Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stafford Impressed...with Himself

Dave Birkett talks about an article that is supposed to be in tomorrow's Sports Illustrated. I obviously haven't read the article yet (doubly so because I let my SI subscription run out...) After what I have seen of Stafford both as a player, interviews, clips, articles...I must comment:
Bear Hug from behind? Sounds like he still thinks he’s a frat guy.

Can you see Peyton Manning doing that at a job interview? Ray Lewis? Big Ben? Eli? Yourself?
How many of the guys that you want to be the face of your franchise would do that at the combine, when you’ve had dinner with them once and haven’t even seen the city, or even thrown at the combine?

Sorry. Maybe I’m an old stick in the mud, but I can tell you that from what I’ve seen of the new Lions’ management (Mayhew, Lewand and Coach Schwartz) they like an appropriate light hearted moment, but are old-school in the business sense.

“It was all in fun” is not something you should have to explain… usually, if you find yourself saying that, you are on the defensive and the other party was not amused. Stafford is acting, from what I’ve seen, as if he has the #1 spot locked up. Nothing to prove attitude.

Personally, attitude wise, I like Aaron Curry. His family comes first, and he has been supporting them as best he can. He used the idea that he could, with phenomenal workouts and interviews, combined with his college tapes, maybe convince the Lions to take him at #1. He’s out to prove he is worthy of that pick – through hard work he’s doing, and has done.

Out to prove –as in, it is motivational for him.

Skills wise, he is far and above the best 4-down LB in this draft. The next best are being viewed as 2 down backers in the NFL. He also would grade out well compared to other draft classes at this point. His pieces on SI.Com on participating in the combine are well written and thoughtful. Seems to be a mature kid who knows what is important, and is willing to work harder than anyone else to get there. He won’t tell you – he’ll show you.

People always say the QB is the heart of the offense – well, the MLB is the QB and often the heart of the defense. The Lions have many holes, and Stafford type QB’s are there every year – and most years, when there are better QB’s in a draft, they are available much later on. In 2005, he’s a late 2nd rounder, not #1 overall consideration. It’s only because he is a QB.

Curry is projected to go in the top 3. When you look at last year’s draft, Ryan – at #3 – got more than #1 and #2 picks. The 1 and 2 were very close. It is said Curry may go at 2. So why not #1? It’s need. It’s BPA. It’s an immediate starter impacting the team from day one, and for many years to come. A core player to build upon.

It’s safe on one level – he is talented, and a great bet to be a dominant NFL player. It’s a big gamble on the other hand, because he will be by far the highest paid LB in the league.
So which gamble do you take? The “value” position of QB, or QB of your defense? Or, do you dig the trenches?

McShay and the draftniks think the Lions are in a no-win situation. I say the glass is half full. While there is no "true #1" -- it also eliminates a lot of peer pressure from the mix. Since there is no one person that is "can't miss" they can at least avoid Charlie Casserly's fate after taking Mario Williams (now one of the top DE's in the league) but bypassing the "media" picks of Reggie Bush and Vince Young (how have they worked out, by the way?).

The Lions have chance to blaze their own bold path - in a commanding, not comical way - and for some reason I get the feeling they are going to take full advantage of it.

Finally, a bit of thanks to RIP! I had almost forgotten that today marks the 1 year anniversary of DetFan1979.com. The year flew by, and thanks to all of you who read and contribute here -- both old and new! It's not just my passion for the Lions, but also not wanting to let you down, and to hear what you have to say that I continue this blog. So comment away -- as we enjoy our favorite team together -- from the depths of 0-16 to beyond!


Anonymous said...

I'm curious. Anyone have thoughts to a comparison between Patrick Willis (who I wanted to draft) and Curry. Who is/was the higher rated prospect?


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know I know for a fact that Jon Kitna's place is on the market to be sold. He has probably requested the Lions to trade him.

Sorry to see Danny O go. I like the kid. I also like Drew Stanton a bunch and hope he gets a fair shake the starting spot. He is definitely a gamer, look at last preseason he moved the offense pretty well.

I really hope we don't draft any of the qb's this year before the second pick in the third round (I just don't think there is anyone worth taking earlier than that) I would rather wait on that until we get to see what we have in Stanton. Plus we have a ton of other holes to fill.


Mark said...

Nice piece of writing I agree. The one thing that everone needs to remember (sport writers as well) is the Jim S (can't spell coach's last name) is a stat guy now I know that stat's are not the end all be all but, much has to be said about Staffords lack luster stat's so he won't be the first pick. I think it will come down to Curry or Jason Smith but, I still see a trade down picture here. Just a gut.

Mark said...

Heres a write up I found on Patrick Wills

Patrick Willis LB 6'1 242 Ole Miss 4.51
By: Robert Davis
After a year backing up as a freshman, Willis began to emerge as one of college football’s best linebackers. As a sophomore in 2004, he finished the year with 70 tackles, 11 for loss, and five sacks. When Ed Orgeron took over in 2005, it allowed Willis to be free to make more plays, and he came through with 128 tackles, 9.5 for loss, with three sacks on his way to All American honors. He did it once again as a senior, this time earning the Butkus Award and SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors after posting 137 tackles, 11.5 for loss, and three sacks.

Patrick Willis is the complete package at linebacker. He has the toughness, instincts, and run stopping ability to play inside, but the athleticism, speed, and cover ability to play outside. He is quick to react to the play, and flies to the ball carrier with authority. Willis also shows the ability to play in space and read the quarterback, and the cover ability to stick with backs and tight ends. He is a mature football player, and a team leader.

The only real question with Willis is that he may need to get a little bigger to play inside at the next level. While he is not small, he will need more bulk on his frame to take on blockers and withstand the beating he will take in the NFL.

Patrick Willis is a standout linebacker, and could be a pro bowler in the NFL for many years. He is a Top 10 talent, but should be gone in the Top 15. He had a great career, followed up by an awesome post season. He clocked an impressive 4.51 40 at the combine, and did even better at his pro day, clocking an amazing 4.37. He has it all and will be a pro bowler for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Willis has mad skills, no doubt. But remember you had some "glamour spots worthy of draft picks. Willis' draft year was crammed full of BIG 6'1" corners with sub-4.45 speed. It had a few good linemen, it had a few good, fast DE's that were above 275. And it had a few golden boys with rockets for arms.

This year's draft doesn't. It not only lacks one of them, but most of them. No corners ran under a 4.4 Even Deion's guys from his camp ran poor times and didn't look "rehearsed" in the drills. Some of those guys will run a lot faster later at their Pro days, and I think it may be the carpet at Lucas Oil.
(jp-left a bit on the last article.) Thanks for all you do, buddy. In honor of your One Year Anniversary, Matt Millen has been sent a Lionel train with the zoo-keeper cars and little plastic animals.

CHIEFGER139 said...

congrats on your 1 year-its been 1 year?? seems longer than that-must mean I was on this site from the beginning-come to think of it i think i remember now you creating it and inviting us from m-live-check it out most every day and REALLY ENJOYED FFB, picking the roster, predicting the drafts etc and even some of the personnel things you share and we share with each other
curry is now rated the guy in the draft with crabtrees injury-see mayhew and swartz getting him or one of the ot's-too much a risk taken a 7th rated guy-who probably will drop from there from not throwing at the combine-staffords a top 10 guy-not a number one guy-in my oppinion-and i think now that theyve floted out curry as a possible number one pick-they can see lion nation is more happy with him now then anyone else on the entire draft board-hope thats not why they pick a guy but with the lack of sell outs theyve had since millen left do think they seriously do think of that now.

jreffy said...

I'm of the opinion that no matter who the Lions pick, Curry, J. Smith, Monroe, whoever...

The important thing isn't so much the position, but it's going to be the success of that pick. After the terrible picks the Lions have had in the last few years (C. Johnson doesn't count, he was a no-brainer "can't miss" pick), the most important thing for this new staff and front office is to make a successful pick.

We've all pretty much agreed that the Lions need help everywhere, so really, they could almost do an entire draft by Best Player Available, and make out like bandits if each of their first few picks turn out to be starters.

I won't be opposed to Curry if we take him. I've been constantly impressed by his performances and the blog posts that he writes. However, expect Detroit to take some criticism if he's selected, and isn't included in the running for Defensive ROTY

Ty said...

I think Willis and Curry are rated equally well in terms of, say, "Madden OVR". However, in terms of pure MLB, Willis uses his athleticism to run downhill and blow people up REALLY FAST. Curry uses his athleticism to be an effective multidimensional guy. Can Curry fly to the ball and blow runners up like Willis? I guess there's nothing stopping him. But the fact that Willis doesn't typically wear the green dot helmet should tip you off--he's a spectacular one-dimensional player who runs on barely-contained instinct. Curry, I think, can be a much more effective "quarterback of the defense", but if you're looking for the next Willis you're barking up the wrong tree.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the anniversary. I look forward to new posts and the insightful comments that follow.
Keep up the good work. I look forward to FFB next year.


Anonymous said...

Great post.