Thursday, November 13, 2008

Flying Wide

Not the passes - the Wide Receivers.

Rewind to the draft -- Detroit (as usual) was feeling good about its Ifseason moves. Roy Williams was entering the final year of his contract, and there were already tentative offers out there for him. However, those offers were for a 2nd & 4th, 1st and 7th type variety. At that rate, considering Roy was a top ten pick, it made sense to keep him unless someone ponied up more than that. Dallas wanted him, but wasn't willing to pay -- then.

With CJ, Roy, McDonald and Furrey players like Middleton, Standeford, Ellis, and Moore were pretty much doomed from the start.

Fast forward to now. Dallas was desperate and decided to pay the piper -- in this case, Mayhew, top market value for Roy. Make no mistake -- a 1st and 3rd was the top value for Roy, and Dallas offered it up at the trade deadline because they knew Detroit couldn't resist it, and that it would still cost them that at the end of the season -- but the key was they would get him for just over half a season by doing it then.

So that leaves, as of today, the Lions WR as follows:

Adam Jennings (recently claimed off waivers from Atlanta -- he's a punt returner.)

What I notice most about the WR is that while they seem to be dropping fewer balls than the first few games (having fun in Dallas, Roy?), they still are not being utilized fully in this pedestrian offense. Period.

Jennings is here for the PR skills (we'll see how long he lasts). Standeford is getting his shot again at the number 4 spot. Furrey is still an excellent slot WR and has seemed to maintain his knack for knowing where the sticks are if they would only get him in position more on 3rd down. McDonald seems to be a serviceable enough #2 to keep CJ from being double/tripled constantly.

McD is not signed past this season, and I think the Lions will let him walk. He's decent, but nothing to overpay for. Furrey is still solid, and should be retained. Let guys like Standeford and some rooks compete for the other spots. Has the coaching staff forgotten how good Furrey was as #2 to Roy a couple of years back? Still the same player people.

Hopefully they will find a real returner next ifseason (Cason the most-claimed ever doesn't count) along a Joshua Cribbs type of vein. All-star special teamer, solid #4 WR when needed. As for the rest, a new #2/3 would be good, although I still think Standeford would be fine in that role.

Essentially, my take on the WR is that they are like the rest of the offense, and in fact the team -- square pegs, round holes. Herding cats. No direction from on high that can really be traversed or seen clearly.

The Lions do not really have an identity anywhere on their team. "Tough" doesn't translate to anything tangible on the field as far as scheme and execution and it shows. Rhinos are tough, but unless they are pointing in the right direction when they charge, what's the point? Right now the Lions have solid WR that just aren't being pointed anywhere useful.

Last issue with the WR? No time to get open, or even pretend to run a route. It's not a shock when the play ends before the route -- it's a shock when it doesn't. The horrid Oline play continues to reverberate throughout every aspect of the team.

Of all the areas of need, WR is still not high on that list even if/when McD leaves after the season. Resign him if it's reasonable -- otherwise forget it. WR of his class are plentiful in the later rounds of the draft to teams with real personnel departments.

But that, of course, is another night isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, would love to see them draft a fast raw receiver in about the fifth round to return kicks and learn as a WR, kinda like Steve Breaston in Arizona.