Thursday, May 28, 2009

Church of Schwartz: Newest Q's

I am all set for my June 1st return to regular blogging -- and it is right around the corner!! things are going well, and I'm looking forward to talking Lions with everyone again!!

As kind of a pre-return piece, I chipped in my two cents for this week's return of Lions Congregation. As usual, link when the full responses are up!

1. Who starts at LG and RG this season?

This is a pretty easy one for me to answer: LG: Daniel Loper, RG: Stephen Peterman

Loper was signed to be a starter, and will be given every opportunity to win the starting LG position this ifseason. If his performances in Tennessee were any indication, he should easily win the job over Cook and Ramierez.

Stephen Peterman was a great pickup when the Lions got him -- he had played well before an injury, and ended up in Bill Parcells' doghouse. While not quite as deep and dark as Mike Martz's doghouse, it was pretty darned close. It was also a contract year for him. Let's not forget that Damien Woody ended up at RT in 2007 because Peterman out-played him at OG and took his spot. He and Cherilus were playing well as a tandem, and Smith ran well right behind them -- especially later in the season.

The Lions didn't sign Peterman to the contract they did to have him ride the pine -- they did so to keep two promising, performing young linemen together on the right side of the line. I'm looking forward to how both will do in Linehan's offense, as I think the right side of the line will now continue to be a strength for the next few years at least.

2. How many games do the Lions sell out this year?

No Clue. My guess is we have many blackouts ahead unless they win early and often -- which seems like a long shot. I will say they do better than expected, and that they will sell out 4 games. No logic, just guessing.

3. Kevin Smith believes this is a playoff team. Do you?

If the Lions get very lucky, and all of their draft picks were solid home-runs, and the other teams in the division have a lot of bad luck, and the Lions get very lucky...

Nope. They are at best an 8 win team at this point (which is still pretty optimistic, all things considered). The Dline in particular is pretty raw and how well the young bucks like Cohen, Avril, Gill, Fluellen, and Hill step up will make or break it along with the health of DeWayne White. The Linebacker unit is solid, but the secondary is also a big question mark at this point and again, young guys like Delmas, Bullocks and Keith Smith will really need to step up.

Also, you have uncertainty at the QB position -- is this the "toss it to Randy (CJ) and pray" Culpepper of 04, or the toss it in the air and pray it's my guy who catches it post-moss Culpepper. Also, how quickly Stafford develops will be another key -- and is something that is nothing but guesses at this point.

With the questions that are there, coupled with the potential that is there -- the Lions COULD be a playoff team IF they pull through on all counts... that is one big IF too. Reality and prudent sense leads me to see more of the 4-8 win range at this point, depending on the bounce of the ball, and the development of the players. It may change as camp and the preseason take place, but right now Kevin is confident, and that is good.

After all, don't we WANT the Lions' starting RB to have a bit of swagger?


nubsnobber said...

Glad to see you back, buddy!

1. I agree with you on the guards.
2. Half sounds nice, but I'll say 6 games get sold out. This team won't be THAT bad.
3. A PLAYOFF team? No. But they will be young and exciting. QB is a big ? even with the reunion. of Pepp and Linehan. RB is OK, but who stays as the FB's. How about WR depth? TE's Heller and Pettigrew? How about the OLINE? Safeties look improved, very nice addition with the draft pick. CB's look good. Linebackers really changed a bunch.

DLINE. ???? Most don't remember that Grady Jackson is waiting on a suspension appeal. He could be lost for the first four games. In the legal nuts and bolts, Grady is claiming the diuretic used contained a steroid and the NFL inadvertantly left it off the "Mr. Yuk / Do Not Touch List." Grady Jackson was signed as the big run-stuffer. Without him, you have no depth. You have Darby and 5-0 to start with Cohen and Fluellen to back them up. OUCH! That's four weeks of pain.

We will really need to see something from this group. Look at the linebacking corps, though. Levy, Dizon, and Alex Lewis (and maybe Zack Follett) behind Foote, Peterson, and Sims. As long as the big nasties keep OLinemen off the backers and they can fly around like deamons----I'm all for it.

DetFan1979 said...

Grady Jackson's case is actually being looked at seperate from the other Starcaps cases for one big reason:

Grady Jackson had it prescribed by his physician to help control his blood pressure. Apparently, his doctor was unaware of what it contained and Jackson, unlike the others, actually has a lawsuit pending against the company.

That is a big difference from taking it on your own, without checking.

As for the rest, I think the CB's have improved on paper, but I thought that last ifseason too -- IF they come through, that will be a big help.

I think that the Lions drafted well, but there are a lot of fans unhappy with how the Lions drafted needs, but not the needs they wanted to see filled ie Rey, Laurinitis, Brace, et al. I think that will hurt the early home game ticket sales, and with a tough early schedule, that is why I said 4. Your guess is as good as mine!

I think the Oline will be much stronger than most think. It will be Backus-Loper-Raiola-Peterman-Cherilus.

I'll have more on it later, but that looks like a pretty solid unit -- and with big nasty OG's like Loper and Peterman on both sides of him, that will allow Raiola to get into space more and block at the second level (which he excels at), which will lead to longer 34K runs.

I'll be looking positionally soon and think a lot of units could be pretty good -- but all are interdependent on the progress of other units/players. Lots of IF's -- but lots of reason for optimism as well.

Agree on the LB. They keep 7 with Sims-Foote-Peterson starting, and Levy-Dizon-Lewis backing them up, with Follett a goal-line package and special teamer. Dizon will be used a lot in the nickel package -- It may even be Peterson slid to DE, with Dizon and Foote on the field at LB in the Nickel with Bullocks-Delmas-Alexander at S.

Lots of great things they can do with their mix of veteran and young up and coming LB.

nubs said...

Well, I think our new addition is a very cool guy. I just met him Wednesday night through a friend at the PHS awards banquet after he spoke. Apparently, a few hours after Jansen spoke at the PHS Athletic banquet this week, Dan Snyder flew his jet into Harbor Springs airport, picked him up, and asked if he wanted to retire as a Redskin. Jansen said he wanted to play, so they granted his release.

""While in high school and in college, Jon Jansen never wanted to miss out of taking advantage of any opportunity given to him.

Taking advantage of opportunities through high school athletics was key in Jansen’s early success and eventual rise to the National Football League, and was a key message delivered by Washington Redskins’ 11-year veteran at the 64th annual Petoskey High School Varsity Awards Banquet.

Jansen, who helped the University of Michigan earn a share of the NCAA National Championship in 1997, was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s annual banquet at the Petoskey High School cafeteria, which honored close to 200 varsity athletes.

A former prep standout himself at Clawson High School, Jansen, 33 and who owns a home near Crooked Lake, stressed the importance of not only participating in as many sports as one can, but of their importance later on in life.

“Obviously, high school sports were very important to me,” said Jansen, the longest tenured Redskin on the team’s roster. “It led to a career for me, but there are a lot more you can get out of high school sports than a college or professional career.”"" - Petoskey News Review.

So how do you like the former teammates together.
RT Jon Jansen
RG Jeff Backus
C Dominc Raiola
LG Dan Loper
LT Gosder Cherilus

CHIEFGER139 said...

SO GLAD YOUR BACK-life is miserable as it is-but you make my day-hope you do the fantasy league and who makes the team stuff too-but your my hero-truthfully you are-you gave up this blog despite your love and passion for it to take care of the family-despite all the horribles I stuck with the church and almost lost my wife and family -now am good at balancing-you (hopefully) didnt wait too long realized what your doing and fixed all-so I hope-if not buddy dump this all together-its not worth it!!Just figure tough times and you needed to fix things-hope thats the case-show this to your better half to make sure-you wont be sorry. Enough of that!! so much agree with your answers.wish so much we would of signed better guards but didnt-sell outs im like you no clue-thanksgiving maybe-homeopener maybe-yet again some big wins and they sell out ten-tough call-actually zero could be the right answer-millens no longer in charge so cant count on the furniture store or anyone to bail us out-4 wins makes you seem like a true fan but not a over the top optimist like I was last year good call!
kevin smith-well he replaces kitna as the over optimistic fool-like you say should they be a humble weak realistic guy-I say no-Im like him especially if im on the team and can carry it like he can at the running back postion-id say yes ill be a 2000 yard rusher if thats what it takes to make the playoffs-that kind of attitude you love-trouble is hes probably at best the 3rd best rb in our division with ap and forte-makes me sick-both could of been ours-they both were on the board and we went else where -your oppinions?? keep in mind i have always been a running back guy.

Andrew said...

Wooo great to see u back..

I like this blog..

Thanks for sharing...