Monday, August 4, 2008


Just some random thoughts tonight that struck me the last couple of days, including responses to your comments on the last posting, as I prepare my Pre-Preseason "Marinelli Men" (Final 53 Roster). That will be posted tomorrow. I will update it for injury, and then again after the 3rd preseason game and just before final cutdown. But this first one will be my intuitive guess, so to speak, of how I think it will shake out.

My bigger point on the OT's was that KC and Chicago are catching little to no flak for their top picks being hurt (same as Panther's with Otah) -- however, were that to have been Detroit -- it would have been all about how anyone could have seen it coming, Millen drafts Awful, and basically make it seem as though no NFL team would have chosen that player in 7 rounds were it not for the Lions.


I was just pointing out how lucky it is that for once, the guys the Lions chose are competing for starting spots (first three picks) and not injured, a bust, etc. So far, so good with their draft picks. Better research, and looking for better fits is finally leading to -- as some have complained would never happen, considering the talent level of the team -- the likelihood that 4 draft picks will be starting by the end of the season, including the first 3 picks of the 08 Draft. Shows great improvement, in the least, of drafting for need/fit for the team.

BTW - the knock on OT C. Williams (Chicago)coming out of College were questions on whether he was "tough enough" for the NFL. While it remains to be seen, he's still out with "back spasms" -- something you expect from a player in their mid-30's doing 2 a days, not a rookie.
Thought it would be interesting to take a look outside the box of Detroit, and see how they are faring based on a league-wide lens.

Wonderful commentary, and nice back and forth.

I will say to the anonymous poster:I want proofs/logic for arguments. If you say a player is better, etc. please state what makes you think so other than "Millen did the picking."
Also, I prefer that each person at least use a "handle" ie nubsnobber, DetFan1979, Isphet, Cheif, StreetWorm, JJLions, JChadwick, 5BakerStreey, Jreffy et al to ID their posts. It builds the rapport better as each member of the community discusses the various bits of analysis and interpretation we do on this site. I've censored myself for a stupid post with no substance -- don't think I would hesitate to do the same if need be for others.

Anonymous, consider thyself warned: Criticism of the team is encouraged, but keep it constructive, not destructive.

If Smith starts for the Lions as the workhorse runner it appears he is developing into, then it is generally acknowledged league-wide that K.Smith is the leading candidate for "steal of the draft" when all is said and done.

Mendenhall is a backup/rotational guy with Willie Parker, and has already been dinged up two different times during camp.

Street -- you are right about injuries. It was only 3 or 4 years ago the Lions had, I think it was 13 guys on IR. Too tired to check -- Mooch's last year, I think, or Marinelli's first. It has significantly improved the longer Marinelli has been here, and I'm glad to see it.

JJ - check out NetRat's site for the latest cap info. It was "bank error in your favor" on the mathematical formulas. Don't jump around too much -- they are still an estimated 2.7 million under the cap, which is still scraping pretty close to the top. That's all they have for injury signings, and extensions of current players this cap year. As I stated earlier, look for cap numbers to impact the cuts when two players are close to equal in the eyes of the coaching staff, but have differing cap impacts. The cuts to 53 will help, but they only have room for maybe one more FA (Detroit is currently the only team with an offer in to Spikes, according to the last reports. He is waiting to see if someone has a camp/preseason injury and needs to pay him more than the Lions are willing to in order to fill an immediate need.)

Basically, they are KJ's cap savings away from the brink.

JChadwick -- I agree, as you will see when I release my prediction of the depth chart/53 (Pre-Preseason Games) tomorrow. I will update it after the third preseason game, before the final cutdown.

To clear up one thing: Teddy Lehman went on IR-Minor. This means the Lions will give him an injury settlement, and can't re-sign him until 6 weeks after a specified date. [I believe week 6 of the season, but I'm not sure] Teams weren't beating down his door before, and his best chance is to hope the Lions (or TB) need a mid season injury replacement on the LB corps. He knows the D, can play MLB, SLB, and ST -- he will be a valuable late season ninja-replacement should he be needed, and will come cheap. Too bad -- I was hoping the injuries were behind him, and he would be productive again like in his rookie year.

I agree {correction from previous version - see comments} with the Cheif on Cherilus -- the Lions are trying not to get the expectation for Cherilus too high. He is a rookie, and is going through a rookie learning curve. Foster is on a one year deal and even if it takes Cherilus half the regular season, or the whole year at worst to supplant Foster -- Foster is a one year band aid who might be retained to back up Cherilus next year (for the right price) although I see them drafting a LT to develop behind Backus and keeping Scott as the other backup OT as he can play both sides. Cherilus is, from what I've read, right on pace to be starting sooner rather than later, but don't look for him to be a big upgrade over Foster until 2009. Same for Dizon taking over the middle.

You thoughts on camp? Happenings? Anyone from Wisconsin or the UP hear any football news not concerning Brett Favre?

Thursday we see how the 3rd stringers are coming along. It will be interesting to watch.


Anonymous said...

lookin forward to the 53-man roster prediction tomorrow.

Not much to say here for me, just a suggestion on some possible research. Does anyone know of (or can someone find) websites associated with the other NFC North teams? Preferably ones that provide unbiased updates on how their camps are going. I think it would be interesting to see a "State of the Division" so to speak.


DetroitSims said...

From what I have read on, Says that cherlius has struggled a little bit but they are not worried. I am guessing halfway he will be starting, dizon also. I am glad as a lions fan to see the progress that Marenelli has made with this team and the direction that they are heading. I know that a lot of fans are putting HIGH expectations on this season and I unerstand why. The way they startd and they way they ended was very disapointing but, I have have faith in where they are going. Its gonna be a good year to be a Lions fan thats for sure. I wish I could be home for the first pre-season game but I have 2 work 2nd shift. I know you'll have a recap blog posted so, I am not worried. Thanks for all the good info that you put out for all us REAL fans to read DETFAN!!!!

CHIEFGER139 said...

YOU SAY YOU DISAGREE WITH ME ON CHERLIOUS BUT WHAT YOU POSTED ON THIS ARTICLE SEEMS TO BE THE EXACT SAME THING I POSTED ON your last article. cherlious isnt ready yet, foster will be starting and hopefully cherlious will be ready by the 3rd game and keep foster to start until cherlious is ready and then of course keep foster as the backup-i see nothing differnt-except last article i went into more detail that cherlious is having trouble with foot work and false starts-on m-live they have your favorite guys-brian van octen and your most favorite of all huge!!
they both point out the same problems cherlious is having now. I still have great hope all of the falling are starting come game 1 in atlanta-cherlious,dizon,smith and felton-4 rookies and that fluellen and avril see game time even when were still in the hunt-cant draft much better than that!!

DetFan1979 said...

Thanks for catching the error Chief -- it should have read "I agree with..."

It has been corrected.

JJLions20 said...

Having a number of players on injured reserves/ PUP is not always bad. The Lions are going to have to get creative in keeping some of these guys. They may be in a situation of seeing a good young player showing the potential, but is still too raw to count on. What do you do?

The D-Line could be a real problem with Cohen looking good. But then again it could be just camp talk. I thought he was destine for the practice squad. But if he looks good in preseason he may not pass through on waivers to the practice squad. If the Lions have to keep 10 D-Lineman, that means they are going to be slim somewhere else. Maybe LB is one the place, but that usually hurts the special teams.

I could see the Lions going with 5 or 6 LB's due to the position flexibility, and they would still have the ability to get Lehman after he heals up. Lennon plays SLB & MLB. Lewis can play SLB & WLB, Davis is going to get reps at SLB, and he knows the MLB. Cannon could be hidden on the Practice Squad and be brought up for special teams help if needed later in the season.

RB is also another interesting position if Felton is really doing that well. I was a proponent of hiding him on the practice squad. But Tom K. says he is looking good, and the Lions won't be able to hide him. ugh...

I think if Felton really looks like the starting FB, it could mean the departure of Bradley and/or Mchugh

WR - Al least we don't hear much about Kenny Moore, so he may be destine for the practice squad. But if you keep too many D-lineman does it force you to keep only 5 WR. Ellis looks to have the #5 WR spot if he stays healthy. In that case it looks like Middleton does not make the squad. That would be a tough decision. Especially if Roy or McDonald are not back next year.

Safety. Now that it looks like Pearson is past his legal problems, there is a log jam in the defensive backfield. Lets see if Bullocks actually gets activated, or if they keep him on PUP for a mid season replacement. One problem with Bullocks is that I don’t think they will put him on special teams with that knee. And you really need some special team play out of your safeties. Pearson will give you special teams, but who else? Bullocks? Alexander? Smith?

The O-Line is also a log jam. With the addition of McCollom, who is now the odd men out? Foster? Ramirez? Davis? Ramirez and/or Davis may have an option of the practice squad.

Because the Lions have plugged holes on this roster with veterans who know the systems, they have to find a way to keep some of the young talent until they fully develop the young kids who may not be ready to be counted on yet.

I'm sure there will be a surprise cut or two. But let the games begin.

ClusterFox said...

I’m still amazed by the majority of Lion’s fans, and their inability to find any positives in the movements by the Lions.

I believe Cherilous is going to make more of an impact than the other 1st rd Tackles, partially because the other OTs are struggling with that left side, but we’re still getting more out of our pick.

Dizon- has a lot of work to do, and were not getting a very good look at Rods preferences at LB. Yet, I’m not hearing anything about Mayo or Lofton lighting it up. (Side note: Anyone see TSN’s story on Mayo a few weeks back. Never would have happened if we drafted him.)

K.Smith-People jumped all over him about running too high, simple because he was critical of himself. I love players that are in a constant pursuit of perfection.

Avril and Flu- 3rd rounders that should make some impact. Not as starters, but situational. I’m just excited we have 5 guys from the draft that can help improve our team this year.

The P. Willis and J. Thomas arguments are getting old. I wish we would have picked up Brady with one of our first 5 picks in 2000, but we didn’t. (Hindsight is still 20/20) All we can do is look forward, and I like what I see. That’s as good as it gets from an unbiased perspective. I guess I’m just trying to pat everyone on the back for keeping the info and analysis flowing and the mindless, redundant bashing to a minimum. As you can tell I just got up to date on Mlive reading.

Not to jump the gun on Detfan’s RB piece that should be coming up. But I want to know your thoughts, applying”positional flexibility” to the RB/FB/TE positions. I’d like to see us squeeze another spot out of these groups. My thought is Bell is expendable. I think it would be rewarding to short the RB spot knowing if an injury occurs there are viable options out there, and there are soon to be more. Thanks guys.

Anonymous said...

I think that we are going to see a pretty large improvement in the play of George Foster, and the Lions wont necessarily rush Cherilus into the line-up. I think that Cherilus was a good pick, and he will definately be our RT of the future, but I just have a feeling that Foster will not commit as many false starts, and will actually have pretty solid play. He knows this blocking scheme, and he does have the tools to be a productive offensive lineman. I'm pretty sure he was also drafted in the first round.
As far as the defensive line goes, I am really hoping that they keep at least 10 guys. The defensive line will have to be the strength of this team (as well as the WR's) in the future, so we can't afford to lose a young guy that will be a solid player in the next year or two. I don't know much about him, and I'm pretty sure he is a lock to make the team, but the one guy that I wouldn't mind seeing the Lions drop would be Chuck Darby. I know that he has a lot of experience and will probably be a help to the young guys, but I would hate to see the Lions drop a young guy to keep Darby, and then have that young player go off and be a star for another team. I guess the Lions are getting to the point where they have to decide between keeping proven players that don't have too many years left, and keeping young unproven players with potential. It's a good sign that the Lions are headed in the right direction, but I just hope that they don't cut their defensive line short.


silverLIONing said...

Maybe I didn't pay as much attention to it before - or maybe it just wasn't happening in past years - we seem to have several camp reports on hits/tackles/collisions that never got talked about before. Hopefully thats a good sign - and the tempo and intensity that Rod is trying to build is actually happening. Looking forward to Thursday.
Looks like Teddy Lehman is destined not to play football - can't stay on the field, too bad as he looked great his rookie year. I can see Buster Davis becoming our answer to strong side LB. A player with low center of gravity that can penetrate and disrupt the running game.