Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Detroit Fan 1979 in Denial - Please NO Blackout!

My apologies on the slow post time - yours truly was hit with a 24 hour knock you out flu. Not to be confused with the 3 hours knock you out Lions flu. See, I couldn't catch that because I couldn't tackle it. Rather, I'd bump into it, but forget to wrap my arms around it.

Mass Amnesia, causing all knowledge of tackling to be lost? Weak arms due to a need to fire the upper-body defensive strength for having too intense a workout prior to flying to Atlanta, thus rendering them unable to wrap up an offensive player? Defensive pull an all-night team building exercise by lifting rocks to stop people pounding rocks, and thus again were too tired to tackle? We may never know...

What I do know, is that I'm still optimistic about the season. Did I give my "lucky" Lions hat a timeout in the closet? You bet.

Did I actually have the stomach to look at the tape and rewind it a few times to see what was going on? Oh yeah.

It's hard to look away from a trainwreck...

I said on Saturday that the most likely thing to crush the Lions was...yes...Michael Turner. Take away 3 easy TD's and you take away 21 points. They needed to take him out of the game, and make Ryan keep throwing.

The defense, for any of the reasons above (Joey voodoo dolls backfired on his former team(s), you name it) didn't forget where they should be most of the time -- they forgot how to tackle with the exception of the safeties! (They could tackle, just forgot how to get there/where to be. Entirely different problem)

I saw no less than FOUR times that the Lions D had Turner in the backfield, and 2 more at the line of scrimmage...and he gained 10 plus yards on all of them because whoever whiffed on the tackles. Along with the LB.

Specific players/personnell that I noted:

1. Fears of Campbell being injury prone proven beyond doubt -- 3rd year on IR. Would rather have McHugh than Owens on the Roster, but such is life. (As a Steeler for McHugh)

2. TURNER, not matt Ryan, beat the Lions. He threw what, 9 or 10 passes? The Lions didn't stop the run, the offense didn't score, and thus there was no reason for Atlanta to take any chances throwing so they didn't, limiting the opportunities for the Lions Secondary to make plays, and the Dline to get pressure on the QB. (it's not personnel, but I felt it bore repeating.)

3. Cody disappeared on the field, just like he always does come gametime.

4. DeVries did too

5. Redding was doubled up almost every play

6. Moore wasn't playing real great, and Darby didn't do much to stop the run

7. Where is preseason Lenon? All I saw was the worst of 06 Lenon.

8. Foster got his butt handed to him on a platter...multiple times...

9. Kitna hasn't looked the same in game since the Minny concussion

10. Anyone else catch themselves thinking on the "shoulda run for a TD" that Stanton would have looked great there? Thought that a few times...crazy. Wasn't even drinking.

11. Dizon looked really good while he was in there (only 10 plays, and tied for lead with tackles at 5). With how bad Lewis looked in game (a surprise to me) why isn't Dizon starting in the middle and Lenon competing with Lewis at SSLB? Nece also looked better than Lewis. Doesn't say a whole lot.

12. Cherilus needs to start at RT. Maybe even give Manny a shot at RG, although I'd like to see Peterman and Cherilus together first.

13. They resigned Middleton as 5th wideout and return guy. I said before he was cut that he looked good during his limited return opportunities, and I'm glad to see him back.

14. Put Bodden in Man coverage and Fisher on nickle where he was signed to play and where he belongs. Enough of this crap already Rod -- you rolled the dice on the Rooks and the FA now just play them and see what they've got.

They NEED to just bite the bullet, get the rookies in there, and have IAF, Cohen, and Flu active come game day. Cohen and IAF at least. Just see what they can do -- it certainly can't be any worse. Guys played themselves out of jobs -- see if the rooks are worthy to take it, and hold it. They will at least have some intensity -- something I saw lacking from the team on Sunday.

I want to see the GB game next week, or at least on tape delay (as I may be gone). I might not get the chance, since there aren't enough tickets sold so there may be a blackout. Despite living in Lansing, which is -- according to Google Maps, 89.6 miles outside of Detroit, some of my Fox Station viewing area is within 75 miles...so no Lions for me. Which is a load of crap -- especially considering our local cable operators wouldn't deign to give those customers outside 75 miles, but with no channel to watch it on, an alternative. So NFL blackouts are more like 100+ miles when you take that into consideration.

So do me a favor -- don't boycott the game! [If you're going to, and have tickets, please email me and I will gladly take them off your hands for below market value, since you aren't going anyways. All a blackout does is screw the average fan who can't afford to go -- hint -- it won't get Millen fired, and WCF is going nowhere the team makes a profit even if the stadium is empty -- so what is the point? Lets watch us some football!!]

I still believe in now, and it was not the type of blowout that we saw last year. It was the Lions not executing one aspect -- tackling -- along with a jacked-up Atlanta that beat them. Not poor execution in all phases. 13 points was still winnable - couple of bad mistakes ie - INT, 1/2 yard shy on slide - and Lions could have not only been in it, but won it. That was not like Philly last year where they were overpowered in all phases --- the game was still theirs to win or lose into the 4th quarter despite all they had screwed up along the way, and they lost it plain and simple. It was theirs to take and they didn't.

And they know it. Which is likely to inspire them and fire them up more than if it had been a horrible blowout. So here's to GB and what looks to be a competent Aaron Rodgers. Scouting report later this week.

Go Lions!!!


kitabug124 said...

There is no question in my mind that Rod Marinellis is a master motivator. I believe that he has gotten rid of the bad attitude/locker room poison that has plagued the franchise recently. What I suspect, and I hope I am wrong, is that Rod may not be a good head coach. Substitution problems? Sitting FA's and rookies that should play? Choices of assistant coaches (a running OC AND a passing OC? Even if one is the "official" coordinator?) Does Rod know what he is doing? Yes he has a vision. Yes he has a clear goal and will not be deterred, but does he have the knowledge to get us there? Will the poor decisions, the poor preparation, the poor performance of the players AND coaches taper off and stop? Even with the best of intentions and the clearest and most correct goals some people still don't achieve their goals because they can't get it done. They may have the ability but the circumstances prevent success or they just don't have the ability.

I love Rod and his passion, don't get me wrong. But in the back of my mind, the question keeps popping up: Does he know what it takes (game time decisions) to turn THIS franchise around? Would he have what it takes to turn a different franchise around under different circumstances? I want to believe, I really want to, but an ex- once told me: "It hurts to want!" Just because I want Rod to turn my beloved franchise around doesn't mean he will or can. I need some evidence to satisfy my "want".

Isphet said...

Heya Detfan! I'm glad you saw what I saw in the game. Guys were in the right spots, they just couldn't tackle for some reason. Don't worry about being blacked out; it won't happen. They have about 4,000 tickets left, some company will bail them out, or else Packers fans will buy up the tickets and come watch. Now, if this game is ugly also, then I would start to worry a little bit about later home games.

I was listening the the Huge show yesterday and Mariucci was on there talking about the Lions, and he basically laid the blame on personnel. He said that Rod got the guys where they needed to be, they just couldn't make the plays. He said that he KNOWS that Rod makes them practice tackling all the time and stresses it, but for some reason, come gametime, the players just aren't able to do it. Weird, huh?

I'm hoping that having to watch themselves get embarrassed on tape, and also being at home where they always play much better, will make them remember how to tackle. They looked great in the preseason at tackling, and that's why I had some hope for them this year on D. The thought did cross my mind that maybe since it was preseason, guys weren't fighting our D and they would just fall down when touched to avoid injury, and somehow our guys thought that would be enough in the regular season also. Scary thought.

Looks like this entire season comes down to whether or not our guys on D can actually tackle someone or not. We have no chance if they can't. The O was good enough, and the D would have been good enough if the first guy there made the play.

rhvery said...

Great site DetFan. It is nice to be able to get some perspective on a game without the writer having the need to sell papers. It seems all the local beat writers today are too caught up in writing a story that the radio shows will talk about.

Keep the objective feedback/analysis coming. It is what us true fans WANT to read.

JJLions20 said...

Wow, where do I start. First, I did not get to see or even listen to the game. I can't even seem to find an internet radio station that can broadcast the Lions anymore. Anybody that has any advice on how to coverage over the internet with out paying the absorbenent fees, let me know.

I don't call myself an optimist or a pessimist, but more of a realist. The Lions got beat on the road by what I believe is a poor team, so that is not good. But there are reasons why I don't believe all is lost, yet.

Pre-season is not meaningless. The win's and losses are meaningless, but the way the Lions (in particular the defense) flew around to the ball, and wrapped up on their tackling was not a dream. It was real. So what happened? I don't think they were ready for the shell-shock of getting down on the third play of the game. They immediately forgot about their technique and how they played in the pre-season. The other thing is that they may have done was tried to pace themselves. They have to learn to go full tilt as long as they can. 80% effort equals failure, when you don't have an abundant of talent.

What do they do next? Rod can go in with the same starters, but they have to understand that if they don't perform (in their first series) to a winning level in the NFL then personnel changes are waiting in the wings. Dizon is a tackling machine. He proved that with 5 tackles in 10 plays. Even if Rod feels had some mis-steps, and maybe was out of position a couple of times, the point is he made 5 tackles in 10 plays, on a team that is tackling poor. Rod needs to be ready to increase Dizon's play if Lenon and Lewis are not in on a lot of tackles.

The same goes for Cherilus. I don't have a problem starting Foster. But if he is not blowing guys out of the hole, then he needs to know the talented rookie is going to get the next series. Who ever plays the best keeps playing, and Foster needs to understand that if it is close, Cherilus gets the playing time because of his upside and is likely to improve with experience.

Now, I don't think Rod should deviate from his plan too much after one loss. He needs to remain consistent, but these two rookies gave him a reason to give them more playing time, and he said the best players play. I guess I'll throw in starting Bodden. I agree Fisher is out of position on the outside. He is a nickel back. I understand he knows the cover-2 better than Bodden, but with Fisher at the corner, you’re possibly weaker at the corner and the nickel position. Lets put players in positions where they can be successful.

Being the realist, I expected problems with communications on the sideline. You have a bunch of new guy's on defense and there is a new offense. Rod needs to address it and improve it, but to some extent it should have been expected.

My concern being a realist is that the Packers are a much better team than the Falcons. The Lions need a lot of improvement in week-2 compared to week-1. Even if the Lions play well they may not win. If they do win we will not really know what we have.

The Lions need to be 2-1 heading into the bye week to have a decent season. If it is 1-2 it is probably a below .500 year, although they may be improved. If it is 0-3, then it's 5 win's or less. It will quickly turn into playing the young kids, and rebuilding.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog detfan. This game was absolutely horrible. I saw that you mentioned where was lenon from preseason, I was wondering that too. It kind of reminds me of the movie, "Office Space". When Peter is talking to the Bob's. And he is says, "That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled; that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired".
So that is pretty much what we saw in preseason. People working just hard enough not to lose their jobs!!

ClusterFox said...

Great Analysis all!

1-point to help ease the pain.
This game is far more important than the last, and I believe that they are in a better state of mind than they would have been having beat the Falcons.
Rod is talking to them and I'm sure everyone knows if they win this week thay are back on track.

Anonymous said...

ATLANTA - Not a poor team. This team can play, but will run the ball more to keep their rookie QB from "forcing" plays. The Lions were NOT ready for the running game. They game-planned on jacking up Ryan when he passed. It never really happened.

MARINELLI - I've talked about Rod's abilities to be a head coach before, and they are still ringing true.
(kitabug124) nailed it. Rod is a master motivator, but does some stupid shit in-game. I'll skip the substitution stuff, the bad time-outs drive me crazy.

Case-in-point. Kitna throws the pick, Lions down 21-14, and Atlanta is driving. Momentum is definately swinging, and there is a controversial catch that was close, the ball may have touched the turf. The Lions call a timeout. The play is a third down catch on the fifteen or so for a first down. An incompletion means its a field goal.

Since you're taking a timeout (45 seconds); why not ask for a review to give your defense some extra time. They were winded; and definately NOT prepared. The lions hadn't used a challenge yet (amd didn't for the rest of the game).

CASE-IN-POINT #2 - (This one really frost's my cookies). Eight minutes to go, Lions are with the ball and down two scores. Hurry-up offense is in place, or at least the "drive-by" huddle????? NO!!! There may be no such thing in Rod's Den of Lions, because it was huddle as usual while precious time is ticking. Kitna doesn't stretch out during a scramble on the drive on third down and slides, stopping one yard short (BAD ON KITNA for not knowing where the marker is). But, 4th and 1 Rod is not going for it. (WHY, GOD WHY????????????) The Falcons have run the ball very well on you all day. Running will kill the clock and your chances to get back within a score. And, it's one yard.

That proved to be the ball game and the one fleeting chance the Lions had, and Rod flushed it down the toilet.

The coaching decisions are killers, and those three examples were very tough nails. Hopefully they prove to be claws in the wall, and not nails in the coffin because I like Rod.

Todd said...

I dont even have time to read the other comments as I am in a rush to leave for work. I am a faithful along with the rest of you and as you know post from time to time. I am hoping one of you can answer this very important question for me....

If the Lions game is blacked out locally, I am in Pennsylvania with my DirecTV NFL Ticket and would be heart broken if I can't watch this game.


Thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...


Pennsylvania Lions get to watch the game. I am in Northern Michigan and will also get to watch the game.

CHIEFGER139 said...

I HAVE TO DO ADOPT A HiGHWAY PICKUP for my church sunday so ill miss most of the game anyhow but still hope they dont black it out.i dont buy the lack of talant crap-rods had 3 years to fix the defensive line and didnt spend one of his top 3 picks on it. i guess the linebacker problem he did and should of and hopefully he sees now dizon must play alot more-he looked good what little he did play i think he even led the team in tackles and he only played 10 plays-hopefully he starts within 3 weeks. i still say the d-line needs more mussle and cohen has that-darbys ok but he cant last long-redding better start something cause if he dont id try 5-0 if neither does anything-scrap them both-i was so against getting harvy but it does look like they knew what they needed-i think harvy got hurt so that probably worked for us-i guess foster still getds the start and gosder wont even play-this puzzles me because foster was getting blown by 1/2 the time-i could see if foster played well but he stunk-makes me think gosder was a wasted pick. why the hell they fisher out there instead of bodden blows me away-fisher is only a last resort backup-smith and bodden should be out there as long as there physically able-we deserved to be burned on that td for the stupidity of our lineup at the time!! in fishers defense they were killing us on the run so bad he was probably moving up to help out-cant blame her there!! opps him-the long hair confuses me sometimes. i think rod needs to sit back and think big time about this game-i know hes big on good practice players but some guys practice well but blow in the games-i think thats half the problem-rod needs to instantly see the problems , fix them and make damn sure our best guys are on the field. it is too early to scrap the season and go alll young guys-but if there the best we have put them out there-atlanta did and they blew us out-makes us really look bad when a rookie coach with a bunch of rookies blows out a coach in his 3rd years with many vets.

kitabug124 said...

The lack of talent on the field against the Falcons could be a function of coaching. Let me explain: The choice of who was active and who started was the coach's. Fisher over Bodden? Avril over 5-0? Peterman over Ramirez? Foster over Cherilus? Alexander over Bullocks? Lennon over Dizon? Cody over anybody else? If any or all of those decisions were different, how different would the outcome have been? If the returners were different? Is it possible that the team looked so bad for the first game because the coaches out-thought themselves? Will they learn from their mistakes? How different will the lineups be this week? Can Rod admit he was wrong on some of those decisions and play the best game players even if they didn't beat out the starters in practice? All for the betterment of the team? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Very good questions. Very "psycho"-logical.

You cracked me up with the Fisher rip, up here, we call it "Predator-hair".