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 Grading our D-Line 
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Post Grading our D-Line
was thinking bout doing this at work today. I'd like to try to analyze all our positions but this is the most fun.

Bosch~ A-
Williams~ B
Suh~ B+
Avril~ A
Hill~ C+
Young~ B
Fairley~ D-
Jackson~ B

Kyle is just a beast out there who leaves it all on the field nomatter what. Injuries may catch up to him
Corey doesnt seem to be having the same affect that he had last season but he's still eating up those double teams
Ndam only reason I give him a B+ is he makes poor decisions (penalties) that could really hurt us bad when we make postseason :D
Cliff has been steady all season and he really showed it against Denver. MAYHEW SIGN THIS GUY LONG TERM!!!
Sammie kinda gets lost in the shuffle. Great rotation guy who needs to step it up alittle
Willie has been a diamond in the rough. Not great against the run but he sealed the Dallas game for us with his pass rush
Nick should get an incomplete because he's been hurt so its hard to tell with him. Hope he gets it together for Chicago game
Lawrence has also been real solid and is great at spelling either kyle or cliffy. I love how we aquired this guy.

LOVING ME SOME LIONS FOOTBALL RIGHT NOW

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November 2nd, 2011, 10:40 pm
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
Fairley seems to not be using his "moves" on the NFL level quite yet... I think in 2-3 years when he puts some strength on him is when we will start to see great impact. Although don't forget- he is a rotational guy that has only played in 4 games, with limited to no training camp. We will see splashes by about week 12, I believe

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November 3rd, 2011, 1:08 am
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
Has anybody that can analyze film looked closely at Suh's performance in the first half of the season? I was wondering if he's still playing at a very high level but teams are just accounting for him more. I know sacks are not the only measure and that DTs aren't supposed to have a lot of sacks anyways, but it's the only thing a layman can look at to judge a D-lineman's performance.

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November 3rd, 2011, 1:36 am
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
thegodjr wrote:
Fairley seems to not be using his "moves" on the NFL level quite yet... I think in 2-3 years when he puts some strength on him is when we will start to see great impact. Although don't forget- he is a rotational guy that has only played in 4 games, with limited to no training camp. We will see splashes by about week 12, I believe


He's only played in 3. Chicago, San Fran and Atlanta. He was inactive for Denver. And he left the Atlanta game early. Until his foot is fully healed, he won't be an impact. DT's need to get that push.


November 3rd, 2011, 2:52 am
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
The thing with Suh's numbers this year is that he has had minimum of 2 sacks taken from him on BS calls. That puts him atleast on pace to match production last year.

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November 3rd, 2011, 2:55 am
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Has anybody that can analyze film looked closely at Suh's performance in the first half of the season? I was wondering if he's still playing at a very high level but teams are just accounting for him more. I know sacks are not the only measure and that DTs aren't supposed to have a lot of sacks anyways, but it's the only thing a layman can look at to judge a D-lineman's performance.


Yes, teams are accounting for him and just trying to pass quicker before the ends get there. Just look at the sacks. KVB and Cliff have 5 a piece. Lojack has 3, Young has 2. That's 15 from the ends. Suh has 3, Williams has 2, Hill and Fairley have 0. That's 5. Tulloch also has 3.

Teams are making sure Williams and Suh are accounted for, which shows why Tulloch has been able to find those gaps. They're also risking taking outside sacks because they're gambling that they can get rid of the ball before they get there.

He's still getting penetration at times which shows in his 17 QB pressures, which is tied with Avril. He just hasn't gotten the few QB runs out of bounds = sack type sacks he picked up early last year which gave him a jumpstart of 6.5 sacks at this point last season. He's still as big a figure on the line, but its been more of a bonus to other players than on his own personal stats, which is what most of us thought his impact would be initially.


November 3rd, 2011, 3:01 am
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
njroar wrote:
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Has anybody that can analyze film looked closely at Suh's performance in the first half of the season? I was wondering if he's still playing at a very high level but teams are just accounting for him more. I know sacks are not the only measure and that DTs aren't supposed to have a lot of sacks anyways, but it's the only thing a layman can look at to judge a D-lineman's performance.


Yes, teams are accounting for him and just trying to pass quicker before the ends get there. Just look at the sacks. KVB and Cliff have 5 a piece. Lojack has 3, Young has 2. That's 15 from the ends. Suh has 3, Williams has 2, Hill and Fairley have 0. That's 5. Tulloch also has 3.

Teams are making sure Williams and Suh are accounted for, which shows why Tulloch has been able to find those gaps. They're also risking taking outside sacks because they're gambling that they can get rid of the ball before they get there.

He's still getting penetration at times which shows in his 17 QB pressures, which is tied with Avril. He just hasn't gotten the few QB runs out of bounds = sack type sacks he picked up early last year which gave him a jumpstart of 6.5 sacks at this point last season. He's still as big a figure on the line, but its been more of a bonus to other players than on his own personal stats, which is what most of us thought his impact would be initially.


And it's tough to track, but given the success of our secondary I would say opposing QBs are throwing the ball in an effort to avoid a sack and it ends up getting picked off or defended.

Suh is effective. As effective as he was last season. It makes me laugh when I read uneducated folks from other teams fanbase slamming Suh because he "only" has three sacks so far this season. Nevermind that it ranks among the leaders at his position in the NFL. Nevermind that his tackles rank among the leaders at his position in the NFL. He isn't effective because he "only" has three sacks.

Stuff like that shows just how stupid people can be. Stats can't measure the effect a player has, only watching what teams do against him can. That is particularly true of linemen.

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November 3rd, 2011, 8:49 am
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
Quote:
Bosch~ A-
Williams~ B
Suh~ B+
Avril~ A
Hill~ C+
Young~ B
Fairley~ D-
Jackson~ B


KVB - seems to be more effective than he was last year. he plays a little too aggressively at times and is the reason that we teams are getting solid gains on reverse plays against us but he eats up inside runs so im not sure if the scheme wants him to stay at home when the run is away from him or if our scheme goes against convention and wants him crashing hard inside. the first play of the SF game where he just took the ball out of Alex Smith s hand is a play most guys dream of but never see happen. he is still the leader of this defense and is having a very productive season. B+

Corey Williams - I dont think he has lost anything except he s a little less apt to jump offsides this season. This guy is really the key to the DL bc his play forces teams to decide how they are going to block suh. at times teams will go to double tight and double both suh and williams which is a credit to how good they are. williams fights double teams off better than suh does but isnt as good at winning a one on one matchup or making plays in pursuit as suh. A-

Suh - he is most effective when teams are doubling williams. he is so quick off the ball that he usually is across his man s face before the OL can land his lead off. the problem has been at times overpenetration with teams running to the area he has vacated but i dont hold that against him. he is so good that teams have gone to alternate blocking schemes in the games against us. he does need to improve against double teams which obviously is the most effective way to nullify him. when the game gets into obvious pass situations like it did vs Chicago, Suh is absolutely unstoppable as the joker - he was a human wrecking ball in that role at times knocking 3 o lineman off balance on his way to a QB pressure. I d like to see more of that just bc it was so fun to watch. Concerns over his production dropping off from last year are overblown - what did people expect? a 15 sack season this year? He may never see double digit sacks from the DT position again but he will continue to alter offensive game plans and create plays for others. A

Avril - Avril at times has totally dominated opposing tackles. he has vastly improved in his play recognition and seems to be able to identify pass presnap at times when it doesnt seem so certain based on the situation. you can tell he s been watching film and knows whats coming which has helped him improve his run defense as well. he s had the best season of any lions d lineman and is on his way to the first of what may be a long run of double digit sack seasons. he has unbelievable speed and a good swim move. A+

Sammie Lee Hill - This guy is impressive and has really progressed quite a bit from his rookie year when he was just a plodder that didnt move his feet or pursue very well. He is in much better shape than he has ever been in. He does not fight through double teams well but he keeps his ground which is probably more important. He hasnt gotten quite as many reps as normal bc we ve been winning and he s not all that fast and wont ever be a great pass rusher but he ll be ready to step right in and take over for Williams when necessary. B

Andre Fluellen - has made important contributions bc Fairley hasnt been available as expected. He s been ok but the explosive first step that we saw in the preseason hasnt been there - maybe bc it depends quite a bit on timing and he isnt getting the reps in games to get that down all the way. He has decent pass rush moves from the DT position but his strength and ability to maintain ground vs the run is average. I could see him going elsewhere and developing into a low end starter or I could also see him developing into a situational pass rusher as a DT but few teams really use that kind of specialist at the DT position. His playing time is only going to diminish with Fairley getting into the mix. C+

Willie Young - he is an absolute steal in the 7th rd of the draft. teams may have passed on him bc he lacked bulk and was a 2-3 yrs older than a typical rookie at age 25 last season but he has definitely passed the test. his speed and first step rivals avril's and he uses his hands very well. he isnt great against the run but he s reliable enough that he doesnt have to be used only as a passrusher anymore. i think he s on a 4 yr contract which at a 7th rd price means we re getting great value when he s on the field. Mayhew could re-sign avril to a sizeable contract and let Young continue to develop, when Young's rookie contract is up in two seasons the Lions will have a decision to make - trade the more expensive Avril or go with the cheaper Young. Getting a good return on Avril and having Young take over for him could be a big asset as far as keeping the Lions success sustainable. Grade would be higher if he didnt miss time w injury. B

LoJack - I think he can be a 3 down DE that is ready to step in for KVB with no dropoff in the pass rush but a moderate dropoff overall vs the run but he holds his position well and isnt a liability its just that KVB makes so many pursuit plays and tackles on inside runs that few others could make. No idea why Seattle didnt want him but he will be a starter for someone maybe us depending on how durable KVB turns out to be. B+

Fairley - his foot injury is very concerning and has a good chance to disrupt his entire career. its not something that will just heal and never be an issue again, the tendency is a pattern of questionable healing vs refracturing and multiple surgeries on the foot. it is a definite red flag ie Yao Ming. inserting a screw as was done in the preseason just buys time but solving the problem would be a surgery to realign the foot type which in itself is risky and could end his career. When he s been on the field though he has showed flashes which mostly was in his first game vs Chicago when he was very disruptive when lined up on the center. He probably wont have the conditioning this season to be more than a 10-15 snap player but with the rest of the personnel we have thats enough to be a factor. I honestly think they should minimize his use this season, get him through healthy and then trade him in the offseason. 320 lbs + poor conditioning and 5th MT fractures in the foot not a good combo. Incomplete


November 3rd, 2011, 11:09 pm
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Post Re: Grading our D-Line
Something to remember....Sammie Hill has been fighting injuries since the season started. It's not a widely publicized fact, since Schwartz keeps that information pretty secret. But my understanding is that Hill hurt himself either in the last pre-season game, or in the first game, and it continues to nag him. An ankle, calf or foot injury.....not sure. I've heard/read it from a couple different sources.

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November 4th, 2011, 9:54 am
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