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 Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go 
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
I guess I'll assume you're talking about turnovers and penalties when you speak of this team being undisciplined.
Since I've already told you that the Lions are 10th in the league in penalties, I'll add that the Lions penalties are coming after the snap. They have one of the lowest percentages in the league of pre-snap penalties, which to me is a sign of good discipline. False starts and illegal formations are mostly due to a lack of discipline.
So on to the turnover problem. Turnovers weren't much of a problem until week 6 or so. Among those turnovers, a lot were tipped balls, balls bouncing off of the chest of CJ, and of course Reggie Bush putting the ball on the carpet and Stafford making inaccurate throws. If it was a coaching problem, how is it that Bell and Riddick aren't putting the ball on the turf? Only Reggie seems to have the problem between the running backs. I'm not saying that Bush is solely at fault, but maybe HE is playing undisciplined football?
Schwartz isn't making Bush fumble the ball. Bush should have enough time in the league to know what he must do to hold on to the football. Some of the fumbles are due to defenses getting good strips and lucky bounces. I'm absolutely positive that Schwartz isn't out there telling Stafford to underthrow receivers and throw inaccurately. I'm also sure he's not telling CJ to let balls bounce off his chest or telling Pettigrew to duck instead of catch. Schwartz benched Bush... What more can he do? He took him out of the game for fumbling. As far as Stafford, a lot of quarterbacks slump or maybe is just isn't accurate lately? Still don't think that's Schwartz's fault. Still don't see how a new head coach stops Reggie fumbling or Stafford's accuracy or decision-making. Stafford chooses where the ball will go. If he forces it or doesn't get enough zip on the ball, that's not Schwartz's fault. At this point, these guys are who they are.
A new coach with a new scheme and new terminology and route running isn't going to make Stafford more accurate or stop Reggie Bush from fumbling. I think the turnovers can be blamed on a slump from Stafford, Reggie Bush's mental errors and bad luck from Calvin. Unfortunate for Schwartz, but not his fault and not something a new HC can fix. It is what it is; bad luck and poor timing.
You know, sometimes a new HC isn't the answer, guys.


December 1st, 2013, 12:53 am
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
all i see in your post is a series of excuses and then you blame it on "luck." when the same pattern of play goes on for 3 seasons running at some point you have to point to the coaching staff. if the lions win 2 of the remaining 4 games with one of the wins coming against MIN and ensuring a 5-1 division record they will likely win the division, get a home playoff game and Schwartz undoubtedly keeps his job. Still it doesnt change the fact that the team has thrown winnable games into the toilet consistently throughout the Schwartz era. Is it possible they can clean it up and make a playoff run? of course, but until that happens I doubt many will stop criticizing Schwartz.


December 1st, 2013, 12:39 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
Accountability is the coaches job. Akers misses kicks, Coach says they have faith in him. Stafford makes bad throws, Coach says we have faith in him. Houston has bad game(s), Coach says they have faith in him. Just once I'd like to see an important player called out that they need to fix the mistakes. When the coach just repeats that he's got faith in the big name players, but cut the Edwards, and the like that aren't big names, THAT's where the undisciplined comments show up. Yes, Bell and Riddick aren't putting the ball on the ground, but if you're not seeing them get the ball more when Bush puts the ball on the ground, yet when Bell has fumbled and he's removed from the game, it gives a bad message.

It all comes down to being accountable for your mistakes and certain players will never face consequences and it shows. And if you think some coaches wouldn't hold the stars accountable, then you haven't paid attention around the league.


December 1st, 2013, 2:23 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
njroar wrote:
Accountability is the coaches job. Akers misses kicks, Coach says they have faith in him. Stafford makes bad throws, Coach says we have faith in him. Houston has bad game(s), Coach says they have faith in him. Just once I'd like to see an important player called out that they need to fix the mistakes. When the coach just repeats that he's got faith in the big name players, but cut the Edwards, and the like that aren't big names, THAT's where the undisciplined comments show up. Yes, Bell and Riddick aren't putting the ball on the ground, but if you're not seeing them get the ball more when Bush puts the ball on the ground, yet when Bell has fumbled and he's removed from the game, it gives a bad message.

It all comes down to being accountable for your mistakes and certain players will never face consequences and it shows. And if you think some coaches wouldn't hold the stars accountable, then you haven't paid attention around the league.

Exactly. I didn't state my case as well as I could have, but this is the kind of stuff I mean. It's penalties, not holding everyone accountable, turnovers, etc. These are all things that the head coach either outright does himself or over which has a direct influence.

And for the record, I've been a supporter of Schwartz up until about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Look back through my posts. I've defended him and said he deserves credit, etc. But I reached my breaking point this year with the continued stupid mistakes, and I no longer believe he's the guy to lead the team. Simple as that.

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December 1st, 2013, 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
I agree. I've supported him too. There just a time when you reach a breaking point.

As to the point earlier about 5 seasons for coaches to new coaches to get it together... Schwartz was a long time coordinator. He's not a fresh college coach. These kind of problems shouldn't be still happening, which amplifies the undisciplined problems with the team. I'm not even calling for a change, but if the change doesn't happen in personnel, it has to come in philosophy, but if it hasn't changed over the last 5 years at all, it's doubtful to change over the next 10 days.


December 1st, 2013, 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
As I pointed out in another thread, since the 5-0 start in 2011, where it was that I feel the Lions were playing to their potential, this team has since gone 16-23. That's not the type of record this team should have, and in that time the team has lost numerous games they had no business losing, and some of those wins were miracle come from behind wins in games that should have never been that close. Schwartz is as responsible for that poor record as any player. And you can't fire an entire team. And everybody on the team has had a hand in that record, to be sure. But Schwartz is ultimately accountable for the poor record. That's the NFL, that's how it is.

Trying to say that 'luck' has a part in losing or winning is utterly ridiculous. In the words of one of my old karate teachers, Luck is where chance and preparation meet. A lucky bounce is only lucky if you are prepared well enough to be there to scoop the ball up when it does bounce your way. If you aren't prepared, you'll never be in position to get that ball anyway.

As for Reggie's fumbles being the work of strong defensive play from the opponents, I suggest you watch some of them again, particularly the one against Green Bay this past Thursday. That level of contact should NOT get that ball out of his arm. Teams are now going to focus on stripping the ball from him, so he has to be especially mindful of that. And it is the job of the coaching staff to PREPARE him for that, and hold him accountable. Every player on the team should be accountable for their role, and what they do right and wrong, regardless of their contract. Coaches are not supposed to be concerned with the contract the players have. They are there to win games, not make sure the guy getting paid the most plays the most. And if Schwartz is allowing himself to be manipulated by either the Fords or Mayhew to play someone regardless of their mistakes, then Schwartz needs to grow a set and tell them to get lost. Ultimately he will be held responsible for that player continuing to play despite the mistakes, particularly if it cost the team wins.

Personally, I have nothing against Schwartz. People think he's an egotistical dick. I say, so what? His personality isn't my concern. Let his wife be worried about that. I am concerned with how he interacts with the team, and how he and his staff are preparing them and inspiring them. Good coaches are not just Xs and Os guys. They are psychologist, cheerleaders and to a lesser extent for young players, father figures. It's not enough for them just to be football intelligent. They have to be able to motivate people, and at the same time ensure that the players know if they screw up, they will be held accountable. Likewise, the coach has to hold him and his staff equally accountable, if not more so. It doesn't have to be done in public. I don't expect the coach to call out a player after the game to the media. But I do expect it to be done when the cameras are off, and the team is aware of it. And with the way things have gone with this team, I simply don't think that level of accountability is being applied to everyone equally. That's a really good way to divide a locker room and ensure nobody respects you.

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Last edited by m2karateman on December 2nd, 2013, 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.



December 1st, 2013, 7:49 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
Let's give Schwartz some credit here...

It's December, the Lions are alone in first place in the NFC North (a division they have never won)

Remember how the Lions kept getting gashed last year for long TD runs? This was fixed.

Remember how the Lions always lose on Thanksgiving? Got a win. Lose in Washington, etc.

Remember how the Lions never used to control the clock? We are #4 in the league in TOP

Sucked on 3rd down conversions on both sides of the ball? We are #1 on Def, #4 on offense

Special teams coverage cost us game after game?

Defensive penalties destroyed us? 7th best defensive as far as penalty yards...

Remember when free agents like Reggie Bush wouldn't touch a team like Detroit?

Remember when the Lions identity was nothing but losing?

Rookies, outside of 1st round draft picks, didn't contribute? Couldn't coach players up?

The team has zero depth?

Are the Lions a perfect team? Far from it, but this is the NFL and perfection does not exist. I could go on and on about issues we seem to have all forgotten...

Schwartz and company have fixed a ton of issues on this team that everyone seems to forget. I haven't, thanks Jim!!!

So if you want to go back to the days of Marinelli, or Mooch, or Mornhinwig, or Rogers, or Clark, or <insert Lions head coach of bitter memories here> be my guest - I'd rather not.

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December 2nd, 2013, 10:28 am
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
Despite all those fixes, the team still loses games they should be winning. Not just once a season, but numerous times a season.

If you want to be happy with the team fixing some symptoms, that's fine. The disease continues until the fixes can put the team into a position where they perform consistently and don't lose to teams they should be beating.

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December 2nd, 2013, 11:39 am
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
m2karateman wrote:
Despite all those fixes, the team still loses games they should be winning. Not just once a season, but numerous times a season.

If you want to be happy with the team fixing some symptoms, that's fine. The disease continues until the fixes can put the team into a position where they perform consistently and don't lose to teams they should be beating.


See my post here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16977&start=30

Teams that win Super Bowls lose games all the time they should win. Consistency doesn't win Super Bowls, streaking teams do. It's all about timing, not winning consistently or beating the teams you should. The Lions have a chance to be that team. The schedule is favorable, the division is down, the team is healthy (knocking on wood), the rookie class is contributing and getting better, etc.

You can have consistency if you like, perhaps you feel like the Falcons, Broncos, Texans, or Pats should have won last year? How bout the 1 loss Packers the year before, or Pats, Saints or 49ers? How bout the Pats, Falcons, or Ravens the year before that. Interestingly enough, none of the most consistent teams from the last 3 years has even made it to the Super Bowl - let alone win it.

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December 2nd, 2013, 11:57 am
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
Pablo wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Despite all those fixes, the team still loses games they should be winning. Not just once a season, but numerous times a season.

If you want to be happy with the team fixing some symptoms, that's fine. The disease continues until the fixes can put the team into a position where they perform consistently and don't lose to teams they should be beating.


See my post here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16977&start=30

Teams that win Super Bowls lose games all the time they should win. Consistency doesn't win Super Bowls, streaking teams do. It's all about timing, not winning consistently or beating the teams you should. The Lions have a chance to be that team. The schedule is favorable, the division is down, the team is healthy (knocking on wood), the rookie class is contributing and getting better, etc.

You can have consistency if you like, perhaps you feel like the Falcons, Broncos, Texans, or Pats should have won last year? How bout the 1 loss Packers the year before, or Pats, Saints or 49ers? How bout the Pats, Falcons, or Ravens the year before that. Interestingly enough, none of the most consistent teams from the last 3 years has even made it to the Super Bowl - let alone win it.



can you agree that the Lions will have to play some clean games to put up such a streak? cant have drive extending penalties, kicks blocked, tons of dropped passes, repetitive coverage lapses, inopportune shanked punts and kicks oob


December 2nd, 2013, 3:53 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
Normally I'd agree with you Pablo, but it's not the same as a streaking or consistent team. We have been consistent, in dominating teams statistically, but making the mistakes that keep those teams in the game and allow them chances to win. Every game statistically has been as lopsided as the GB game, but the scoreboard doesn't reflect it because of the mistakes and turnovers.

The only streak this team needs to go on is a mistake-free streak. Can this team mentally go on that type of streak?


December 2nd, 2013, 4:34 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
I'm just not sure what NFL games you guys all watch besides the Lions, but they must be different than the games I'm watching. Granted, I pay the big bucks for NFL Sunday ticket but I see games littered with all kinds of mistakes, mental and physical.

I'm sure some of you had to tune into the big game of the day, Chiefs/Broncos. Defensively, both teams looked pretty shaky to me. Each team had turnovers, Manning threw a couple of picks, Smith threw a pick for the Chiefs, Charles fumbled for KC as well. Denver had 10 penalties, while KC racked up over 100 penalty yards. I mean, how are these teams so consistent without playing "clean" football? I bet their fans must be calling for their coaches heads.

Y'all watch the Lions with a much more critical eye than the other teams. Obviously I have the Cowgirls shoved down my throat all the time, they look pathetic most of the time.

What I see in the Lions is a flawed team like every other team in the league. I see a team that turns the ball over, commits penalties, etc. I also see a team that dominates both lines of scrimmage just about every week and remember when everyone wanted us to build from the trenches when we seemed to build from the skill positions in the past. I see a team with a QB who gives us a chance to win every week and remember years and years when that wasn't the case. I see a team that is as close to winning a playoff game, if not going further, than just about any Lions team I've personally seen play.

Legend - no, I don't think the Lions need to play clean game to go on such a streak. That is, unless every opponent the Lions are going to play suddenly plays up to the Lions current level and also plays a clean game.

njroar - show me any team about to go on a mistake-free streak, I'd sure like to see it.

Then again, I'd like y'all to show me a team that can make 5-10 huge mistakes a game and still pull out a victory. I say a team with that kind of resiliency has a chance every Sunday and beyond, most teams simply cannot make that claim.

Y'all keep driving yourself nuts looking for the perfect football team to cheer on, I'm going to enjoy this rather flawed ride we are currently on because I remember being that team that others made mistakes against yet still managed to beat us because we were that bad.

Let me put it another way to put things in perspective.

When was the last time the Lions...

Had a QB as good as Stafford (you can almost stop right here)?
Had a RB combo as good as Bush/Bell?
Had the best WR in the league?
Had and OL this good?
Had a DL this good?
Had a LBs playing as well as Levy and Tulloch?
Had a safety combo as good as Quin and Delmas?
Had a rookie class this good?
Had a team this healthy in December?
How many Lions coaching staffs would you want over this?
What GM would you like over Mayhew?

Perhaps you can come up with a few answers, but imagine this all happening at the same time....

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December 2nd, 2013, 6:10 pm
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
none of those things matters if despite the talent, they crush themselves with there own lack of intangibles. we all agree that there is plenty of talent but they dont keep it all together for 4 quarters and while another team might not outplay the Lions for 4 quarters they do seem to capitalize on the Lions mistakes - which really is the only consistent thing about the team. The Lions consistently make crucial errors and sometimes they are good enough to overcome them at other times they lose to teams like Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh and even outplay better teams like Arizona and Cincinnatti but still find ways to lose.


December 3rd, 2013, 1:36 am
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
I thought this was a really insightful piece by McCosky. Gives you an idea of what's going on behind the scenes:

Quote:
November 29, 2013 at 1:00 am
Chris McCosky
http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2013 ... /311290078
Leadership group's firm grip steers Lions out of choppy waters

Allen Park — The problem with providing a forum for a former player — which many media outlets, this one included, did last Wednesday for Lawrence Jackson — is that player hasn’t been around the team to see how it’s changed and grown in his absence.

This isn’t going to be a character assassination of Jackson. This isn’t even meant to be a rebuttal of what he said, which is that he had no respect for coach Jim Schwartz because, in part, he doesn’t hold all players to the same standards and that he lied to him.

There are two sides to the story, however. And there is the reality of what the Lions’ locker room is like now in terms of the leadership and the way it was the last couple of seasons when Jackson was here.

The veteran leadership, the cohesiveness and accountability between all three units, the selfless and single-minded pursuit of winning, is as strong in this locker room as I have ever witnessed.

It is very reminiscent of the Pistons’ Bad Boys teams. Although Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Joe Dumars had the utmost respect for coach Chuck Daly, they took it upon themselves to control the locker room. Daly and his staff did the game-planning and preparations and managed the egos, but the actual policing of the team, establishing the work ethic, making sure guys were doing what they were supposed to be doing — Thomas, Laimbeer and Dumars handled that.

And Daly was smart enough to trust them to do it.

Transformation of Suh

I see a lot of that with this Lions team. There is a group of veterans — including Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Reggie Bush, Dominic Raiola, Rob Sims, Stephen Tulloch, Rashean Mathis and Louis Delmas — who know their window of opportunity to play on a legitimate playoff contender is shrinking.

There are also two maturing and ambitious stars in Ndamukong Suh and Matthew Stafford entering the prime of their careers who want to make their mark on this city and this league.

With no disrespect to Schwartz or the authority of the coaches, this leadership council, if you will, has taken control of the locker room. They have said, essentially, “This is on us. The coaches will coach; we have to play. We can’t let anything get in the way of where we’re trying to go.”

We all got a glimpse of how united this team is this week. After two potentially crushing losses, there was postgame talk of a players-only meeting. Once the emotions cooled, the leaders convened, talked it out, set the agenda and each took the message back to their respective position groups.

No panic. No fracturing. Just renewed focus.

“What really happened in our building is that our players knew the reasons we lost the past couple of games,” Schwartz said. “They are a prideful group. They worked hard and they came out and had a good, short week of preparation and we were able to accomplish our game plan.”

That didn’t happen much when Jackson was here. With leaders were either hurt (Burleson, Corey Williams), or not playing effectively (Kyle Vanden Bosch), and with Stafford and Suh not ready to assert themselves, the locker room threatened to collapse in 2011 and it fell like a house of cards last season.

When Jackson was here, he was Suh’s closest friend on the team. He may have been Suh’s only friend on the team. Since Jackson has been gone, Suh has seemed to come out of his shell. He transformed himself from a moody and aloof presence in the locker room to an open and gregarious teammate, and an undisputed leader of the defense.

I think there is some cause and effect there.

The last couple of years there was great tension between the offensive and defensive lines. Players on the two units barely spoke to each other. This year, thanks in part to new defensive line coach Jim Washburn’s efforts and Suh’s transformation, that’s all changed. There is a spirit of brotherhood between those two vital positions now.

LoJack's skewed perception

Jackson wouldn’t necessarily know any of that. Nor would he know that it was Schwartz that always fought with defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham on his behalf. Cunningham was befuddled by Jackson. He felt Jackson thought too much, questioned too many things. “Just play,” was Cunningham’s constant message to Jackson.

Had it been up to Cunningham, Jackson wouldn’t have lasted three seasons here.

The lie that Jackson said Schwartz told him? Here’s the incident I think he’s taking about.

Jackson had a deep thigh bruise that kept him out for six weeks toward the end of the 2011 season. The Lions, making a playoff run, opted not to put him on IR. He wanted to go back to California while he recovered.

Maybe Schwartz initially told him he could go. But ultimately he decided it would be best for Jackson and the team to stay at the facility where he could still go to meetings and train with the team’s trainers and medical staff.

As for Jackson’s comment about Schwartz holding players to different standards, probably true. I have heard that from other players, reserves and role players. I have heard that same complaint about every coach I’ve ever covered in any sport. It’s just a fact of life that Johnson and Stafford are going to be treated differently than other, lesser players.

There is an old story about Jimmy Johnson when he was coaching the Cowboys. A reserve running back fell asleep during a meeting and he immediately waived him. Johnson was asked if he would have waived Emmett Smith if he’d fallen asleep.

Johnson said, “Hell no.”

No implosion pending

Whatever the players think of Schwartz on a personal level, I have talked to enough of them to know they feel like they are well-prepared each week. They have confidence in the game plans they are given on each side of the ball, and that’s really all they are asking for from the coaches. Just put us in a position to win.

All the other drama that arises — players unhappy with their roles, players upset because they are getting picked on in meetings, players who aren’t giving maximum effort at practice — all of that falls under the jurisdiction of the leadership council.

And they have been masterful at cleaning up those messes and keeping it out of the public eye.

You know, we are conditioned to be cautious with these Lions. Decades of losing have taught us not to walk too far out on the limb with them when things are going well. We’ve all seen it snap too many times.

But I am going out there. I don’t see them collapsing now. It’s because of the talent, for sure. But it’s also because of the way the leaders have taken ownership and have held themselves accountable.

Put it this way: If they do lose, it will be for tangible reasons. It will be because of injuries or physical football mistakes. It won’t be because of immaturity or some kind of internal implosion.

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com
twitter.com/cmccosky

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2013 ... z2mPiRqpCB

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December 3rd, 2013, 8:22 am
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Post Re: Lions Have the Talent, Schwartz Needs to Go
thats a surprisingly great article from mccosky. describes jackson pretty well and fits with how jackson was acting in that blog interview. good post


December 3rd, 2013, 8:32 pm
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