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 Lions Team Needs 
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
I like Brewster well enough, and he should be available in the second round. I really think we need a guy who is more than just cagey in the middle of our line. Dom is just simply over matched way too often. That's a huge reason why we haven't been able to run the ball effectively the last 3 years or so.

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December 22nd, 2011, 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
S - Spievey IMO has stepped it up since Delmas has been out. Before that he started out well but then really struggled until he was benched but has rebounded. Harris isnt an answer and shouldnt be on the roster next season. Wendling is doing okay but has been asked to play more defense than should be asked of him. Silva looked great in the preseason but since he s been activated I have seen him play on the defense. Delmas when he s playing has been very good though I d like to see him wrap up a little more than always going for the big hit. Another drafted player could be used for depth and competition so we wouldnt have to rely on either Wendling or a declining player like Coleman or Harris.

CB - Wright and Houston were solid when both were healthy and when Aaron Berry was available as a corner but now with all 3 dinged up the depth isnt very good. McDonald is a stepdown from Berry but still much better than Don Carey. A Smith is a good player to have on the roster but though he can get burned (thank you chaz schilens for not pulling that pass in) is a good depth player to have. Wright started out fine but has been abused in recent weeks and Houston flat out sucked last week. I think we would be fine to come back with the current group. Delmas being out also affects the play of this group bc players are trying to overextend themselves with a marginal S being back there with them. A clear upgrade at one of the starting positions would be welcomed but I wouldnt call it a need.

LB - Tulloch is a great player and the Lions would do very well to bring him back. Durant is a very good player but is injury prone like he was in Jacksonville. I d like to see him come back. Levy, I agree, is a marginal player and I havent seen anything I ve liked from him since his rookie season. None of the backups look like starting caliber players. Hogue has the size and speed but havent seen him play much on nonspecial teams plays. Palmer is a big hitter on special teams and occassionally in short yardage and Carpenter fills a role in coverage but isnt a complete player either. Ekejiubal is missed on special teams. I think there is a definite need for a starter at OLB. Remember the Lions traded for Julian Peterson 3 years ago and I still think that they are missing that jack of all trades LB that Schwartz wants in his defense. Peterson at his best could blanket TEs in one on one coverage, play at least average vs the run and rush the passer. Levy is only decent in coverage. I think the Lions will look for that player in the draft this year and squeeze one of the other players off the back end of the roster and eventually bump either Levy or Durant depending on whether or not Durant can stay healthy by 2013.

DE - Avril is tearing it up and KVB is right behind him but is being asked to do a little too much with backups Jackson and Young slowed or out with injuries. Fluellen represents a drop off in talent but his versatility brings value and we re lucky to have had him this season filling in at DT and DE without being a liability. KVB probably has another year as a starter and could flip roles with Jackson after 2012. Young looked great early but injury has had him down. He appears to be a similar player to Avril just behind in his development but is older than him. Still both have youth on their side and contract status is important. Avrils looking at a big payday, the Lions should give it to him but hope that Young can step in 2 years and give them a chance to maybe save money on the backend of Avrils contract and maybe trade him. Still if a stud DE is there in rd 1 or 2 the Lions should take him, it could save them a lot of money. I really like Melvin Ingram but he will probably fly up the draft board as we get closer.

DT - Teams have changed the way they block the Lions this year with Ndamukong Suh getting almost all of the double teams and Corey Williams getting less attention. Also delayed runs and counters have worked well w the Lions overpenetrating and taking themselves out of plays. There are adjustments and teaching points to be had. Roster wise Corey Williams has stayed onside but has declined this season, either that or he is just better when double teamed which shouldnt be true. I would like to say that this position is set but Nick Fairley's foot problems will never go away and he should be traded before other teams cue in on this. At best Fairley will be a 15-20 snap player but bigger loads will mean re injury. Sammy Hill is a viable rotational player but I dont think they want him starting next to Suh. Corey Williams is declining and maybe has a year left playing at a starter level. There is a need either this year or next.

K - Hansons hanging on so far.
P - Donahue has some talent but has been terrible. Graham isnt the answer. Lions should consider a veteran punter.
LS - Muhlbach was horrid last week with the snaps but otherwise has been good.
KR/PR - Logan isnt having a great season and doesnt field as many punts as he should. There should be times when the Lions put a better fielder such as Burleson back there to catch the punts. Logan still looks quick and fast though so I d say no need.

OT - Cherilus had a brutal start to the season as did Backus. Neither are great but Backus is declining while Cherilus has picked up his level of play to an average level. Backus remains below average at left tackle which is especially not good when the offense relies on a franchise thrower with no runnning threat. At this point Backus may be the better overall player but LT is a bigger need, Cherilus is viable as a RT. Huge Need.

OG - Peterman I agree has played better especially since Leonard Davis was signed but he s still way behind Sims who is our only above average lineman. They could use another G, especially since there are no young alternatives and an above avg player replacing Peterman would be a big upgrade for the line overall.

C - I think its possible to upgrade over Raiola. While the criticism of him is legit, its shortsighted in that you guys arent really looking at other centers around the league and their are only 5 or so that can consistently get a push up the middle without a double team. Raiola is an average player. Its not a sure shot that a drafted center would be an upgrade and more than likely it would take that player 1-2 years to get to Raiola's level of play. Id keep an open eye for an upgrade but its low on the list of priorities.

TE - Overall we have a decent and productive group but Pettigrew seems to be more like a Ben Gordon type player that shows flashes and has talent but will let you down at big moments with big drops and lapses/laziness in his blocking when you know he is capable of more. Scheffler has speed but is only an average receiver and cant block. Heller is a good all around player and a luxury at No 3. No needs.

WR - Calvin is as good as it gets. Burleson and Young as a 2/3 are decent, the lions can only hope that Young continues to improve and cleans up his game while Burleson doesnt decline. Davis is reliable in a pinch but neither him or Stovall are threats. Look for Stovall to be replaced with someone who can start out on special teams but has a chance to become a decent receiver.

RB - On paper it looks okay but with injuries LeShoure and Best are big question marks. Smith isnt a high end No 1 runner but works in a pinch. Williams is garbage and while I respect Morris he is depth, not the answer. We ve seen how much better the offense is when the run game is going. Maybe not a need in the draft unless the right player is available but at least a FA vet is needed until the Lions can figure out what is there in Best/LeShoure.

QB - Lions will have a decision to either trade Shaun Hill and resign Drew Stanton or just let Stanton walk. We will find a 3rd QB somewhere but with Stafford coming through the year healthy the investment will be small.

In order:

LT - big need in draft
OLB - big need in draft
P - big need
RB - we need one, if only for a year and then reassess the roster
OG - could be a free agent or in draft
S - we need a depth player to push Spievey and whoever loses upgrades our backup spot. Draft or FA.
CB - draft a top flight player if he s there in the draft or make a trade if the value is right but not a huge need.
DT - will need one at some point soon
DE - could use one at some point soon
QB - will prob need to make a move for a new no 3


December 24th, 2011, 2:11 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
The Legend wrote:

In order:

LT - big need in draft
OLB - big need in draft
P - big need
RB - we need one, if only for a year and then reassess the roster
OG - could be a free agent or in draft
S - we need a depth player to push Spievey and whoever loses upgrades our backup spot. Draft or FA.
CB - draft a top flight player if he s there in the draft or make a trade if the value is right but not a huge need.
DT - will need one at some point soon
DE - could use one at some point soon
QB - will prob need to make a move for a new no 3


I would probably add C in place of where you put P, as I think punters are similar to kickers, where they can be found on the scrap heap, therefore pushing its importance down. Call me optimistic, but I think both our IR'd RB's will be coming back into form for next year, so while I would be in favor of taking a late round flyer on a RB, I don't see it as being a need to be addressed early on.

I also think that DE should be pushed up that list. Avril is a FA and I'm confident they'll pay him. KVB is on the downside of his career. LoJack will eventually replace him and Willie Young is just a situational pass rusher and I don't see him ever being a starter. If for nothing else, depth will need to be addressed.

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January 6th, 2012, 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
I agree about the DE. Just curious, do you think Avril will ever be moved to the right side?

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January 6th, 2012, 2:11 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
He might, but he's entrenched himself so far at LE and I can't imagine them moving him. I'm not sure if he'd be anymore effective at RE then at LE. He would be facing, typically, better pass protectors. I say keep him where he is.

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January 6th, 2012, 3:42 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
Quote:
I like Brewster well enough, and he should be available in the second round. I really think we need a guy who is more than just cagey in the middle of our line. Dom is just simply over matched way too often. That's a huge reason why we haven't been able to run the ball effectively the last 3 years or so.


need = we would really like

those type of players are very hard to find and i dont think brewster is good enough. he doesnt compart well to mangold in my opinion and i dont think he would be any better than Raiola until maybe 2 years from now. the avg NFL center is raiola and there are maybe 4-5 centers in the league that are significantly better than him and could drive block DTs without consistent double teams


January 6th, 2012, 7:26 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
Ya im not too high on Brewster either after finally watching a little of him.

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January 6th, 2012, 8:32 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
Team Needs will be irrelevant in the 1st round as the Lions continue to draft BPA. That being said, the good news is that with our drafting position (late 1st) there is a good chance the BPA will be a O-lineman, LB or S. All big needs imo. Maybe this will be the year we can trade back.


January 7th, 2012, 11:08 am
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
liontrax wrote:
Team Needs will be irrelevant in the 1st round as the Lions continue to draft BPA. That being said, the good news is that with our drafting position (late 1st) there is a good chance the BPA will be a O-lineman, LB or S. All big needs imo. Maybe this will be the year we can trade back.


Trading back is overrated IMO. The Pats always stockpile tons of picks and people say they've 'won' on draft day, but they've had a lot of busts in the last few years.

Mayhew generally goes the BPA route, but Schwartz has also indicated they look at whether or not someone's a 'fit.' I think they're more interested in grabbing the players they've targeted, which is why Mayhew has been willing to move up to get certain players.

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January 7th, 2012, 11:37 am
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
thelomasbrowns wrote:
liontrax wrote:
Team Needs will be irrelevant in the 1st round as the Lions continue to draft BPA. That being said, the good news is that with our drafting position (late 1st) there is a good chance the BPA will be a O-lineman, LB or S. All big needs imo. Maybe this will be the year we can trade back.


Trading back is overrated IMO. The Pats always stockpile tons of picks and people say they've 'won' on draft day, but they've had a lot of busts in the last few years.

Mayhew generally goes the BPA route, but Schwartz has also indicated they look at whether or not someone's a 'fit.' I think they're more interested in grabbing the players they've targeted, which is why Mayhew has been willing to move up to get certain players.


The reason the Patriots "win" on draft day is because they get another 3-4 guys. you can afford a guy or two to bust when you have that many picks. they have been a perenial contender year after year and almost never sign a big name free agent.

Every team is going to draft busts..but when you are drafting 10-12 guys as apposed to 5-7 that bust doesn't sting.

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January 7th, 2012, 12:33 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
regularjoe12 wrote:
The reason the Patriots "win" on draft day is because they get another 3-4 guys. you can afford a guy or two to bust when you have that many picks. they have been a perenial contender year after year and almost never sign a big name free agent.

Every team is going to draft busts..but when you are drafting 10-12 guys as apposed to 5-7 that bust doesn't sting.


Even a year ago I would've agreed with you, but look at how terrible their defense is. Their RB and WR situations are also not great and are covered up by Brady. What good are extra picks if you don't improve your team?

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January 7th, 2012, 12:56 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
i think what yer seeing now is the absence of Pioli in NE. That guy could Draft!

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January 9th, 2012, 12:17 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
My feelings on team needs in the off-season:

1. New deals - I can't pretend that I know every player who is up for a new contract, but there are a couple that I think need to be taken care of. Calvin Johnson and Cliff Avril must get their deals in place prior to FA. No franchise tags, no screwing around...just get the deals done. Beyond them, I believe there are players that the Lions will want to extend, but should do so ONLY at the right price and conditions. I would like to see Backus get a deal, but not long term (3 years max) and at a reasonable price. Even if they re-up him, they need to consider the future of that position and use a high pick there, unless a FA LT shakes loose, but one better than Backus hardly ever does.

2. Position upgrades NEEDED - Safety, Linebacker, Offensive Guard
Louis Delmas has great potential, but in truth he really is bad. His tackling is atrocious, his angles to the ball are poor, and the past two seasons he's shown a propensity for injury. I believe 2012 will be the last year of his rookie deal. I think the Lions may want to consider an upgrade over him. Likewise, Amari Spievey has been something of a disappointment. I thought he'd be really good this season, but he seemed to go backwards after the 5-0 start. Poor coverage, so-so tackling, and his play recognition leaves much to be desired. Our safeties killed us the past two games, allowing runners to get past them in crucial situations, and letting receivers get behind them in obvious error to what they should be doing. While some may want to point at the corners, many times it was the over the top responsibility of the safeties coverage that was blown, particularly in the last two games.
Stephen Tulloch played OK this season, but wasn't what many of us expected in the middle. I think Justin Durant was more consistent and reliable against the run than Tulloch. Levy was hot and cold all season, mostly cold. We need upgrades at any position. I think Bobby Carpenter would have been a better alternative on passing downs in the middle than Tulloch. I'd like to see Carpenter get another deal, with an honest shot at starting. We need an impact linebacker on the weak side, and Levy is not it. He's better suited to backing up weakside and/or middle.
Lastly, the OG spot can use some upgrades. Stephen Peterman played decently for a small stretch, but that shouldn't be enough for him to retain his starting spot. We need an honest to goodness road grading mauler at one guard spot. Rob Sims is a good all around guard, but not the vicious player we need for the run game. Cordy Glenn might be the answer there.

3. Coaching - I think the coaching has to improve, particularly at the coordinator positions...all of them. I fault the lack of a running game more on the play calls and questionable blocking schemes than anything else. I was never a big fan of Linehan's play calling, and I think he's the biggest reason this team can't run the ball that well. Gunner has to recognize when blitzing is necessary. When the front four isn't getting to the passer, blitz someone....anyone. Flynn and Brees had all the time in the world to pick apart the back seven. You can't blame the secondary for that. If the front four aren't getting it done, send some help. Now, I am not suggesting new coaches are needed. What I am suggesting is that they take stock in what occurred this season, and take some responsibility for what amounted to poor play calling in various crucial situations.

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January 9th, 2012, 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
I think it's imperative to at least re-assess the the scheme that the defense runs, as well as finding a balance on offense. I don't think that the O avoided running the ball because the scheme said not to. I think it was more of a result of not being able to do so effectively in a traditional set. Why couldn't they run the ball? Well for starters, they were down to their 3rd or 4th string running back. Secondly, and most important to the effectiveness of a running game, the O line stunk. Pretty much once a game the commentators mentioned/showed Raiola getting knocked on his rectum by the DT lined up across from him.

The D wasn't able to adapt to not getting pressure on the QB and the run defense was horrendous the last half of the season. Tulloch played well early on, but was exposed toward the end of the season. You have to bring him back, though, because what are your other options, Levy to MLB and draft OLB? I think that'd be a lateral, if not weak, move.

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January 9th, 2012, 1:46 pm
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Post Re: Lions Team Needs
Wayne Fontes wrote:
I think it's imperative to at least re-assess the the scheme that the defense runs, as well as finding a balance on offense. I don't think that the O avoided running the ball because the scheme said not to. I think it was more of a result of not being able to do so effectively in a traditional set. Why couldn't they run the ball? Well for starters, they were down to their 3rd or 4th string running back. Secondly, and most important to the effectiveness of a running game, the O line stunk. Pretty much once a game the commentators mentioned/showed Raiola getting knocked on his rectum by the DT lined up across from him.

The D wasn't able to adapt to not getting pressure on the QB and the run defense was horrendous the last half of the season. Tulloch played well early on, but was exposed toward the end of the season. You have to bring him back, though, because what are your other options, Levy to MLB and draft OLB? I think that'd be a lateral, if not weak, move.



First, I don't think the Lions offense avoided running the ball. The fact is they weren't doing it effectively at any time during the season. Sure, there were times Best ripped off a big gain...but not often enough to call the running game successful by any means. What I am alluding to is that the offensive scheme, the run plays used, the situations in which they were called, were predictable and well defensed. Yes, the offensive line didn't block all that well. However, there were numerous times I saw defenses run blitz and Linehan played into their hands. I think Linehan's play calling is shoody, and his ingenuity just plain doesn't exist. Now, as far as us being down to our third or fourth string backs.....so what? You don't need a high profile, superstar running back in this league to have a good running game. Numerous teams play with different RBs and succeed. New England used Danny Woodhead, for God's sake. And despite the fact that our team accounted for over 1500 yards in rushing yardage for the season, that doesn't make them successful. How many of those yards were accumulated when the Lions were well ahead and just killing the clock? I'd say a pretty good deal of it. Being able to run the ball when it is crucial to do so, early in the game to open up the pass, and later in the game to kill the clock, and in third and short situations, is what the rushing game is supposed to take care of.

All that said, I want to see upgrades on the offensive line, because that certainly will help all aspects of the offense. But for three seasons the Lions rushing game has been pretty bad, despite multiple backs being used and various changes upfront. I think we have to look at the common denominator, and that's Linehan.

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January 9th, 2012, 3:25 pm
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