The Detroit News/Free Press

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by BigSmooth33, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. BigSmooth33

    BigSmooth33 Walk On

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    Season 2 Outlook
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    After a monumental collapse at the end of last season, coach Schwartz is on the hot seat despite a signficant improvement from his young team.
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    Calvin Johnson was a Pro Bowler candidate for POTY and Offensive POTY, tying Randy Moss's record for most TD's in a season with 23, and plans to build on his relationship with young QB Matthew Stafford.


    Stafford was no slouch from behind center either, throwing for 4408 yards and 42 TD's, but showed he was a little careless with the pigskin, connecting with the other team 28 times. Scott Linehan worked with Stafford, Hill, and Stanton in the offseason to improve the QB's accuracy and timing with Johnson and Nate Burleson.
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    The running game looks to be potentially explosive, with Jahvid Best carrying the ball and catching it out of the backfield. Mayhew dealt Kevin Smith for help in the defensive secondary, but splurged and signed former 1st round pick Cadillac Williams to spell Best.

    The receiving corp returns Johnson, Burleson, and Coles, and added rookie WR Terrance Wilson, the burner out of LSU. Lions WR coach, Shawn Jefferson, hopes Coles tenure in the NFL provides the young Wilson with some guidance and tricks of the trade through camp, as he appears to have locked down the #4 spot on the depth chart.

    Linehan and Schwartz are expecting big things from TE Brandon Pettigrew, as he has progressed nicely over the offseason and is a media favorite for a potential Pro Bowl slot this year.
    Martin Mayhew focussed his scouting for their 2nd round pick to select Clemson LT Relus Wells. The 6' 8", 326 pound prospect looks to have stolen the starting job from Orlando Pace and Jeff Backus. Rob Sims and Bruce Campbell have the guard spots locked up, with Dominic Raiola leading the way up the middle. Right tackle looks to be a contest between Backus and Matt Millen bust Gosder Cherilus.
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    In Free Agency, Mayhew made some noise suring up the defensive secondary. Trading Kevin Smith to New England for Leigh Bodden and signing SS Kevin Ellison gives the Lions some much needed help in the secondary. As of now, Gunther Cunningham has Bodden and Sheldon Brown at the starting corners, with Chris Houston and Jonathan Wade at the nickel and dime slots. The heart and soul of the Lions defensive still resides with FS Louis Delmas, who everyone expects a lot from this season.

    In another off season trade, the Lions acquired Antwan Odom from the Cincinnati Bengals, adding more help on that stalwart defensive line. Vandenbosch returns as his partner on the opposite end, with rookie sensation Ndamukong Suh anchoring the middle of the line. Matt Shaughnessy is pushing Corey Williams for the remaining starting position for the Lions front four. Regardless, the defensive line appears to be a real strength for the Lions.

    The main weak point for the Lions appears to be at linebacker. Eric Barton has gotten a step slower, Mayhew cut David Bowens to let Zach Follett blossom in the starting lineup, leaving Julian Peterson as the lone star of the linebacking corp. Rumor has it that Mayhew is shopping around for some more assistance at LB, and there have been some discussions with both Arizona and Tennessee for the services of some of their LB corp. One can only imagine this would mean a potential demotion for Eric Barton...

    On special teams, long time Lion Jason Hanson retired as kicker, after 20 seasons in Detroit. Connor Barth was brought in to fill Hanson's big shoes and Lions management plan on a small decrease at kicker. Nick Harris returns to punt for the Lions.

    All and all, fans are optimistic out of training camp for the Lions, as they open up the season with three consecutive home games, two in division. It's time for Mayhew's moves to pay off or it may be curtains for the Schwartz/Mayhew experiment...
     
  2. LtJustice

    LtJustice QSF Commissioner

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    Good read, good luck with your season!
     
  3. CHUNKNESS

    CHUNKNESS Commissioner Quality Simulation Football

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    This was a great read! You made some good moves, Ryan. I think they'll pay off. Good luck in season 2.
     
  4. thafuture3886

    thafuture3886 Power Rankings Analyst

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    Nice stuff Ryan
     
  5. BadaBing319

    BadaBing319 OMFL Broncos / PMFL Eagles

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    Sweet write-up - the pictures are a nice touch. Good luck in Motown this year Ryan!
     
  6. BigSmooth33

    BigSmooth33 Walk On

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    Week 1 Summary

    Green Bay 38 Detroit 23

    The game was much closer than the score appeared, as Ryan Grant put in two late scores.

    Key injuries hurt the Lions defense, as they lost Ndamukong Suh early with a high ankle sprain. With the exception of the 41 yard TD run by Grant in garbage time, the Lions held the Packers running game under 90 yards total. Aaron Rodgers had his typical day, and killed the Lions defense with his ability to roll out of the pocket to find the open man.

    Louis Delmas came to play, tallying 5 tackles and a key interception late in the first half. After Stafford connected with Brandon Pettigrew for the late score, giving the Lions a 17-10 lead going into half, Lions' special teams coach dialed up for K Connor Barth to squib the ball down to the Pack. Poor coverage by the Lions kick off team allowed Green Bay's K. Byndom to return the squib 89 yards for the touchdown and tie the game up at halftime and effectively suck the life out of the Lions.

    Defensively, Zack Follett's play stood out, sacking Rodgers once and pressuring him several other times as Gunther Cunningham dialed up the pressure packages this week. Chris Houston notched another sack for the Lions defense.

    Offensively, when Matthew Stafford had time to throw the ball, he connected. Despite being brought to the turf 6 times, Stafford completed 17 of 25 pass attempts for 309 yards and 2 TD's but had 2 INT's.

    The game was at 24-20, Green Bay, with 3:09 to play, Lions' ball within their own 20 yard line with 2 time outs and the 2 minute warning. First play of the series and the Pack had stolen the ball back thanks to an AJ Hawk interception of Stafford. Green Bay would score on a short Grant TD run and the game was essentially over. Stafford added one more interception trying to force the ball late on the ensuing drive.

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    When asked about his team's play on Sunday, Coach Schwartz had the following comments:

    On Matthew Stafford's play: " He came in and really did an excellent job up until that 3 minute mark in the 4th. Matt's still young, and needs to learn how to take a sack. We had a chance and gave it away."

    On losing Suh early: " It was a tough loss. Corey Williams and Matt Shaughnessy did a good job filling in, but anytime you lose a guy like big Dom it's going to hurt. I really thought where we were really getting beat up was at the second level. Follett and Julian played well, but we need more support up the middle. If we have to rely on Delmas playing in the box, we're going to eventually get beat deep. Gunther and I will be working on that for next week."

    On the special teams: " Connor had an outstanding day. Nailed that 49 yarder. Nick Harris had a heck of a day punting as well. We just desperately need to fix our coverage scheme. It was broke last year and it appears we need to do some more work with it this week."

    On the Lions lack of running game and offensive line play: " Well, we're gonna have to let Jahvid do his thing and open up some holes for him. Relus had a tough week against that rookie DE... KC Williams? Yeah... Anyhow, he's gonna have some learning to do over their to protect Matt's blind side better, but I think we may have not dedicated ourselves to the run as much as we could have this week. Running the ball only 9 times just isn't going to cut it and I think from a blocking standpoint, the guys did alright. They're just really going to have to do some good work this week, because I tell you what, Minnesota isn't going to be any easier next week."

    As of press time, the rumor mill has been swirling about an impending trade between Arizona and Detroit. Detroit figures to land veteran OLB Joey Porter in exchange for a 4th round draft pick and CB Chris Houston. This will shake up the secondary a little bit, moving Jonathan Wade to the nickel, and one can only imagine this means a demotion for MLB Eric Barton. Schwartz and Cunningham have been looking to keep Follett progressing, so we can only imagine this means he'll move to MLB and start over the disappointing Barton. Our understanding is that the trade is currently on Commisioner Goodell's desk for approval.

    More to come next week as the Lions bring in division rival Minnesota.
     
  7. CHUNKNESS

    CHUNKNESS Commissioner Quality Simulation Football

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    Tough loss man. Those are always games you wish you could have back and keep replaying in the back of your mind. Good read, though. I like to hear the losing team's point of view as well. Thanks for that. Good luck against Minnesota!
     
  8. BigSmooth33

    BigSmooth33 Walk On

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    After another tough loss, Lions lose star TE Brandon Pettigrew for 11 weeks with the infamous broken collarbone.
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    Mayhew and Schwartz have discussed placing the young TE on IR, but will wait on making that decision in hopes of making a run for the divisional title. FA signings of Joe Klopfenstein and Jeff King will be key to the running game and Scott Linehan expects back up TE L.J. Smith to rekindle his Philadelphia Eagles days.​
    Again, the Bucs bottled up Jahvid Best and forced Stafford to scramble, making it twice this season the young QB has led the team in rushing.​
    Next week the Lions take on the Carolina Panthers and hope to right the ship.​
     
  9. CHUNKNESS

    CHUNKNESS Commissioner Quality Simulation Football

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    Ryan, please take advantage of the team blogging system on the XFN site.
     
  10. BigSmooth33

    BigSmooth33 Walk On

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    I have... Just continuing this area too. Planned on mixing it up unless you want this info to only go on the XFN site?
     
  11. CHUNKNESS

    CHUNKNESS Commissioner Quality Simulation Football

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    Sorry. Other than your first article, I didn't see this one posted on the XFN site. I'd like us to try to use the XFN site exclusively. Thx.
     

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