Killer's Korner
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Author:  TheRealWags [ September 12th, 2011, 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

ESPN wrote:
New story: Mistakes don't doom Lions
September, 11, 2011
By Kevin Seifert

TAMPA, Fla. -- I scrambled up to the press box here late Sunday afternoon, seeking verification of some basic facts. Namely: The current year and the final score of the game that had just concluded at Raymond James Stadium.

No, I hadn't fallen into a heat-induced delerium. In fact, I had just left the Detroit Lions' air-conditioned locker room. Therein, I heard:

Quarterback Matthew Stafford talk about the latest ailment that forced him to stagger off the field.

Coach Jim Schwartz rant about "stupid" football and "inexcusable" mistakes, promising that "it's not going to be a real pleasant film session" on Monday.

Guard Rob Sims express his conviction that coaches would "jump us on a whole bunch of stuff" in the coming days.

Hmmm. Tapping into my long history as a reporter, I confirmed that Sunday's game in fact took place in 2011. The Lions defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated, winning their season opener for the first time in four years and putting on display many of the components that caused so many of us to catch Lions Fever this offseason.

That Stafford's "injury" was nothing more than cramps, and that Schwartz was able to discuss Sunday's troubles in the context of a victory, marked the start of a new era that only the Lions could indoctrinate. They are far from perfect and in fact could have botched Sunday's game. But overcoming injuries and "bad football," as Schwartz called it during a different portion of his rant, is half the battle in the NFL. There are no perfect teams, and just about every one of them has a knucklehead like Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus, whose fourth-quarter unsportsmanlike conduct was almost certainly what Schwartz was referring to when he said: "There are some things that happened in this game that are inexcusable and will not continue."

Indeed, Cherilus' post-whistle shove of a Bucs defender stopped the clock with 1 minute and 24 seconds remaining and the Bucs out of timeouts. It gave the Bucs enough time to mount a potential game-tying drive, but ultimately they ran out of time. It also gave Schwartz exactly what any coach wants: A victory with plenty of material to humble his players with moving forward.

You see what's happening here, right? One of Schwartz's biggest tasks this season will be to shield players from the hype we've all created for them. It's always preferable to have players who believe they can be good than to be convinced that they already are.

But let's make no mistake here. For the most part, what we saw Sunday verified what we thought about the Lions this summer. Playing in a heat index that reached 94 degrees, the Lions controlled the game from start to finish. Frankly, much of the Bucs' success came after Lions breakdowns, namely Aqib Talib's 28-yard interception return for the touchdown and Sammie Stroughter's 78-yard kickoff return.

Indeed, Schwartz said, "They couldn't really move the ball on our defense but they had 10 points in the first quarter mainly because of two mistakes."

But Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson connected for two highlight-reel touchdowns -- one a 36-yard play on fourth down after Talib bit on a double move, and the other a 1-yard pass Stafford shoved in Johnson's direction during the third quarter just as his right calf seized.

"During the process of dropping back, I was losing it," Stafford said. "I bet I looked pretty stupid on TV. He made me look pretty good once again."

I'm sure it took the breath of many Lions fans to see Stafford on his back on the sidelines while athletic trainers worked on his leg. But he never missed a snap, finishing with the second 300-yard game of his career and the Lions' first on opening weekend since Bobby Layne threw for 364 yards in 1953.

Stafford made a handful of mistakes himself, throwing high for tight end Will Heller on Talib's interception and nearly throwing a second on a pass behind running back Jahvid Best. But Stafford appeared in command of the offense from the start, and the Lions never trailed after the 36-yard play to Johnson.

"We didn't play our best football out there but we still got a win," Stafford said. "That's a good sign. Obviously you won't want those mistakes to keep coming back. We've got to fix those."

As Stafford and the offense rolled up 431 total yards, the Lions' defense largely shut down Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch served in a modified spy role, sacking Freeman once and finishing with two quarterback hits. Freeman had 98 passing yards through the first three quarters, and the Bucs a total of 128 yards, before the Lions' late-game breakdowns.

"This is the beginning of something special and I'm glad to be a part of it," Tulloch said. "It's crazy when you win and you know you can play better. That's what makes this so exciting. We can just keep working."

That's what I think will distinguish this edition of the Lions. Trust me, I understand why Schwartz was upset. Any coach would have been in that situation. But he doesn't get to rain on our parade. "We can just keep working" is much different sentiment than "back to the drawing board." The Lions are done with that place. This is, after all, 2011.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... doom-lions

Author:  Pablo [ September 12th, 2011, 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

I was thinking about much of this on my ride to work. A couple of things happened yesterday that would have derailed the Lions teams of the past. This is the sign of a team learning how to win, when things go wrong you just keep plugging away.

Also like the article said, Swartz has plenty of ammo to keep the team fully grounded with KC coming to town this week. I would have been worried if the score matched the game and the Lions crushed the Bucs 35-13 or something like that.

Gos and Peterman both made very stupid mistakes, they are going to get a real earful this week.

But this is a resiliant team finally. Stafford looked good after getting over the initial excitment and settling down. The INT had no impact on him. The OL played pretty well outside of the few dumb mental mistakes. Defensively, it is really nice to have 11 guys out there who can actually tackle - what a novel concept.

Author:  buell17 [ September 12th, 2011, 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

I think that Stafford was pressing a little bit at the start of the game. Excited to prove all the nay-sayers wrong in one game. Love the fact that he calmed down and played a hell of a game.

Author:  thelomasbrowns [ September 12th, 2011, 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

Stafford was number 3 in the new ESPN quarterback rating system. Pretty impressive considering the pick 6:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/69439 ... br-leaders

Author:  Pablo [ September 12th, 2011, 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

Oddsmakers take note of new and improved Lions

What a different year it already feels like for the Lions.

One game — one road victory over the Tampa Bay Bucs — and it feels like a giant load of doubt has been lifted off the entire franchise's shoulders.

The Lions are making some people believers — beginning with this startling number out of Las Vegas. The Lions are eight-point favorites for Sunday's home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

It's hard to remember the last time the Lions were favored by that many points — probably when there were lions in the Roman coliseum, and point spreads were written in Roman numerals.

There are high expectations for the Lions this season, but they have to validate them with results. And for one game, they did that.

No matter what happened at the end of Sunday's game, when the Bucs got within worry range of tying the game, there was no doubt the Lions were the superior team.

In terms of psyche, the Lions already put to bed some questions that don't have to be asked this year.

There won't be a long road losing streak — like the one that got to 26 games before they ended it with a win last year at Tampa.

There won't be a season-wrecking start that reduces them to playing for position in next year's draft by the end of September — or mid-October at the latest.

In four of the last five seasons, the Lions have started out with records of 0-4, 1-8, 0-16 and 0-5.

Anyone think that's likely to happen this year?

The Week 1 Monday Morning Countdown will focus on why the Lions really are as improved as advertised; some meaningful numbers that line up in their favor; a national analyst's opinion on the key man in the Lions' resurgence (hint: it isn't a player); a look at Lance Briggs' grab for patriotic publicity; the rookie class led by Cam Newton; and the best and worst teams after one week.

We start with the numbers.

1. Home favorites: The money men obviously are impressed with the way the Lions have built their roster and started the season. An eight-point line is a new standard for the Lions.

The Lions were favored in three games last season, all at home, and never more than 3.5 points — the spread for their season-ending game against the shredded Vikings.

2. 5: That's how many games the Lions have won in a row, including their four-game winning streak at the end of last season. Only the Super Bowl champion Packers have a longer streak (seven), with six of them last season — the last two of the regular season and four playoff games.

3. 9: This is a stretch, but I like it, and I'm writing this stuff. OK? The Lions and Tigers both are on nine-game winning streaks. The difference, of course, is that all nine of the Tigers' wins count in the standings. The Lions' streak is padded out by their 4-0 record in the exhibition season.

Still, when's the last time — if ever — that the Lions and Tigers had nine-game winning streaks at the same time?

4. NFC North: The division showed its strength in Week 1. In home games against teams that are strong NFC contenders, the Packers beat the Saints and the Bears hammered the Falcons. And the Lions beat a Bucs team that won 10 games in 2010.

Only the Vikings didn't hold up, with a weak effort in a loss at San Diego.

5. Analyst's view: Tim Ryan, the color analyst for the Fox network's telecast of Sunday's Lions-Bucs game, has first-hand knowledge of the Lions.

Ryan was a backup defensive lineman for the Bears from 1990-93, which means he saw the Lions when they won two division titles in that span with a talented young team.

In his work with Fox, Ryan has seen the Lions at their rock-bottom worst.

"I'll tell you when things changed," Ryan said late in the game. "When Martin Mayhew came in as general manager and hired Jim Schwartz."

6. Calvin Johnson Triple Threat: Catching two TD passes was expected. In some situations, no defensive back in the world can cover him legally.

One of those impossible situations was a leaping grab in the end zone. Calvin is 6-5, with long arms and a vertical leap of 44 inches. Dwight Howard couldn't defend that play.

"What did I tell you?" Ryan said in the Fox telecast. "Four feet over his head — he's open every time.

On the Bucs' onside kick late in the fourth quarter, Johnson skied in the air to catch the ball. His feet were shoulder level with other players.

And on the Bucs' last possession, Johnson was stationed at the goal line as a safety, defending against a long pass.

And don't forget this: He blocks downfield like a demon on running plays.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110912/OPI ... z1XlCxzuBD

Author:  Pablo [ September 13th, 2011, 2:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

freep wrote:
Jim Schwartz: Sky's the limit for this year's Lions

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz shed a little more light on why he was so angry after his team’s 27-20 season-opening win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on his weekly radio show today.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m disappointed or anything else because, believe me, a win is a win, and a couple years we’d have given our right arm for a road win,” Schwartz said on 97.1-FM. “But we have a little higher standard, and it’s really not so much about the opponent as much (as it is) about the way we play and how we’re going to have to play to be able to get through a 16-game season.”

So basically because you know you have a good team this year?

“I think you want to play up to your potential, and we have more potential, and we can play better than we showed, so I think that probably answers it,” Schwartz said.

When host Doug Karsch suggested the Lions don’t have a ceiling if they play up to their potential, Schwartz didn’t disagree.

“We have some good players,” he said. “We have a lot of different kind of talent that fits in very well with what we want to do. We’ve addressed some of the spots on the team that we needed to address. If we play our best we can be very difficult to handle for an opponent because we’re not just a team that’s trying to match up against our opponents, we’re a team that has its own strengths that other people have to match up against. We certainly have the talent to be able to do it.”

More highlights from Schwartz’s radio show:

• On how players have accepted and moved on from his post-game criticism: “I really don’t care if they’ve accepted it. We shouldn’t move on it from, we should learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. But I don’t have a suggestion box outside my office. We don’t take polls on ask the audience whether we should be critical of certain things. (Gosder Cherilus’ personal-foul penalty) was a play that we should know better and we’ve been in that situation before, we’ve talked about it. We didn’t respond the way we needed to. It’s nothing against the player. Gosder’s played good football for us and plays tough and does a lot of good things for us. But that play he wasn’t using his head on that play.”

• On Tampa’s scoring drive at the end of the first half: “I think the standard we had set was so high that a team that moved the ball one time certainly ends up looking much easier. We’re stopping them every time, why can’t you stop them now? It’s because it’s the National Football League and there’s good players on the other side and not every drive is going to be three-and-out with lost yardage. So we expect a lot from our defense. I think the critical thing there was they held them to a field-goal attempt, didn’t give them a touchdown and I think that’s important thing is limited their scoring right there.”

• On what was the most encouraging thing to come from Sunday outside the win: “I don’t know. It’s first win. Got off to a 1-0 start so obviously that’s encouraging. I don’t know that we really look at it that way. Coaches are very critical, players are very critical. If you want to improve, if you want to be a good team over a long period of time you have to put things in perspective, you have to correct some mistakes that you made, you have to move on.”

Author:  BillySims [ September 13th, 2011, 7:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

thelomasbrowns wrote:
Stafford was number 3 in the new ESPN quarterback rating system. Pretty impressive considering the pick 6:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/69439 ... br-leaders

Even the great Brady threw a pick this week. LOL.

Author:  Pablo [ September 14th, 2011, 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

MLive wrote:
Will 'stupid football' sink Detroit Lions' chances this season?

Following an offseason of hype, excitement and buildup, the Detroit Lions opened its regular season with a convincing -- but not perfect -- 27-20 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Statistically, the Lions were the better team by any measure. As it played out on the field, as we know, the Buccaneers had a chance tie the score on the game's final play.

Coach Jim Schwartz lit into his guys after the Bucs got a better shot at winning than they could have imagined.

It wasn't because Schwartz can't handle the close game. He has seen plenty of close ones during his time in the NFL.

And it's not because he can't deal with a comeback. Tampa Bay has all the talent it needs on offense to get points on the board in a hurry.

No, it was the manner in which the Bucs came back that infuriated Schwartz. Detroit let Tampa Bay back into the game by playing "stupid football" when it was time to play winning football.

Right tackle Gosder Cherilus, now in his fourth year as a pro, should know better than to draw a flag for most anything, let alone something as avoidable as unsportsmanlike conduct.

Especially when your opponent is down one score and has no timeouts. You're giving the Bucs yardage and time, at that point? No, really, that's cool. Just go ahead and sweep Ndamukong Suh's leg as you're running back to the sideline.

It's not to pick on Cherilus. There were other mistakes. The Lions' coverage unit gave up a 78-yard touchdown return, for example, thanks to a missed tackle and a player abandoning his lane.

Nothing, however, is as egregious as the penalties the team drew. Looking at the box score, you see eight flags on Detroit for a total of 68 yards. Nothing to be proud, but not an embarrassing performance, either. We can all recall games where the Lions earned eight yellow doilies in a single half.

Looking closer, though, you can see what had Schwartz seizing up following the game.

One false start, one delay of game, an illegal shift, too many men on the field, a neutral zone infraction and three -- count 'em, three -- unnecessary roughness/unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

As Shaggy, from Scooby-Doo, would say: Zoinks!

Not a single one of the first five listed is, for lack of a better word, as an "acceptable" penalty. No offsides. No pass interference. All are pre-snap penalties, resulting from a lack of focus or a lack of discipline.

On the bright side, all easily are correctable -- in theory, at least. The personal fouls are correctable, also -- just don't commit them, right? -- but can be so much more harmful.

The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty came toward the end of the first half. Quarterback Josh Freeman connected with tight end Kellen Winslow to take the Bucs to the Lions' 26-yard line. After the penalty, Tampa Bay wound up on the 13-yard line (half the distance to the goal), where Connor Barth booted a 31-yard field goal following an incomplete pass.

Had it not been for the flag, Barth would have been facing a 44-yarder, a distance unlikely to cause great fear for a pro kicker, but certainly not a chip shot.

In life, stupid decisions can go unpunished in the near term. You stay out partying, but still ace a test the next day. You throw all your retirement money into one investment, but it soars in value. You drink and drive, but somehow make it home without killing anyone.

But living on luck is not a principled way to live. In the long run, people get what they deserve, whether the consequences are good or bad.

In football, there are only so many chances you can give an opponent before it actually takes advantage and makes you pay.

If the Lions are going to meet higher expectations, they can't do it by shooting themselves in the foot and expecting it not to come back to bite them in the rear.

To their credit, the players have adopted Schwartz's attitude. After the game, as well as after Monday's weekly news conference, there was no one upset with the coach's remarks.

We're all human. We all have egos. It would have been natural for the players to want to bask in the glory of a hard-fought road victory, particularly for a franchise that has set the league standard not once, but twice, for consecutive road losses (26).

But they wouldn't take the bait.

As opposed to the past, when yet another loss was followed by pointing out ultimately meaningless tidbits of positivity in its play, this team reacted to a win by being critical of itself. By looking for ways to improve. By being its own harshest critic.

For the Lions, their overhaul in attitude will prove to be just as important as their overhaul in talent.

Author:  m2karateman [ September 14th, 2011, 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

A 78 yard touchdown return? Who wrote this?

But I agree with the content. The Lions need to be critical of themselves, both in victory and defeat, or they won't improve.

Cherilus has gotten beaten up over that penalty, in the media and by others (including Schwartz), but rightfully so. He needs to be told over and over again that it was stupid, and won't be tolerated any longer. Time to turn the corner onto Victory Lane, or keep travelling down Loser Boulevard. You make the choice Gos.

I also agree about the pre-snap penalties. Those have to be reduced for the Lions to get better. So does their third down conversion percentage. It was horrible (2 for 11) on Sunday. No excuses for it to be that bad.

Author:  Pablo [ September 19th, 2011, 5:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... t_lio.html
Jim Schwartz happy Detroit Lions having fun with end zone celebrations as long as they don't draw a penalty

ALLEN PARK -- There's a different vibe in the Detroit Lions' locker room these days. The team is serious about their work, but they are also having fun. Both those traits have shown through on the field early this season.

The team obviously took care of business on Sunday, thrashing the Kansas City Chiefs, 48-3, to move to 2-0 on the season. Also, for the second week in a row, Lions tight end Tony Scheffler busted out a planned celebration after a touchdown reception.

Some coaches cringe when their players celebrate after a score, but Jim Schwartz is happy his players are having fun.

"I like (our team) having some personality," Schwartz said at his Monday press conference. "I like our players having personality. I want guys to have fun on the field. I'd prefer that they had fun with their teammates, but that's not the way that it goes."

Schwartz was referencing the NFL rule that penalizes a team 15 yards for celebrations involving multiple players.

"I don't want to stand on a soapbox up here, but football is a team game and it celebrates one guy celebrating by himself," Schwartz said. "You can do whatever you want, as long as you do it by yourself. To me, I'd rather have all 11 guys if they're going to do a goofy dance. But I don't make the rules, and the last thing we need are penalties."

Scheffler, whose touchdown celebrations have been tailored toward the Lions' opponents, has impressed wide receiver Nate Burleson.

"I had to take a back seat," Burleson said. "I think I might have done too much in the preseason. Now I have to get back into the end zone, get some momentum rolling. But Scheffler, hands down right now, is winning the game with celebrations. The smoke signals yesterday, that was classic."

Burleson plans to steal a play out of Scheffler's playbook the next time he hits paydirt.

"I'm actually going to copy him with the themed celebration," Burleson said. "Whatever team we're playing, I'm going to do something to honor - or mock - that city."

Author:  SimplePoster [ September 19th, 2011, 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

"I don't want to stand on a soapbox up here, but football is a team game and it celebrates one guy celebrating by himself," Schwartz said. "You can do whatever you want, as long as you do it by yourself. To me, I'd rather have all 11 guys if they're going to do a goofy dance. But I don't make the rules, and the last thing we need are penalties."

This is a little bizarre. I can see the league's side on the issue, but do prima donna athletes really need to be encouraged to be focused more on themselves?

Just as an aside I am not calling all players who celebrate prima donnas. I understand there are some that just have fun.

Author:  BillySims [ September 19th, 2011, 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

OK, So how do you do a Viking themed celebration? Similate plundering and raping women? LOL.

Author:  m2karateman [ September 20th, 2011, 9:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

SimplePoster wrote:
"I don't want to stand on a soapbox up here, but football is a team game and it celebrates one guy celebrating by himself," Schwartz said. "You can do whatever you want, as long as you do it by yourself. To me, I'd rather have all 11 guys if they're going to do a goofy dance. But I don't make the rules, and the last thing we need are penalties."

This is a little bizarre. I can see the league's side on the issue, but do prima donna athletes really need to be encouraged to be focused more on themselves?

Just as an aside I am not calling all players who celebrate prima donnas. I understand there are some that just have fun.

I don't mind an endzone celebration, but some players and/or teams were going way over the top with it. The whole run out into the middle of the field and dance on the Dallas Star thing was ridiculous. Some of the organized celebrations by the entire offense were time consuming.

Do your dance, be creative, don't make it disrespectful, don't make it too long, and get the hell out of the end zone so football can resume.

OR, take the Barry approach, and act like you've been there before.


But I do understand where Schwartz is coming from. It's a team game, and limiting the celebration to one guy is against the concept of football in that regard.

Author:  BestAtMadden [ September 20th, 2011, 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

BillySims wrote:
OK, So how do you do a Viking themed celebration? Similate plundering and raping women? LOL.

i think Sheff will act like he is holding a viking helmet and dances a jig if he scores this week. or maybe he uses a variation of the "kenny powers dance" at the kids dance in east bound and down season 1 where he shook and sprayed all over th fans.. either one would be hilarious. \:D/

Author:  grgrundge [ September 20th, 2011, 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Killer's Korner

Nice article by Albom about Killer being absent this past Sunday:

http://www.freep.com/article/20110919/C ... ng-next-me

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