View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently September 16th, 2014, 7:26 am



Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
 Grading The Lions 
Author Message
Pro Bowl Player
User avatar

Joined: April 19th, 2005, 2:10 pm
Posts: 2478
Location: Michigan
Post Grading The Lions
?Grading the Lions 1.0??
??
The Detroit Lions Organization is under a lot of pressure to win this season. SuperBowl XL is being hosted in Detroits Ford Field. It is time for the "Millen-ology" approach to football to prove its worth. Team President Matt Millens unique approach to re-building the franchise is nearing its completion. Every season it seems Millen delivers another marquee free agent. When the draft rolls around Millen has shown a tendency to select offense in the first round and defense in the second. This is evident looking over past drafts, and his choices in the draft and in free agency will either become the gold standard, or a recipe for disaster.??
??
Since the merger of the old AFL the Detroit Lions have only one playoff win to show for all the great players that have spent their careers with the team. The next genre of players hope to accomplish more. So, how does a team like Detroit get an edge in the CBA(collective bargaining agreement) era? for Superbowl Champion teams it seems the allotted money can go alot further.. Players that want to win may accept smaller contracts to extend their chances to earn what every NFL player truly wants.. A superbowl ring! Teams that may not bolster the winningest records, like the lions, have to look for diamonds in the ruff. Players like Dre Bly, or Kenoy Kennedy who see the potential a team like the lions have, and dedicate their careers (or a big part of them) to turning that potential into legitamate play off contenders. Where does a team like Detroit get its potential? The Draft. For the Detroit Lions it has been selecting offense first in its last six drafts, with seven first round picks overall spent on offensive players. Stockar McDougle, Jeff Backus, Joey Harrington, Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, Kevin Jones, and Mike Williams. Players across the league quickly saw the potential last season in rookies Roy Williams and Kevin Jones. Shaun Rogers made the Pro Bowl, as did Dre Bly for a second consecutive season. All those factor into how a Free Agent may respond to our organization, as opposed to teams like Philadelphia and New England who are proven winners.??
??
Detroit has had some great success with defense in the second round selections of Shaun Rogers, Kalimba Edwards, Boss Bailey, and Teddy Lehman. This years talent pool left Shaun Cody available in the second round, and Detroit was quick to move up to get him. The problem will all the big name play-makers the Lions have picked up in the draft or free agency has been simply getting the players on the field at the same time. At least, that was the problem. The Detroit Lions were one of the very few NFL teams that held mini camps with 100 percent participation. No hold outs, no injuries, no bad vibes.??
??
What does it all mean? The Lions have a football team that can compete with any team in the NFL right now. From top to bottom the organization that has won 16 games in the last four seasons has quietly become a contender. Millen has signed a marque' free agent here and there. He has Drafted wide receivers with the top 10 picks three years in a row. The team continues to get better, but grading this 2005 Detroit Lions team position by position is one way to put there strengths and weaknesses into perspective.??
??
Quarter Back - C??
??
Starting QB Joey Harrington has not proved his critics wrong yet. Though Head Coach Steve Mariucci has publicly stated that Harrington is the starter that could change over night. Jeff Garcia will be waiting in the wings to hear the final verdict. Detroit's lack of a clear cut signal caller may be the only thing holding this team back from playoff contention this season. Though Joey has overcome injuries to key players like Charles Rogers, Kevin Jones, and Roy Williams in the past, it is unlikely excuses will be excepted from a superbowl hungry town this season.??
??
Wide Receivers - A minus??
??
Probably the only thing that can hold this group of Wideouts back, besides the signal caller, is themselves. Charles Rogers and Roy Williams are the only two starting receivers returning this season. Rogers missed the past two seasons to injury, though he did start six regular season games and all 8 preseason games. Joey and Charles Rogers have shown great chemistry and will look forward to finding each other again this season. Mike Williams, the 10th pick overall in 2005, brings a whole different dimension to the offense. All of Detroits young receivers are big and physically gifted. All three of them will cause different problems for defenses everytime they are on the field. The trio should benifit from veterans like Kevin Johnson and Marcus Pollard who are both sure handed targets that will help spread the defense.??
??
Running Back - B plus??
??
Kevin Jones is exactly what Detroit has been missing since Barry Sanders sudden retirement prior to the 1999 season. It is a different era and Kevin Jones brings a different style of running to Detroit. Jones is more of a smash mouth runner who wants everyone on the defense to respect him for his toughness and fear him because of what he does when he gets into the secondary. Kevin Still needs at least one great year before he can be considered the answer for Detroit at Running back. Shawn Bryson has an explosive burst and has shown exceptional pass blocking skills and has a knack for turning screen plays into big gainers. Artose Pinner may have to battle punt and kick return specialist Jamal White for the third roster spot.??
??
Offensive Line - A minus??
??
The Lions have solidified a very capable offensive line with the addition of Rick Demulling and Kyle Kosier. While it appears Demulling will be starting at Guard, The Right Tackle position has not been decided. Kyle Kosier will have to battle Kelly Butler and Victor Rogers. It appears the starting line up will be Jeff Backus ( LT ), Rick Demulling (G), Dominic Raiola at Center, Damien Woody (G), and either Kelly Butler or Kyle Kosier at (RT). Kyle Kosier has started at both Tackle and both Guard Positions and factors favorably into the depth chart either way here.??
??
Defensive Line - A??
??
Shaun Rogers is the superstar of the Detroit Lions defense line. He is simply an anomaly of size, speed, and strength. As such he is the foundation of the Defensive line and the lions will look to build around him. Big Daddy Dan Wilkinson might be sharing time with Detroit's second round pick Shaun Cody. Cody, the former USC stand out, will look to prove he can handle the starting job if Big Daddy, beginning his 12th NFL season, is entering his final year. DE James Hall had an amazing 11.5 sacks last season. He credits his success to the push Detroit's starting Tackles Rogers and Wilkinson create in the O-line. DE's Cory Redding and Kalimba Edwards combined for 7.5 sacks. Bill Swancutt and Marcus Bell add depth to a very deep Defensive Line.??
??
Line Backers - B plus??
??
Detroit bolsters a very solid Linebacking corps. Boss Bailey returned from surgery and looked solid in his mini camp practices. Teddy Lehman had a very successful rookie campaign, starting all 16 games . Earl Holmes has been Detroit's leading tackler two consecutive seasons. This trio will be one of the faster, more talented groups. They will be sharing there playing time with James Davis, Alex Lewis, and Wali Rainer. With Baileys return, and Lehman and Lewis having a year under their belts the line backers improved a full grade from last year.. The biggest jump at any position.??
??
CornerBacks - C plus??
??
Pro Bowler Dre Bly needs to be healthy for Detroit's corners to be effective. With out Bly Detroit seemed unable or incapable to stop anybody last season. Fernando Bryant has been having some success but has yet to live up to the hype of a high payed marquee free agent. The Lions needed to do more than add Stanley Wilson in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. Resigning Andre Goodman and Chris Cash were positives, but the Lions need a shut down corner opposite Dre Bly to take this defense to the next level.??
??
Safety - B plus??
??
The addition of Kenoy Kennedy is going to make a huge impact on how willing slot receivers will be catching over the middle this year. Kennedy is known and respected around the league, and he brings his reputation with him to Detroit. Kenoy is the Strong Safety Detroit has been missing in recent years. Terrence Holt is expected to start at Free Safety. Terrence has earned the respect of his team-mates and the starting job. Dre Bly is one of of Holt's biggest fans, and that trust is going to be an important factor in the success of the secondary. Bracy Walker (SS) and Vernon Fox (FS) add good depth to the safety position.??
??
Special Teams - A plus??
??
Three names here. Punter Nick Harris, Kicker jason Hanson, and Punt/Kick Returner specialist Eddie Drummond. In the?past three years, the Lions have?ranked No. 1?in special-teams touchdowns (11). This includes: six punt return TDs, three kickoff return TDs?and two blocked field goal return TDs. Over the last three seasons, the Lions are the only NFL?team to record at least two punt return touchdowns in each year. Detroit registered two in 2002, two in 2003 and two in 2004. From 2003-04, the Lions have the most special teams return touchdowns with eight. They eclipsed Kansas City (6). And in?2004, the Lions had the second-most special teams return touchdowns (5) in the NFL. They scored on two punt returns, two kickoff returns and one blocked field goal return.??
??
Overall- B plus??
??
Before Detroit can make a run at the NFC North crown some things need to happen this season. The QB spot has to be addressed. Joey Harrington will have to have a "boom" year to prove his critics wrong. The Lions have to have success at the quarter back spot or the rest of team will suffer like previous seasons. Health! Key play-makers like Charles Rogers, Boss Bailey, and Kevin Jones need to be healthy to create the the types of mismatches necessary to win the close games. Good old fashion camaraderie.. The teams Offense and Defense has to play unselfishly and embrace each others success. Millens Time is now- will it be the gold standard.. or a recipe for disaster???
??
?


Last edited by Ferris on May 15th, 2005, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.



May 15th, 2005, 12:39 pm
Profile WWW
Varsity Captain

Joined: March 17th, 2005, 12:41 am
Posts: 313
Post 
I might have made some tweaks to the grades but overall I agree with you. The grades you gave show you think our biggest strengths are on the offensive and defensive line, which I wholeheartedly agree with. We have enough depth for both to win the majority of the trench battles this season. I think I said this last year but I didnt feel like I do this year, I have never been this excited goin into a season. I cant wait.


May 15th, 2005, 1:07 pm
Profile
Hall of Fame Player
User avatar

Joined: April 5th, 2005, 7:03 am
Posts: 7411
Location: Ford Field - 35 yard line / Row 32
Post 
Ferris,

Outstanding analysis! You've clearly put a lot of thought into this.

I may not feel quite as good as you do re: the O-line but we're very close overall.

There is a lot to be excited about - that's for certain.

Good work!


May 15th, 2005, 1:37 pm
Profile WWW
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: January 26th, 2005, 9:34 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Sycamore, IL
Post 
Ferris, excellent work. That must have taken awhile.

I like your grades, except I don't necessarily agree with a couple. Deep down I assume the worst, but hope for the best. I guess that's the same way with my disagreements on the grading. I say they'll go 10-6 this year, but that's my hope :roll:

WR: I would think a B+ would be more deserving since no staring player (outside of Pollard) has proven he can stay consistantly healthy, and all starters (outside of Pollard) have little experience. Their potential is through the roof, but as far as proven worth, that's deserves a lower grade in my book.

DL: I couldn't give em an A just because they lack that stud pass rusher next to Big Daddy. I would give em a B+ or A- as best. Maybe this is Kalimba's year, but I wouldn't sell the farm to bet on it. I hope DeVries gets more playing time. I liked what he showed last year.

OL: I would give em a B+ as well. Great depth, but is Kelly Butler the answer at RT? Backus can be upgraded IMO, he's definately no Walter Jones or Orlando Pace. Can the OL click like at the end of last season?


May 15th, 2005, 1:49 pm
Profile
Pro Bowl Player
User avatar

Joined: April 19th, 2005, 2:10 pm
Posts: 2478
Location: Michigan
Post 
conversion02 wrote:
WR: I would think a B+ would be more deserving since no staring player (outside of Pollard) has proven he can stay consistantly healthy, and all starters (outside of Pollard) have little experience. Their potential is through the roof, but as far as proven worth, that's deserves a lower grade in my book.

DL: I couldn't give em an A just because they lack that stud pass rusher next to Big Daddy. I would give em a B+ or A- as best. Maybe this is Kalimba's year, but I wouldn't sell the farm to bet on it. I hope DeVries gets more playing time. I liked what he showed last year.

OL: I would give em a B+ as well. Great depth, but is Kelly Butler the answer at RT? Backus can be upgraded IMO, he's definately no Walter Jones or Orlando Pace. Can the OL click like at the end of last season?


conv. I agree the WR was high, but like you said the potential is through the roof, maybe that and a soft spot for the group pushed it up a nudge

the DL im firm on.. James hall is opposite big daddy , he had 11.5 sacks last year
Cory Redding and Kalimba had 7.5 sacks combined next to Shaun Rogers
and Shaun Cody is huge.. He will be great in the NFL after he gets a little bigger IMO

OL: I still think we have one of the better OL's in the NFC.. They need some time to gel, and from what Ive heard I think Kelly Butler can do fine.. Long arms, tall, and big with good footwork... Time will tell on that one though


May 15th, 2005, 2:20 pm
Profile WWW
Varsity Captain
User avatar

Joined: September 9th, 2004, 12:21 pm
Posts: 287
Location: Mt. Pleasant, MI
Post 
:arrow: Awesome analysis Ferris!
:arrow:


May 15th, 2005, 2:56 pm
Profile YIM
Pop Warner Allstar

Joined: April 6th, 2005, 11:50 pm
Posts: 136
Post 
DITTO!!!!!

nice job ferris.


May 15th, 2005, 6:30 pm
Profile
Millen Draft Pick - Epic Bust
User avatar

Joined: February 27th, 2005, 8:56 pm
Posts: 701
Location: Michigan
Post 
My grades:

QB:B+

Our backups (Jeff, and Dan) will push Harrington to the test, and Harrington will suceed, plus this is Harrington's year to shine, its make or break year! He also has to much weapons for him not to suceed...

RB: B

Kevin Jones, is definately a great back to come, I mean he already had a 1,000 yard rushing season with only 7-8 games that he acctually played in the season. Our backups are descent, with Shawn Bryson serving as a reliable 3rd down back, but other then him being a 3rd down back he's nothing, and Jamel and Artose hasnt shown me anything that they could contribute to the team...

WO: A

We probable have the best wide out corp in the entire league, thats why they earned the A. But there not all going to contribute right away as there young and arent souly up to date on chemistry, but I think Pollard can solve some of that, and thats why he was a great signee, no just because he solved a problem at TE, also the fact he's a veteran and can get chemistry on a team working...

OL: B+

Our starters are very good need to grow some more but good, we also have very productive backups that could come in start when needed, they just can't stay out there week in and week out.

DL: A

We have one of the best run stoping units in the league, and it got better with the editions of Cody and Swancutt. We will continue our frequent rotation of DE's with James Hall, Cory Redding, Kalimba Edwards, Jared DeVries, and Bill Swancutt, with Cory Redding playing more in the middle to get Swancutt some time (if Swancutt produces in training camp).

LB: B-

I think we have a great young line backing corp, but thats the thing were young... Also I'm not sure on our future for MLB.

DB: B+

I'm one of the few that thinks we have a solid corp of conerbacks, but I'm the opposite for our safty situation, all we have is Terrance Holt as our FS, and then we have a big upgrade but still isnt an aduqeute pass defender, SS... I hope to god we sign Lance Schulters come June, it will be a hell of a combo between Holt and him, and a big position battle...

_________________
Image

Michael Huff for DROY


May 15th, 2005, 7:37 pm
Profile WWW
Fired Head Coach (0-16 record)
User avatar

Joined: January 6th, 2005, 10:54 am
Posts: 2274
Location: South Quad- Ann Arbor
Post 
I think our safeties are awesome. Holt has proven every time he gets on the field, he can make plays. And Kenoy Kennedy is a beast.


Why is everyone so afraid of F. Bryant? His injury made everyone forget his years in Jax. I think he will be more than adaquete. But give him a chance before talking about dropping him and signing Law.


Great job Ferris. We appreciate the work you put in these. :idea:

_________________
"If he isn't the best football player, the best runner, that the Lord has ever made, then the Lord has yet to make one." Wayne Fontes on Barry.
Image


May 15th, 2005, 8:09 pm
Profile WWW
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: January 26th, 2005, 9:34 pm
Posts: 10290
Location: Sycamore, IL
Post 
I think Bryant will play much better this year, as long as his ankle (was it his ankle or knee?) is fine. He's getting up there and I think Keith Smith is going to develop into the starter who replaces Bryant...next year.


Last edited by conversion02 on May 16th, 2005, 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.



May 15th, 2005, 10:12 pm
Profile
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: October 20th, 2004, 4:16 pm
Posts: 9864
Location: Where ever I'm at now
Post 
I like everything you did Ferris. Good job.

However, I can't sign on with our defensive line being an 'A'. I feel we have solid play with Hall and Rogers from both a run stopping and pass rushing perspective. However, Wilkinson is a pure run stopper with pass rush ability. Cory Redding is very limited as a pass rusher as well. He is sufficient against the run yet not what I would call great at the point of attack. We have solid depth, but our pass rushing is very limited. Edwards has yet to fully live up to his potential and Bill Swancutt won't be the pass rusher he was in college. I give our D-line a 'B' at best. With greater pass rush skills on the line I can see it being an 'A'.

Also, how come Jones, Bryson and Pinner get only a 'B', but our quarterbacks get a 'B+'? I think Jones established himself last year as a premier back in this league, and Bryson was better than most people are willing to admit as a situational third down back. Pinner didn't have a great per carry average because he was used in short yardage situations as a power back during Jones' injury. And that was at a time when the line couldn't get Jones or Bryson many yards from scrimmage either.
Garcia isn't the player he was, I don't care how many ProBowls he's gone to. He won't get there again unless he's a spectator or a coach. Orlovsky has proven nothing yet. Harrington has gotten a bum rap, but still is more inconsistent than he needs to be to succeed. Best I would give this crowd is a 'C', and that's stretching it. Harrington has never been in the 'middle of the pack' in regards to quarterback seasonal performance numbers. Injured receivers can't account for all of the dismal numbers.

Our wideouts have an 'A' in potential, but performance wise can only merit a 'C'. Pollard is yet another player who has been great, but is beyond his prime and played in a system where he could shine. His skills won't be as bright here. Kevin Johnson, while supremely talented for a fourth receiver, is not a top notch player anymore. Also, he could become a problem child if he feels he doesn't get enough field time. Roy is the only starting player with decent time on Sundays, and his recovery from ankle surgery is still being monitored. BMW and CRog have yet to prove anything. Another 'C' realistically speaking, until they prove otherwise.

You give the linebacking corps a 'B-' because they are young, but they easily have more experience than our wideouts who got an 'A'. Much will depend on how well Bailey recovers as to what the pre-season grade will be for this unit. Holmes is still a talent at stopping the run. However, he benefits from the 'Big' duo in front of him. Earl is also a coverage liability. Lehman played well, but still has much to learn. Curry is a solid backup, but needs to stay healthy. Davis and Lewis are good players that continue to get better. Wali Rainer is better than most people realize and adds veteran depth at Mike and Sam positions. A 'B-' is a pretty good assessment.

Our cornerbacks are good, I agree. But our depth concerns me. Smith is talented, but will get beat if put into a starting role. Wilson hasn't proven a thing and didn't impress me all that much as a college player. Goodman and Cash have injury problems. As for our safeties, I am deeply concerned with our starters and our lack of depth. Kennedy is a great 'in the box' style strong safety, but is not a good cover guy. I have felt that the Lions need TWO good cover safeties, especially with the risk style of play our corners like to use. Holt has played well when he has been given a chance. However, he has never been a full time starter and he lacks ideal speed to be a 'centerfielder' type of free safety. Given all of this, and our lack of quality depth (Bracy Walker sucks! May God have mercy on us if Kennedy gets hurt!) I would give this group a 'C+'.

My grades:
QB=C
RB=A-
FB=A-
WR=C
TE=B-
DL=B
LB=B-
CB=B-
S=C

remember that I am considering potential, but past performances have much more impact on these grades. Also quality of depth is considered and can either raise or lower a grade based on that determination.

_________________
Driver of the 'we need a coaching change' bandwagon. Climb aboard.


May 16th, 2005, 1:38 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 11 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Hystrix and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.