Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to 2009, and goodbye to a 2008 that I'm sure couldn't be over soon enough for our favorite Football Lions of Detroit.

As referenced by Mark in AZ, here is a nice piece by NetRat on his thoughts regarding Mayhew and the transition. As my regular readers know, NetRat is a Lions capologist and I utlize his knowledge quite often regarding contracts, cap hits, etc.

so I'm sure you'll be hearing his name this Ifseason as we look at the rosters (both Lions and otherwise) an heading into the draft. I'm still staying pretty mum on the Lions assistant GM search, as I'm not even familiar with all the VP's of player personnel in the league -- much less their highly talented assistants looking for promotion -- which are who the Lions are pursuing. I'm guessing they are looking at teams with a record of good FA and Draft picks. Who? I have no idea. We'll have to wait and see.

As for the coaching front, I'm beginning to think it would be easier to list who the Lions aren't interviewing! They are meeting with virtually every top coaching candidate, and I swear they want to somehow interview every coordinator/former coordinator in the league worth his salt, and then still interview other former HC, as well as some outside shots.

I respect their thoroughness, and we'll again have to wait and see how that turns out before we know what type of team the Lions are really going to be building in 2009 and beyond.

Because of this, barring any news on the hiring front, I'm going begin this ifseason by looking at the current Lions roster, who is/isn't under contract -- and who I think should come back depending on what type of coach the Lions hire.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of time for Draft Scenarios, what-if trade scenarios, FA scenarios, etc over the next 8 months. Welcome back to the Lions' prime time season: The Ifseason!

Go Lions!! Go Chargers!

14 comments:

fujimo said...

Detfan thanks for this site. It's nice to not have to sift thru all the negative stuff on some of the sites. We all know how bad the Lions have been. Roy

Mark in AZ said...

Thanks Datfan again I forgot about the side links and just ran across it. I visit your page all the time don't post too much though most things are already said. I feel this new staff is doing things different already but, too soon to tell and with Ford having the last word who knows.

About the coaching search I don't want a guy who's washed up or burnt out I would love to have Cower but he left Pittsburg for a reason and Shanny got fired for a reason as well.

Happy New Year.

Go Lions, Chargers

DetFan1979 said...

Thanks for the positive thoughts as well! It's not just me, but those who post encouraging and insightful commetns as well!!1

Cowher quit because he was tired, and wanted to see his last daughter through high school in PA. She is a senior, and he won't leave that for just any job. It would have to be the perfect spot AND a HUGE payday.

As for Shanahan, it wasn't his coaching but his duties as GM that got him canned. He wouldn't have been willing to give up his personnel responsibilities in Denver, but may be willing to at least work with someone in another city.

His ability to coach (especially offense) is very good. But his personnel decision making is awful. Cutler is his best draft choice, and none of his defensive choices have worked out in a long, long time. He's also made some really bad FA moves in recent years.

All this adds up to me being happy if Detroit hired him to coach -- but not if they gave the VP of personnel too. With the Zone-blcoking he used in Denver aleady under development, he would be able to come in and implement changes pretty quickly on that side of the ball. The key there would be: Who will his defensive coordinator be? It needs to be somone who can really manage a defense.

Romeo Crennel actually comes to mind if their presonalities mesh -- he as a good DC in NE, but like Rod Marinelli didn't get a good feel for being "the man" --

It is still an exciting time to be a Lions fan!!

JJLions20 said...

Well, say goodbye to 2008 (a very bad year on a number of fronts), and hello 2009 (and it has to be better than 08). Lets try to read between the line as to what the Lions will do. But one thing we know, what ever they do they will not tip their hands.
First why did Lewand and Mayhew get to stay. It's simple ,they have done their job well, even if they were associated with Millen and 0-16. Lewand has done well with the salary cap, and in particular had done well in the last 15 months to get out of cap problems. Mayhew has shown promise with the Williams and Culpepper deals, and believe it or not, he is known as an up and comer around the league.

I'll also give these words of advice to Lewand and Meyhew (as well as Detfan1979 to think about). Hire a head coach, not a system.
The history of the Lions is that they try to take a shortcut by hiring a coach with a "system". The "run and shoot", "West Coast Offense". "Greatest Show on Turf", and the "Tampa-2". What do they all have in common... They are all finesse systems. They all get away from the basics. You win in football with the biggest, fastest, most discipline players up front, playing aggressive.
One of the best Bosses I have ever had once told me that "when building a mouse trap, the mice don't get to vote". Translation... If you want to build a winner, you can't be trying to appease the fans.

You don't need to draft a QB right now, if your QB is going to hand the ball off. So I wouldn't be surprised if it happens to be Orlovsky, Stanton, and Henson. The fans won't like it, but this is where Lewand comes in. He knows in a rookie salary cap is coming, and why tie up a lot of cap in a QB now, when in the next couple of years you can get one without handcuffing your franchise. Who knows, one of the other three may emerge.
Since I’m talking QB, When Tom talks about ruthless, the Kitna situation comes to mind. Kitna was put on the bench by Lewand and Mayhew not to heal, but to get something out of him. Look for him to be dealt. Even a 6th or a 7th rounder is something, when it cost Kitha ½ a season when he doesn’t have many left. That’s ruthless. Lets see where Martz ends up and if he will look to Kitna if the price is right.
Kevin Smith has shown promise and Colletto's straight ahead zone blocking is starting to pay dividends. Look for the lions to Draft a center who was much larger than Riola, and also invest in guards lower in the draft. Left Tackle could be the #1 pick.

The Defense is a more perplexing issue. The squad is built with primarily smaller players.
They can't be overhauled this unit in one season. What I read between the lines is that Mayhew and Lewand want the new Head Coach and D-Coordinator to mix up defenses. Play some cover-2 but also be more aggressive with other defensive scheme. To do this you need to ultimately be big and fast. So who stays from the defensive side of the ball. A lot will depend on what other cover-2 teams may give up for some of our players. That we won't know until March/April. Also expect any trade talks to be kept very quiet, until they happen. For example, what would the Colts offer for an Ernie Sims, Jordon Dizon, Dewayne White, Cliff Avril or Cory Reading. They may feel these players are available at bargain prices as Detroit will be shifting from a primarily cover-2 system team. Also remember the Colts window of opportunity will be closing in the next 3-4 seasons. So some experienced cover-2 players may be of value.
So who stays? It depends on who can be dealt for draft picks. Alma Francis (6-5, 280) and Cory Redding (6-4, 295) have the size and speed. Avril could be an interesting piece to keep if the new coaches think he could fit some zone blitzing schemes, or if they want to play a little 3-4 to mix up the defenses. You may have to play Dizon for a season to make him more marketable (playing a guy just to be able to trade him may sound ruthless, but it’s about acquiring your type of players. With all the holes to be plugged, I would think that Alexander and Bullocks would be staying for now.

DetFan1979 said...

Nice to hear from you JJ! I certainly hope that 2009 goes MUCH better for you!!

Best of luck this year, and great thoughts!!

(I disagree on Avril though -- I think he is a versatile player as either a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 OLB and would be valuable in a shifting pressure D)

millersco said...

So what is everyone's opinions of our young DL? IAF hasn't worked out as a DE, but he seems to do pretty well as a DT - forces run plays down the line and made some nice goal line tackles. Cohen didn' get a chance to play much, but he seems to have the biggest up field push into the pocket of all of them. I don't know about Fluellen, again just didn't get a chance to see him play that much. Yes I would think that you keep Avril, came on when given the chance to play, and as you said versatile in 4-3 or 3-4. How was he as a LB in college?
With Killer's talk of Mayhew being ruthless, I don't see Cody/Fisher/Nece/Darby/Lenon/Pearson/D Smith being around next year, maybe more.

RIP said...

Interesting thought Millersco.
None of or d-lineman are big enough to play the nose tackle. Avril maybe a good OLB in a 3-4 defense, but small for an end in a 4-3. White is a good 2 or 3 DE in a 4-3. Don't think he can play an OLB in a 3-4, and to small for an end for this type defense. Cohen is small for a DT. Reading, Fluellen, and IAF maybe ideal ends in a 3-4. All three don't have the agility, quickness, and speed combination for a 4-3 DE. Cody is a good backup, but he probable won't be back due to numbers already under contract.
As a summary. For either type defense, we need a NT. White is the only DE with size and skills for the 4-3. Our other DL maybe better suited as a DE in a 3-4. In my opinion, most are tweeners and maybe best as backups or rotational players.
The performance of our d-line the last couple years, and as a defense as a whole, is why I hope there is a DE to chosen overal in this up coming draft. If there is go DE 1a, DT 1b and MLB in the second round. Fix the front seven first in our defense, and see where the pieces fall in place from there.

RIP said...

Did anyone watch the MSU-UG game?
Watched it to evaluate Georgia's QB Stafford. My take was he is not ready for the NFL yet. He has a great arm with nice touch to the side lines. Had nice accuracy when the timing of the play was there. When going away from primary route, timing and accuracy was off.
Too big of a risk for the first overal pick.

Anonymous said...

WOW

It's been a while boys, and I apologize. The boys have me busy with hockey, and I'm actually the acting tournament host this weekend.

MAYHEW - I like what I hear him saying. He's low key, he wants to be behind the scenes and buried in a veil of secrecy. Sounds like the Wizard of Oz. And he's cocky enough to think that no one will pull back the vail. He's a first time GM. Lewand is good with cap numbers. So good, they almost got screwed on the Shaun Rogers to Cincinnati trade, but saved face coming up with the CLeveland deal.

GETTING BIGGER - Needs to be done. I said this last year when we started the season. I didn't think it would be as obvious as it was, but the Lions got blown off the ball. Look at what the Falcons did Week #1. That was the blueprint all season for teams to kill the Lions. Passing on them is just a bonus. When you get big nasties leaning on you for three periods, it breaks your will. In our division, we need to get big because they all run the ball. The Bears are not a finesse team, they are built for November. The Packers-SAME! The Vikings are a running team with a ball control offense, too, but with the indoors, the Lions have success because of their speed and quickness.

I think the Lions can do a few things easily to help themselves. IAF looked better inside, and he's young and can add more weight. Shaun Cody is in a contract year. Darby won't be back. They need a starter in free agency (or two) with Cohen and IAF to back them up.

TUCK RULE - The next way to get bigger is to take the good speed of their overpaid, underproducing defensive tackle and let him play his natural position. Cory Redding at defensive end is a good thing. He knows the technique, and is 20 pounds bigger than anything they have (IAF) and has 40 pounds on White. Play him on the run side with White on the other. But, this is also another reason I think Steve Spagnuolo is coming to town. Cory Redding can go back inside (ala Jason Tuck) on third downs as he knows both techniques.

The Lions are LIGHT in the backer roles. 240 and 250 pound backers can take on an offensive lineman and can fight through them from time to time. Ernie Sims at 225 DISAPPEARED. Ryan Nece at 230 would reappear right before the whistle would blow. These guys are as big as safeties (well, a little stretch). They need to get some beef on them. and Sims and Dizon are young enough that they can do it, too. 20 more pounds of muscle will be good for them.

On offense, you need a big tight end. I think if McDonald goes and Furrey stays, that the Lions will be OK and don't have much of a need on "O". Vernon Davis is a little too cocky for me, but I think he has worn his welcome with Singletary in San Fran. A game changer at that spot would be good. A prima donna like Roy was not sticking around when he doesn't run block on the corner. I'm glad he's having all that success in "D" South.

The other "switch" I would try is Backus. I would try him at guard, probably on the right-unless they get a terrific left guard in free agency. I think Peterman is weaker than Mulitalo. I would also grab a center in free agenecy. I like Raiola's heart and mind, but he is too damn small at 265. A second back would be good, but a luxury. Personally, I like Nolan at fullback, too. That's right, I enjoyed watching it....give Felton some carries. He looked good when they gave it to him on week 17 vs the Pack. Big backs, pounding the ball. Human bowling balls; wrecking crews, bulldozers. I like it. Rumbling, stumbling, bumbling....babbling---Nubs!

millersco said...

I finally got to watch the GB game yesterday, been out of town and too busy. Nubs - I agree with running Felton, he is a good change of pace, and with both Smith and Felton in, a good coordinator can do great things - both can run, both have good hands and a smooth transition from receiving. Felton is hard to bring down. I thought Ramirez played pretty well for what, his first or second game at left guard. I never understood why they sat him down, he had a few pass coverage issues at first but playing time overcomes that. He blocked well on run and pass, did a nice job on Smith's touchdown run, and moves up the field well. I imagine we might draft an OG/C later in the draft, but if we shoot for a LT early then the OL is decent enough.

CHIEFGER139 said...

well looks like they found the perfect m & m boy
http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2009/01/lions_add_mike_mularkey_to_coa.html
who knows?? looks like they caught the guys who robbed my wife-looks like we knew them-my wife says its all secret for safety but the local store owner told me who it is-even had a friend tell me to sue the pharmacy cause my wife cant work any more due to robberies-but im christian and dont believe in sueing-were struggling financially and didnt need this- without even her part time income I dont know how to get by-but cant forse her to go back to work-may be selling the house and moving back to battle creek-hope i can at least break even -a lake house --so should sell no trouble--trouble is battle creek houses go for more than union city houses even if at the lake-but being on the lake it should sell fast if i offer a very good price-makes me sick-my moms just comin home from a stroke in half to help her out too!! already have my daughter and granddaughter livin here and a stray dog maybe mom too and her 4 big dogs god forbid-well i enjoyed 8 years livin on the lake no regretts. wish the chief luck.

Todd said...

Chief,

Sorry to hear about all of that and I hope everything works out for you. Just keep your head up, I will keep you in my thoughts and best of luck.

Go Chargers!!!

detroitsims said...

Hope everything works out for ya Chief!!!! Thinkin of ya down this way!

Anonymous said...

wow,GL Chief.I hope things work out for you.

Hopefully like the Lions,this is your bottom,except one thing,I know you will bounce back up...the Lions? eh not as much optimism.

Hang in there Bro!

Kennaaye