Friday, January 29, 2010

Souffle Season??

Souffle Season??

January 29th, 2010 | by detfan1979 |

As per Wikipedia: A soufflé is a light, fluffy, bakedcake made with eggyolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up” — an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites.

A chocolate soufflé

Every soufflé is made from 2 basic components:

  1. a French Creme patissiere base/flavored cream sauce or purée
  2. Egg whites beaten to a soft peak meringue.

The base provides the flavour and the whites provide the “lift”. Foods commonly used for the base in a soufflé include jam, fruits, berries,chocolate, banana and lemon (the last three are used for desserts, often with a good deal of sugar). When it comes out of the oven, a soufflé should be puffed up and fluffy, and will generally fall after 5 or 10 minutes (as risen dough does).

Because of its tendency to fall rather quickly, the soufflé has been displayed in many forms of media, especially cartoons and children’s programs, as very difficult to survive outside the oven for more than a short time. Some jest that a poke or a loud noise will make a soufflé collapse (and with it, the pretentions of the hostess).

As I was reading story after inane story about who ended up in the first round, third round, out of the draft, athelete, soaring stock, sliding stock, short arms, great wingspan, too long an arm, fast for a big man, slow for a little man, hip fluidity…

Yes, the NFL draft hype has already begun. It seems players are “shooting up the boards” or “dropping like a popped souffle” every day, or several times a day. Poor one on one drill at the senior bowl? Oh, he just proved he is awful. Great day covering the 10th best senior WR while the QB under center lobs some good old Michigan ducks who apparently headed to mobile? Goes to sure first rounder.

I feel like I am watching a cooking show where they are trying to make an NFL souffle, but they really don’t know what (or if) will make it come out right. And, as is life in the NFL, if you get that “lift” at the right time you can make a playoff run — and then it falls 10 minutes later and the team doesn’t go back again. The Patroits pulled a great souffle out of the oven in the early part of last Decade, but Father Time caught up to them as he always does, and the souffle has fallen back to the pack. If you’ve ever had a fallen souffle, it still tastes great, but it doesn’t have that special poofy look and feel. They are still good – but not “unbeatable”. There are many different ways to flavor the “base” in a souffle, and different toppings add to the variety. While there is no one right way to flavor it properly, there is only one “right way” for it to be a success — to puff up and stay there long enough for the big entrance…or in the NFL, the big game – the Superbowl. Every season is a new souffle.

Moreso than teams, it is the individual players being evaluated for the draft that comes stronger to mind. Some guys – like Iupati at OG – are rising out of the pan. Others like Taylor Mays…well, just like the souffle at the end, he’s falling back to earth after talk of being a top 5 pick had he come out last year.

The real question is: What does it all mean for the Lions. Answer: Not a whole lot.

Even ater a decade of Millen, many fans still want to repeat the same mistakes over and over again — reaching for the “late rising” player at a position of “need”, or going for the name/shiny pick. Kiper and McShay always loved Millen’s drafts. Why? He “filled all his needs” (funny how that never REALLY happened, only in draftnik land), “took the right guy”, and “couldn’t pass up this guy there”. Anyone could have scouted Millen’s internal draft board (sadly for the scouts and fans, the only one that mattered) by reading draft guides on the internet. Even then, it seems like the average person had more knowledge of who to pick and why than the front office.

Not so any more. Most NFL teams are only looking to things like the combine and the senior bowl to do just a few things:

  1. Get some decent film and looks at some small school prospects
  2. See if a guy catches their eye they want to do more research on that they didn’t have on their radar (rare)
  3. Confirm opinions they already have
  4. Answer basic suspicions (questions) they have

Do we really think that a few good days of senior bowl practice has “proven” that Brandon Graham “has the burst it takes” to be a “dominant” DE in the NFL as McShay said the other day? Umm…no. I chatted with everyone’s favorite neighborhood capologist and Lions fan NetRat about this some time back. In a nutshell, when you see dramatic risers/sliders it is because the media is noticing people scouts have been looking at all year. Sure, the national media didn’t have any clue (neither did fans) who DeAndre Levy or Sammie Hill were last year — but we know now.

As you read about these stories of players rising and falling like a souffle on a daily basis it is really the media trying to figure out where players are slotted in the highly secretive NFL draft rooms. Now that the Lions have a real front office and coaching staff in place, don’t look for it to be easy to know who the Lions are targeting. They have specific talent and skill sets in mind, and don’t pay attention to the media other than to get an idea where other teams may have a guy slotted for purposes of trades back. As players get poked and prodded by the draft process, some of them will implode (like Andre Smith last year), some will just slowly fade (like Taylor Mays) and others will puff up and stay there (like Brandon Albert, who is now rumored to be a possibility to head to RT because of his struggles at LT).

So whether whether Mayhew ends up picking puffy souffles, or deflated souffles, or ones we’ve never heard of — if he and the scouts do as well as last year then once again we will be in for a real treat this season when the draft day cooking finally arrives at the table.

Rating: 10.0/10 (7 votes cast)
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8 Responses to “Souffle Season??”

  1. By Ty on Jan 29, 2010


    Perfect analogy! I think the ‘late riser’ most often happens when the media gets word about one or two teams having a player ranked far above the consensus–like the Raider and Darrius Heyward-Bey, or the Vikings and Troy Williamson. There’s also no question that the Combine and All-Star games can help and hurt stock . . .

    But, you’re right. Most of these guys are already pretty well-known quantities to actual scouts. Remember when everyone was shocked–SHOCKED–that Maualuga fell so far? That the Lions passed on him three times? I said that day, there’s got to be a reason . . . maybe now we know what it is.


    Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  2. By detfan1979 on Jan 29, 2010

    What is more heartening for Lions fans is that the media never got wind he Lions were even considering or had visited with DeAndre Levy, or that the Lions had him rated above what the media were aware of. There is much more organization and forethought going into the draft now instead of waiting til draft day to pick out the prettiest puffy souffle.

    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  3. By chiefger139 on Jan 29, 2010

    love your aite detfan and the video- but face it we are who we are and unfortunately still feel the wize chief has done better than there picks could of had should of had the likes of rasheed mendenhall or ray rice-laurinitus you name it-but must admit love last years draft as you-finally went to the draft stafford side and finally got it right-after that was upset but look at delmos im a wmu enginerring grad and love him- then levy so on like you say sami-hill etc-it will get tougher now each year as finally some needs are met and you look for others but actually I always thought get the superstars when you can forget needs-once you have the superstars then build around them-think were doin that now -if you draft early look for probowlers at what ever position they are-if you draft the cream of the draft-especially at the skill positions you will not only become a contender but may actually be a superbowl team eventually because face it when you know your qb is the best or better than any draft, your safety is or at least one of there top 5 etc you then can consentrate on the lower positions etc so mayhew may piss off the trenches only crowd hes doin the right thing-look how long barry caried us-and truthfully the trench guys with a good gm can be gottin later-aka sammy hill and many others have much confidence and mayhew and his approach were gettin there!!

    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  4. By mrdithers on Jan 30, 2010

    I am really hungry after that post…and I couldn’t agree more with your contention that we, as in Lions’ fans, have a real front office and coaching staff running things now. Heck, the latest stat floating out there right now is the one about the Lions’ annual changes in offensive and defensive coordinators. For the first time in 13 years, they will have the same coordinators? How can you run a business like that, or a football franchise? I am glad that there will be some consistency, but not just for consistencies’ sake. These guys have shown that they know what they are doing. If evidence is needed, look to last year’s draft as a prime example.

    Tonight, my wife and I are joining another couple at a tapas bistro and I can’t wait to try my first seafood paella…bon appetite.

    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  5. By Isphet on Jan 30, 2010

    You sure it’s not spelled Suh-ffle?

    I just can’t get excited about another 300ish LB inside DT. No matter how much Mike Mayock or Mel Kiper puff him up.

    A 300LB strong side Defensive End though… rawr.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  6. By RIP on Jan 31, 2010

    Loved the win that the Lion’s staff got at the Senior Bowl. With only a weeks worth of practice and equal talent, all three units played good.

    Brandon Graham, playing in his natural position in a 4-3 was a monster during the game. He may have moved into the top 20, like BJ Raji who was projected around 20 and went 9 to Green Bay.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  7. By chiefger139 on Feb 3, 2010

    havent heard from you in a while det fan79, just hope youve been super busy and no more dosasters have come your way. not even answerin emails-well its me-can see why. nice article. your small school extra all applies but face it were at the top basically once again-pick the cream of the crop. sure look at position needed 1st and ask your self is this guy gonna be a probowler? if many questions then look at another position etc. and after looking at all of them ad theres no sure thing great one then go back to the needs list and get the best one there but ensure you get those sure thing winners-actually millen got one of them in calvin johnson-hopefully mayhew got a couple with stafford and delmos and who knows maybe 3 with petigrew came on strong just before he was hurt-lineman are tougher-Iwouldnt go for them unless theyre talkin about them like shu but if your the fearin crowd probably easier to get at least a mediocre guard in the 2nd-may be the best guard in the entire draft-but knowing you can luck out in get one latter would betough to pull the trigger, if your really good can get a guard latter say like woody who actually can play tackle, then you hit the jack pot, etc. but you look at them all ignore kickers and get the true superstars while theyre there-hopefully were now done pickin i the top ten-our last chance at gettin the cream of the crop as we at least become a 6-7 game winner-then take the lineman, the bread and guts guys at the top-you have the superstrs then and they now need the grunts to make it happen-just the wize chiefs oppinion!!

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  8. By Stan Mccuien on May 14, 2010

    That is some inspirational stuff. Not in a million years knew that opinions could be this varied. Thanks for all the enthusiasm to propose such reassuring knowledge here.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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