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 Assessing where the Lions are at 
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Post Re: Assessing where the Lions are at
UK Lion wrote:
So with the first week of free agency done, where are the Lions at compared to how they finished the season?

My thoughts:

1. They don't seem to have got any worse through FA. Wright has been the only major loss, Lacey has come in as a replacement. That may be a downgrade, but I don't expect it to be much.

2. Equally, they don't seem to have got any better through FA - they've essentially resigned their own main free agents (with the exception of Wright).

3. Other areas where the team can improve over what we had last season:

a. we still have the draft to come - hopefully we'll get a starter and a couple of quality depth players out of that;

b. some lower priced later FAs could come in and sign;

c. we could do some trades for low round picks - on both this one, and b, Mayhew's record with "reclamation projects" has been excellent;

d. our run game has a chance at getting better - if both Best and Leshoure aren't serivcable for the season, we're in pretty much the same position as last year, if we get decent production out of either of them then we have improved;

e. Titus Young, Willie Young and SLH will hopefully continue their upward curves;

f. Fairley's foot will hopefully not be a factor this season; and

g. Stafford in his second full season may be even better than the 5k+ passer we got in '11.

4. Areas where we might regress include:

a. left tackle - whilst we're returning the same player, in Backus, he'll be 35 and coming off injury: will he be able to keep up the standard of play he achieved last year (which I would consider to have been average) or will he regress to a below average tackle?

b. KVB - (whilst still a very productive, quality, player) looked like the years were starting to catch up with him last season, that can only go in one direction?

Let's not forget that this was a 10 win, playoff caliber, team last year. Whilst we may not have moved forwards in FA, we've not gone backwards either and we've locked up our best player for the remainder of his career.

The other potential positives (vs last year) for this team, IMO, also outweigh the potential negatives (vs last year). So I think there's reason to hope that the '12 Lions will be better than the '11 Lions. Pass the Kool Aid!



I pretty much agree with your assessment. My only points of contention are that IMO Best is done, and Leshoure should be limited by the coaches, at least for the first have of the season. I know Hillis had an injury, but IMO his contract was very reasonable. I wish we would have at least looked at him. That said, USUALLY when most of the league turns away from a guy and he doesn't get the big deal he was looking for, there's a reason for it. Perhaps his injury was worse than we thought. Still, I wish we would have been more assertive and affirmative about our RB situation. We're kind of taking a "wait and see" approach, and I don't think that's a very good idea. Just my opinion.

I'm HOPING that T. Young over-takes Nate and becomes our #2 WR. If that happens our offense is going to be much improved. Everyone knows I'd like to cut/trade nate and replace him with a rookie, but I understand the want and desire for continuity on the WR corps. Still, I think drafting one or two is a must this year, or perhaps bringing in a UDFA. I'm still pissed that we didn't draft Blair White in the 7th round. He looks better than anything we have after Nate. I really hope we look at EITHER of the MSU guys (Cunningham or Martin) or Junior. I think at least one of them will be available (if not all three) around or after the 5th. I would also like to draft/sign a PR/KR guy. I'd like to at least look at Ron Brooks (LSU, CB) for that role.

I agree with M2 as to what I expect out of Backus - more "average" play that's not going to hurt us, even if he won't be a "plus" in the running game.

Fairley's foot scares me. Legend has been right more often than not about medical opinions, and he's been more right than most reports from the "professionals."


That said, I'm still hoping that we can trade Cliff, and I would LOVE it if we can move Nate and Core Williams to someone like Denver or St. Louis looking for veteran upgrades for later round picks. I would rather make these moves now rather than wait. SLH should be a priority over Williams, IMO, and planning to replace Nate would be better than sitting on our hands and hoping. However, I know that getting rid of the latter two players is more or less a pipe dream.


March 21st, 2012, 7:34 pm
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Joined: February 11th, 2005, 3:01 pm
Posts: 3698
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Post Re: Assessing where the Lions are at
QB Stafford/Hill

Will the Lions be one of those teams that plays with only 2 QBs and has a 3rd on the practice squad? I look for them to add an undrafted kid and try to hide him on the practice squad.

FB none

i know we signed someone from Canada - I dont know how legit he is, but with Heller gone we need an Hback type to be the 3rd TE and play FB at times.

TB

Best/LeShoure

Looks like we will definitely make another addition at RB. Kevin Smith should be re signed as insurance but I look for them to take a runner possibly as early as Round 2. Not sure what the plans are with Jerome Harrison if his health issues are resolved or Keiland Williams.

TE

Pettigrew/Scheffler

As mentioned before, look for a TE/FB/H back type player to be picked up at some point. Still surprised they cut Heller.

WR

CJ/Burleson/Young/?/?

Like the top 3 especially with Young oozing with skills and physical toughness. I could see a late pick that can also return or maybe we find some cheap FA similar to Davis/Stovall who filled a role but left a lot to be desired as receivers.


OT

Backus/Cherilus/Hilliard/Fox/Culbreath

It looks to me like the Lions will roll with this group again and hope they can get a better read on Fox and Culbreath. Hilliard is a decent No 3 but not much upside to start. COuld possibly take a T in Rd 1 if someone unexpectedly drops.

OG

Sims/Peterman

Hilliard maybe would be the backup if the young tackles can stay healthy. Would like to see an upgrade over Peterman.

C

Raiola

Not the best in the world but I think he ll be here for two more seasons minimum probably more. Just not that high of a priority given the woes at T and G.

DE

Avril/KVB/Jackson/Young

Great group, maybe if Young takes another step forward they can trade Avril instead of handing out another big deal. Avril made tons of big plays on D, 11.5 sacks, 7 FF, a couple of scores - would be a big loss to the defense. I like Nick Perry who might be available at our spot in Rd 1 could allow Jackson and Young to play a little more and Perry could develop at his own pace probably be full go by 2013.

DT

Suh/Williams/Fairley/Hill/Fluellen

Good group. Have to expect that they will lose Williams when the season is up and if Hill continues to progress would need to sign him to a longer deal. Hopefully Fairley can stay healthy. Fluellen keeps finding a way to stick around.

OLB

Durant/Levy/Palmer/Hogue

Durant and Levy both in there final year of contracts. Durant was excellent when healthy last season but Levy has been disappointing two years in a row. Hogue has a shot to project into a starting role going forward. If a decent player is available in the draft, it d be a good time to take him and start the grooming process in case salary cap becomes a problem bringing back our starters.

MLB

Tulloch

Tulloch locked in is huge. No action will be needed here for a while

CB

Houston/Berry/Lacey/A Smith

Not ecstatic with how this group looks right now but drafting a potential starter in Rd1-3 might change that dramatically. Reallistically you need to be 4 deep at corner and right now it looks like we have 2 quality players there. Im okay with Berry starting esp if we can upgrade at safety. Hopefully Lacey pushes Smith either further down the depth chart or off the team entirely.

S

Delmas/Spievey/Coleman/Wendling/Silva

I like Delmas when he s healthy but thats been a problem for him. Spievey showed some flashes but needs to improve overall. Id like someone come in to challenge him - the draft isnt looking to good at safety outside of a couple guys and we have bigger potentially more costly needs on the roster to be filled early in the draft. I hate the Erik Coleman re signing.

P Graham vs Donahue

Not thrilled with these 2 but Donahue has a booming leg that he needs to learn how to contain. Graham provided a lift but Im not sure he ll be consistently good.

K Hanson

Some have talked about saving some money if Hanson is lost but he s still playing above league average and is a fan favorite.

KR/PR

Something was amiss with the return units last season. Not sure if it was Logan or a bigger problem. Id be happy if we ended up with Ginn or made a move late in the draft to fill this spot.

Remaining team needs:
1. CB - Stephon Gilmore CB - South Caroline Rd 1?
2. RB - Robert Turbin RB - Utah St Rd 5?
3. OG -
4. S - Atogwe or Y Bell?
5. KR/PR - Ginn if not too pricey, maybe Keyshawn Martin Rd6 or 7, or TY Hilton Rd 4/5
6. OT - I like Bobbie Massie but he would probably end up on the Rt side which is fine - Rd 2
7. HBack/FB
8. Receiver depth
9. OLB to develop - Keenan Robinson - Texas Rd 3?
10. No 3 QB


March 21st, 2012, 7:52 pm
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Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
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Post Re: Assessing where the Lions are at
Quote:
I really don't understand the mentality of letting a double digit sack guy go. There's a reason those guys get paid well: they are hard to find! I saw someone else posted elsewhere that if it were just about having good DTs to play with that makes Avril successful, why didn't KVB have double digit sacks too?


The reason why I don't think Avril is amazing is because of the production of Willie Young and Lo-Jack. Is it a coincidence that a former first round bust and an undersized 7th round pick come in and produce at a high level?

I think Avril is the best D-end the Lions have, and it was smart for them to tag him--the Lions cannot afford to lose him at this point in time. But I would not sign him to a monster contract. IMO, the Lions should build their line around Suh and Fairley, and have a revolving door of 2nd/3rd round DEs.


March 21st, 2012, 10:57 pm
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Post Re: Assessing where the Lions are at
kdsberman wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
LionsFan4Life wrote:
I agree with most said so far assessing where the Lions are at.. however.. I would do one thing that I haven't seen discussed much if at all....

I'd let Avril go... draft a DE this year that can play in the roatation of KVB, LoJack, & Willie. With the re-signing of Fluellen who can play both DT and DE.. we are set.. save that money we'd pay Avril and put that in our secondary instead or shoot.. find a replacement for Peterman or Backus.

I really don't understand the mentality of letting a double digit sack guy go. There's a reason those guys get paid well: they are hard to find! I saw someone else posted elsewhere that if it were just about having good DTs to play with that makes Avril successful, why didn't KVB have double digit sacks too?

Avril is a good, young DE and the Lions would be foolish to let him go.



I understand what you're saying. What I dont like is the fact that he might hold out. I dont care what anyone says..that is putting yourself before the team. There is no loyalty there. Sure theres the argument that its different for them...I dont wanna hear it. His franchise salary 12.whatever million dollars is enough for him to retire plus some. Go out, prove that your are a CONSISTENT 11+ sacks/year guy, and then they should talk numbers. If you think just cuz youre a DE that just had his PERSONAL best year and now you need to break the bank, TRADE HIM for someone that wants to be a team player.


KDSB.

At this point, Avril's threat to hold out is nothing but a threat being used as a negotiating ploy. It's his only bargaining chip. Of course he is going to employ it.
Even if it does come to him actually holding out, since he has not signed the Franchise tag, he technically doesn't have a contract. If he does hold out, I am fine with it. It's not like he doesn't know the defense. He can work out on his own without taking all the pounding. I guarantee you, he will end his hold out before week 1 of the regular season.
Avril is doing nothing out of the ordinary for anyone that has ever been in his position. I really don't understand all the people getting bent out of shape about it. Be patient and let it play out. I promise you, a reasonable deal will be worked out. Patience people. Patience.


March 22nd, 2012, 5:23 pm
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Post Re: Assessing where the Lions are at
The Legend wrote:
QB Stafford/Hill

Will the Lions be one of those teams that plays with only 2 QBs and has a 3rd on the practice squad? I look for them to add an undrafted kid and try to hide him on the practice squad.

FB none

i know we signed someone from Canada - I dont know how legit he is, but with Heller gone we need an Hback type to be the 3rd TE and play FB at times.

TB

Best/LeShoure

Looks like we will definitely make another addition at RB. Kevin Smith should be re signed as insurance but I look for them to take a runner possibly as early as Round 2. Not sure what the plans are with Jerome Harrison if his health issues are resolved or Keiland Williams.

TE

Pettigrew/Scheffler

As mentioned before, look for a TE/FB/H back type player to be picked up at some point. Still surprised they cut Heller.

WR

CJ/Burleson/Young/?/?

Like the top 3 especially with Young oozing with skills and physical toughness. I could see a late pick that can also return or maybe we find some cheap FA similar to Davis/Stovall who filled a role but left a lot to be desired as receivers.


OT

Backus/Cherilus/Hilliard/Fox/Culbreath

It looks to me like the Lions will roll with this group again and hope they can get a better read on Fox and Culbreath. Hilliard is a decent No 3 but not much upside to start. COuld possibly take a T in Rd 1 if someone unexpectedly drops.

OG

Sims/Peterman

Hilliard maybe would be the backup if the young tackles can stay healthy. Would like to see an upgrade over Peterman.

C

Raiola

Not the best in the world but I think he ll be here for two more seasons minimum probably more. Just not that high of a priority given the woes at T and G.

DE

Avril/KVB/Jackson/Young

Great group, maybe if Young takes another step forward they can trade Avril instead of handing out another big deal. Avril made tons of big plays on D, 11.5 sacks, 7 FF, a couple of scores - would be a big loss to the defense. I like Nick Perry who might be available at our spot in Rd 1 could allow Jackson and Young to play a little more and Perry could develop at his own pace probably be full go by 2013.

DT

Suh/Williams/Fairley/Hill/Fluellen

Good group. Have to expect that they will lose Williams when the season is up and if Hill continues to progress would need to sign him to a longer deal. Hopefully Fairley can stay healthy. Fluellen keeps finding a way to stick around.

OLB

Durant/Levy/Palmer/Hogue

Durant and Levy both in there final year of contracts. Durant was excellent when healthy last season but Levy has been disappointing two years in a row. Hogue has a shot to project into a starting role going forward. If a decent player is available in the draft, it d be a good time to take him and start the grooming process in case salary cap becomes a problem bringing back our starters.

MLB

Tulloch

Tulloch locked in is huge. No action will be needed here for a while

CB

Houston/Berry/Lacey/A Smith

Not ecstatic with how this group looks right now but drafting a potential starter in Rd1-3 might change that dramatically. Reallistically you need to be 4 deep at corner and right now it looks like we have 2 quality players there. Im okay with Berry starting esp if we can upgrade at safety. Hopefully Lacey pushes Smith either further down the depth chart or off the team entirely.

S

Delmas/Spievey/Coleman/Wendling/Silva

I like Delmas when he s healthy but thats been a problem for him. Spievey showed some flashes but needs to improve overall. Id like someone come in to challenge him - the draft isnt looking to good at safety outside of a couple guys and we have bigger potentially more costly needs on the roster to be filled early in the draft. I hate the Erik Coleman re signing.

P Graham vs Donahue

Not thrilled with these 2 but Donahue has a booming leg that he needs to learn how to contain. Graham provided a lift but Im not sure he ll be consistently good.

K Hanson

Some have talked about saving some money if Hanson is lost but he s still playing above league average and is a fan favorite.

KR/PR

Something was amiss with the return units last season. Not sure if it was Logan or a bigger problem. Id be happy if we ended up with Ginn or made a move late in the draft to fill this spot.

Remaining team needs:
1. CB - Stephon Gilmore CB - South Caroline Rd 1?
2. RB - Robert Turbin RB - Utah St Rd 5?
3. OG -
4. S - Atogwe or Y Bell?
5. KR/PR - Ginn if not too pricey, maybe Keyshawn Martin Rd6 or 7, or TY Hilton Rd 4/5
6. OT - I like Bobbie Massie but he would probably end up on the Rt side which is fine - Rd 2
7. HBack/FB
8. Receiver depth
9. OLB to develop - Keenan Robinson - Texas Rd 3?
10. No 3 QB




Heller has been re-signed...


March 22nd, 2012, 5:36 pm
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