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 Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach 
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
PFT wrote:
Lions special teams nightmare continues, but coach safe
Posted by Darin Gantt on October 1, 2012, 8:58 AM EDT

The Lions are 1-3 for a number of reasons, but breakdowns on special teams are near the top of the list.

They gave up a 105-yard kickoff return touchdown and a 77-yard punt return for a score in yesterday’s loss to the Vikings, after allowing one of each last week against the Titans as well.

But Lions coach Jim Schwartz said special teams coordinator Danny Crossman’s job is safe.

Quote:
“That’s not a consideration,” Schwartz said when asked if there might be staff changes, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

“If we were getting out-schemed or if players were messing up schemes, it would be one thing,” Schwartz continued. “These are physical plays we have to make and pro athletes have to make them.”


The Lions waved the white flag by pooch-kicking the rest of the game, rather than give up another home run play.

“When we’ve got to start coming up with scheming stuff like that, it’s like conceding defeat,” kicker Jason Hanson said. “The guys, I hope, take it personally, that we’re not good enough — we can’t even kick the ball down the field.”

One of the Lions problems continues to be injuries to starters, which cuts into special teams depth as guys get promoted into roles that don’t allow them to concentrate on the kicking game solely. But even good special teams players are struggling, such as wide receiver Kassim Osgood, who missed an open field tackle on the punt return score.

“I think big things need to change,” Hanson said. “There’s no excuse for us giving up touchdowns and not covering. All special teams need to get their act together because we’re good but we’re garbage right now. And we’re killing our team.”

Crossman’s been offered up by his head coach before under similar circumstances, but he’s safe in Detroit — for now.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... oach-safe/

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October 1st, 2012, 10:42 am
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
TheRealWags wrote:
regularjoe12 wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
Lions2SB2 wrote:
mwill2 wrote:
I understand wanting a scapegoat but firing a coach mid season doesn't accomplish much.


If anything, it makes things an even more mess right now.


However, it also sends a message. This will not be tolerated. And I can't imagine more of a mess than allowing four returns for TDs in two weeks.

I don't know if Crossman is the issue or not. Players play the games. But the ST coach IS the one who decides what players are on what coverage teams. And if guys aren't getting it done, they need to be replaced.


I disagree entirely. If firing the ST coach needs to be done ( and there a 4 reasons over the past 2 weeks for it to happen) now is the IDEAL time to do it. With the bye week looming they have 2 weeks to get the new system undeer wraps. let be honest, it's ST. their not going to reinvent the wheel, 2 weeks should be adequate for them to learn how to stop SOMEBODY.


FWIW according to Schwartz' post-game remarks it's not the scheme but the players, which if true would mean that Danny's not going anywhere.



Problem is you can't fire five or six players that aren't doing their jobs. As I said in my post, players play the games. But the coaches are the ones who are on the hook to get them to do what is necessary. It's not like ST problems have suddenly cropped up. When is the last time we saw a punt or kickoff returned FOR us instead of against us?

Our ST play hasn't been good since the days of Chuck Preiffer. And we he was around, it's not like we had a wealth of talent for him to choose from. We have brought in players specifically to be ST monsters, and they have failed. I have to imagine that Crossman has a big say in what players the team will go out and get, like Osgood, specifically to bolster the special teams. So, in that regard, he's definitely on the hook.

If the players aren't doing their jobs, then Crossman has to lower the boom on them. Obviously, whatever he did after the Titans game didn't work. It's cost the Lions two games now. Two games they SHOULD have won.

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October 1st, 2012, 10:45 am
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
There have certainly been scheme issues as well and lack of adjustments - I put a lot of this on the ST coach...

http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_216 ... source=rss

Quote:
Percy Harvin's touchdown return was no chance matter for Vikings

DETROIT -- The genesis of Percy Harvin's kickoff return touchdown came six days before he cut to the right sideline and cruised 105 yards, sucking the air out of both the Lions' kickoff team and the 63,616 fans at Ford Field.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer had studied video of the Tennessee Titans' 105-yard kick return in their win over the Lions and saw something he thought the Vikings could exploit -- particularly if Detroit covered its kickoffs the same way.

So when Harvin took the game's opening kickoff and veered across the field, the Vikings knew they'd gotten exactly what they wanted.


"It was a great call by Coach (Priefer)," Harvin said. "They (the Lions) overplayed it. The blockers did a great job, and I did the easy part."

When things open up like they did for Harvin on the game's first play, it really can be that simple for the Vikings. His kickoff return was the longest in team history -- a yard longer than the season-opening 104-yard return he had against San Diego in 2011. It was the fifth kick return touchdown in the receiver's 49 career games, and it set the tone for a game the Vikings won in large part because of their special teams.

Marcus Sherels ran a punt back 77 yards for the Vikings' other touchdown in the first series of the third quarter, marking the third time in team history the team had kick and punt return touchdowns in the same game.

The Lions didn't kick another ball to Harvin, popping up two kickoffs to Christian

Ballard and Rhett Ellison. And on a day where the Vikings' offense managed just 227 yards on offense, Harvin's return set up the win.

"We always talk about starting fast," quarterback Christian Ponder said, "and that's the fastest start you can get."

On the Titans' kick return touchdown, Lions kicker Jason Hanson put the ball in the middle of the end zone, but former Viking Darius Reynaud cut right, Titans tight end Taylor Thompson laid out Lions cornerback Jonte Green and Reynaud had the sideline to himself.

The Vikings thought they could do the same thing, and even though Hanson's kick to Harvin sailed further to the left, Harvin ran to the same hole. This time, Ellison drove running back Stefan Logan toward the middle of the field, Matt Asiata ran Green out of the play and just like Reynaud the week before, Harvin shot to the sideline untouched.

"They covered like they did last week," Priefer said. "We pinned one guy in and pushed the other guy out."

Said Hanson: "We've got to start coming up with slight gimmick stuff, which is like conceding defeat. I hope the guys take it personally, that we're not good enough. We can't even kick the ball down the field."

In his fourth year, Harvin is fashioning a brilliant season. He led the NFL in receptions through three weeks, has carried 11 times for 54 yards and is average 38.3 yards per kick return after his touchdown Sunday.

He had just 34 yards from scrimmage on three receptions and three runs, but by then, he'd already altered the game, thanks to an opportunity the Vikings had seen brewing for almost a week.

"It was slow-motion," Harvin said. "That hole opened up, and you probably could have walked through there. The blockers did a great job. They told me all week they were going to do everything they could to get me in the end zone. Special teams was huge today."


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October 1st, 2012, 10:58 am
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
Pablo wrote:
There have certainly been scheme issues as well and lack of adjustments - I put a lot of this on the ST coach...

http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_216 ... source=rss

Quote:
Percy Harvin's touchdown return was no chance matter for Vikings

DETROIT -- The genesis of Percy Harvin's kickoff return touchdown came six days before he cut to the right sideline and cruised 105 yards, sucking the air out of both the Lions' kickoff team and the 63,616 fans at Ford Field.

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer had studied video of the Tennessee Titans' 105-yard kick return in their win over the Lions and saw something he thought the Vikings could exploit -- particularly if Detroit covered its kickoffs the same way.

So when Harvin took the game's opening kickoff and veered across the field, the Vikings knew they'd gotten exactly what they wanted.


"It was a great call by Coach (Priefer)," Harvin said. "They (the Lions) overplayed it. The blockers did a great job, and I did the easy part."

When things open up like they did for Harvin on the game's first play, it really can be that simple for the Vikings. His kickoff return was the longest in team history -- a yard longer than the season-opening 104-yard return he had against San Diego in 2011. It was the fifth kick return touchdown in the receiver's 49 career games, and it set the tone for a game the Vikings won in large part because of their special teams.

Marcus Sherels ran a punt back 77 yards for the Vikings' other touchdown in the first series of the third quarter, marking the third time in team history the team had kick and punt return touchdowns in the same game.

The Lions didn't kick another ball to Harvin, popping up two kickoffs to Christian

Ballard and Rhett Ellison. And on a day where the Vikings' offense managed just 227 yards on offense, Harvin's return set up the win.

"We always talk about starting fast," quarterback Christian Ponder said, "and that's the fastest start you can get."

On the Titans' kick return touchdown, Lions kicker Jason Hanson put the ball in the middle of the end zone, but former Viking Darius Reynaud cut right, Titans tight end Taylor Thompson laid out Lions cornerback Jonte Green and Reynaud had the sideline to himself.

The Vikings thought they could do the same thing, and even though Hanson's kick to Harvin sailed further to the left, Harvin ran to the same hole. This time, Ellison drove running back Stefan Logan toward the middle of the field, Matt Asiata ran Green out of the play and just like Reynaud the week before, Harvin shot to the sideline untouched.

"They covered like they did last week," Priefer said. "We pinned one guy in and pushed the other guy out."

Said Hanson: "We've got to start coming up with slight gimmick stuff, which is like conceding defeat. I hope the guys take it personally, that we're not good enough. We can't even kick the ball down the field."

In his fourth year, Harvin is fashioning a brilliant season. He led the NFL in receptions through three weeks, has carried 11 times for 54 yards and is average 38.3 yards per kick return after his touchdown Sunday.

He had just 34 yards from scrimmage on three receptions and three runs, but by then, he'd already altered the game, thanks to an opportunity the Vikings had seen brewing for almost a week.

"It was slow-motion," Harvin said. "That hole opened up, and you probably could have walked through there. The blockers did a great job. They told me all week they were going to do everything they could to get me in the end zone. Special teams was huge today."



Man...instead of talking to Crossman when he fires him, Schwartz should just put that article in his mailbox.

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October 1st, 2012, 1:12 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
This problem is more than just the ST coach, it's the coaching in general. The entire team has completely thrown out any type of tackling fundamentals and add to that the offense's continued drops. It shows either a lack of discipline on this staff or just plain incompetence for not seeing the problems. The whole staff needs an attitude adjustment or we need a whole new staff.


October 1st, 2012, 4:47 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
Here is what Vikes head coach Leslie Frazier said

"I remember in our first special teams kickoff return meeting we saw some things and we pointed out that if everybody holds their blocks, Percy [Harvin is] going to score. I mean, it was obvious. There were some things that we saw if we just held our blocks and our guys did it."

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October 1st, 2012, 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
rao wrote:
This problem is more than just the ST coach, it's the coaching in general. The entire team has completely thrown out any type of tackling fundamentals and add to that the offense's continued drops. It shows either a lack of discipline on this staff or just plain incompetence for not seeing the problems. The whole staff needs an attitude adjustment or we need a whole new staff.


Bingo!

Ppl on this board don't think a coach has to stress fundamentals. They say that the players already know how to tackle before they get in the league, and they fail to realize that NFL players are human... They get lazy and develop bad habits, and they need to be coached, period.

There is no doubt in my mind that if Pettigrew played for the Patriots he either 1) wouldn't drop the ball anymore or 2) he wouldn't be a Patriot, period.

We have lazy, unmotivated players that lack discipline. It comes from management on down. Mayhew puts up with Schwartz's endorsement of thuggery, his lack of discipline, and his lack of player-accountability. Schwartz allows it to go on and chalks it up to "poor execution"... It's a whole circle jerk where no one is responsible... Like I've said before, the whole structure of the organization is flawed, and no one is accountable for anything.


October 1st, 2012, 5:12 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
wjb21ndtown wrote:
rao wrote:
This problem is more than just the ST coach, it's the coaching in general. The entire team has completely thrown out any type of tackling fundamentals and add to that the offense's continued drops. It shows either a lack of discipline on this staff or just plain incompetence for not seeing the problems. The whole staff needs an attitude adjustment or we need a whole new staff.


Bingo!

Ppl on this board don't think a coach has to stress fundamentals. They say that the players already know how to tackle before they get in the league, and they fail to realize that NFL players are human... They get lazy and develop bad habits, and they need to be coached, period.

There is no doubt in my mind that if Pettigrew played for the Patriots he either 1) wouldn't drop the ball anymore or 2) he wouldn't be a Patriot, period.

We have lazy, unmotivated players that lack discipline. It comes from management on down. Mayhew puts up with Schwartz's endorsement of thuggery, his lack of discipline, and his lack of player-accountability. Schwartz allows it to go on and chalks it up to "poor execution"... It's a whole circle jerk where no one is responsible... Like I've said before, the whole structure of the organization is flawed, and no one is accountable for anything.


I'm with you on all of this WJB. I at first didn't want to say it, but as last season progressed and with all the things that happened in the off season I just don't see how you can blame anyone other than the staff. Pettigrew is the poster boy for everything that is wrong with the team. He has the physical talent to compete with anyone in the league, but his lack of discipline and mental preparedness cause him to consistently fail at the crucial moments. There is a considerable amount of talent on this team now and it seems to be the coaches that are holding it back.


October 1st, 2012, 5:25 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
The honeymoon is over!

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October 1st, 2012, 5:34 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
TheRealWags wrote:
PFT wrote:
Lions special teams nightmare continues, but coach safe
Posted by Darin Gantt on October 1, 2012, 8:58 AM EDT


Crossman’s been offered up by his head coach before under similar circumstances, but he’s safe in Detroit — for now. :shock: :shock: :shock:

HE'S HAD THIS HAPPEN BEFORE???????? AND HE HASN'T LEARNED HOW TO FIX THE ISSUE????????? FIRE HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!! I swear, any ST coach on the street could do better.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... oach-safe/


October 1st, 2012, 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
BillySims wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
PFT wrote:
Lions special teams nightmare continues, but coach safe
Posted by Darin Gantt on October 1, 2012, 8:58 AM EDT


Crossman’s been offered up by his head coach before under similar circumstances, but he’s safe in Detroit — for now. :shock: :shock: :shock:

HE'S HAD THIS HAPPEN BEFORE???????? AND HE HASN'T LEARNED HOW TO FIX THE ISSUE????????? FIRE HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!! I swear, any ST coach on the street could do better.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... oach-safe/


He shouldn't be coaching at this level..

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October 1st, 2012, 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
PFT wrote:
Ex-Lion says no one on the Lions wants to play special teams
Posted by Michael David Smith on October 1, 2012, 5:07 PM EDT

The Lions may have the worst kick coverage in NFL history. One former player who covered kicks for the Lions a couple years ago says there’s a reason for that.

Zack Follett, who played special teams on the Lions in 2009 and 2010, says that the problem in Detroit is no one wants to play special teams, and that attitude has permeated the team, resulting in embarrassments like the Lions becoming the first team in NFL history to allow both a kickoff return touchdown and a punt return touchdown in consecutive games.

“Dang. Special teams comes down to attitude and No one on the Lions wants to be on ST and this is the result,” Follett wrote on Twitter, via the Detroit News.

Whatever the reasons, the Lions’ special teams are terrible, and with better kick coverage they’d probably be 3-1, not 1-3. They’d better find someone who actually wants to make a tackle on special teams soon.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ial-teams/

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October 2nd, 2012, 9:46 am
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
TheRealWags wrote:
PFT wrote:
Ex-Lion says no one on the Lions wants to play special teams
Posted by Michael David Smith on October 1, 2012, 5:07 PM EDT

The Lions may have the worst kick coverage in NFL history. One former player who covered kicks for the Lions a couple years ago says there’s a reason for that.

Zack Follett, who played special teams on the Lions in 2009 and 2010, says that the problem in Detroit is no one wants to play special teams, and that attitude has permeated the team, resulting in embarrassments like the Lions becoming the first team in NFL history to allow both a kickoff return touchdown and a punt return touchdown in consecutive games.

“Dang. Special teams comes down to attitude and No one on the Lions wants to be on ST and this is the result,” Follett wrote on Twitter, via the Detroit News.

Whatever the reasons, the Lions’ special teams are terrible, and with better kick coverage they’d probably be 3-1, not 1-3. They’d better find someone who actually wants to make a tackle on special teams soon.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ial-teams/


After watching the coaching tape of those two kickoffs, there were blatantly obvious blocks in the back, and holds, but we can't expect anything better from the rusty refs.

Jonte Green needs to be shifted inside, or better support put on his side. He's getting blasted on his left side (returners right) and once he's out of the way, the returning team has a clear path because of two things.

1) Players aren't staying in their lanes. That's coached from day 1 going as far back as I can remember. If you stay in your lanes, you have a chance at the ball. Too many players are breaking towards the ball too early.
2) Because of one, they aren't penetrating deep enough, which leads to bigger running lanes.

You can place that on the coaching staff and you can place that on the players. Follett is correct about it being an attitude, but it boils down to one simple sentence.

Do your job.


October 2nd, 2012, 10:00 am
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
I wonder if Follett has healed sufficiently to be able to return to Football and play as a ST's ace? Think his statement might have had a dual purpose?


October 2nd, 2012, 10:24 am
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Post Re: Season is Over. Time to Fire the Special Teams Coach
Zack still hasn't learned to shut his mouth yet?

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October 2nd, 2012, 10:27 am
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