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 Rebuilding year 
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ST Coordinator – Danny Crossman
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Post Rebuilding year
You can dispise the topic all you'd like, but next years defense is going to look very very different.

With big needs at safety and cb, they MAY not even be our biggest need.

Avril is likely gone, andkvb is looking like retirement is coming soon, we may be without an established de. Add in that levy, Durant, and Houston are all free agents, and we could be looking at as little as 4 returning starters out of the 11.


Alright gentlemen......what do we do? We can't afford to sign em all...and 7 could be too big of an overhaul to overcome.

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November 23rd, 2012, 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Rebuilding year
Most important players to re-sign are Houston and Durant. Avril will have to be allowed to leave if he continues to demand top money. He's simply not a top 10 DE in the league, and shouldn't be paid that way. KVB will likely be allowed to play out his contract. If memory serves me, he re-did his deal to reduce his cap hit this season, by taking money as a bonus rather than as salary, so it could be spread out. Maybe the Lions approach him about reducing his salary next year or threaten to release him? Still, even if he's kept as a backup, I'd like to see him remain. LoJack should be given an offer to stay as well. He's solid as a backup, and is our best run stopper at DE.

Still, our biggest need remains the safety spot. Draft one, sign one....build one out of spare parts, Dr. Frankenstein. Whatever it takes, the Lions MUST get a ballhawker at safety.

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November 24th, 2012, 1:21 am
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Post Re: Rebuilding year
Safety is key I think to this team.

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November 24th, 2012, 1:43 am
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Post Re: Rebuilding year
Agree, Safety is probably biggest need, followed closely by corner. Hoping the Lions address these two needs in the first 3 rounds. The way this season is going and with the remaining schedule we have, the Lions could be looking at a top 12 pick in the draft. The top corner will be gone and I don't see taking a Safety that high. But, there could be some interesting options. Will this be the year that we draft for need?


November 24th, 2012, 10:12 am
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Post Re: Rebuilding year
m2karateman wrote:
Most important players to re-sign are Houston and Durant. Avril will have to be allowed to leave if he continues to demand top money. He's simply not a top 10 DE in the league, and shouldn't be paid that way. KVB will likely be allowed to play out his contract. If memory serves me, he re-did his deal to reduce his cap hit this season, by taking money as a bonus rather than as salary, so it could be spread out. Maybe the Lions approach him about reducing his salary next year or threaten to release him? Still, even if he's kept as a backup, I'd like to see him remain. LoJack should be given an offer to stay as well. He's solid as a backup, and is our best run stopper at DE.

Still, our biggest need remains the safety spot. Draft one, sign one....build one out of spare parts, Dr. Frankenstein. Whatever it takes, the Lions MUST get a ballhawker at safety.


If they follow your advice, the biggest need will be at DE where they would have ZERO starters at arguably the most important position for this defense. Avril is a must to re sign. KVB is just about finished. He shouldnt come back and with the way Fairley is playing Corey Williams is probably finished also. Williams and KVB money should be enough to find a creative way to make Avril s contract fit. Ronnel Lewis, Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young are not locks to be starters for a defense that depends on its DL. Id like to see Durant come back but will get a raise from his current 2yr/$5.5 and I wouldnt go over Durants previous contract for Levy. That probably means that Levy is a goner. Whiteside, Palmer, Messina, T. Lewis get there shot at that spot or maybe we sign a stopgap aging vet for a season.

There is a need at safety, I like Tony Jefferson out of Oklahoma but dont know where he s being projected to be drafted. Delmas comes back, ideally would be on a one year deal but other teams see his talent and I bet he ends up getting a 3 yr deal though it shouldnt be more than $3-4 million per year. Wendling stays as a ST ace. Coleman is as worthless of a player as we ve had and shouldnt be back. Silva should switch positions, maybe to "LB" where he could be a depth guy for passing downs and a sp teams player but they ll probably take the path of least resistance and keep him as a cheap backup S option.

To make room for defenders they need to create cap space where possible. Nate Burleson s injury and salary make him a likely cut and he knows it. Titus Young in an ideal world would be a goner and I dont see him back with the Lions in 2013. Mike THomas was a very good acquisition by the Lions, with youth, talent, a good attitude and a reasonable salary. The Lions can put him in a better position to succeed than the Jags could. Logan s position should be eliminated and that could be with one of Broyles/Thomas fair catching the punts and maybe a RB return the kicks. Patrick Edwards could get another shot to make the team next season. Alternatively, the Lions should be able to find someone with return skills late in the draft - Im talking Rd 5 and down. Kassim Osgood still appears to be in the physical shape where he can continue to play in the league and is a much better player than Maurice Stovall was. Im interested to see what happens with Robiskie bc he s still young and has size and speed. I wonder why he hasnt had much success.

At RB, Im sorry to say it but there s still a need. The OL has been better than advertised but these guys cant explode through holes or make guys miss on the second level. They just had there first >20 yd run of the season and thats sad to see. Bell and LeShoure to me are the same guy but I dont think you could trade Bell. Would they entertain trading LeShoure now that he has some value and the possibility of getting some explosion back next season. The team needs a dynamic runner and ideally would get it in the draft. It doesnt have to a pure speed back but they need to have someone better than what they have. K Smith is good as a backup runner but he s pretty bad on Sp Teams particularly on the Kick return team where he almost never gets a pad on anyone. At TE, it seems they have to bring back the same crew but if it were me I shop Pettigrew and take whatever I can get. He may become a dominant possession receiver somewhere else but he s got issues the current staff obviously doesnt know how to deal with.

QBs. Stafford and Hill for another year but they might be getting close to the point where they d consider Hill s backup salary prohibitive. Anyway, Kellen Moore shouldnt be on the roster let alone a projectable backup. Hill s a great backup so this is money well spent in my book.

ST - Hansons still good but he s no longer great which is what his salary reflects. Its time to go shopping. Nick Harris has done his best punting for the Lions, he doesnt have a very strong leg but his directional and placement kicks have been excellent. Still Id bring back Donahue in the preseason to see if he s improved any to compete with Harris.

So as of now my offseason looks something like this:
Trade Titus Young 6th rd pick
Trade Brandon Pettigrew 5th rd pick
Trade Mikel LeShoure 7th rd pick
Cut Nate Burleson, KVB, Corey WIlliams, Erik Coleman, Jacob Lacey, Logan, Hanson, Peterman
Resign Avril, Delmas, Durant, Houson, Sammie Hill, Lawrence Jackson, K Smith

Draft: Rd 1 DE - Montgomery LSU, Rd 2 S - Jefferson Oklahoma, Rd 3 - TE Sims Mich St, Rd 4 - RB Davis Arkansas Rd 5 - LB Demens Michigan Rd 5 CB Simon LSU, Rd 6 - KR Dunn Utah Rd 6 - P Wing LSU Rd 7 - K Santos Tulane, Rd 7 - DT Jones Bowling Green

QB Stafford/Hill
RB Bell/Davis/Smith/*Best*
WR Johnson/Broyles/Thomas/Osgood/Robiskie
TE Scheffler/Heller/Sims
OT Reiff/Cherilus/Fox/Hilliard
OG Sims/Backus/Nagy
C Raiola/Gandy

DE Avril/Montgomery/Jackson/Young/Lewis
DT Suh/Fairley/Hill/Jones
OLB Durant/Demens/Whitehead/T Lewis
MLB Tulloch/Palmer/Messina
CB Houston/Florence/Bentley/Simon/Green
S Delmas/Jefferson/Greenwood/Wendling/Silva

P - Wing
K - Santos
KR - Dunn
LS - Muhlbach
(PR - Thomas)


November 24th, 2012, 12:00 pm
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Post Re: Rebuilding year
It all depends on what Avril's contract demands are. The Lions cannot afford to sign him at any cost. He simply is not that good. And despite what you've alluded to in other posts Legend, his contract demands DO matter. He is not worth 1/12 of the allowable cap space. which is about what they are paying him right now. If he lowers his demands, then yes, they should re-sign him. But he is not an 8 figure per year pass rusher. No more than $8M per season, or he should be let go. If we re-sign LoJack, then we have one starter right there. I think he'd be OK. Would he be as effective as KVB or Avril? Probably not. But I think he'd be OK for now. Improve the secondary (safety) and get better coverage. Take away some of those quick passes that nullifies our pass rush right now, and LoJack may do better than expected. Willie Young and Ronnell Lewis can handle the other duties. But I do agree, if Avril leaves the Lions need to get another DE. I just don't think it has to be in the first round. I think the Lions need to worry about getting that top quality safety more than anything. Beyond Delmas we have ZERO talent there, and we all know Louis is unreliable because of his injuries. Get that ballhawking safety, and it takes away some of those easy completions in the middle of the field. If Travis Lewis can raise his game, then he should be replacing Tulloch on passing downs to further take those zones away and force QBs to make mistakes rather than dump it in the middle and watch the tight end, running back or receiver get first down after first down, or easy TDs in the red zone.

Trading LeShoure is just flat out foolish. What reason would you give for trading him? He has run well this season. He may not be the quick back that everyone wants, but he runs hard and doesn't dance too much in the backfield. He has shown that he can take a hit (which Best cannot) and can catch the ball out of the backfield. I'd like to see his blocking improved, but he has to be given time. LeShoure and Bell aren't the problems with the running game. How many running backs do we have to use and then dispose of before you realize it's not the back, it's the blocking. It's the playcalling. It's that combination. Our offensive line consists of players who do better at pass blocking than in run blocking. Don't blame the running backs for that. As I've said before, there are plenty of other teams who don't have quick, speed backs in their backfields, and they do pretty well. Why? Because their offensive line does the job.

I agree with some of your cuts. The problem is, some of them will actually cost the Lions more money than if they were to keep those guys. You have to look at that impact on the salary cap before cutting those guys. As for Hanson, I agree that his time is done. His miss on Sunday is an indication. He shouldn't be cut for that reason, but it shows he's not as reliable as he has been in the past. You hit the nail on the head regarding Nick Harris as well. He's been doing REALLY well since they signed him, as far as direction and control. I'd take that over a boomer who can't drop it inside the 20 to save his life. Logan is garbage, time for him to leave as well.

Trading Pettigrew truly would not bother me, but it simply won't happen. Wish it were otherwise. He has been a nightmare of inconsistency this season, and it seems to me as if he doesn't care one bit. For what they are paying him, it's a damn waste of cash.

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November 24th, 2012, 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Rebuilding year
m2karateman wrote:
It all depends on what Avril's contract demands are. The Lions cannot afford to sign him at any cost. He simply is not that good. And despite what you've alluded to in other posts Legend, his contract demands DO matter. He is not worth 1/12 of the allowable cap space. which is about what they are paying him right now. If he lowers his demands, then yes, they should re-sign him. But he is not an 8 figure per year pass rusher. No more than $8M per season, or he should be let go. If we re-sign LoJack, then we have one starter right there. I think he'd be OK. Would he be as effective as KVB or Avril? Probably not. But I think he'd be OK for now. Improve the secondary (safety) and get better coverage. Take away some of those quick passes that nullifies our pass rush right now, and LoJack may do better than expected. Willie Young and Ronnell Lewis can handle the other duties. But I do agree, if Avril leaves the Lions need to get another DE. I just don't think it has to be in the first round. I think the Lions need to worry about getting that top quality safety more than anything. Beyond Delmas we have ZERO talent there, and we all know Louis is unreliable because of his injuries. Get that ballhawking safety, and it takes away some of those easy completions in the middle of the field. If Travis Lewis can raise his game, then he should be replacing Tulloch on passing downs to further take those zones away and force QBs to make mistakes rather than dump it in the middle and watch the tight end, running back or receiver get first down after first down, or easy TDs in the red zone.

Trading LeShoure is just flat out foolish. What reason would you give for trading him? He has run well this season. He may not be the quick back that everyone wants, but he runs hard and doesn't dance too much in the backfield. He has shown that he can take a hit (which Best cannot) and can catch the ball out of the backfield. I'd like to see his blocking improved, but he has to be given time. LeShoure and Bell aren't the problems with the running game. How many running backs do we have to use and then dispose of before you realize it's not the back, it's the blocking. It's the playcalling. It's that combination. Our offensive line consists of players who do better at pass blocking than in run blocking. Don't blame the running backs for that. As I've said before, there are plenty of other teams who don't have quick, speed backs in their backfields, and they do pretty well. Why? Because their offensive line does the job.

I agree with some of your cuts. The problem is, some of them will actually cost the Lions more money than if they were to keep those guys. You have to look at that impact on the salary cap before cutting those guys. As for Hanson, I agree that his time is done. His miss on Sunday is an indication. He shouldn't be cut for that reason, but it shows he's not as reliable as he has been in the past. You hit the nail on the head regarding Nick Harris as well. He's been doing REALLY well since they signed him, as far as direction and control. I'd take that over a boomer who can't drop it inside the 20 to save his life. Logan is garbage, time for him to leave as well.

Trading Pettigrew truly would not bother me, but it simply won't happen. Wish it were otherwise. He has been a nightmare of inconsistency this season, and it seems to me as if he doesn't care one bit. For what they are paying him, it's a damn waste of cash.


Id trade LeShoure bc I dont think he ll ever be the explosive player he was when he was drafted. He s made a damn good recovery and he ll get a little bit better but not dramatically so. As of now, IMO he s a dime a dozen player that really is no better than Joique Bell who couldnt even get a carry in 2 years before coming to the Lions. Factor in that LeShoure also narrowly avoided suspension before he even played an NFL game and that Bell can do all of the same things that LeShoure can do. Ill cash out on LeShoure s value now and take the extra yard per carry that Bell provides (4.9 vs 3.9), his better play in the passing game and whatever late round pick I can draft. Maybe I can use that for special teams or maybe to move around and find the type of runner the team needs.

I honestly disagree that the offensive line is so bad that its prohibitive for a running back to have success behind them. I think they are average in the run game. Even if the OL is horrible and my assessment is wrong - there have been far too many occasions where Leshoure will go untouched through the line and cant beat a safety or a corner to break the run. His longest run is 16 yards. He doesnt make people miss when he hits the second level and thats a problem that has to do with the runner. I agree the OL could be better but a good runner would do a lot better than LeShoure has done.

As for Avril - I wouldnt go to 12 million but I would go to $10 million. The contract can be structured in a way that its backloaded and the cap hit is less early on so it wouldnt come close to the %figure you suggested. True about the cap hits from some of the vets, its always better when a contract expires rather than when its cut but at some point you have to take the medicine and wait a season for the cap relief to come. I dont know the details of that.

You are probably right, they wont let go of Pettigrew but they also probably wont be able to solve his stone hands/focus problem - whatever you want to call it. I think this is his 4th season, so whenever his rookie deal is up they will have to make some kind of decision on him. This is CyberGM and if its me I move the guy that IMO has put 2 on the L column for us this season.


November 25th, 2012, 11:56 am
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