Friday, January 30, 2009

Randomness Everywhere

I have a random cacophony of articles and odds and ends thoughts hanging around to share, so this post may be a bit more eclectic than usual.

Also, quick bit of notice: Tomorrow I may write a blog, but on Sunday and Monday the DetFan1979 Clan will be on vacation. Please keep the comments and the commentary coming! I'll weigh in on the Superbowl, and other ifseason matters once again upon my return either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Kevin Siefert indicates that the Lions are homing in on James "Shack" Harris formerly of Jacksonville as their new director of player personnel. His record is mixed, but he has done his best work in later rounds, where the Lions have struggled. Not sure about this one yet, so I'll reserve judgement.

New Poll up -- Lewand mentioned the possibility of a change in uniforms/logo? at the town hall meetings the Lions held for fans. I have two examples of possibilities up along the side -- so weigh in on your logo choice!

In a stunning turnabout, a starting caliber player for another team wants to come to Detroit to play. No, seriously. Larry Foote, a starting LB with the Pittsburgh Steelers wants to finish up his career in his native Detroit. If Mayhew could secure him for a 5th round choice (wish we had a 4th) it would be a coup for the Lions' LB corps.

This is an older article, but Mike O'Hara had some good points. What I almost choked on was him stating the Lions' Scouts were respected around the league. Come again?? Couldn't all be Millen ignoring everyone right?

How about wrong. But that information is way too long for tonight. I'm going to do a special piece when I get back to explain the following statement: I think the Lions will significantly improve on their drafting ability and rival the best teams in the league when it comes to drafting acumen... IF... they stick to their plan. And I think they will.

As for the mighty Millen... I don't care what this reporter thinks, he didn't have to put up with Millen's closed minded "I know better than you" attitude as he ran the Lions franchise further into the ground than any other team in NFL history for 8 YEARS. Sorry, the man can make a living - fine. But don't call Lions fans silly, or ask them to come out in grand support of him. I know what I'm going to do if they bring him on - hit mute. "A peek behind the curtain at the wizard" gives him insight? He WAS the wizard, you moron! And he stunk at it. Why would I trust his evaluation or analysis on if a move or a player was good or bad? He proved he has no clue during his time in Detroit. The only reason he has any credibility with those losers is that Detroit was such a laughing stock while he was in charge, the national media ignored it.

This is a pretty objective article analyzing the Lions' coaching hires for HC/DC/OC. Very good read, and little I disagree with in there.

Linehan hasn't named his 2009 starter yet at QB. You know it is early ifseason when that's news! Thank goodness though, as it seems the staff and front office are taking a long, hard, objective look at each player's performance, potential, salary-to-contribution ratio, etc. before making personnel decisions. About time!! He also went over some good points in this article from Detroit about how he is feeling about the offensive pieces in place, and what needs to be added.

For those of you chomping at the bit for prospect rankings, or to know who the top lookers are right now, the National Football Post has updated players rankings -- for what those are worth at this point.

Such speculation is also swirling around the top pick. This publication (and apparently the league) think the Lions are going Stafford #1. Huh? Plenty of time to get away from that later. The one think I expect Mayhew to do at this point is the unexpected. That says to me right now no Stafford. Mooch thinks he'd rather have a Matt Cassel than take a chance on either of the "top" QB's this year. I'm inclined to agree - at least Cassel can flourish in the right situation. That is a much greater known than anything about the pro prospects of Stafford or Sanchez. Killer gave good info on why Kiper is so pro-Stafford despite the questions.

This ESPN story of sliders/risers is intriguing. Again, worth an early read to get a feel for the talent pool out there. Who is available to draft, and how deep the class is at a given position (or perceived to be) can significantly alter FA movement.

Going into FA, which will heavily influence the draft as it always does. Wasn't secondary Detroit's #1 need heading into FA last ifseason? By draft time, it was filled enough to look in other directions. This article from a Tennesee beat writer points out some FA who may look to come to Detroit for both an opportunity to work with Schwartz again, and to have a chance to start. Carr is my favorite from the list as he is a good returner and nickle back, both of which are needs for the Lions.

the Commish raised the possibility of taking Thanksgiving from Detroit possibly at the owners meetings next year, although it is safe for now. For NOW??!?! Was the Dallas smackdown of Seattle any different than the Titan's smackdown of Detroit --- NO!

With the exception of home/visitor getting beat on, they were both VERY lopsided games. No matter how hard you try to make a match up in season "great" at the beginning of the year, they will often disappoint. Dallas-Seattle SHOULD have been a great game according to the preseason. By the time Thanksgiving got here, about 20 Seattle WR later, it wasn't.
I didn't hear anyone saying "take it from Dallas because they just beat on an inferior opponent as well."

Detroit has had many memorable Thanksgiving day games and invented the Tradition -- and were the first to play on a day other than Sunday -- Against the league's wishes at the time to boot.

The Lions keep Thanksgiving -- end of story. If the Lions lose the game, so does Dallas and I don't see that happening. Ratings this year were actually slightly higher than last, and are still VERY strong -- so don't look for the league to mess with it and possibly screw it up.
Also, the league aims to have a prime-time/national game for every team at least once every two years. Having Detroit on Thanksgiving means that they don't have to schedule them elsewhere ie coveted SNF or MNF slots where they would negatively impact the ratings if they are bad. By keeping them on Turkey day, they insulate the ratings against the teams playing because it is a tradition to watch Dallas and Detroit play.

It doesn't make financial, or PR sense and the league owners know it and will see it.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll see you again next week!! Keep the great commentary coming! Also remember, if there is a topic you'd like to give your thoughts on - send me an email and I will edit it, possibly comment, and give you credit in a guest blog. I love it when I have other opinions to be able to toss out there for all of you! so keep the comments, and guest-blog emails coming!


Isphet said...

Changing the logos is a great idea. I think it would help the Lions move on from last year. I don't like the old-school mini greyhound lion though; it looks wimpy and diminished. Like 0-16 made the lion weak and pathetic. Gotta go with the center lion if they do change the logo. There's something kind of cool and new-school about it that I dig.

Getting Larry Foote would be a great addition as a few year band-aid. The Lions are way short on LBs, also, so if the price is right that would be a huge pickup.

I think you're getting a little overly-bent over the Millen thing, Detfan. I know it's easy to do, so I can't blame you for the sour grapes. Just keep in mind that they are praising the guy's ability to broadcast. When I read the article I didn't interpret what they were saying in any way as an excuse as to why he was the worst GM ever in the history of the universe. The article was simply stating that he was back behind the curtain of upper management in the league, where most broadcasters never get to see, so that gives him a rare insight as a broadcaster.

I dunno, maybe I'm getting over the Millen thing a little bit already. I wouldn't buy a single thing he was selling, but I don't think I'd instantly kick him in the gonads if I saw him on the street any more (key word: any more.)

ClusterFox said...

I believe Larry Foote just moved to priority #1. I don't trully understand what compensation that would be owed to the Steelers. But, him wanting to come here paired with their desire to let timmons take over should allow us to get a great mlb for a small price.

On the logo- I must first point out, I was at WMU in the late 90s when they swithed there logo to the more "updated" Bronco. Was happy then, but kind of feel they lost touch with their heritage(good ole' ugly yellow and brown horse).
I don't know where DF got these pictures or how close to the real choices they are. I agree with Isphet that the old school one looks physically weak. but the New Improved one looks like a caricature of a lion drawn by someone on lsd. I'd like to see the new Lions start a new trend, and go old school. Not the one in the picture, but Gray and Honolulu Blue as the main focus. Think like the Wings jerseys they showcased at Wrigley instead of the the latest expansion team with a blank canvas and a fresh idea. We have a great deal of tradition with the lions, lets draw from it, embrace it, flaunt it. I'd rather see them wear throwbacks for the whole season, then throw some new picture on the front of their jersey and try to hide the last 50 years.


DetFan1979 said...

Isphet -

I don't hate Millen, and really it has more to do with the outright dismissal of the feelings of Lions fans toward Millen. He dismissed the idea as totally silly and uncalled for that, within a couple of weeks of going 0-16 that Lions fans would be less than thrilled with seeing Matt Millen on TV "analyzing" games.

It was the cavalier utter indifference towards the fans of the Detroit Lions -- who have stuck with their franchise thank you very much - that really irritated me.

I always liked Millen as a broadcaster before, and don't have a problem with him doing so again. However, him being quiet because he might get the blame for the team going 0-16 and thus lose out on some of his money... well, ummm... he WAS. And dismissing that as Lions fans "overreacting" also irritated me.

I don't want him dead, or any ill will toward him. I wanted him not in charge of the Lions. But to say I shoudl jump out and go "awesome" when he "returns to the booth?"

Totally unrealistic to expect from Lions fans this soon, and again shows a total lack of regard for the integrity of Lions fans.

How about this take: How about some props for Lions fans for being this passionate about their team after going 0-16; and how about saying "we understand why you'd feel that way, and it says alot about Lions fans that they stick with their team no matter what. It's easy going into the playoffs to be a fan of a team still playing. But of an 0-16 team still caring this much? That is awesome Detroit. When it comes to being a General Manager, I'll just ask the rest of the country to keep in mind what you Lions fans already know: Matt Millen is a great broadcaster."

That, to me, would have been a great way to say "don't overreact to this, he's good at being a broadcaster, and we appreciate your passion as it brings in ratings, which is what this is all about in the first place"

Tact. Imaginitive, creative, and well written articles. All things most of the mainstream media has left far behind. Apparently, along with any real regard for their readers/watchers/listeners.

Isphet said...

Haha, very nicely put all the way around Detfan. I see where you're coming from. Maybe I should be a little more upset at members of the media in general and Leonard Shapiro specifically for their completely tactless approach to Millen's return to broadcasting.

Truth is, I've probably given up hoping for higher standards of reporting and integrity. Instead, I try to look for any small snippet even WORTHY of print in most articles, or worthy of being aired on television news. It's hard to find. Reporters get paid per article, and news reporters are measured based upon ratings only, and content be damned; instead striving for shock value. News media has become a wasteland of talentless regurgitation of stories and opinions specifically derived to arouse anger and shock value in a desperate attempt for ratings.

Maybe I should get more upset when I see articles like that one; it's just so hard to anymore because it's par for the course. I am from Grand Rapids, and the Grand Rapids Press has been so horrible for so long; somehow I stopped being angry about it. Though I vividly remember being angry about it years ago. Desensitization. ugh.

I mean, shoot. Detroit is an ever-shrinking market, so opinions from Detroit are worth less and less in the media's eyes these days. In many media member's eyes, it's probably not even a market worth considering. At least until they to do a story about the decay of society, apparently. It's sad, really. And now I'm getting mad about it again, lol. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I like the "Newfoundland" Lion look, and long for the days of the 50's Lions. We were good then. It is classic, regal, simple. It gets us away from Bubbles and 50 years of Curse.

Which (with the black uniforms) is what Millen tried to do. The uniform your team wears needs changing because mentally they (the team) need to feel different, or new and imporved. Black was tough, black was fear, black was smack-mouth, run you over, 3 yards and a cloud of dust. And then was cahnged to Air-it-out Run'n-gun.

So now, Bubbles needs to go behind the woodshed, just like Matt Millen.

Millen is funny. He is silent because of his big mouth. He claimed that if he isn't going to be the guy to turn this thing around, then he shouldn't be paid. He didn't say, but I still should be paid if I can't finish my contract.

So the Lions are now withholidng his monies. He said it. Stand by what you said-to the tune of $14 million, Matt.

RIP said...

Just a few thoughts.

I am in agreement that the Lions change thier logo and go to the black uniforms to rid themselves of the recent pass. It may help moral going into this up coming season.

James "Shack" Harris maybe a good hire. Both Baltimore and Jacksonville were known for having a good O-line and front defensive seven. If the Lions had made the trade down to Jax, and Jax then drafted Roy Williams, would they still have drafted WR in the first round following that year? Harris being the assistant at both locations, did his say in those drafts reflect on who they chose? Or was he another Mayhey with Millen having the final say. What he would bring is another view with experience to the scout department.

Is our talent really as bad as they played, or was it the scheme and coaching. If Gardner was better than Cannon, who was cut at the end of training camp, why was Cannon on the final roster. Was Nece better than Lewis and Cannon, or was he just another Tampa guy.

Fernando Bryant was consided one of our top 2 corners on our team. Yet he was cut by New England before the season started. Is our secondary that bad?

When we start our "if season" who do we replace our cuts with in free agency. The only smart cuts are the ones like Mike Furray. A pay reasonable to team contribution.

Paris Lenon back? He did have the sixth highest tackles for MLBs on the worst defense in the NFL. He rarely took a break, and his tackles were mostly after there was yards gained. He played soft to avoid blockers, and when he did try for a tackle for loss, he committed too soon and found himself in the wrong hole. Chris Spielman, one of my favorite players, who had limited talent had better tackles in front of him and played on a bend but don't break defense, and he (my opinion) out performed Lenon.

A large pass rushing DT is almost unreplaceable. Even if he only plays half the time. There is only one in this years draft that is projected in the first round this year. Although it is too early to tell if this is the case. Can we risk the first pick to fill our highest need?

Just a thought for the first pick. Say we go to Duke Robinson. The highest he may get drafted is #16. Offer him #16 money with a 10% bonus, or #6 paid OG money, and see if he, and his agent, will sign. This does 2 things. It brings in a greater need for our roster, and moves the top talent down one spot towards our #20 spot.Also do this with the DT, MLB and CB. Then see who would sign for our first pick.

RIP said...

NetRat did get back to me on the Roy Williams contract. He stated that 2009 was an option year on his contract. So there would not be dead money for 2010. He did not say if there would be a new figure for this year's hit than the one he has listed.

CHIEFGER139 said...

personally I like the uniforms the way they are now, theyve been like they are all my life and ive always liked them-how ever i liked the bengals old helmets too but when they switched to the stripe design it was a cool replacement. a shame that we let millen soil our franschise and now we want to because of him-soil even our uniforms-hopefully if they do change it will still hold much of the same tradition-and no I dont want black-reminds too much of millen and black is the bears colors-no thanks!! stick to the honulula blue and silver thankyou!!
as far as millen goes-he failed-he embarrased us with the faggot coment-he many times was not a person you can trust-but most that know him well say he is a great guy to be around and a great person-and ive been known to blow my cool and say stupid things too-if despite his poor showing in detroit he can still manage a broadcasting job-so be it-isnt like he was a criminal or anything-and i think he actually meant to do well-so good luck to him-just glad hes not the gm-didnt like him the day he fired moeller and gutted the team-but still always hoped it was for the long term good-it wasnt-so good ridence!!

Isphet said...

I think Killer's on vacation; mlive hasn't had a new article in three days. Hard to get my Lions fix. Also there have been no official announcements from the Lions since the super bowl, which has been a little surprising. Maybe they really are locking down the information to the press now.

On a personal note, I'm moving to Lexington, Kentucky in a few weeks. It's Bengals territory, so I'll certainly remain a Lions fan, haha. Gonna have to find a way to get the Lions games on the Sundays I'm in town (I'll be traveling quite a bit with this new job.) But at least with the great online Lions community I'll be able to follow the team closely during the week from wherever I happen to be.

RIP said...

Good luck on the new job and with the move. Lexington is a beautiful area as far as scenery.
My next door nieghbor is a huge Cowboys fan and he doesn't miss a game with DirecTV and the NFL Ticket.

RIP said...

It looks like Leigh Bodden also has received a pink slip.

DetFan1979 said...

Good luck down in KY Isphet! You'll be able to get your Lions conversations here, and if you have internet, there are some places to catch the game in streaming video for free online (say when they are blacked out...)

Congrats on the new job!! I'm told they are scarce right now, moreso in MI than elsewhere, unfortunately.

And from what I've seen so far from various "insiders" the Lions are indeed lcoking down on information, and carefully controlling what gets out of allen park.