I just got done watching the game (finally) and will need to let the emotions calm more than a tad before I get into some serious looks at what is going on. I appreciate your patience! Time should be clearing up for me here now, so I will be back at the no less than every-other day schedule. I appreciate you hanging in there.
Oh, and remember -- while firing Millen would make everyone feel better, it would be like the man who punches out the guy he just caught sleeping with his wife. Sure - feels great to do it, but it doesn't change the fact that he just screwed you and your wife. In other words, it's only the beginning, and what follows is always harder.
So here is a guest blog from RGriffis to comment/chew on [my comments will, as usual, be in brackets]. My game thoughts will follow tomorrow -- Thursday and Friday I have two different stories lined up that I've been working on. I'll be out of town Saturday and Sunday but will return to catch up on current events/thoughts next Monday. Figured, after sticking through a little slow time, you fellows would like a preview of the upcoming week. The Lions may still be on vacation (it's not as if they showed up for the season yet) but I'm back to usual scheduling.
Oh yeah, Go Lions!!!
Courtesy of RGriffis:
Kitna Is Part of the Problem
The fact that Kitna doesn't think he is the problem IS the problem. He isn't playing well and he needs to acknowledge that - to have some humility. I like that Stanton is working hard and showing the right balance of readiness and loyalty - without stabbing Kitna in the back, but instead showing a good team player mentality.
I believe Kitna's poor performance and mood is a significant contributor to the decline of the team. He needs to put himself under some kind of pressure. Say something like, "If I don't get it done against Chicago maybe I need to get pulled and get my head on straight." Yeah, I know we'll never hear that from any NFL quarterback, but that's how I feel about it. [If you hear that from a QB they need to be pulled. Bart Starr used to say that if you're afraid of anything, you shouldn't be in that huddle, and you sure as hell shouldn't be passing anything other than water out to players on the sidelines. I'm more concerned that with Kitna outright questioning the playcalling as a team captain and supposed leader, he is causing even more doubt among the team. The QB needs to lead from the front and buy-in -- because it doesn't matter how good or bad the play calls are -- if the players don't buy-in and play 100% of the time, it will fail 100% of the time. Kitna needs the most to get his attitude under control, and stop letting his emotions get the better of him. Since that knock on his noggin in Minny, and especially this season even before the helmet hit in GB, but even more so as the season goes on he is just gone plain Loopy to quote my boss the Chicago fan on Kitna's state of mind. There reaches a point where a QB is just done -- and Jon is close approaching that point if he's not already there. As I'll go into detail with on Thursday, it's really too bad as another solid year out of him is what the Lions needed -- and now they going to be forced to make some kind of move early. Green Bay was ALL on him in my mind -- he didn't trust what the OC was doing, and forced in a long-pass instead of grinding it down the field, taking time off the clock and putting up a score. It was 1st and Ten for gosh sakes, only down two with 5 minutes to go -- perfect timing for a clock eating drive and he audibles into a pass and throws what is essentially a pick 6!]
If Kitna's knee is not 100% by October 5, he should not start. I would start Dan Orlovsky and keep him on a short leash with Stanton in the bullpen. If Kitna does start I would keep him on a short leash too - we need to win that game. And I would let all the quarterbacks know that the competition is on. [All deference to DanO, but if they are going to him might as well go straight to Stanton. We've seen what a little athleticism can do as far as creating a threat for the QB to run opening up other plays. Like McNabb, most running QB's settle down as they age and use their veteran savvy more than their legs most of the time. But to begin with, Stanton's abilities will serve the same purpose, as long as he keeps developing. I like the QB coach Loeffler, and think that he is doing very well with Stanton, and is working closely with him to continually improve him. As far as open competition...well, they are fast at the point that there is really nothing to lose. Down 3 games in the division...after 3 games! Why not?? What's he going to do, throw a few costly interceptions? Oh wait...]
Heads will roll. We are 0-3, and only five other teams are winless. Tarvaris got yanked in Minnesota and we got some nobody named Thigpen starting for Kansas City . Who are we to sit tight? [It is more of a trust issue, but the staff has come so close to losing this team (if they haven't already) that they need to do something drastic to shake things up and get the intensity the preseason competition brought back to the team.]
The chances of us making the playoffs are virtually nil - all of our losses are to NFC opponents and we've already lost a divisional game at home. And it's not like we're a powerhouse on defense or special teams to compensate for a weak offense. [As I said, 3 games back after 3 games...don't tell me the odds, but they're not good.]
It's time to make some good tactical moves. Develop young players. Hire and fire starters on a weekly basis. Make the whole roster fight for their jobs every week. [I agree with this whole-heartedly. Could Cohen and Fluellen, and Avril et al really get any less pressure than the Lions' current players like Cody have been? You can't get less than nothing...]
Last Sunday, Rudi Johnson won "the Cadillac," and Harris and Hanson won "a set of steak knives," but the rest of the guys should "hit the bricks." Rod should be putting the fear of god into these players. [Bullocks looked good. Smith looked good too, and I have no idea, after watching Cherilus play, how he hasn't been starting since day 1. If the Lions ever manage not to get down by 21 I think the combo of Smith and Johnson will be deadly to teams...assuming the QB doesn't constantly audible to risky throws into triple coverage every time they try to grind out the clock...]
WCF should do so to Millen, and Millen to Marinelli, but we all know how that is not happening in the good ol’ boys club. It's time for some accountability. That goes for all the coaches too. [That is 50 years gone, and you guys know I don't often, if ever, go there. Not too much to analyze in the GM department, and I won't bore you all with the stats I know we all know by heart.]
Our team has played like the worst in the league, but I know we're better than that. It is time for Rod and the boys to sack-up and sound-off like they got a pair. [Actually, St. Louis is somehow managing to look worse on a weekly basis than the Lions. In the DF79 League, team defenses can earn negative points. The Lions have been -3,-4,-1 in weeks 1-3. The Rams? -10,-2,-2. Sad to think a team is putting in less effort than the Lions right now.]
Roy and Kitna should be on the trading block, not that I would let them go lightly or easily. Kitna to the Niners would seem like a good trade since they lost Alex Smith - maybe we can get a 4th rounder for him. Roy can go to Dallas or Philly or some other contender - I know Seattle is short on wide receivers. [Now is not a time to trade from a position of strength, and do we really want Millen negotiating trades??? 49ers are content with JT and the whole staff has one year to make it or hit the road. They literally have nothing to lose either -- but the management won't give up future picks right now. Seattle for Roy is intriguing, but he is hurting his own value with all the dropped balls and lack of concentration. At the end of the season, they can still get at least a #1 and a #3 for him by franchising him and trading him to a team desperate for #1 WR who doesn't want the crap shoot of the draft. Roy can be good -- when he wants to be. Let the next Gm trade him and garner picks to rebuild with...]
No self-respecting team in the league puts up with poor quarterback play, and that's what we've been getting. Kitna has gotten worse each successive game, and a fire should be lit under him to change that trend. [As has Minny, Chicago, St.Louis, KC, and others. Ravens have put up with it for years, as have the Lions actually. There is no reason for it, but teams seem to be content to do it all the time. I do agree I am disappointed with how Kitna has both played and handled himself on and off the field.]
If it does not change, I've got a pair of tweezers for Kitna to pull the splinters out of his tookis because he'll be riding pine on the bench if he doesn't get his act together - either here or with his pals in San Francisco . [Again, I don't think in SanFran -- or anywhere but Detoit right now. But I do think I will be sadly shocked if he starts after the bye -- or doesn't get yanked if he keeps playing like he has been. This staff needs to throw caution to the wind (I know Marinelli is conservative) and just go for broke -- they are headed there quickly anyways, so they might as well go out with a bang!!]