Tag:Detroit Lions
Posted on: September 22, 2009 11:04 am

Promising Signs in Blue and Silver..

There have been a number of promising signs this year for the Detroit Lions - despite their two losses to date:

The Lions have only given up three sacks so far. In order they were:
  1. An overload blitz by the Saints bringing 7 rushers, including 5 on the left side where Jonathan Vilma got home. This has to be recognized by Stafford and he has to get rid of the ball or find the check-down (easier said then done though...)
  2. An inexplicable assignment error by Jeff Backus where he didn't block Jared Allen (I still don't get it...)
  3. A four-man rush where Ray Edwards beat Gosder Cherilus (this will happen occasionally, but you hope not too often)
Considering they averaged 3.25 sacks a game in 2008 this is a vast improvement.

So far in 2009 the Lions have allowed an average of 134.5 yards and 0.5 TDs rushing per game. In 2008 the Lions allowed an average of 172.1 yards and nearly two rushing TDs a game (31 total). This isn't much - but it's enough to get them out of the bottom quarter of the league in rush defense.

Matthew Stafford is learning about what he can't do in the NFL. So far he's tried to push the ball too far down field when the defense is playing back which has resulted in 3 INTs (one intended for Calvin Johnson on a post route into bracket coverage with a safety over the top where there had to have been a better option underneath, one intended for CJ along the seam into zone coverage that rotated towards CJ, and one intended for Brandon Pettigrew where the LBs were deep trying to keep from giving up the big play), and he thrown the ball back across his body once. His fifth INT was the one pass that either sailed on him or was a communication issue on the receiver's route (likely the latter because there were two Lions receivers who ended up in the same area short of the pass).

None of these INTs were rookie mistakes where he was baited into throwing a ball or really mis-read a defense - they were all cases where he was trying to make a play. Because he understands what's gone wrong he's learning to trust what he sees on the field and he should be able to make the necessary adjustments. With that will come confidence and hopefully better play - but for now at least you can see his football intelligence in how he plays the game...

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 27, 2009 9:31 am

What to do with the #1 pick...

At #1, quite simply, I hope the Lions do the smart thing and open up contract talks with Aaron Curry, Jason Smith, BJ Raji and Matt Stafford.  The real point is that in making sure that their player is in the fold right away, the player has the best chance to succeed as a Lion.  That said, with the #1 overall pick you need a player that can help you - and I'm not sure that Stafford is that player yet - but the first 3 appear to fill important needs. 

Curry helps them at SLB, where they currently have an undersized marginal player in Ryan Nece. For one this would allow them to play alot of man under with his strength, opening up Ernie Sims on the other side and effectively boosting their size on defense.

Smith is a bit raw on technique because of his 2-point stance from college, but he has the build, strength and smarts to start out as a left-guard in year one and move to left tackle after learning about the speed and skills of the pro game.  Of course if he really shows well, the Lions could do a whole lot worse then Jeff Backus competing with Manny Ramierez for the left guard spot.

Raji fills a huge hole in the middle of the Lions defense where their top 1 technique DT is Chuck Darby, an undersized part-time player who is better suited in rotation as a 3rd down player.



Posted on: February 28, 2008 1:03 pm

Salary Cap Numbers Updated...

With the latest estimates from AskTheComish.com on salary cap situations and a question about what the Lions could afford in free agency I came up with the following point, that I figured I'd post here as well for future reference:

The Lions have an estimated $17.84 million in cap space going into free agency of which they'll probably need about $6 million for their draft picks (Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley were drafted where the Lions top 2 picks will be and signed for a cap value of $2.81 million last year - which means the Lions top 2 picks will likely be signed for about $3 million this year if you consider a 8% premium).  That will leave about $11.84 million for FA acquisitions and player resigning. Of this number $1.825 million has already been allotted to Dwight Smith, meaning the Lions now have ~$10 million to play with...
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 11, 2008 5:21 pm

Salary Cap Projections

An interesting article on what the projected salary cap numbers for 2008 were as of Dec 27, 2007 can be found at:


Of note:

Detroit Lions: $23.5M ("There are currently 42 players under contract.")
Oakland Raiders: $25.98M ("There are currently 40 players under contract.")
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 7, 2008 4:51 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2008 4:56 pm

2008 Detroit Lions Free Agents

The Detroit Lions official blog posted an official list of all the players who are free agents from Detroit this year:

Detroit’s 2008 unrestricted free agents are:

Boss Bailey LB
Idrees Bashir DB
Tatum Bell RB
Aveion Cason RB
T.J. Duckett RB
Travis Fisher CB
George Foster T
Teddy Lehman LB
J.T. O’Sullivan QB
John Owens TE
Corey Smith DE
Keith Smith CB
Barry Stokes OL
Troy Walters WR
Damien Woody OL

Detroit’s 2008 restricted free agents are:

Langston Moore DL
Dan Orlovsky QB
Stephen Peterman G
Stanley Wilson CB

Detroit’s 2008 exclusive rights players are:

Greg Blue DB
Devale Ellis WR
Lamarcus Hicks DB
Sean McHugh TE

I'd expect most of the exclusive rights players and restricted free agents to be back, but I think that the Lions will limit how many of their UFAs they resign...

Personally I could see them resigning up to 5 UFAs, including Boss Bailey if no one other teams want him - but also addressing the starting linebacker spot in the draft (essentially moving Boss to more of a "core" special teams role). Priority 1 and 2 though is expected to be TJ Duckett and Damian Woody.
Category: NFL
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