Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week 5 or 15? - Real Defensive

Okay, so last night I copped out of writing on here and watched the Steelers-Ravens game down to the end. Few reasons:

1. I was out of town until late Sunday, so missed out on football the rest of the weekend (even what I heard was a great Chicago-Philly game)

2. I love to watch great defenses play. Yeah -- lots of punting, special teams play, field position battles. Sure, deep strikes are fun to watch -- but they are more electrifying when the average play for half an hour has gained about 3 -4 yards. then BAM 30 yards.

3. I have Pittsburgh as my defense in 4 or so fantasy leagues, and wanted to see if they could carry me to victory in the close games I was losing. I tied a game on the last-second sack in OT by Pittsburgh. Crazy.

4. Mendenhall was a big deal to many -- but his biggest knocks were a fumbling problem (which he showed in the preseason) and durability (he is on IR). I think the Lions got better value for Smith in the 3rd than they would have for Mendenhall in the first. Personal opinion. (B. Albert also is out for quite some time, but that is statistics and luck in the NFL -- may not have happened here - for either one.)

I had to ask myself, looking at Lions news tonight, if we are entering week 5 or week 15? All the talk was focused on the Draft, Free Agency, and other Ifseason items.

does anyone else remember it is week FIVE. The Lions play THIRTEEN games yet. Does the schedule look hard? Yup. But there are several beatable teams on the schedule. Who? I'm not sure. But I don't see the Lions going 0-16 at this point. Talk to me in three games. I may have changed my mind by then.

Who wins first? Lions or St. Louis?

I find it interesting -- Mike Shannahan in 1980's was the last coach fired at week 4 of the season. Yet, two coaches and a GM have been canned already. Not For Long (NFL)

KC looked awful their first few games, and pulled an upset over Denver. The Lions may just be able to put it together, come out and beat the Bears. Their defense is definitely playing almost as dominant as in their SB run...but their offense is playing as anemic as ever. Could be a low scoring game, where the Lions O can make a big difference on a few key plays. The kicking game could be key and is a Lions strong suit.

Or the Lions D could fall like piano 30 stories into the sidewalk. Spectacular destruction.

Good Leo or Bad Leo? Maybe we should rename the team the Detroit Gemini?

I've got some thoughts on starting RB, QB's, young players, watching and learning, etc. -- as well as more thoughts on the GM situation (which is still sparking some mighty interesting ideas...)


Just keep in mind -- week 5 and keep the current analysis opportunities in plain view and leave the Ifseason talk for the Ifseason -- it's a long way away and a lot will change between now and then, especially this year, for the Lions. FA, College guys, how the Lions do, who the coach is, who the GM is -- all that will impact the first part of the Ifseason, then leading into FA, then the draft....

But everything you need to know to look at that hasn't happened yet. Do I believe in now? Always -- if you don't pay attention to now, you'll never get to then...


CHIEFGER139 said...

i found it weird
there already talking about the draft so soon too-i guess killer mentioning smith getting benched and how we blew another draft got everyone moving on it. with the 2 coaches being fired and your 0-16 prediction-id say rod's on the hot seat and a couple more embarrasing games-mayhew may fire him to try and save his skin-more embarrising defensive play?/ maybe rods forced to fire his son in law barry to save his skin?? bad special teams-kwan may go-on and on-even if the rest of the season is a total disaster-see lots and lots of upcoming lions news this season
which gives all us die hard bloggers plenty of info to argue over-
so i guess if your the die hard fan variety like me-this should be a very very interesting season-to say the least!!

DetroitSims said...

Just like you were sayin Detfan, Drew Sharp wrote this one. Got that feelin they are throwing in the towel. I would like to see Stanton this week if Kitna continues to play bad!!!

Lions coach Rod Marinelli might not grasp the concept of the "lame duck," but it isn't lost on his quarterback.

Jon Kitna has spent much of his time in the NFL counting the seconds until he returned to the bench, giving way to a young gunslinger.

Kitna knows his days in Detroit are approaching the two-minute warning. His experience was only valuable if the Lions had enough playoff-worthy talent surrounding him. But it's now obvious that the Lions are at least two years away from genuine legitimacy -- and that's only if the new administration strikes gold with every personnel decision.

There's no room for a 36-year-old journeyman as starting quarterback under that arrangement.

Kitna's done. He was once the Lions' biggest cheerleader, even in embarrassing defeat. But after he threw a meaningless late touchdown against San Francisco, Kitna solemnly walked off the field and blew off an assistant coach looking for a high-five.

But the Lions' problem -- among others in this latest transitional phase -- is that the next "quarterback of the future" probably isn't residing in the team's locker room. That unknown's name could be Florida's Tim Tebow or possibly Missouri's Chase Daniel in next April's draft.

Drew Stanton must eventually start this season. Marinelli will have no alternative because the Lions need to determine if Stanton, a second-round pick in 2007, possesses a rudimentary grasp of game-day execution.

But it doesn't help Stanton that he's taking his first regular-season practice reps today as a professional. He expects snaps with the scout team, sharing time with Dan Orlovsky, now that he has recovered from the sprained right thumb that prematurely ended his exhibition season.

"I haven't been told anything," Stanton said Monday. "I'm just assuming that I'm taking scout team reps like I did before. I can't really comment on speculation about what might happen. I'm just looking forward to finally participating in my first regular-season practice."

Stanton missed all of last season following arthroscopic knee surgery during training camp. Former offensive coordinator Mike Martz demanded that Stanton go on injured reserve, which kept him out of practice all season, even though he was fully recovered well before its end.

Stanton is the only Lion capable of stirring any significant public interest the remainder of the season. The Chicago game Sunday isn't sold out, but it was expected that Matt Millen's firing might spur a short-term increase in ticket sales, if for nothing else than a formal "thank you." But this might be the easiest game remaining on the Lions' schedule because they're coming off a bye week.

Lose this one and the Lions risk another extended losing streak. They've already endured four six-game losing streaks in the previous seven seasons. Lose to the Bears and you could easily envision another 0-10 start similar to Millen's first season in 2001 when they lost their first 12 games.

Stanton said he tries to block out any external drama.

"That doesn't concern me much," he said. "I'm just getting comfortable again after being gone for a month. I'm not concerned with all the talk about the coaching staff because Rod has such good command of this team and everybody respects him so much."

Stanton remains Marinelli's trump card, but if Marinelli doesn't survive the inevitable organizational purge, why would the new president/general manager and his handpicked new head coach want a young quarterback bearing the Millen stain?

Marinelli's best chance rests with the Fords removing the interim tag from chief operating officer Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew, but that contradicts Lewand's recent comments that he's only interested in a supportive executive role because he understands his limitations in running a football operation.

There is no quick remedy to this mess

kitabug124 said...

Here is the future of this season: Kitna starts every game he isn't injured. Smith and Dizon stay on the bench and see limited duty unless they are forced into action by injury. Marinelli's dogged determination that seemed like an asset in the preseason is now a liability. He will focus only on one game at a time: the next one. He will play to win each game, no matter what the win/loss record is. That's just the way he is wired. He is a man of integrity. He is unable to change that. To him, "now" is all that matters. It doesn't matter how it damages the future because he can't change the future. He can only influence the present. He will continue to pound the rock, even if it is Gibralter.

WCF will not hire a new GM. My prediction is that Mayhew and Lewand will stay because WCF already has some kind of relationship with them, not to mention the "rumour" that Mayhew is an up and coming GM prospect. It is the path of least resistance. It is just easier that way. At his age and given his track record, to expect any innovation or deviation from the half century of established behavior is naive. It's sad. The koolaid is forever tainted- at least until ownership changes. (sigh)

CHIEFGER139 said...

Someone mentioned on m-live that in one of kowalaski's audioo's the fords are meeting with Howie long???