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?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guest Blog: Cling-On vs. Klingon

thanks to Nubsnobber for the guest blog! I have another from JJLions that I'll try to post up this weekend. Things are starting to calm down and progress well, and I'm looking forward to being back to blogging in June. Til then, guests, have at em:

Paris Lenon - Why we don’t need him back

In the week that sees the new Star Trek movie released, I felt the was appropriate. Myself-not a “Trekkie”, but still felt the need to pay homage.

And Paris Lenon. I felt the need to pay homage as well. I still see sites and chat rooms with comments venturing to guess-“Why don’t we re-sign Paris?” I have one thing to say to that.

GONE, vanished, disappeared. The Downhill Marinelli regime started from there. Ineptitude marched in and took over the Asylum while aboard a Lionel Choo-Choo train. An announcers booth is where you belong. You are good at that. But please, do not speak of college-football prospects and NEVER mention the word “Lions” in a sentence.

Paris Lenon was not a starting linebacker. He has dedication, he has heart. But Paris is not the guy. Paris is too small. Paris does not “blow people up”, and he certainly doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of NFL running backs. He is like an annoying little brother that doesn’t hurt you, just bothers you by following you all over. Like a dryer sheet that stays connected to your favorite fleece sweatshirt when it’s taken out of the dryer. It isn’t heavy enough to pull it down to the ground. It just “CLINGS-ON”. Static cling. That is Paris Lenon.


Not even strong enough to pull down a quarterback. Hey, that’s Tarvarus Jackson. It’s not like I’m asking for him to devour Big Ben. It almost seems like Paris is a box kite, ready to disappear from site. The proverbial kid that gets dragged thirty yards downfield. Coach said he has heart, he never gives up. But thank God someone realizes the difference in special teams “track-down” talent, and the ability to light someone’s ass up. I think we can at least put a FOOTE in it for now. [We also have a Levee...I mean, Leavy, being built to hold back the rushing tide as well. He seems to be a great prospect, and with a year or two behind Foote rotating in and getting valuable game experience, I have a feeling he will end up as one heck of a break-wall for the Lions D for many years. ~ DF79]

Thursday, May 14, 2009

On Hiatus Until June 1

Due to various personal/health issues, I will be taking a hiatus from the DetFan1979 Blog until June 1, 2009. I look forward to coming back strong with regular postings at that time. If you would like to post a guest blog in the interim, email me and I will try to post it up.

Thanks for your understanding!!

See you in June. Go Lions!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

COS: FA, Lions in the Hall?

Here are the Church of Schwartz questions for this week. As per usual, I will link to the other bloggers' answers once they are posted. Couple really made me think this time...

1. Are there any undrafted rookies that you expect to be on the team this season?

Honestly, there are not any of the undrafted rookies that I "expect" to be on the team this year. The one who has probably an outside to good shot is Antoine Smith. Behind Kevin Smith and Mourice Morris the Lions really don't have anyone outstanding there. After the release of Calhoun, looking at the Lions' roster Antone Smith is only fighting with Allen Ervin, Avieon Cason and Brown for what is likely to be two RB spots. His special teams play will go a long way towards determining if he makes the roster. Of all UDFA signed, RB is the least cluttered and most likely spot for one to stick.

2. If you can pick ONE remaining free agent on the market for the Lions to sign, who is it?

As of right now, there aren't any FA out there that I really want the Lions to sign. I'm sure Mayhew will keep scanning the waivers and releases. I expect to see a lot more moves as young players with potential are let go as teams trim down to the camp roster limits. As of now, you can tell where they wanted to work on the team as they have 15 Olinemen, 14 Dlinemen, 13 LB's and 11 WR under contract right now with the signing of Colbert.

There will be a LOT of fierce competition for those positions in camp. 15 Oline fighting for maybe 8 spots. 14 dlinemen fighting for 8-9 spots. 10 LBS fighting for 3-4 backup LB spots behind Sims-Foote-JP. 10 WR fighting for 4-5 spots. Really, 8 fighting for 2-3 spots behind Johnson & Johnson. They have brought in a mix of young and old to duke it out, and hope enough stick to improve those positions.

So at this point, it's more of a holding pattern to see if there are any more Larry Foote type cap cuts who can assist an area of need.

3. What retired Lion (if any) deserves Hall of Fame consideration?

Didn't have time to research this one, by my favorite historical Lions (Night Train Lane and Lem Barney) are both in the hall already. I know Kickers don't often get in, but Eddie Murray should warrant consideration, and when Jason Hanson eventually does he most certainly should.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dibbs! -- Not It!

Kids have some interesting games/sayings. With Mrs. DetFan1979 still sick, I've found myself spending a lot more time with the kids. (and a lot less time on this blog -- thanks for sticking with me. Frequency will hopefully improve again soon -- along with my wife's health.) Two of their favorite kid-activities that stick with us as adults are "Dibbs!" and "Not It!".

Dibbs!, of course, is what you yell out quickest and loudest to have first crack at shotgun in the car, the last brownie, or the biggest slice of pie. It is the right of first choice.

Not It! is the opposite. It is the right NOT to do something no fun -- wash the dishes, clean up the cat puke on the floor, or talk to that really annoying customer nobody likes. It is the right of first refusal.

0-16 has some distinct disadvantages in the Ifseason, as we've already seen. Many good players don't want to come near the team for any amount of money. Other marginal players only wanted to come here to get a bigger-than-they'd-get-elsewhere Pay Day. What you do end up with is players who come here that would be backups on other teams looking for a chance to start given the Lions' talent depleted roster.

It does, however, have some advantages as well. One of those is the Wavier Wire.

Because they were so historically awful, no one has waiver claims over the Lions. When teams trim talented potential or skilled young players from their rosters to get down to the camp and ifseason roster limits, the Lions will be first in line to cull who they want from the pool.

In other words, when it comes to waiver-eligible players, the Lions have the right to call both Dibbs! and Not It!

They are also winners when waiver eligible players are cut due to coaching changes earlier in the ifseason. One such signing/claim that was of this variety is the signing of Will Franklin.

I saw a lot of derision and "huh?" type comments in response to his signing, but I think it deserves going back and taking at look at again. You may be surprised at how well it could work out. Franklin was a 4th round pick of the Chiefs last year, and showed flashes of potential on an awful team with limited playing time. The Lions had dibs on him, beating out what is listed conservatively as 5 different teams for this returner/slot Wr with excellent potential. So why did KC let him go? Interesting article from a KC site may shed some light on this... According to this KC beat-writer's article I found he asked for his release after the new coaching staff started using him as a whipping boy example of the changes they were making from the prior staff.

Being a former 4th rounder, KC obliged.

Will he make an impact? Only time will tell. But keep in mind as teams have to keep shaving players to make room for draft picks and injury signings that the Lions have Dibbs/Not It! until some team wins more games than them.

That means as Mayhew and Schwartz continue to tweak the roster and fill gaps heading into the
season that no one can out-dibb them on the waiver wire. Until September. Then we will see how good of a team Mr. Mayhew built.

Til then, while they may still be on a 17 game losing streak when it matters, they are the waiver wire winners!