Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back in Action: DanO in, Bodden Out?

I hear it was a great SuperBowl! Wouldn't know -- I was at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse city going up roughly four stories as quick as my girls could walk up the stairs, and coming down the indoor waterslide on an inner tube, repeat. The time sitting on the tube and floating wasn't near long enough in proportion to time spent walking up stairs, but it was a blast -- especially playing with the kids at a waterpark that felt about 85 degrees while it was snowing outside. Throw in a mere 42" height requirement, meaning all 3 pink lions could do everything, and the chance to see Mrs. DetFan1979 in a swimsuit the whole time and I had a perfect vacation! It was a blast!

Speaking of blasts, apparently after blasting the Lions' organization (rightly so according to Killer, and I agree, but he still talked himself out of $8+ million and an opportunity to help turn around the Lions) Leigh Bodden will be meeting up with Mike Furrey in the "cut due to being overpaid department store" after the season. These are the types of cuts we are not used to the Lions making (with the possible exception of Kevin Jones) but that other teams make all the time. When salary > production = cut/traded. Conversely, these are good types of players to pick up on the cheap from other teams. Just don't overpay them.

The corollary to that is having a replacement, and Keith Smith if used properly is a #2 CB right now in the NFL -- in a primarily man-coverage scheme. At least the Lions are making solid moves to get a better philosophy around their player acquisition and development. I'm thinking we could be surprised come Monday when the cuts are announced.

On the other side of the spectrum is DanO -- who apparently has broken silence and voiced a willingness, even a --dare I say it? -- desire to re-sign with Detroit. He knows his best opportunity to start -- even if only for a few seasons while they draft his replacement from a strong 2010 QB class, and develop him. He could then still stay on as at worst a backup, at best a starter who manages the game off play action running by Kevin Smith and the deep ball to CJ. Throw in the dump-off to the TE over the middle (all three of which DanO can do very well) and you have Linehan's classic offense. You don't need a star at QB -- the design makes the average QB a star ---- something witnessed by his offenses in the past. He knows it is a golden opportunity, and that if he is not greedy he can have his shot at getting and holding a starting job.

The Lions also know that he will be a stable, poised leader as he showed last year under the toughest adversity. The Lions were in every game he was QB in, and you couldn't say that about most games last season. The defense blew it, pure and simple, in at least 3 of DanO's games.

Will the Lions resign him? I don't know. No one does. As a matter of fact, no one knows anything. More information got our of the first Nixon administration than is coming out of the Allen Park right now. (Watergate and the leaks weren't until his second term)

I like this. Mayhew/Lewand/Schwartz have been open and friendly with the fans, and seem to be making sure that Fans know that management has heard their cries and are trying to fix things. But they aren't giving details until AFTER something has been done -- which is the way it should be. I've said before my 7 year old could figure out the Lions draft board last year. Not so this year.

We'll see who gets cut Monday, and then see who they re-sign with their new found cap money to keep long term. Finally, we'll see who they target/sign in FA as well as who the final pieces of the staff are.

Who do you think will stay/go among both the players and coaches??

I am going to take one un-popular stance and say that Stan Kwan should stay. Rod Marinelli did his utmost to neuter special teams. He took away all the best ST players the Lions had, refused to even come close to getting a decent returner (Cason the 12-times cut? Just by the Lions? Puh-Lease!), and wouldn't let Kwan get at all aggressive with his return schemes or coverage schemes, and was ordering him to have the kicker/punter try high-risk directional kicking when the Lions have one of the best punters, and one of the best kickers in the league!!

When given guys who could return, and guys who could tackle to play special teams, Kwan did very well -- as he was taught to do and hand picked to succeed him by the best in the biz -- Priefer. Many times on the long returns you would see the Lions get there...and whiff on the tackle. then the next guy would take a bad angle...and the next guy would be standing around going "oh, the plays not over? I thought the first guy was supposed to tackle him..."

Also considering the bottom-end churn Marinelli, especially in his last season, did to the roster you can see that Kwan was facing a host of challenges. I would be willing to give him another shot as ST coach. We'll have to wait and see what Schwartz thinks.


CHIEFGER139 said...

smith as the number 2 cb-
you forgot about the guy who always starts on this team-travis fisher-ol travis cant make the team can he?? and far as kwan goes-I think special teams were much improved over 2006 special teams-in fact i dont think they kicked it out of bounce even once on purpose in 2007-kwan would be ok but usually the new coach gets his guys-have to wait and see-and actually colleto wouldnt surprise me as the line coach-theyre run blocking improved tremendously last year and they need a good guy who can actually develop 3rd and 4th round offensinelineman like the good teams do -rather than have to blow your 1st picks on them year after year-think colleto is the man for seeing lineman talant in later rounds and can actually develop them-will have to wait and see.Who knows maybe hes already been let go and im behind on this one??

Ty said...


I loved your analysis on Kwan; IMO it's spot on. Marinelli made absolutely sure that Kwan had nothing to work with on special teams--not on coverage, not on upblocking, and CERTAINLY not a returner. Still, our kicker/punter/holder trio is as good as there is in the league, and our blocking and coverage schemes seemed solid. I think Kwan will do just fine in the new regime, especially since Mayhew, Lewand, and Schwartz have already highlighted the return game as an area where they can get much better quickly.

Pray for Sproles.


Isphet said...

Glad you had a nice vacation, Detfan! :) Everyone needs one once in a while.

I wouldn't be shocked to see Kwan stay. I would think he fits right in with Schwartz's cerebral approach to the game. They're probably playing chess against each other already. I totally agree that the jury is still out on Kwan's ST coaching ability due to the extreme suckiness of the guys he had to choose from on the roster.

Since you were out of the loop, you probably missed this story.
"Millen mocked during Super Bowl broadcast." Thought you would get a kick out of it.;_ylt=Aj5tNn2d4wBemBG4VEu1ZaGF2bYF?slug=txmillennbc&prov=st&type=lgns

It's been a pretty slow week following the super bowl for Lions news. Most of what's new out there is just editorials and conjecture; nothing official from the Lions themselves.

Todd said...

Hey detfan also glad to hear you had a good vacation. Here in Pennsylvania we have a Great Wolf near my work and we actually hold classes and conferences there, quite the impressive place for kids especially in the winter.

You picked the worst week to go on vaca however as there was barely any news since the superbowl like other readers had wrote, and with no analysis out of you Ty's blog was about the only place to get a little Lions fill for the week. Looking forward to the you and Ty's continued great analysis!

Go Lions!

Anonymous said...

I've got a question that is a little off topic. I've been looking at a few mock drafts, and all of them have Dallas picking #1 in the 4th round. I thought that the trade was 1st 3rd and 6th from Dallas for Roy and 7th. Am I mistaken, or are the mock drafts wrong?
Also, I know it's early to be talking about who the Lions should take, but I just want to throw it out there that I'm really big on Aaron Curry. He seems like one of the only guys to be widely considered the best at his position, and I think that he will be a stud.


Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, I just figured it out. The 4th was from last years trade to move up and get Avril.


ClusterFox said...

Didn't know if you guys saw this at pride of detroit.

The jersey needs a little work. The mascot I like. Ignore your opinion of the color scheme, the logo itself is still the same lion figute just a better representation IMO.


ClusterFox said...

Sorry that link doesn't work go here


RIP said...

Hey Todd,
Heard of Great Wolf this past year.
A great family guy, who is from Conniticut and in the Mideast with me, went there. The hotel resort, pools, and other recreations, looked great and almost hard to duplicate.

Anonymous said...

Stan Kwan will return to the Detroit Lions next season
Posted by Justin Rogers | February 05, 2009 17:15PM
Dave Birkett of the Oakland Press is reporting that special teams coach Stan Kwan will remain with the team next season.

February 5, Birk's Eye View: Kwan joins receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and running backs coach Sam Gash as known holdovers from Rod Marinelli's staff, a source said Thursday. He ran the special-teams units for the Lions each of the last two years after serving as an assistant special-teams coach for seven previous seasons spread over two stints.
The Lions ranked 24th in both kick- and punt-return average last year and allowed punt-return touchdowns against the Redskins and Buccaneers, but specialists kicker Jason Hanson, punter Nick Harris and long-snapper Don Muhlbach rank among the best at their positions in the NFL.

I could toss my two cents in, but all for naught...Kwan will be back. I understand the lack of personnel, but I thought schemes were very bland and oatmeal. It's hard to tell what was Kwan and what was Marinelli for most, but they weren't able to change plans within the game or at the half. You need to change schemes and coverages, and that is something the Lions were horrible at last year, top to bottom, on "O"/"D"/ and "ST".

CHIEFGER139 said...

somethin to do with keeping the thanksgiving game or something like that

DetFan1979 said...

Nice Chief!

I don't like teh mane on the updated bubbles ClusterFox, but the rest of the outline looks good -- just a little more fierce -- subtle, but good.

Nubs -- Kwan to me had the look of a guy about to go homicidal on Marinelli on the sidelines -- like he was one more missed tackle away from going postal.

Schwartz is no dummy, and his focus is adapatibility in game planning. I think that more than the tape of what ST did (which very much showed a heavy Marinelli conservatism) Schwartz either was given or stumbled across what Kwan WANTED to do, with teh big red Marinelli pen scrawled all over it going "just get it to the 20 Stan my boy. What, no hobbies that you have time to come up with all this crap?"

Kwan was helping Priefer back when Drummond was a feared return man. The Lions weren't even using those Schemes, which we know Kwan can easily do.

I'm willing to give him a shot with a more aggressive git-r-done type coach in charge.

My gut says Kwan was like an artist given a purple crayon and told to do a landscape drawing of a forest at noon. Sure, it'll look kinda like a forest, but it's still going to be purple.

gut says with a full pallette of colors, he'll make one heck of a forest.

Mark said...

I found this yesterday but forgot to post it here's the link and story.

Some Detroit assistants will return

February 5, 2009 4:16 PM

Posted by's Kevin Seifert

New Detroit coach Jim Schwartz will retain at least three assistant coaches from predecessor Rod Marinelli's regime, according to David Birkett of the Oakland Press.

The latest name to surface is special teams coordinator Stan Kwan, who will return for a 10th season with the team. (It will be his third as special teams coordinator.) Kwan will join receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and running backs coach Sam Gash as holdover assistants.

It's possible there will be others. When they fired Marinelli after the season, the Lions retained 14 of his 18 assistants for the next coach to consider. Schwartz has hired his own defensive and offensive coordinators -- Gunther Cunningham and Scott Linehan, respectively -- but to my knowledge no other assistants have been formally announced. The team's Web site lists only Cunningham and Linehan under the assistant coach category.

This partial retention falls in line with the Lions' refusal to completely overhaul their operations following an 0-16 season. New president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew were both internal promotions. Schwartz obviously came from outside the organization, but it's now clear he'll