM, allows Lennon to play the middle, until Dizon learns the system and produce better than Lennon. If Lennon gets hurt Dizon is rushed in. If Spikes gets hurt, move Lennon to SAM and Dizon in at MLB. Every minute Dizon holds out makes this move more likely.