Friday, June 26, 2009

QB Answers = More Questions

Wow! Struck quite a nerve with the QB piece this year. Great to see everyone back and commenting!!

Right after writing that piece, there was suddenly a burst of QB related articles! More on that later in this piece -- your comments provided some great insight, and here are a few of my thoughts after reading through them:

I truly believe that this coaching staff does NOT want to start Stafford week 1. Period. If anyone knows how to maximize what Culpepper can do, and minimize his weaknesses, it is Scott Linehan. Daunte has a strong arm, doesn't read through more than a couple of progressions really well, and is just plain awful at reading defenses.

Linehan worked with this in Minnesota with a heavy run game, dump-off screens/passes to the RB and TE, and tossing it deep early and often to Randy Moss -- which helped open up said running game and screens. Sub in "Calvin Johnson" for "Randy Moss" and you have the new Randy-Ratio. Whether the Lions win or not, quite frankly, will all come down to how much the defense has progressed.

My last article was predicated on uncertainty. Despite being in phenomenal shape (by all reports) Daunte Culpepper has still been wildly inconsistent throughout his career. He's been everything from Co-MVP to the "Bay Area Fumbler". At worst, he is an older slower David Carr. At best, he is an "almost" Brett Favre. That is one heck of range!

What I was musing over on the last article was the reality that until camp gets underway, or even into the season or pre-season, the Lions don't know what they are going to get from Stafford or Culpepper. They WANT to start Culpepper first, then go to Stafford at some point after that based on what is happening with wins/losses/offense/defense. But IF Stafford does progress far enough that he could start, what then?

The real question, that can only be answered by the coaching staff, is "How much does he need to "beat" Daunte by to start game 1? How bad does Daunte need to play for us to pull him?"

IF the Lions are 3-3 or 4-2 heading into the bye week, unless the defense is the reason and Daunte is playing awful I don't think there will be cries for Stafford until the Lions are out of Playoff contention. At that point, Stafford will finish out the season.

Here is my prediction for when Stafford starts: Game 1, when the Lions are eliminated from the playoffs (or after the Bye week, if they are on that path/winless), or when Daunte plays badly enough to get pulled. right now, I think they start the season with Culpepper.

I'll hit on more of the QB stuff tomorrow --

As for now, here is my thought on the WCF interview: Public Relations. That's it. I agree with Nubs that I didn't see the passion there, or the fire. Who else was in charge of hiring Millen? Russ Thomas? Bobby Ross? No, it was all his fault, and I would have respected him more if he came out and said that HE hired him, HE made a mistake -- including NOT listening to others and keeping Millen on too long. I do believe he felt strongly about the empty seats, however. And this PR was part of making sure they are filled again.

Fortunately, I am liking how this ifseason is going, and I think they will be much better. 8-8 better? Ummm...maybe... IF... lots and lots of IF's...


ClusterFox said...

Agree with you across the board on who starts? One other variable to consider is the incentive clauses on CPep. They will maximize the use of him this year for the least amount of money possible. (BIG)IF CPep lights it up and were doing well, incentives may not carry any wieght, but If we're playing this sub .500, out of playoffs game. I think it will definately be a factor.

Anybody have details on the incentives CPep is playing for this year?

I won't bother commenting on how much I don't like WCF speaking. Because in all honesty, I renewed my tickets and thats all he cares about.

BTW-It is great to see the excitement starting to build here amongst some loyal fans, Looking forward to the product they put on the field.


nubsnobber said...

Desert Lion

"Do you believe in Miracles?" I'm not trying to bash, and I think we both agree.

Earlier, I wrote that BYE week may be the proper time to introduce Stafford, but I would do it a series at a time, then a quarter, then a half. I don't hink it would be pre-season to get him ready for the season, I think it should come in the middle somewhere. I also see the historic benefits of sitting the first year. I don't know how Schwartz is on this, but having just left the Tennessee Experiment and seeing Vince Young crumble mentally like a house of cards...I don't know.

Schwartz seems to be all about the mind games. I think he has mathmatical probabilities and tendancy formulas broke down on everything. He probably knows how many times Aaron Rodgers will say , "Um, Lord willing." in a five minute interview. And Linehan likes to play games very well on the offensive side. He takes HIS team's strength's and breaks down the other team's weaknesses. If he sees a limping CB...he will go for the juglar. Nothing wrong with that.

Very interesting piece NFL Network had on the Steelers of '74. I didn't know that Terry Bradshaw had been benched and replaced with another QB (Joe Gilliam) earlier in the year, and didn't play very solid when he got back into games just prior to their Super Bowl run. I was born in 1973, so it's kind of ancient history like "Franco's Italian Army". I always thought that Terry Bradshaw was "the MAN". Funny how Super Bowl rings distort past feats.

Maybe getting one in Detroit will make us forget all these past iniquities? How's that for optimism.

CHIEFGER139 said...

SEE stafford easily starting week one, but think a big mistake, would gamble new orleans lights us up, culpeper looks hoorible and then the saviour is born-brought in at a home game defeats the defending nfc north champs and the legend moves on from there!! Just like a story book, ive been dreamin it and lovin it. no matter how good the kids been doing hold off to week 2 you will be happy you did. culpeper looks good against the saints? ok we will wait longer-hope he matter what dont bench culpeper week 1 for poor play let him suffer through it-put stanton in if you must-save the kid for the home opener-yes he is the saviour-yes i said earlier against the rams but no more --week 2 the saviour is born!! go lions real hope even now!!

Todd said...

I know we have a logjam at safety but does anyone want to explain why we traded Gerald Alexander who has shown starting talent at times for a pretty washed up wide reciever? Dennis Northcutt? Unless they aren't seeing what they like from b.johnson curry and dwilliams which would make me even more upset.


Mark said...

I've never been all that impressed with Daunte Culpepper.

For all his big stats, he has lost more games than he has won; even in Minnesota with all that talent around him. Yes, he would rack up big stats for your fantasy football team, but that was because he and randy racked them up against weak opponents and because fantasy football does not adequately penalise a plaer for fumbling the ball ... Culpepper fumbles the ball at least once every game on average.

I hope Stafford is ready (mentally and emotionally) to start from week one. That really would be the best case scenario for the Lions. Get the kid going - he's the future.

RIP said...

Hey Mark,

I agree to a point with you.

If you look at Cutler, what has he proven. He too has a losing record. They are both strong armed. One had Shannahan as head coach. The other had Linehan as OC. So is Cutler today's pro in Chicago, and Culpepper is Detroit's washed up soldier? The season will only tell us this. As of now, it is only June. We do not know. I will be routing for several players to bring us to the playoffs.

Let the entertainment of the new season begin for our 9-7 season.

DetFan1979 said...

Todd -- I've seen where a couple of outlets have picked up the Northcutt for Alexander trade report, but only source thus far seems to be a florida paper.

We'll have to see. Lions have a lot of bodies competing at S. I'll have to wait for confirmation and then see... I will say, on the surface, this would be Mayhew's first personnell move that I really don't like.

Todd said...

It definitley happened. The only thing I'd say holding it back could be Alexander failing his physical. Yeah I agree I've liked all up to this one. I just don't get it, even if Alexander doesn't start, I still think he's better depth than Northcutt at WR. Unless that is they really don't like what they see from curry, bjohnson, and dwill. What worries me is shack harris is the one who brought Northcutt to the jags last year, so to me it has his name all over it.

My optimistic hope is that they really like Bullocks or Pearsons play next to Delmas and Alexander was just purely expendable.

Anonymous said...

With Northcutt being a punt returner, in addition to being a WR, I think this may be a move to secure a backup for that 3rd round kid we grabbed. So far he's been hurt and I haven't heard anything great about his punt returning ability so far in the OTA's. Remember the prices punt returners were going for before the draft and the fact that we do seem to be crowded at S now (though I would have kept Alexander as I liked his moxie and we always have Cason to return punts ahahahaha)


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