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 High Marks for FA 
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ST Coordinator – Danny Crossman

Joined: March 22nd, 2005, 8:42 pm
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Post High Marks for FA
The last few years Lions fans have been salivating over big ticket FA-bly, and woody, etc. Of course, they also dramatically overpaid for getting the big guy. This year, to me, was by far the best March of Millen's tenure.

Of all the deals, I thought the Pollard contract numbers were a bit high, but I understood the desperation there since Alexander seemed to want out. They paid a fair amount for Kennedy and DeMulling too, but they got about market value there and those were key acquisitions even if they are not flashy players.

The most important part of free agency is your own guys. The decision to let Stockar go was a good one, and resigning Shaun Rogers were the best moves of all.

At the very least, Garcia is a capable back up that can be inserted into the starting line up without a drop off. That is not something we have had sinc e the early 1990s. This almost ensure us at least an 8-8 season.

Kennedy is a thumper who fits a desperate need for Detroit and will allow Holt to play in his natural position. That should improve the whole secondary. I really felt we needed a headhunter back there.

With deMulling and Raiola back in the fold I expect the run scheme will change a bit. We should now play more counters and traps.

The Bell signing caps a great off season. I do not have the numbers yet, but I thought he looked like starter material.

I am a little worried about losing Alexander. Although he dropped passes like flies, our running game really took off with the 2 TE. I am not so sure that Pollard is a better blocker. There may have to be some scheme adjustments. Getting a reliable underneath reciever at the TE or WR position will be real important. Pollard is more of a deep threat. That is one need that we can only really meet in FA or by keeping Hakim in employment.

Overall, I thought that we got very good value for the money dispensed. I suspect we will get more production from this group than Woody and Bryant gave us at a much higher figure.


March 23rd, 2005, 6:36 pm
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Post Re: High Marks for FA
Yorick wrote:
Overall, I thought that we got very good value for the money dispensed. I suspect we will get more production from this group than Woody and Bryant gave us at a much higher figure.


Yorick - first, glad to see you on the LB forum. I have seen your posting around the web and it is nice to see you here. :D

I totally agree with you. I think a few factors are contributing to Millen's success this off season, especially in terms of the dollars.

1) When they signed Bly, even Woody/Bryant to some extent last year, the Lions were a pathetic team. There was no option but to overpay for quality FAs to come to Detroit. Now the Lions have a solid young core with playmakers - its not such a dreadful football town anymore which helps.

As for Pollard, that was a bit high. In this case the team had no TE on the roster and therefore had less leverage. But it is a short term deal that we can live with. I think FitzSimmons will re-sign before it is all said and done (or they may add a TE in the draft).

As I think I said in one of my other postings, I look at the Lions FA like this:

Need = Safety = Kenned = #1 S available
Need = Tight End = Pollard = #1 TE available
Need = Guard = DeMulling = #1 G available
Need = QB = Garcia = #1 fit for Lions

Add in the fact that Rogers would have been the #1 DT and Raiola was the #1 FA center + the fact that the Lions didn't overpay and you have a great off season.

Now lets see how they do in the draft, IMO - this has been Millen's strongest area the past few years so things are looking good indeed.

2) The Lions had fewer holes to fill this year than recent years. This allowed them to zero in on a few key guys and play "the game" with them.

Example: they were able to wait Garcia out (after Denver and Seattle pulled out) and show interest in other QBs (Warner/Johnson). This drives down the price. They also waited on DeMulling until the Ravens and Bills couldn't pony up. This kind of patience = better contracts.

I'm still amazed at the Rogers signing/contract. That was huge!

As for Kennedy, there were other safeties on the market (and more being released by teams). The supply was growing.

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March 23rd, 2005, 6:50 pm
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I admit that Millen had done some good things, but I will never forget him driving off the only talent we had at a skill position on the offense, Jonnie Morton. Besides that, I have had little problem with him, and getting Lehman, Bailey, and Rogers in the second round was superb. Now he needs to work some magic to get DJ :lol:

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March 23rd, 2005, 9:14 pm
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bsand2053 wrote:
Now he needs to work some magic to get DJ :lol:


bsand, I can't agree about Morton--he dropped way too many easy ones, to me he is no better than Az Hakim--but I couldn't agree more about DJ. I hope Millen is as taken with this guy as I am.....

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March 23rd, 2005, 9:27 pm
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Quote:
bsand, I can't agree about Morton--he dropped way too many easy ones, to me he is no better than Az Hakim-


Its on now blueblood, thems fightin words :twisted: You must be thinking about buterfingers bill. You gotta give 87 some love. He was the only weapon we had. He bent over backwards for the lions. Remeber the last game he played for us, and he did the worm in the end zone? He loved the team and the city, and I appreciate that. He certiantly didn't need a GM calling him fag or gay or whatever he said in front of his teammates.

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March 23rd, 2005, 9:36 pm
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Bsand, Yeah, I figured you'd step up after that bold equation (Morton=Hakim).

Here is an elaboration of my point....Johnnie Morton was a great part of the Lions' offense with 60+ recs from '97-01. To be sure, he was productive, even after Barry left us. I cannot speak to his community disposition, but I do recall fondly the worm dances and the myriad acrobatic snares at the sidelines. Few have been more agile.

However, I can also remember vividly all the occasions where Johnnie seemingly lost concentration and dropped easy passes. It was perpetually confounding how a guy capable of making such spectacular catches could drop such easy ones.

When Millen came in, there was obviously a need to flush out the old and to infuse the team with his own players. Morton's numbers merited big money, but this team was really in no position to be paying big money to a non-#1 WR. Would you argue that he could have been a #1? Certainly, considering Morton's significant drop-off in production in KC, perhaps Millen is due some "dap" for cutting bait at the right time. And don't blame it on the offensive scheme! Every WR in the league should only be so fortunate to spend a few seasons under Vermeil.

So while the numbers suggest a drop off, I just don't feel that Morton would have done much better for the Lions over the last 3 seasons than Hakim has. Hakim has made some big plays and blown some seemingly easy ones....our offense has been really bad since we have been relegated to collecting offensive weaponry through drafts....

I guess IMHO, it was a wash....would've preferred to keep our own, too, but you never know how the whole homophobia factor plays in with Millen, which he would probably admit was based on perception much more than fact...I guess he didn't like Johnnie's female following or his CK modeling gigs.... :roll:

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"With the second pick in the 2007 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions select Calvin Johnson, WR from Georgia Tech."

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Somehow landing the Ndamo-nator would be the second best day ever.


March 23rd, 2005, 10:40 pm
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Quote:
Now he needs to work some magic to get DJ


Welcome to the DJ bandwagon :idea: :arrow: :idea:

A few of us Honolulu Blue and Myself and a few others have been campaigning for DJ for a while now. Recent mock drafts actually have DJ falling into the Lions laps. Of course mock drafts mean nothing, but just show a glimer of hope for the bandwagon. I beleive with a strong draft this year and the signings of the FA's we will go 11-5, yeah im crazy :P


March 24th, 2005, 7:49 am
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ST Coordinator – Danny Crossman

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This guy seems to agree as to the nature of the fit and the value:

http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/Co ... 032905.htm


March 30th, 2005, 12:37 pm
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Quote:
I beleive with a strong draft this year and the signings of the FA's we will go 11-5, yeah im crazy


That Yooper (is that how you spell it?) air is getting to you upnorthlion. I am a doubter. The Lions couldn't win if they had the Colts offense and the Raven's defense. They have always found a way to lose.

It the curse of the Edsel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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March 30th, 2005, 4:58 pm
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