THere is an old saying that says to leave no stone unturned when you are looking for something. But where does this phrase originate? Exactly what could oyu be looking for that you would find under a rock, and not in, say, the cupboard or a tree?
Turns out, the origins date back to Greek times. WikiAnswers defines it thus:
Make every possible effort, use every possible source or resource. For example, To raise ten thousand dollars to keep the shelter open, we must leave no stone unturned. This expression alludes to an ancient Greek legend about a general who buried a large treasure in his tent when he was defeated in battle. Those seeking the treasure consulted the Oracle of Delphi, who advised them to move every stone. The present form dates from the mid-1500s.
This is a favorite hobby of Martin Mayhew and the new Lions front office. Turning over stones, seeing if anything is there, and putting them back if they don’t like what they see. Last Ifseason, they were first on the waiver wire and it seemed like they signed every guy who was released to get a good look at them. Free Agents cut? Bring ‘em in and see what they have left. Declining vet? See if he can plug a hole for a year. Guy who never lived up to his potential? Is less than his draft status still an upgrade, or at least a lateral move with upside? They are turning over every stone, knowing that any stone left unturned may be moved by another team — and the treasure (an quality upgrade for the team) will be won by that team instead. Granted, it’s easier for the Lions to upgrade their roster than Minnesota, New Orleans, Indianapolis, or the Jets — which also makes it even more imperative the Lions turn over a LOT of rocks since they have a better chance of finding an upgrade under there than any of those teams. In time, it will change to a point where the searches are more focused — and where all needs can be filled with a key free agent or via the draft. Until that day arrives, Martin Mayhew will be picking up a TON of rocks.
This is something we are already seeing once again this ifseason, and will continue to see in great quantity again this ifseason and throughout the year. Thanks to last year’s draft the Lions have finally started to build a solid young core of quality strating caliber NFL players. Still, it will be some time before the Lions have their starters solidified on both sides of the ball, much less their depth in place.
DeDe Dorsey signing, working out Donte Stallworth — the guys they picked up after the season. Myahew is doing his due dilligence in finding guys to field a better team than last year. Now that players need 6 years instead of 4 to be unrestricted free agents, the pool of available young talent just dropped off significantly. He will have to stick with drafting as well as he did last year, and patching via older vets and other teams’ cast-offs. If you wonder about his drafting skills, ALL of the Lions’ draft picks from last season — rounds 1-7 — are still on NFL rosters right now. Early indications are he has an eye for talent, but I’ll need to see a few years of consistently good drafting along with sustained development from the drafts picks to really be on board.
In regards to Donte Stallworth, before anyone starts going off about character (like a certain radio host and sports writer), check out this well-researched article by Ty over at the Lions in winter in regards to Stallworth and the details surrounding his arrest and suspension. Stallworth never lived up to his billing as a #1 WR, taken in the first round. However, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be an upgrade for the Lions over their current crop of wideouts. He was a speedy guy that played well on the outside, and could take advantage of single coverage, but won’t demand any double teams. He has done well in this role, and Cleveland signed him to a big deal just before his screwup to do just that opposite their then-star wideout Braylan Edwards. IF he still has enough to take a look at, the Lions will give hima shot in camp. IF they don’t think he is worth the time, they won’t sign him and won’t be any worse off for having looked.
Too often in the Millen years, the Lions didn’t even bother checking guys out at all and missed out on a lot of good prospects. Mayhew is leaving no stone unturned — including UFL and Arena teams — in his search for roster upgrades. Now, we must keep persepective that a lot of these guys will either not pan out, or have very little impact. But even a little bit of an upgrade sure beats him hanging out in Pennsylvania and not looking at all.
So wish Martin Mayhew good luck, and good hunting in his rock turning expedition – the Lions need a treasure or two.