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 Off Season: 
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Martha Firestone Ford
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Joined: May 7th, 2005, 3:25 pm
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Location: Earth/Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy
Post Off Season:
We will see just how good Mayhew is this off season and draft. We will see if he can draft as well from way down the order as he can from the top of the order.

After the Packers and Saints. There is little doubt that the LBers and DB's have got to be overhauled.

And I was a big supporter of signing Tulloch last year. And I thought the Durant signing was a good 1 also. But, our Linebackers were pathetic at stopping the run. Why would we want to re-sign any of them? Durant is signed for 1 more year already. But, I am of the opinion that we need to overhaul the Linebacking corp also. Vontaze Burfict would look mighty good in Honolulu Blue.

We need to pick either the Linebackers or the DB's and fix 1 of them this year. Fix 1 of them and we fix both. You can hide 1 weak defensive unit IF the other 2 defensive units are strong. We are ultra strong on the D-line. Weak as can be at LB and DB's.

As for the O-line. We can win with what we have. Re-sign Backus for 3 years at the same pay he is already getting. No raise, No drop off in pay. It won't be popular. But, he is solid and should be good for another 3 years. He has never missed a game. And I would like to see him set the record as a Lion.
We can look to see if there is a FA RG to replace Peterman with. I believe that Peterman is the weakest link on the O-line.

Everyone says the Lions have no Running game. TOTAL RUSHING YARDS = Lions 1,523 : Opponents 2,050. Considering all the health problems at RB, I would say that we did just fine at running the ball.
Stafford threw for more than 5,000 yards. We don't have an all star O-line. But, they aren't exactly trash either. The Saints got no sacks and only knocked Stafford down twice last night. Considering all the heat that Greg Williams was trying to send, It wasn't getting there. I think our O-line will be ok if we delay it's rebuild for another year or two.

Basically, I think we need to focus all of our efforts on Linebackers and DB's this off season. Both FA's and Draft.

I am now, officially on the Vontaze Burfict bandwagon. He will be BPA in our draft range.

January 8th, 2012, 10:18 am
3rd Round Selection
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 11:35 pm
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Post Re: Off Season:
The Lions could really address these things this offseason:

1. A shutdown corner

2. A LB who can blitz

3. A left tackle and center

4. A run game of any kind

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

January 8th, 2012, 11:53 am
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Joined: February 10th, 2011, 4:08 am
Posts: 306
Post Re: Off Season:
clearly your not understanding the problems that causes the break downs in run support.because its not our backers fault.
1-horrundus safety play mostly from spievey.he is walking mess.he cant tackle or play coverage ,bites way to hard on any playaction and is just not instinctive enough to play the deep for delmas also not a great tackler and is always taking bad angles to the ballcarrier causing whiffs.he needs to go back to the other side were he excelled as a rookie playing the deep half of the field
22-dline !!!! yep thats right .although to the man they all can play the run as a unit there being taught to be way to rush orianted.take last night for example.the saints knew suh was playing too agressive so on running plays they were letting him take himself right out of the play.also because of our wide nine technique the ot will give our guys the endside and watch them over run plays and loose containment constantly.this is completely on the coaching staff to correct.and i hate to say this byt maybe a new def-cordinator .not to overhaul everthing but get shwartz to ajust some things.were the oldman is just fine runnin shwartz system.
3.adding a corner or two who could tackle wouldnt hurt either.our backups get completely run over (smith).so no linebacking is hardly to blame.could they play better? yes .but fix those 3 things and these guys would look like the monsters of midway.

January 8th, 2012, 12:20 pm
Player of the Year - Offense
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Joined: August 24th, 2010, 9:54 pm
Posts: 2876
Post Re: Off Season:
Important to note that Houston and Delmas both got banged up (again) in the 2nd quarter. Poor Alphonso--I like the guy, but he might have single-handedly played us out of the playoffs (with GB last week and the Saints this week).

The good thing about having a relevant game in January is that we don't have too wait too long for fun stuff like free agency and the draft.

"Good teams don't worry about a whole lot of stuff. They travel, they play, they win. And it doesn't matter where they go, what the time block is, all those kinds of things. They never seem to bother teams that play well, and we want to be one of those teams." -Jim Caldwell

January 8th, 2012, 2:30 pm
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Joined: February 11th, 2005, 3:01 pm
Posts: 5097
Location: WSU
Post Re: Off Season:
S - Delmas will be back and start. Spievey may need to be replaced but contract status will keep him around. He was good enough at times but still too inconsistent in pass coverage and not a reliable tackler who takes poor angles. Lions need to bring in legit competition for him. Chris Harris is not a viable replacement and one of the worst players who took the field for us this season. Coleman wont be back. I never saw Silva on the field as a defender, but his onside kick gaffe got him booted from the sp teams. He ll get another chance to make the team but Wendling is an outstanding special teamer who filled in well in short spurts but cant be relied upon to play too much on the defense.

CB - A Smith got burned too often and I think Mayhew will ship the feast or famine player away. Smith had his moments but time to say good bye. McDonald lost his nickel role and isnt as good as Berry. Its possible he could end up as a 5th CB next year but might not make the team. Houston did fine until injuries did him in but his shoulder dislocated again vs the Saints and he s had previous surgery on it before, might be a bigger problem than we know. Wright was very good early and then declined dramatically. I dont think injuries were a major factor, Id like to see him back if only bc he didnt earn himself a big contract and he might end up being very valuable as a 3rd or 4th CB which IMO should be considered the same as starters now that we see what we are up against with the Saints and Packers. Berry had a solid season as a nickel back, tall task sitting for 3 weeks and then returning against the best offense in football but Berry proved himself as a good player.

LB - Durant has a year left and will start, great read and react player, not a top level blitzer and not a great coverage player who could cover backs and top tight ends but a fundamentally sound player who undestands the game. Tulloch is outstanding, only weakness that I ve seen is his height which allows throws over the middle to be a little easier than they should be. Levy is a below average player who along w Spievey and Harris was a big reason the run D got gashed. Levy plays coverage well. I think his rookie deal may have a year left and the coaches always talked highly of him but I didnt hear much praise this season. Even last year he looked like he was afraid to get his jersey dirty. Hogue has better physical skills but who knows how well he knows the position as a former RB and he wasnt overly impressive in special teams, I dont think he d be quite ready to start. Palmer is a good special teamer and goalline player. Carpenter could be pushed off the roster if Levy loses his starting role but stays on the team especially if Ekejiuba makes it back from injury which is uncertain.

DE - Good group overall especially when healthy. Obviously not very stout vs the run especially but good pass rushers. I expect the entire group back but they need to re sign Avril and not out of the question to find one high in the draft w KVB getting old and Avril getting expensive. Not sure if Lo Jack has years left on his contract but Willie Young is too cheap and too good to not come back if they end up drafting a DE high.

DT - Suh, Williams, Hill keepers. Fairley is a very good player who will be even better with an offseason under the wings of say KVB but his foot injury is a major red flag. Trading him now you might be only getting 50 cents on the dollar of what you invested in him but I dont think there is anyway a 330 lber like Fairley can stay away from the injury flaring up and keeping him out at least a few times a season. Maybe smarter to let things play out and consider trading Fairley after his third season considering that he doesnt cost a lot and Williams ability to start could spare Fairley the added stress to his foot of playing too many snaps.

P - I dont think there is any question that this is an area of concern. Graham was the best of the punters we had this year but the least talented. How hard will Donahue work to improve his kick accuracy and consistency? He s got a great leg but a playoff team cant be handcuffed with developing a young punter of all things. If a solid veteran is available they may have to snatch him up and turn the page on Donahue during free agency.

K - Hanson, still good.

KR/PR - Logan didnt have a good season by any means. A late round pick on Joe Hall or TY Hilton or someone like that might be helpful if the right value exists. Hall isnt a good receiver but he s a great return man, Hilton could be used on the offense quite a bit.

OT - Backus needs a 2 yr deal, hopefully we dont have to give him much more than that. The Lions need to find out if they can expect any more physical improvement with Cherilus after he spent the offseason recovering from surgery. He shows flashes but he also loses focus and effort at times. A new young OT to groom for Backus is needed and Jason Fox seems like a busted pick. Its better to come from the draft and if they could play RT for a year or so until Backus is done at LT, then we may say bye bye to Millen's last 1st rd pick. Hilliard is good to have as a 3rd tackle and I really liked Culbreath's feet and athleticism before they stashed him on the IR with what I think was not a severe injury. Hopefully he s been working out like his livelihood depends on it.

OG - Sims is a good player and is signed. He s not dominant but is above average. Im surprised that Leonard Davis didnt get any playing time, watching him roam the sidelines he has the biggest, scariest most solid physique I ve ever seen and he wasnt even in pads. He s just unbelievably big and looks the part. Is he a candidate to return but maybe was just slow learning the new system? Could he be a dominant guard or RT or is he ready to hang up the cleats? We just dont know but Peterman needs to be replaced, one way or another. I doubt Mayhew takes a guard high in the draft especially with a potentially dire situation approaching at both tackle spots so probably in free agency.

C - Raiola probably has 3-4 NFL starting caliber years left but they dont all have to happen here in Detroit. Still I expect him around next season and whoever his replacement is will probably sit and watch for a year first or play guard until Raiola is moved. Gandy is just a backup.

TE - most sturdy position on the team. Someone get Pettigrew a jugs machine and have him catch 100 balls a day.

WR - Calvin needs to be extended immediately. Titus Young looks like a breakout candidate and should spend the offseason working with Calvin and Stafford. Burleson did a nice job overall despite some dropsies and might be able to extend his career a little bit playing as a No 3. Stovall and Davis made some contributions on special teams but overall the covergae units werent great and neither does much as a WR. Dont think Linehan didnt see all the Saints weapons and wonder why we didnt have a 4/5 receiver like Henderson or even Arrington not to mention all the RBs and even the FB.

RB - we need another one. Morris contract is up and he seemed to be removed from the game plans down the stretch so I dont see him coming back. Williams and Bell might be in camp with us bc of injury history of Leshoure, best and even Smith. Could we use a real FB? The Saints and Packers both use their FBs effectively.

QB - Hill and Stanton are FA. I say learn the lesson from the Bears/Chiefs and others and pay up to keep Hill. He may want to go somewhere where there is more of a flux and he might have a chance to compete or start but that would most likely be on a bad team. Stanton would probably be a cheaper option and what the Lions do will give us a reflection on what Mayhew thinks of him. Probably one will be back.

1 - Best explosive athlete at DE/OLB possible trade up for a corner or OT
2 - whichever of OLB/OT that hasnt been taken yet
3 - OG/S/CB
4 - BPA regardless of position
5 - WR/KR/PR
7 - BPA

FA targets - RB (lynch, michael bush, peyton hillis, tolbert),P, FB, 4th or 5th WR/KR, OG, S, CB depth (Dime back), CB starter, potentially OLB

UDFA - No 3 QB, P, PR/KR, DBs, anyone else w potential to play in league

January 8th, 2012, 6:17 pm
Bubbles the Lion

Joined: January 2nd, 2011, 8:12 pm
Posts: 57
Post Re: Off Season:
Good writeup, Legend. I think we have Hill for another year. He was extended for what I thought was 3 years not long ago.

I think we should be improved if we just stood pat with everyone. Obviously that is not going to happen. To me, it looks like we could improve with a CB and a OLB(replace Levy). I don't see a pressing need anywhere else. That could easily change if Avril chases money somewhere. It should be a relatively quiet off season, but I think that is a good thing.

January 8th, 2012, 8:48 pm
Hall of Fame Player
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Joined: April 5th, 2005, 7:03 am
Posts: 7411
Location: Ford Field - 35 yard line / Row 32
Post Re: Off Season:
Excelent breakdown Legend.

In the area of free agents, is God available as a free agent this off season? He did a great job in Denver this year.


January 8th, 2012, 9:25 pm
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League MVP
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Joined: February 20th, 2007, 10:51 pm
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Post Re: Off Season:
LionFan57 wrote:
Excelent breakdown Legend.

In the area of free agents, is God available as a free agent this off season? He did a great job in Denver this year.

Im thinking he gets an extension this offseason.

January 8th, 2012, 9:37 pm
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