Thursday, April 2, 2009

Church of Schwartz Weekly Q&A

(find all complete answers from the full panel here.)

1. If Matthew Stafford is our pick at 1.1, how many games does Daunte Culpepper start next season?

Way too early for me to answer this question. Can Stafford step right in? I’m not so sure of that. How dedicated is Culpepper, really, at this point? He played his best under Linehan and seems very motivated to take advantage of the opportunity he has stumbled into in Detroit to possibly get back into the League again and attempt to recapture his fallen star. But I think that the coaching staff is just as clueless as we are when it comes to who will start how many games. My hunch says that unless the Lions are playoff bound, Culpepper starts out the year, and then Stafford takes over after week 8 if the Lions aren’t in the thick of the hunt. They may even wait til mathematically eliminated – which wouldn’t be any sooner than week 7 even if they went winless. So my gut says final answer: Daunte starts 10 games, Stafford 6.

2. If Jason Smith/Eugene Monroe is our pick at 1.1, where does Jeff Backus play next year?

Someplace else. Despite the talk of moving Jeff to OG, lets face it: he has always been an emotional player and I’m not sure if he could mentally and physically play OG at a higher level than either Daniel Loper or Stephen Peterman, whom I have penciled in as starters at LG and RG respectively. What to really do with Backus is why I don’t think OT is on the top of the Lions’ priority list, despite what many fans feel. If he doesn’t beat out Loper and Peterman at OG, or the rookie at OT (I can’t see them sliding him to the right and benching Cherilus) then he is a very expensive backup. Assuming they pick either Smith or Monroe, I look at them to move Backus for likely an additional 3rd rounder draft day to a team that loses out on one of the top young OT’s. There are, sadly enough, plenty of teams for whom Backus would be an upgrade at tackle. The only thing I don’t like about taking an OT this year is that you are upgrading a position that is filled with an average player right now, versus one of the roster spots that is essentially empty.

3. If you could bring back any former Lion (not named Barry Sanders) to be a part of this team, who and why?

This is a really tough one – but I’d have to go with Chris Spielmen or Robert Porcher. MLB and a dominant DE are things the Lions haven’t had since either of those men took the field for the Lions – and both would immediately upgrade the team.


Mark in AZ said...

Nice work once again DetFan1979. At this point if they go with Stafford than i could see him starting at least 6-8 games but, I don't think they will draft stafford I see all the hype as a smoke screen for a trade if they could trade down.

If OT is the pick I see your logic with Backus he is a very good player and a move to guard is a question mark for him to do. If Backus had a better guard next to him like he had at UofM than he would go back to his collage form.

I think if the Lions stay at #1 the pick is Curry or the DT but, I think they find a buyer for the pick.

Go Lions

RIP said...

I like the thinking from you guys.

My gut feeling is we will go with Stafford. But I would prefer to go in the trenches on defense first.

That being said, I feel a downhill MLB is part of the trenches. So I would prefer to go with Curry or Raji. Would like to see what our DL coach (Bob Karmelowicz) and strength coaches (Jason Arapoff and Malcolm Blacken) can do with Raji and the other linemen.

CHIEFGER139 said...

GOOD ANSWERS- im now warming up to us picking stafford, I figure the way hes now acing these teams pro visits hes going to that hes way more prepared even now than stanton has ever been. Sounds like he may actually be our franchise qb after all. I actually expected him to flop in the tryouts but now that he's looking awsome I think they must probably get the kid.

RIP said...

Hey guys,

Some more off the wall thinking with next year being an uncapped year.

Would it doable to draft Stafford, sign him, and then trade him. We would then eat the salary bonus next year.

nubs said...

detfan = "flip-flopper"

I don't usually see you waffle on many issues. This is a big one.

_____ is the pick. I say this for a few reasons. If Schwartz is a man of his word, let's deduce the selection.

OT/OG- the Backus problem is EXACTLY why they are not trying to replace and slide Backus. He is deliberate, and they cannot change it. I don't think Backus can handle change, and it makes no sense to pay an experiment (whether it's Backus or the #1 pick) all that money to TRY a new position. Look for this position to be the #20 pick whether it's a straight guard or one of the guard/center combos.

QB-Linehan and Culpepper are a one year experiment. Does that mean the Lions are drafting a QB to learn? Why. What happens if Dante is reinvigorated? He has three years left on that body and you have a ton of QB's coming out next year to learn for "Season of Schwartz #2" to play in "Season #3" if the experiment doesn't go properly. Why waste a #1 pick if the experiment has a chance of working. You only get one/year.

DT - is a possibility with Raji or a second round pick with Hood. Why? Chuck Darby, Andre Flewelling, and Landon Cohen are the wrong type of defensive tackle and play contradictory to the style Schwartz wants. All are definately 30 pounds too light. Andre and Landon can add the weight as they are young. Darby will be swinging with Trojan Man Shaun.

LB - Each good team has a stud in the middle. You also have a Pro-Bowl player who can teach him, and a soon-to-be Pro-Bowl player on the other side. They actually would have a superior group or unit that could be built around. They could have a core group of players that would anchor and change the worst defense in the league. AND you get bigger. Most MLB's are 130-135. Curry is 255 and moves like he's 215. He can play all positions (in case of injury). And you freeze him out of contract negotiations because he is the "last-minute" call to say, hey....we can't pay you QB money because he is a prima-donna and won't sign, but if you sign to $ X- amount you'll at least be the #1 pick overall. It may tempt him. It may dangle a carrot. When you tell a guy that you would go #3 if we don't pick you, can you sign him for $4 million less just because he is a MLB???????? Just because he wants to go #1 as opposed to #3. Especially when he is going to go #3 if you don't pick him. He isn't losing money, he's just gaining the notoriety of being #1 overall.

If there was a player I could bring back it would be Al Baker or Reggie Brown. "Bubba" for obvious reasons. Reggie Brown was a promising, bright future cut down WAY TOO early. He was going to be an outstanding outside linebacker. The Lions lost a terrific player in the locker room and on the field.

nubsnobber said...

Obviously, it should have read 230-235.

DetFan1979 said...

Nubs - love the analysis on positions/picks


I'm a flip flopper on what? Not getting where I was playing burger man at mickey-d's??

Anonymous said...

Great! We get to face Jay Cutler as a bear. Not looin forward to this at all!


lifer said...

good for the Bears and better for the Lions---stick to the plan. No jumping on the bandwagon over the latest rumors--no talk that Lions were even after him--

RIP said...

In exchange for Cutler and a fifth-round draft pick Chicago will send Denver quarterback Kyle Orton, the 18th pick in this season's draft as well as the team's first and third-round selections in 2010.

Two first, a third, and a starting QB, for a starting QB and a fifth. A team got thier franchise robbed and it is not Denver.

RIP said...

I am really getting sick of the crap that the Free Press and it's editors are allowing Drew Sharp to post. Sent in this reply for today great journalism.

I am sick of the anti Detroit opinions from Drew Sharp. He and his editor should be repremanded for publishing crap like this...
"The Broncos thought Kyle Orton was a better short-term solution than Daunte Culpepper".

What facts does he have that we would even consider trading Culpepper?

5Bakerstreet said...

As a Lions fan just want to say that we have some terrific Lions blogs.

Well its getting closer to that moment when Goodell walks up to the podium in Radio City Music Hall and says, "With the first pick of the 2009 draft the Detroit Lions select ________?"

Mayhew, Schwartz, Cunningham, and Linehan will have many meetings setting the Lions draft board between now and April 25. Am pretty sure William Clay Ford will be in at least some of them.

It seems to me that the Titans had a foundation of a top ten defense in place prior to drafting their hoped to be franchise QB Young. Schwartz was the defensive coordinator there for eight years, Mayhew was a defensive back during his days with the Redskins.

To me that says that the Lions draft warroom realizes that defenses win games. To me that says Curry is still the pick at 1.1.

My main concern is that while Mayhew and Schwartz want to build the right way, Bill Sr. may be more interested in filling seats than winning football games and will dictate the Lions draft the highest profiled player at 1.1, read Stafford.

Go Lions, rebuild the right way, draft Curry.

I'd bring back Karras, I'd bring back Barney, I'd bring back Spielmann ... I've got a one track mind ... D-FENCE.

Mark in AZ said...

QB's win championships just ask Trent Dilfer former Ravens QB. and 2000 super bowl winner.

Doug English and Benny Blades I would love to have back. Oh Lenard Thompson he was the special teams missile.

Just say no to Safford.

nubsnobber said...

"Curry is going to have to overcome quite a few obstacles to be the #1 overall selection. What we've seen about what Curry and the Lions are saying is that Curry is very much buying into being #1 overall. Just from his writing on and his statements, interviews...he wants it bad -- and not just for the money. Curry wants to be the first salary-cap era LB chosen #1 overall...only the 5th LB to go 1 overall in NFL draft... it's that even more than the extra money at #1 driving him. If he can get his agent to go along, and get a deal done that Detroit can live with money wise, then I am all for the pick -- and think the Lions will pull the trigger."

So, you want Curry, right?

nubs said...

"Honestly ask yourself this question, and you will best see how I would make the selection:

If I knew I had the #1 pick in the draft, but didn't know which team I was drafting for, who would I take? (this eliminates needs, scheme, everything but the player and his position)

My Answer: Stafford would ride the pine on many teams. No. Smith and Monroe would be a marginal upgrade at best for about half the teams, and may not start for others. No. Orapko? You're kidding, right? Curry... he can play all three positions, and even played at nickle-back in college, so he can line up at LB, put him on the line, cover a LB. Rush him or drop him into coverage. And, with his skill set there isn't a team in the league -- from the Steelers to the Pats on the top echelon's of defenses that he wouldn't be able to make an immediate impact on."

So you want Curry, right?

nubs said...

"You can't ignore the cap -- but I think that is the real gamble with Curry --- are you comfortable with the salary. If the answer is yes, then you should have no problem taking him. Stafford or one of the LT's have a similar salary conundrum as either would become the highest paid LT in the league.
Just getting to a point that if you are OK with the salary, you will be fine with Curry at 1. If you are not okay with a rookie LB making 2 mil a year more than the Ray Lewis' of the NFL, then you will not be considering Curry at 1.
So really, it DOES all come down to salary because you have to be okay paying the right LB that kind of money before you can even look at if Curry is the right LB. If you aren't ok with the salary, you won't waste time looking at does he fit.
Kinda like having 100k to spend in one spot. If I'm not okay with a 100k price tag on a car, I'm not going to bother wasting time comparing cars to other purchases I can make because I have already eliminated "car" from the list. So the salary argument has merit. However, it is not the be-all-end-all. It is merely one more thing to take into consideration when you are weighing who to pick at #1 overall in 2009."

nubs said...

I'm just having fun with 'ya. I've been tossing out there that B.J. Raji had an outside chance of being drafted by the Leos due to the need for a second 330 pound run-stuffer.

Now, this just in from ESPN.

B.J. Raji may have failed a drug test at B.C., did not play during the 2007 season because of grades, and may have failed a second drug test at the combine.

Yeah, I know how to pick them sometimes, too.

RIP said...

The Titans also had a starting QB in Steve McNair when they were rebuilding thier defense. Kind of like Dante with us.

If we go with a QB first, the logic would to bring in a higher round OL too, so the protection and developement is sped up.

If we wait for a QB, we could go with a lower round OL, say Luigs, this year to develope into a starter for the near future.

I do like the every down LB, and the position flexibility in case of injury, that Curry would bring. The money is less an issue unless he only plays one position, say a Chris Claiborne.

Another thing I like of Curry from the videos I have seen. When he tackles someone, he is also stopping the carrier from gaining extra yards. He does appear to be that downhill MLB that Schwartz likes.

DetFan1979 said...

I know you're just messin with me Nubs -- Actually, your quote three doesn't state I want Stafford. It just says you won't take Curry unless you're okay with the money.

I'm okay with the money (as evidenced by your other quote)- but if Detroit isn't, just wanted it out there as a thought that it can influence the pick.

I am in favor of Curry at one. Raji will likely slide now -- but I would love to see them get Hood at 20 moreso than Raji. Hood is a run stuffer, close to 300, and could add some weight to his frame as he matures.

Guess you can see first two picks I'd like to see now, huh?

1a. Aaron Curry
1b. Ziggy Hood

If they do draft Stafford, it will be because they think he is the best talent/value at 1 -- and so far, I trust the evaluations of this front office/coaching staff about 200% more than I did the prior regime.

Isphet said...

Yeah, the Bears are CRAZY for taking Cutler for all those picks. Is Cutler an upgrade over Orton? Yeah, probably; almost certainly. How much exactly, we don't know.

But who is he going to throw to? And how are the Bears going to fix that O line and the aging defense that stunk last year without 1st round picks the next two years? They gave up WAY too much to get Cutler.

I think the Bears pulled a Millen on this trade. They mortgaged the whole future and are banking it on Cutler; one dude. If he gets hurt or struggles under the new offensive system, there goes ALL those picks, and for what? Yikes.

RIP said...

I believe Cutler may also hold out for a contract extension. He has an impending divorce to take care of, may want to take advantage of his Pro Bowl status from the previous offensive system, and needs property in Chicago and the surrounding area.

Riley said...

1) To RIP: Steve McNair is a far superior Qb to Dante Culpepper.

2) If the Lions were to draft a LT, I would assume tha the plan would be to start the rookie at Guard, not Backus (unless the rookie was obviously better than Backus). Let the rookie play and learn and then shift to tackle next year.

3) In my gut, I hope they draft Curry. He just seems like he'd be such a fun player to watch. A break the mold kind of player.

4) If we could have any player from history on the Lions now: Joe Schmidt, LB (1953-65) --- or Bubba Baker.