Detroit Lions preview

Save your angry comments. Not only am I not advocating a NFL lockout in 2011, I personally think it would be one of the worst possible things to happen both to American football, and to the Detroit Lions, who might make their first legitimate playoff push if the 2011 season happens. That being said, there may be a silver lining here. The Detroit Lions are among a number of teams that likely will not be major players in the free agency market this year. They'll take a couple of guys from the middle-tier, but this is a team being built through the draft. They won't be throwing out a superstar's paycheck to get the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha, Champ Bailey, or Chad Greenway. Those top-tier guys are not on Detroit's menu, but somebody somewhere is going to sign [...] Continue reading → | , , , ,
When C.C. Brown was very quietly signed by the Detroit Lions during the 2010 offseason, I spent the rest of that offseason making snide remarks about him eventually getting cut. Well, okay then. I stand corrected. Brown not only played in 15 games this season, starting eight of them, but he played at the level of a serviceable football player. This, of course, brings us to our next issue. After a relatively productive season, Brown is poised to enter free agency, a mere year after being allowed to walk by the New York Giants and signed by the Lions. The question now is, has Brown done enough to warrant a re-up with the Lions? And with so much young talent seemingly on the rise in Detroit, does Brown even want to come back to a team where he might be obsolete in a couple [...] Continue reading → | , ,
Ndamukong Suh doesn't need to do any more to win over the hearts of Detroit sports fans. He was a highly-touted draft prospect, and everyone chomped at the bit to get him. Detroit ended up picking him second overall, and he rewarded the Lions by, among other things, posting the most sacks (10) of any Lions defender since James Hall in 2004 (11.5). Now it appears he was playing part of the season with an injured shoulder, which should make the linemen who faced him this season shake their heads in disbelief. The good news is that the surgery was minor and successful, and Suh will be back next season at full strength. The bad news is he can't play in the Pro Bowl, despite leading all defensive tackles in votes. As much as Suh would like to play, and as much as I'd like [...] Continue reading → | , , , ,
So running backs named Kevin have had a rough go of it in Detroit lately. In the last 10 years, Kevin Jones and Kevin Smith have gotten off to hot starts in starting roles with the Detroit Lions. Both spent the next several years hobbled by recurring injuries and saddled with disappointing follow-up seasons. Jones ended his Lions tenure by getting cut after four years. Smith is a restricted free agent after three, and he has a first-round pick (Jahvid Best) to contend with. So does Kevin Smith stay or go? As a restricted free agent, Smith has to remain with the Lions as long as they match the best offer he gets on the open market, so the Lions have a great deal of control over his fate. But still there are rumblings. Observe. 2010 [...] Continue reading → | , , ,
Drew Stanton is a fun specimen. Opinions vary widely on him, from "great, underappreciated gamer of a quarterback," to "not even that good when he was in college." However, no coaching staff's opinion (and there have been plenty of them since Stanton was drafted) has placed him any higher than third on the depth chart. Yet Stanton has a great deal more film on file than your average third-string quarterback. Some of that film is of him losing football games with terrible plays, some of it is of him winning them with good ones. The consensus is that Stanton has done enough to earn himself a backup role somewhere in the league. But will that be in Detroit? 2010 Performance All over the map. Stanton's lowest point this season was against the New [...] Continue reading → | , , ,
It's time for me to stop running from the offseason. Given how well the regular season ended for the Detroit Lions, this was the first year in a long while that I didn't want to forget all about football season the day after Week 17 ended. Sure, the Lions missed the playoffs by a wide margin. There was never much doubt of that, though. But a four-game winning streak? Unprecedented! I wanted to savor the flavor as long as I could,  but now it's time to look ahead. Thus begins the first in my new "Stay or Go?" series, an in-depth look at the Lions' upcoming free agents and whether the Lions and the player should look to re-sign with the Lions based on performance, team interest, player interest, and miscellaneous factors (such as possible replacements in the draft or free agency, [...] Continue reading → | , , ,
Forgive me for an angry rant. It has just been a bad day. The happiest I was today was when the Detroit Lions scored with about 90 seconds left in the first half. It definitely looked like Honolulu Blue was going to march into the locker room with a 14-3 lead. And then the Lions showed up. Not the strong, fumble-forcing, mistake-proof team we had seen for the previous 28:30, but the ones the team is trying not to be associated with. It took 90 seconds for the Bears to put up 10 points and put Matthew Stafford's arm in a sling for the rest of the game. And sadly, that wasn't the worst thing that happened today. No, that would be when the Lions went on to win the game. Because even Bears fans know that what happened at Soldier Field may have been correct, but it [...] Continue reading → | , ,
Having broken down the Detroit Lions' offseason in terms of free agency, trades, the draft, and individual positions, it's now time for the inevitable record prediction. Despite being asked multiple times, I've avoided giving any concrete predictions on the season until now. Much like giving draft grades or making calls on free agent moves, it's meaningless to do so until you get an initial idea of what the team looks like playing together. Of course, then you have to make sure those guys stay on the team. A record prediction talking about Dre' Bly making a resurgence would just be silly now, wouldn't it? But we're past all that. The roster is full, and set for the time being. We have a decent idea of what the team looks like together, so I have no more [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , ,
Though the consensus throughout the NFL is that bad teams like the Detroit Lions need to rebuild through the draft, free agency has been an integral part in building the 2010 Lions' roster. Never was this more apparent than when the Lions struck first in the 2010 free agent market by signing Kyle Vanden Bosch and Nate Burleson before some GMs had even woken up. Jim Schwartz showed up on Vanden Bosch's doorstep at about 12:05 am of the first day of signing, and had him convinced to come to Detroit by sunrise. Of course, after that initial rush, the Lions went into a bit of a shell, making shrewd, subtle moves that flew under the radar. Nobody knows how the Lions' body of offseason work will turn out this year. But after training camp and a few preseason games, we can make some [...] Continue reading → | , , , ,
I know what the scoreboard said, but make no mistake, the Detroit Lions lost their preseason finale against the Buffalo Bills Thursday night. The first half of the game could hardly have gone any worse, and the only reason it ended with the Lions on top is because "Mr. August," Drew Stanton came in and started making plays. Oh, and then some guy the Bills are going to cut threw a bad pass in the end zone to some guy the Lions are going to cut (Paul Pratt), who took it the other way for a touchdown. Matthew Stafford threw one of the most errant balls of his professional career for six easy Buffalo points early, the defense couldn't stop anybody until they got to field goal range (and a competent offense wouldn't have stopped there), and the special teams looked... well, typical of [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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