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 Needed: Red zone touchdowns 
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5th Round Pick - Traded
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Joined: November 15th, 2004, 7:24 am
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Post Needed: Red zone touchdowns
O.K. now that the "basking in the silver lining" is over, it's time to get opinions on the Lions ineptitude in the red-zone.

They seem to get close to the goal line and lock up! Play-calling seems to leave a little to be desired. O.K. a lot to be desired.

Open to opinions

December 8th, 2004, 9:08 am
RIP Killer
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Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
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Location: Dallas
lionsfanak - glad to see you back to your old self. :lol: You had me worried there for a minute.

No doubt about it, the redzone offense has been weak as of late. I would like to see KJ get more carries inside the 20, especially when the Lions have a first-and-goal arround the five. You risk a sack, or worse and INT, when you throw on first down there. KJ has been a horse, give him the rock in the redzone.

The play calling has been bad down there. It's like the offense is trying to copy the defense's "bend and don't break" philosophy. If KJ runs for 74 yards to get you in the redzone and you call a timeout to give him a rest, why do you throw on your next play (an INT I might add). Made no sense to me.

December 8th, 2004, 10:26 am
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Baton Girl

Joined: November 23rd, 2004, 11:10 am
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
The play that was run on that play was to TAI no matter what it seems. It was a quick a slant and on a quick slant it is the WR's responsibility to have inside position... Tai let the CB have inside position and thats what happens. Tai screwed that up just as much as Joey did.

December 8th, 2004, 10:42 am
RIP Killer
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Killer had a column on this subject on mlive today that you might be interested in...

Column: Here are ways to correct Lions' red-zone shortcomings
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
By Tom Kowalski

ALLEN PARK -- Here's the thing that keeps football coaches awake at night or, at the least, sleeping on the sofa in their office: For a football play to work, every facet has to click. For a play to fail, only one of a number of different details has to falter.

For example, a brilliant one-handed catch in the end zone didn't just happen because the receiver is an excellent athlete -- it's because the quarterback kept his pass away from the defender, the offensive line slid its protection to pick up one blitzer, a running back stopped a blitzing linebacker and another receiver cleared out the underneath zone.

For that play to go bad, there only needs to be one breakdown. The receiver drops the ball, the quarterback makes a poor pass, the line doesn't shift properly, the back fails to make a solid block or the secondary receiver doesn't run the correct route and the safety either knocks away the pass or intercepts it.

That brings us to the Detroit Lions red-zone offense.

In the first eight games of the season, the Lions were inside the 20-yard line 16 times and scored touchdowns 11 times. They were among the league's top teams in that category.

In their last four games, though, the Lions have converted just 3 of 13 chances in the red zone.

And, as is usually the case with football, there are many reasons for the turnaround. Here's a look at four of those reasons, none of which should be difficult to correct:

* The Roy Williams factor. For most of the first half of the season, the Lions rookie wide receiver was a huge threat, catching three touchdown passes in the red zone and also being a decoy to open up lanes for others.

When Williams sprained his left ankle against the Atlanta Falcons, though, he wasn't as precise or quick in his route running. He didn't have the same explosion going after the ball when he was in traffic or in jump-ball situations.

Now that Williams is closer to 100 percent, he'll become much more of a threat in or near the end zone.

* Poor execution. Sometimes it comes down to a simple case of pitch-and-catch. Earlier in the season, the Lions were very good at it with quarterback Joey Harrington throwing on the mark and his receivers catching the ball.

In the last several weeks, though, tight end Stephen Alexander dropped an easy pass while Williams admits he should have caught two passes in the end zone. Harrington isn't blameless; he's missed a couple of open receivers and the team never recovered.

* Misdirection. One of the most valuable weapons near the goal line is misdirection because the idea is to get opponents out of position as quickly as possible.

Because there is such little room to work with in the red zone, the "windows" for a quarterback to throw through -- or a running back to run through -- are much smaller. That's why misdirection plays are valuable in creating that separation between a Lions receiver and a defensive back or linebacker or opening a gap in the line for the running back.

The problem is that the Lions haven't had a running attack that has earned much respect. They've gotten much better in recent weeks and they're just now establishing the fact that they can run -- and will actually try it. That element of the game was missing for most of the season.

Because of that, linebackers didn't jump at play-action fakes and get suckered out of position.

Now, with rookie Kevin Jones showing the speed and power to get outside and run over a single defender, teams have to get to him quickly. That opens up play-action and allows for bootlegs to the other side, opening up a lot of space for Harrington to throw.

That brings us to our final point.

* Predictability. In the first half of the season, the Lions coaching staff was pretty clever in devising way to get players open in the end zone and it was working well.

Now, however, is seems defenses are sniffing out some of the plays and concepts they're trying to run, particularly the "pick" routes, and shutting them down before they have a chance to open up.

The ability to use misdirection is going to help, but the coaching staff has to devise new ways to make it work. Some of the players have admitted that they might be getting a little stale with their red zone package but they also stress that better execution would help, too.

It all would. Execution, a healthy Roy Williams, the running threat and a more clever game plan. They're all attainable for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. Problem solved, case closed.

What's next?

December 8th, 2004, 10:57 am
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Good to be back Pablo. I was a little scared myself. As for Korrowan, I agree completely. When Tai saw that the d.b. wasn't going to bite on the outside move he should have flattened out and ran directly at him to establish position and then make his cut to he middle to cut off the d.b.'s access to the ball. If he doesn't catch the ball, he may get the pass interference call if the d.b. makes a break on the ball. Chalk that one up to poor execution. But as a whole the playcalling seems to be a little weak. You just don't get as much time and space in the red zone. Everything is just too compressed. Having a good running game, which the Lions are starting to establish, opens up the pass, and if they are successful enough, they can just shove it down the throat of the defense and send the message that it's going to be a long day.

December 8th, 2004, 11:19 am
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Joined: November 16th, 2004, 1:30 pm
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I agree with you Pablo. Run the ball more and pass less. I really believe that KJ could of had 2 more TD's possibly if we would of kept giving him the ball more n more. KJ never seemed to get too tired either. He was just as strong late in the 4th as he was in the 1st. If teams come in trying to stop the run instead of focusing on stopping Joey then we will be better off all the way around.

I say run 65% of the time and pass the rest.

Kudos to the O-line and KJ this past Sunday.

It's all good

December 8th, 2004, 1:04 pm
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Joined: August 6th, 2004, 8:33 pm
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It's not going to happen. Mooch is too pass-inclined to consider rushing the ball more than 45% of the time. It's just his philosophy. He refuses to use Jones like he should, and struggled to get him to 26 carries last game, as if it wasn't for us running out the clock in the later part against the Cardinals, Jones wouldn't have gotten 20 carries.

I wish we did indeed run the ball more in the redzone. Harrington is making poor decisions, missing open receivers, receivers are dropping balls, there just isn't a good play we have in the redzone. It starts with Mariucci and his play calling, and if he doesn't change, our success isn't going to change.

December 8th, 2004, 4:27 pm
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