Title: The Detroit Lions
Description: continuing the trend of mediocrity....
Dave Ryan - February 25, 2006 05:28 PM (GMT)
So how many of us have "Fire Millen" shirts?
Matt Miller - February 25, 2006 05:54 PM (GMT)
I have a "Hire Miller" shirt, but it counts.
Dave Ryan - February 25, 2006 06:45 PM (GMT)
Close enough! You're HIRED!
But first, a few questions....
Can you overpay free agents?
Can you refuse to interview minority coaches?
Can you draft the same position in the first round for THREE STRAIGHT YEARS?
Can you continue to disregard our weak secondary?
Can you find the will to only win FIVE away games in FIVE straight seasons?
Can you find a way to lose 59 games in FIVE straight seasons?
Like I said, you're hired.
Little_Henry - February 26, 2006 01:59 AM (GMT)
Actually, I don't agree with some of your charges. Detroit went into the regular season last year with decent depth at the CB position. They addressed the SS position in FA and I didn't think Holt played bad before going down to injuries. If anything, they could have used some depth at the safety position. Injuries to the entire defensive backfield, as well as the LB position cut down on the number of schemes available to the DC.
The overpaying for free agent charge is getting old too. In retrospect, I think most people would consider the Bly signing a pretty good deal. Some of the other signings may have not panned out, but the Lions are still comfortably under the cap, in comparison to other teams who have spent recklessly during the same time frame (Washington comes to mind).
I'm not even going to comment on the minority coach issue, following the results of the couching carosel this year. The NFL minority coaching policy is little more than lip service and anyone who fails to recognize that represents little more than the pot calling the kettle black.
In regards to the WR position, I believe there were a number of considerations. First was the uncertainty of Charles Rogers' health following a 2nd break of the collar bone. Next, the team philosophy to draft the best player available regardless of position. The team had struggled mightily in previous years with the WR position, including injuries and drops. MW was certainly considered fair value at the position that Detroit selected him in the draft and came with a reputation for sure hands. Nobody questioned the additional signing of Kevin Johnson and as fate would have it, the unreliability of Rogers and injuries would again leave Detroit shorthanded in 2005.
Interestingly, Marinelli was quoted recently in an article speaking about the desire to draft on a best player available philosophy. Might that result in another 1st round WR selection in 2006? I doubt it, but it could be a prelude to Detroit drafting into a position of strength (real or perceived) once again in 2006. I wouldn't be surprised to see them select Ngata or Hawk if by some chance one of them are still on the board or another 'backer like Greenway. I'm not arguing whether this philosophy is right or wrong, I'm just saying this seems to be the direction that Detroit is using in the draft in recent years and it doesn't seem to be a philosophy that will change any time soon (unless anarchy rules and Millen is finally sent packing).
nepg - February 26, 2006 08:22 AM (GMT)
The Lions overpay free agents because they have to. It's not like they are just going out and handing a bunch of cash to someone for no reason... There's no way Damien Woody goes to Detroit rather than staying in New England if he didn't get a huge deal. Same with Bly and Kennedy.
And as LH said, they're comfortably under the cap and have a very solid depth chart talent-wise (just need the coaching and the right system).
I don't see anyway you can question Millen's draft philosophy. Since he's been GM, they've had solid hauls in every draft.
Jeff Backus (1)
Dominic Raiola (2)
Shaun Rogers (2)
Mike McMahon (5)
Joey Harrington (1)
Kalimba Edwards (2)
Andre Goodman (3)
Chris Cash (6)
Victor Rogers (7)
Charles Rogers (1)
Boss Bailey (2)
Cory Redding (3)
Artose Pinner (4)
Terrence Holt (5)
James Davis (5)
Ben Johnson (7)
Blue Adams (7)
Roy Williams (1)
Kevin Jones (1)
Teddy Lehman (2)
Keith Smith (3)
Alex Lewis (5)
Kelly Butler (6)
Mike Williams (1)
Shaun Cody (2)
Stanley Wilson (3)
Dan Orlovsky (5)
Bill Swancutt (6)
24 very solid selections, 20 of which still on the team, about 17 are starters...
Dave Ryan - February 26, 2006 09:17 PM (GMT)
I was honestly joking about some of the stuff I said. That's just the basic grumblings of the majority of Lions fans. I actually don't really mind Millen. He's done what he's had to do with the free agents. The one free agent who really makes me mad is Bryant. I was so incredibly pumped up when we signed him, but he just hasn't been able to stay healthy or play consistently for that matter. The Bly signing at the time didn't look like a good move, but it definitely has materialized nicely.
Again, I was seriously joking about some of those comments (other than the losses) and just poking fun at the whole "Fire Millen" philosophy. I'm sorry that it came across the wrong way.
nepg, I definitely agree with you about Millen and his drafts. He's done a very good job, especially in the later rounds (Alex Lewis, Holt, James Davis, Pinner and Cash all come to mind). I remember last year when we selected Mike Williams with our first round pick. I really didn't even have an opinion on it. I was excited for a second but I suddenly questioned how all those guys would get on the field consistently. I think it's more of the hype that Lions fans gave our team going into the season with our new offensive weapons and improved defense that made our down year so dissapointing.
But everything is in place for Martz to show us why he's an offensive genius.
DeeLions - March 5, 2006 06:22 PM (GMT)
Huff would make my season. Especially if he stays at safety.
Dave Ryan - March 14, 2006 05:57 AM (GMT)
Well, Corey Bradford it is. Another wideout. Opening up a draft day trade involving Charles Rogers? I hope so...
nepg - March 14, 2006 10:11 AM (GMT)
Whether they keep everyone or not, it was a good signing. They needed another proven WR to run that offense, and now their WR depth chart is done (after Drummond signed)... Millen's doing a good job at holding back and not overpaying this year...aside from F-tagging Backus, which might work out in the long run if they can get him signed long-term and move him to the right side or inside.
Luke Paul Chandler - March 14, 2006 02:44 PM (GMT)
I think the Lions needed another WR last year when people were hurt and suspended, they didn't need one now. Bradford definitely is the vertical threat in the slot they need (think Az Hakim when he was in StL), but it's likely going to cost someone their job (my guess is Rogers). But honestly, look at how bad Detroit has been with WR's the past five years....
Bill Schroeder (who says Favre doesn't make WR's better)
Az Hakim (system guy, better as a reserve)
Johnny Morton (never should have released him)
Mike Williams (my personal favorite, but seems lazy)
Roy Williams (probably will end up being the best)
Charles Rogers (worn out his welcome)
Kevin Johnson (i've been telling people for a few years how he's a cancer and not very talented)
There are others I'm forgetting too, but Detroit needs to get this straight.
Matt Shumate - March 14, 2006 05:32 PM (GMT)
What's funny is that Kevin Johnson was the vet prescence last year & performed the best of the WRs until he was injured.
Luke Paul Chandler - March 14, 2006 05:39 PM (GMT)
That's not exactly saying much though. And besides, KJ is a total and complete jackass. I can't stand him. It makes me so happy that every single year he goes to a new team because he outstays his welcome.
Little_Henry - March 16, 2006 04:47 AM (GMT)
Latest rumor swirling around Detroit?? The Lions will dump Harrington and sign Josh McCown. How about them apples.....
Niners Fan - March 16, 2006 07:04 AM (GMT)
Interesting rumour. McCown is younger but then Harrington has more game experience, even if it is more losing experience. Both have question marks around them, but both could do really well under Martz.
Ken Leibee - March 16, 2006 07:19 AM (GMT)
Chad Jackson for the Lions 1st round pick 2005!!!!!! Four in a row!!
Renegade Empire - March 16, 2006 07:38 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Ken Leibee @ Mar 16 2006, 02:19 AM)|
| Chad Jackson for the Lions 1st round pick 2005!!!!!! Four in a row!! |
Santonio Holmes is clearly the pick
Little_Henry - March 21, 2006 05:21 AM (GMT)
Apparently, Detroit has signed O-Lineman Rex Tucker. Don't really know too much about this guy. Can anyone share some thoughts?
nepg - March 21, 2006 10:40 AM (GMT)
Solid backup OL who can play pretty much anywhere on the line.
Luke Paul Chandler - March 21, 2006 02:36 PM (GMT)
I heard an interview with Kitna yesterday on Sirius, and it was pretty good. He's an open guy, friendly, etc. He talked about how excited he was to work with Martz, and that when he came to Detroit, he knew this was the place to sign. I'd be excited if I was a Lions fan.
Matt Shumate - March 21, 2006 02:38 PM (GMT)
Too bad he's a horrible decision maker....
McCown's your future, Detroit. Embrace it.
Luke Paul Chandler - March 21, 2006 02:41 PM (GMT)
I disagree, BUT...this isn't a progression offense. It's a timing based offense, hence why QB's like Warner have had trouble outside of it. He has a limited amount of progressions to work through. The whole offense is deep, crossing patterns. He's going to easily rack up 12 INT's if he plays all season, but that's par for the course with that offense.
Matt Shumate - March 22, 2006 02:31 PM (GMT)
|Column:Marinelli won't put up with petty jealousies, selfish attitudes|
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
By Tom Kowalski
ALLEN PARK -- As it turns out, Joey Harrington might not be the only veteran Lions player who is shown the door.
Harrington, the former starting Detroit Lions quarterback, will be released or traded largely because of his inability to be a valued leader and because of his failure to adapt to a cohesive team-wide philosophy.
The problems in the Lions' locker room, however, go way beyond Harrington's issues. That locker room is full of petty jealousies, insecurities and immature football players. The sense of "team" is almost nonexistent. Players move around in little cliques, with most of their focus on themselves rather than any team-inspired goal.
How bad is it? Last season, some players -- on both offense and defense -- were extremely resentful of each other because of where they were in the pecking order of pre-game introductions. Players were sniping at each other because there were jealousies over who was more deserving of getting those final, supposedly more prestigious introductions.
There have also been conflicts between players involving contract situations, coaching favoritism, social status and personal clashes.
According to several sources, new head coach Rod Marinelli has gone through an exhaustive investigation of the locker room situation, talking to everybody in the building and even some outside. Marinelli now has a grip on what he's getting into in terms of hot spots in the locker room and the many brush fires that could be sparked.
While many are expecting a player revolt when Marinelli begins his physically demanding training camp practices, it appears more likely that some players will be weeded out because of their reluctance to buy into the team-first mentality.
There is going to be a lot of whining and complaining about the aches and pains -- and tedium -- of Marinelli's grueling workouts, but the head coach is prepared for that. He'll have no problem dealing with that because it comes with the territory. Marinelli will simply continue to grind until the players realize that his way is the best way to get better individually and as a team.
Marinelli is always saying the best way to build morale is by improving a player's skill level. Once they get that confidence, not just in themselves but in the program as well, then a team can begin to come together. So, Marinelli is willing to put up with some kicking and screaming as he attempts to lift this team out of its self-induced slumber.
What Marinelli won't tolerate, however, is selfishness, laziness or indifference. If a player is willing to work, Marinelli will be as patient as possible in trying to teach, train and coach him -- regardless of skill level. However, if a player wants to get by only on his resume or press clippings, he's going to get booted off the team -- regardless of skill level, draft status or financial commitment.
Marinelli was going to give Harrington a chance, but as soon as the quarterback showed he didn't want to play along, Marinelli couldn't broom him fast enough.
The Lions have a couple of other high draft picks -- wide receivers Charles Rogers and Mike Williams -- who have been disappointments for a variety of reasons. They'll get a clean slate with Marinelli but not a lot of wiggle room. Those two can take a small measure of comfort in knowing those rules apply to everyone with equal force.
There won't be any "bus-ticket-out-of-town" speeches or "my-way-or-the-highway" declarations. Marinelli isn't going to threaten anybody, he's simply going to give an equal and opposite reaction to whatever actions are taken by the players.
The Lions are in their current mess because the previous coaching regimes allowed the immaturity and pettiness to get out of hand. Many of Detroit's young players have never experienced a locker room that's any different; they've grown used to the constant squabbling and bitterness over trivial matters.
That's not going to happen under Marinelli. Oh, there will still be some jealousies and conflicts because that's human nature, but they won't be able to manifest themselves into a team-wide malaise. Marinelli isn't interested in any rebuilding program because he plans to put a winning team on the field as soon as possible. If that means tearing it down a little before he builds it up, so be it.
It's going to be an interesting training camp.
Little_Henry - March 23, 2006 12:39 AM (GMT)
That is a good article. Interesting signing today by the Lions. Paris Lenon, who was signed away from Green Bay. Interesting in that this is one of the stronger positions on Detroit's roster. They have not resigned Earl Holmes however, and there is talk about shifting Boss Bailey to the middle. I'm not so sure either Bailey or Lehman really fit into the MLB mold. So why does Detroit seem to be stocking up on OLB's? I was wondering if signing a LB away from GB, (which leaves the Pack incredibly thin at the position) was done in the hopes of forcing GB to take Hawk in the upcoming draft. Perhaps it is way for Detroit to increase their chances at landing a player they covet, like Michael Huff. Or perhaps it is the LB corp on the team that will see some house cleaning. I know this unit it a tight bunch and met at Earl Holmes' house every Thursday during the season to eat dinner and watch film. That actually seems like a positive situation to me, but who knows....it will also be interesting to see what becomes of Dre Bly, in light of his late season finger pointing and public whining. The other blowup last year was between Kevin Jones and Roy Williams. Damien Woody has also been outspoken and publicly critical, although not in quite the manner that Bly was.
Matt Shumate - March 23, 2006 12:49 AM (GMT)
Lehman would be a fine Mike for the Tampa 2 scheme. You should be starting Alex Lewis, but that's for another day. Boss can handle either OLB, though he should've been a safety.
nepg - March 23, 2006 01:04 AM (GMT)
Boss in the inside could work... Part of his problem is that he's all over the place (really needs some good coaching)... Putting him in the middle could be good for both he and the team. I think Lehman should be the starting MLB though...but his lateral movement is garbage (huge reason why he fell on draft day).
Matt Shumate - March 23, 2006 01:05 AM (GMT)
Lehman's better off there then on the outside w/ that lateral movement.
Little_Henry - March 23, 2006 05:08 AM (GMT)
Detroit resigned DeVries. Huge signing for them. This is a versitile defensive lineman who can play inside or out.
Can anyone give me the lowdown on the Tampa 2 defensive scheme? Specifically, what it is about the system that allows for a player like Brooks or Lehman or even Bailey for that matter, to play in the middle? Aren't all of these players a bit undersized when considering the schemes of a conventional MLB?
Matt Shumate - March 23, 2006 01:36 PM (GMT)
True. The ultimate Tampa Two MLB was actually Hardy Nickerson, who set the standard. In the Tampa Two scheme, you have to be able to drop straight back, oh, 15 yards or so. Requires a lot of coverage ability, and backpedaling. Most teams' SLB could probably play the Mike in that scheme. Also responsible for play calling, etc.
Brooks is the gold standard for the weakside backer in the Tampa Two. You get to play in space. The Sam handles the TE side (obviously) and is replaced by the nickel back (though when it's Ronde Barber, it's almost another LB b/c he blitzes so much).
It's essentially a zone cover scheme. And a very good one at that. The difference in the Tampa 2 v. the standard Cover 2 is that the MLB drops back further.
Peter Shumate - March 23, 2006 09:49 PM (GMT)
Here's a run down on the Tampa 2.
The Cover 2 is simply a zone coverage scheme everybody uses. The 2 stands for both safeties, who each cover a deep half of the field. In the basic Cover 2, the cornerbacks jam wide receivers at the line, and then play in a short zone on each side of the field, creating only a small gap between their coverage responsibility and that of the safeties. Linebackers tend to drop off into coverage as well, taking up straight drops into short zones from their respective starting points.
When people speak of the Tampa 2, this doesn't neccesarily mean the exact same as a traditional cover 2. The scheme itself is based on having safeties in deep coverage, linebackers who can roam, cornerbacks who can play the ball and tackle, and athletic, active defensive linemen who can penetrate and disrupt. The Tampa 2 coverage itself really isn't a Cover 2. It's actually a Cover 3, but instead of a cornerback making the third deep drop, it's the middle linebacker. By having the middle linebacker drop off into deep coverage, this closes the major hole in the Cover 2 scheme - the deep middle. Without the deep MLB/Mike, teams could isolate and attack the safeties, especially with a competent receiving tight end. (We were blessed not to play the Giants during our Super Bowl run - their two tight end set would have caused us a lot of problems.
As Monte Kiffin has refined the scheme over the years, he's allowed for cornerbacks Brian Kelly and Ronde Barber to play more man coverage, thus eliminating the weakness of the other fault in a Cover 2 - the small, but accessible gap between the safeties and cornerbacks in zone. He also introduced more blitzes into the scheme over the past two years, but that had a lot to do with a drop off in talent.
In run support, the scheme dictates that each man handles his own gap - hence, when you hear analysts talk about the Bucs, they often refer to their own gap scheme. Each player has a specific responsibility to his zone, and must maintain discipline.
As far as linebackers go, the WLB/Will (Derrick Brooks) is usually the best athlete on the defense. In the basic scheme, the Will drops off into the same short zone as the SLB, but Brooks' role was sometimes revised - for instance, against Marshall Faulk, it was Brooks job to track Faulk and make sure Faulk knew it every snap. Despite the overwhelming athletecism, the Will must play with focus and discipline like every other member of the defense. The SLB/Sam's role (Shelton Quarles, Al Singleton, Ryan Nece) isn't vastly different than the WLB, except he has to be able to deal with the tight end. The Sam never receives much credit, but his willingness to take on the extra blocker allows others to make neccessary plays. The MLB has his gap responsibility in the middle of the field. Hardy Nickerson was a dominant player, and most of the traffic is directed towards the middle linebacker - either the offense runs in between the tackles in which it's up to the MLB to chase him down, or runners are reversed back towards him on outside runs when the perimeter is taken away. Shelton Quarles isn't quite the wrecking ball that Nickerson was, but he does an excellent job in this role - you could compare him to a cleanup defender, taking care of the trash inside and outside the tackles.
It's easy to find players who fit the scheme, but that does not make it a simple scheme. It requires players to be active and to play with great fundamentals. Tony Dungy, Monte Kiffin, and Rod Marinelli are all coaches who believe that football isn't won by being trickier than the other team, but simply beating them by playing superior football.
Was that coherent? Any other questions?
Little_Henry - March 24, 2006 02:49 AM (GMT)
That was nothing less than superb and I thank you wholeheartedly. You really should cut and paste that post into another section of the board for future reference, Pete. (Football X's and O's seems appropriate enough)
nepg - March 24, 2006 10:11 AM (GMT)
And the ultimate C2 OLB in this draft is Jon Alston.
Havner, McIntosh, and Wilkerson are probably the best C2 MLBs...though a lot of people like D'Qwell Jackson... I can't like someone whose name contains a letter other than "u" after "q"...just not right.
Luke Paul Chandler - March 24, 2006 02:42 PM (GMT)
Uggh, Jon Alston? He's fast, but not that good.
nepg - March 24, 2006 04:11 PM (GMT)
He played in a 3-4 in college (where he was under-sized)... His physical tools are amazing, just put him in a Cover 2 and he'll excel there.
beckham - April 11, 2006 07:41 PM (GMT)
It looks like Charles Rogers and/or Mike Williams want out of Murder City. Sounds like they're both dogging it in the mini camp. I suppose it is understandable considering the turmoil and the unsettled QB situation. What would the team be expecting in trade for either of those two. Logic says that they don't need three young first rounders with big egos competing for essentially a single position on the team.
Dave Ryan - April 12, 2006 02:06 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (beckham @ Apr 11 2006, 02:41 PM)|
| It looks like Charles Rogers and/or Mike Williams want out of Murder City. Sounds like they're both dogging it in the mini camp. I suppose it is understandable considering the turmoil and the unsettled QB situation. What would the team be expecting in trade for either of those two. Logic says that they don't need three young first rounders with big egos competing for essentially a single position on the team. |
We are loaded with young guys at virtually every position. Mike Williams might not be happy, but I really doubt he's going anywhere. He's going to like the idea of a new offensive scheme and more consistent quarterback play.
On the other hand, I wouldn't mind trading Rogers at all, but his contract is massive, and I don't know too many teams that would take a chance on a guy with injury and drug problems. With the Lion's luck though, he would probably go somewhere and finally live up to his potential.
Matt Shumate - April 12, 2006 03:27 AM (GMT)
Both of them seemed to change their attitudes in the article I read tonight. BMW's down to 230, and wants to drop 5 more lbs. Trying to catch up to Roy. Charles wants to put on some muscle, as he hasn't changed really since college.
And Rod's the man. When asked about Boss Bailey, he said "He's not here." When asked why, he said "He's probably got things to take care of." He also closed practice, and when asked why, he said "because I can." You guys are going to love this guy.
Apparently they're really interested in John McCargo. If Big Daddy retires, he'd be a good 2nd round pick up (3 tackle rotation w/ Cody & Rogers? wow).
nepg - April 12, 2006 04:31 AM (GMT)
Even if Wilkinson doesn't retire, McCargo is perfect for the Tampa2 and could help form a rotation that would prolong Wilkinson's career a couple years. I'd also look for them to draft Daryl Tapp or Victor Adeyanju in the 2nd or 3rd round.
As for the WRs...Martz needs all of them for his offense. They should all get plenty of looks. Having those 3 didn't work in a WCO, but things SHOULD be a lot different (better) this year. And I wouldn't be surprised to see them carry just one FB and two TEs on the roster to make room for a 7th WR. Martz doesn't use TEs or FBs that much, but will need the extra WR spot on the roster.
Dave Ryan - April 12, 2006 05:43 AM (GMT)
Yeah, McCargo is a great guy to think about. Harry's mock on the main site has us taking him in the second round and I really liked that when I saw it. Hopefully Huff is there at 9, and we could snag McCargo in the second round, that would be great in my eyes.
Little_Henry - April 14, 2006 05:44 AM (GMT)
I haven't heard anything negative about the receivers. From all accounts, many of the players are pleased with the attitude change and the demands for accountability. The Bailey issue is disturbing, especially since Lehman is still in street clothes. This looked like a promising young group of linebackers just a short time ago and now it all seems to be falling apart. Much like alot of the "talent" Detroit has procurred the last couple years. A reassessment of Millen's draft picks for the last couple years doesn't look quite as good now that some time has passed.
Peter Shumate - April 14, 2006 06:34 PM (GMT)
Actually, if Lehman and Bailey are not showing up, this is great news.
If he can stay healthy, Alex Lewis should be the starting weak side linebacker for the Lions. He could definitely fill the Derrick Brooks role, though he still has a long way to go before he gets to that level. Kid is an unreal athlete and makes some great plays in limited chances. He's better than both Lehman and Bailey at the weak-side.