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 Draft Offense!!! 
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RIP Killer
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Post Draft Offense!!!
Get some freaking offense!!!

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Lions' first priority should be bolstering offense
BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

The Lions are promising changes this off-season, which is so obviously the right thing to do that it barely merits a reaction. They just went 2-14. What are they supposed to do? Give everybody a lifetime contract?




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Their off-season to-do list seems as long as it possibly could be. I'm here to shorten it. In the next few months, the Lions need to:

• 1. Do something well.

• 2. See No. 1.

"You can look around the NFL and you can see teams that are really a strong running team and don't necessarily have an explosive pass game, or have a really good run defense but don't have a really good pass defense," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday. "That's not us. We didn't have anything we could hang our hat on this year."

It is common, in losing situations, to look at a roster, identify the biggest weakness and try to fix it. Schwartz said the Lions wouldn't fall into that trap of pouring too many resources into solving their biggest problem. I'll take it a step further: I think the Lions need to do the opposite of that.

They should identify the area that is closest to being competitive and upgrade it. That way, they will at least do something well. They can rejoin the NFL. And then they can try to go from there to genuine contention.

That means dealing with the offense first, because they are closer to being competitive on offense than they are on defense. Calvin Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league, and a perfect fit for franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford. (I don't know if Stafford will pan out or not, but obviously the Lions must plan as though he will.) They like tight end Brandon Pettigrew a lot. The offensive line, while certainly not dominant, is better than people realize.

The Lions were still 27th in the league in scoring, because Stafford was a rookie, the other receivers are awful, and their running game doesn't scare anybody except their running back's mother. But No. 2 and 3 receivers are easier to find than a No. 1, and with a new left guard, the line can be solid.

Schwartz said Monday that he thought the Lions were in pretty good shape at running back when they were healthy, a comment that made me wince until I realized, to my great relief, that he was probably lying. Kevin Smith, even when healthy, does not have the burst to be a starting running back for a good team. (Ideally, they could trade down from the No. 2 pick and draft Clemson speedster C.J. Spiller, but there are so many obstacles to doing that -- trading down is hard, they have to know where Spiller would go, and I just used the word "ideally" in a column about the Lions. So scratch that whole thought.)


The point is that, with two or three good moves -- not even great moves ... hey, I don't want to go overboard. But really, the Lions can have a decent offense. And that would accomplish a few things: It would make them competitive, it would give Johnson a reason to stick around, it would help Stafford become as good as he can be, and it would give fans a reason to believe in this franchise.

"If you look at the resources this team has devoted to offense -- not just since I've been here, but in the recent past -- I think you can definitely say that we're probably a little bit closer, as far as numbers," Schwartz said.

There is an old saying that defense wins championships. But championships are not the Lions' concern at the moment. Offense can make them decent. Start there, then worry about everything else.

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January 11th, 2010, 11:17 am
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Rosenberg is an idiot.


January 11th, 2010, 1:08 pm
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If the Lions had finished 24th or so in total defense then I might consider this, but they have been dead last in defense the last 3 seasons, so there is no way they can go offense in round one. With two picks in round one last year they should have used the second on defense, but I digress.

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January 12th, 2010, 12:00 pm
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Wayne Fontes wrote:
If the Lions had finished 24th or so in total defense then I might consider this, but they have been dead last in defense the last 3 seasons, so there is no way they can go offense in round one. With two picks in round one last year they should have used the second on defense, but I digress.


IMO you'd be surprized to see how much effect the offense has on the defense. If the offense could actually score point and sustain drives, and NOT go 3 and out all of the time, I think you'd see the defense play a LOT better. If our offense were better I think two CB's could make our D respectible.


January 12th, 2010, 2:26 pm
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wjb, I agree with you to a point, but the converse is also true. A defense that forces "three and outs" and turnovers will give an offense more opportunities and better field position. It's kinda like the chicken and the egg sorta thing.

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January 12th, 2010, 4:30 pm
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wjb21ndtown wrote:
Wayne Fontes wrote:
If the Lions had finished 24th or so in total defense then I might consider this, but they have been dead last in defense the last 3 seasons, so there is no way they can go offense in round one. With two picks in round one last year they should have used the second on defense, but I digress.


IMO you'd be surprized to see how much effect the offense has on the defense. If the offense could actually score point and sustain drives, and NOT go 3 and out all of the time, I think you'd see the defense play a LOT better. If our offense were better I think two CB's could make our D respectible.


WJB, how often have you seen our defense over the course of the past three or four years make a stop when the game was on the line? You haven't. There have been those rare, few times when our offense has been able to score when it mattered (this years Cleveland game comes to mind), but never our defense. Teams have been able to score at will. Opposing QBs, some of them marginal starters, have been made to look like HOFers against our defense, particularly our secondary.

It is absolutely no comparison. The majority of the issue with the Lions losing games is on our defense. I agree that if our offense was better, our defense wouldn't be as exposed. But the fact is, they would still be exposed. Having an offense that can sustain a drive for over 6 or 7 minutes does you no good when your defense can't keep the opposing team from scoring in less than 2 minutes.


January 12th, 2010, 4:49 pm
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m2karateman wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Wayne Fontes wrote:
If the Lions had finished 24th or so in total defense then I might consider this, but they have been dead last in defense the last 3 seasons, so there is no way they can go offense in round one. With two picks in round one last year they should have used the second on defense, but I digress.


IMO you'd be surprized to see how much effect the offense has on the defense. If the offense could actually score point and sustain drives, and NOT go 3 and out all of the time, I think you'd see the defense play a LOT better. If our offense were better I think two CB's could make our D respectible.


WJB, how often have you seen our defense over the course of the past three or four years make a stop when the game was on the line? You haven't. There have been those rare, few times when our offense has been able to score when it mattered (this years Cleveland game comes to mind), but never our defense. Teams have been able to score at will. Opposing QBs, some of them marginal starters, have been made to look like HOFers against our defense, particularly our secondary.

It is absolutely no comparison. The majority of the issue with the Lions losing games is on our defense. I agree that if our offense was better, our defense wouldn't be as exposed. But the fact is, they would still be exposed. Having an offense that can sustain a drive for over 6 or 7 minutes does you no good when your defense can't keep the opposing team from scoring in less than 2 minutes.


Even if the Lions offense were able to go head to head with some of the top offensive teams in the NFL they would still lose. The defense is so bad that even if the defense wasn't on the field as much and was able to get a break, they would still give up a lot points, putting a whole lot more pressure on the offense to score. Games would be 45- 38 or 56-45 (Lions on the losing end, of course).

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January 12th, 2010, 5:41 pm
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I aint gonna write several big paragraphs on this idea, ill just summarize it..

Drafting offense in round 1 would be a very, very dumb thing to do.

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January 12th, 2010, 10:29 pm
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I'm not going to speak in absolutes, but I'm going to point out one other flaw in Rosenberg's plan. The whole plan assumes that Stafford is going to develop into a top-flight quarterback. It may very well be that he does not. In that case, it doesn't matter how good the rest of the pieces are--the Lions will never have that "Indianapolis Colts" type offense.

Not to mention that there is not a single offensive player in this draft worth taking number two overall.

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January 13th, 2010, 1:45 am
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I really dont think the line played that poorly on offense this year (especially warranting a number 2 pick on it) so that would leave skill positions and thats not any better. Qb is locked up, no Rbs stand out, and Te's never go that high, plus we just spent a first on Pettigrew last year. The trend of 1st round Wrs seem to be going out the window a bit to so we may be able to pick up a 1st round talent in the second round anyway.


January 13th, 2010, 2:07 pm
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It seems like in the last couple of years RB's have been taken a lot later in the first round then other positions. You rarely see RB's go in the top ten, outside of absolute studs like AP. With that being said, does anyone think that a guy like Jahvid Best or Jonathan Dwyer would warrant the Lions second round pick?

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January 13th, 2010, 2:33 pm
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m2karateman wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Wayne Fontes wrote:
If the Lions had finished 24th or so in total defense then I might consider this, but they have been dead last in defense the last 3 seasons, so there is no way they can go offense in round one. With two picks in round one last year they should have used the second on defense, but I digress.


IMO you'd be surprized to see how much effect the offense has on the defense. If the offense could actually score point and sustain drives, and NOT go 3 and out all of the time, I think you'd see the defense play a LOT better. If our offense were better I think two CB's could make our D respectible.


WJB, how often have you seen our defense over the course of the past three or four years make a stop when the game was on the line? You haven't. There have been those rare, few times when our offense has been able to score when it mattered (this years Cleveland game comes to mind), but never our defense. Teams have been able to score at will. Opposing QBs, some of them marginal starters, have been made to look like HOFers against our defense, particularly our secondary.

It is absolutely no comparison. The majority of the issue with the Lions losing games is on our defense. I agree that if our offense was better, our defense wouldn't be as exposed. But the fact is, they would still be exposed. Having an offense that can sustain a drive for over 6 or 7 minutes does you no good when your defense can't keep the opposing team from scoring in less than 2 minutes.


KDS, first of all, you're not making any sense. Where in the hell do I ever say that we should draft offense in the first round? I have repeatedly said that if we stay at #2 we HAVE to take D, but ONLY because that's what the talent available forces our hand to do. If Orlando Pace is sitting there at #2 we'd be STUPID not to take him, regardless as to how bad our defense is. Secondly, who says we're stuck at two? IF we can move down then I'd LOVE to pick O in the first round, but we'd have to move down to the 15-20 spot (and likely move down at least twice) to do it.


M2 I agree with you 100%, but you also have to agree that our defensive needs of DE, DT, SS, CB, and CB could LIKELY be reduced to CB, CB IF we had a potent offense. This team can't do anything right on D right now. We can't even defend the pass and force teams to run the ball on us. Teams go out and pass against us when they're winning just because its so damn easy to do. IF we had two good CB's our D would be decent. Not great, not good, but decent. This same team with two new, good CB's would probably have a defense ranked around 20-24.

If you pair that improved defense with a good offense that actually sustains drives, keeps the defense off the field and fresh, then you actually have a respectible football team that CAN win games and CAN come through when it counts on D.

Right now it is impossible to see our do "coming through when it counts" because "when it counts" is late in the game, in the 4th Q, after they've been on the field the majority of the time. They're winded, and usually dejected because we're often losing and looking TERRIBLE on offense. A dejected defense plays without heart (which is how we often play). Give the D an offense that puts points on the board and sustains drives and you'll have an invigorated, energized defense that wants to go out and play. You'll have a fresher defense that has ENERGY in the 4th Q to come through when it counts.


In my scenario drafting two OLman covers the need to draft 3 defensive players (DE, DT, and SS). We may be foreced to take a DT/DE in the first round this year, and I'm fine with that, but this team HAS TO FIX THE O/L if it is going to be good.


January 13th, 2010, 6:25 pm
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Man WJB..

I really cant recall saying anything about you mentioned drafting offense in the first.

If you just flat out dont like me, thats one thing, but criticizing me for saying something i never said..thats another.

It just happens to be that I AGREE with you as far as the whole Orlando Pace thing - that IS a no brainer. And also that if we did draft offense it would have to be at #15 or below.

I guess i take it back about drafting offense in round 1 is dumb...but drafting offense at pick #2 IS dumb.

The only thing were not eye to eye on is the whole quarterback value thing...but who cares, its all opinion man.

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January 13th, 2010, 6:54 pm
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kdsberman wrote:
I aint gonna write several big paragraphs on this idea, ill just summarize it..

Drafting offense in round 1 would be a very, very dumb thing to do.


KDS, this is what I was referring to...


January 13th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Ya but that definetly wasnt directed towards you. Why would you think that?

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April 22nd, 2010 @ 7:44p.m. "The Detroit Lions select...Ndamukong Suh". Those are some beautiful words.


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January 13th, 2010, 7:33 pm
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