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 Lions bet the farm on Stafford 
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Post Lions bet the farm on Stafford
With the hiring of Caldwell and Lombardi -- two QB specialists -- the Lions are very clearly pursuing a Stafford-focused plan. That is to say, it seems their mindset is entirely "we fix Stafford, we fix the team." Now I expect the biggest focus of the offseason to be a #2 WR and if Pettigrew isn't retained, a TE.

This is probably the right thing to do -- it's a QB-driven league and if Stafford never takes the next step, the Lions probably weren't going anywhere anyway.


January 21st, 2014, 10:56 am
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
Blueskies wrote:
With the hiring of Caldwell and Lombardi -- two QB specialists -- the Lions are very clearly pursuing a Stafford-focused plan. That is to say, it seems their mindset is entirely "we fix Stafford, we fix the team." Now I expect the biggest focus of the offseason to be a #2 WR and if Pettigrew isn't retained, a TE.

This is probably the right thing to do -- it's a QB-driven league and if Stafford never takes the next step, the Lions probably weren't going anywhere anyway.


I'm on board with this--Stafford has shown he has the skills, and although he has a big contract, it's actually quite reasonable compared to other 'franchise' QBs around the league.

It's become fashionable now, but I've been calling for Stafford to have a 'proper' QB coach for a long time. Another dimension that's been overlooked: I think Stafford's numbers in 2011 were partially due to there not being a lot of tape on him at the pro level. Once he completed a full season, DCs were able to adjust. The problem is, Linehan doesn't appear to have adjusted to their adjustments. That's why I support Caldwell when he says he wants an "innovative" OC. We need to be able to adjust on the fly, like New England did this past year.

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January 21st, 2014, 11:06 am
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
When you devote so much of your limited resources to the passing game, as the Lions have with the contracts given to Stafford and Calvin, you damn well better do whatever you can to make that combination click. If it means bringing in coaches that specialize in QB development, then that's what you do.

That is not to say that I completely agree with the choices the front office has made. But the direction and effort is there to get the best playmaking duo we have become a dominant force. Time will tell.

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January 21st, 2014, 10:44 pm
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
It's true that the Lions have bet the farm on their young franchise QB. Who else would they bet the farm on?
The argument has been made many times that the QB is the most important single position in professional sports. If you're betting the farm and trying to give someone resources, who is more deserving than a QB that broke almost every franchise passing record?
Statistics indicate that Stafford was on a very promising pace to be an elite QB and then he regressed. It would be foolish not to do everything in your power to get him back on that pace of being elite.
So, please, Lions front office, if you can improve Matt Stafford or find another way to make him better, please do it. Bet the farm, the tractor, and the horse in the barn. Give Stafford everything he needs to be successful in a Lions uniform.


January 23rd, 2014, 2:54 am
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
Rice was also responsible for making Josh Freeman a first round pick while head coach of Kansas State. Schiano ruined him, along with his own behavior, but that shouldn't be overlooked either. Everyone on the offensive side of the ball comes from very successful systems, so it will be fun to watch how creative they can get with mixing and matching up the various schemes.

And on defense, don't overlook the coaching staff there. The LB coach led a very underrated group in TB making them look pretty good at times. Austin might be an unknown to many, but he's had success everywhere.

We've said on here many times that coaching has been the main issue... well the coaches are some of the brightest and best in the league now, so now there's no excuses.


January 23rd, 2014, 11:27 am
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
Let's make sure we understand something. Just because a coach has success in other places, does not equate to them automatically having success here. Rod Marinelli was pretty successful where ever he coached. Problem was, he was promoted to a level he couldn't handle. Same with Schwartz.

Lombardi and Austin may have been successful where ever they were as POSITION coaches. That doesn't mean they'll be successful here as first time NFL coordinators. They could be just like Rod Marinelli....questionable outside of being a position coach.

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January 23rd, 2014, 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
Oh that's a given M2k.. I wasn't guaranteeing success. They also haven't been upgraded to HC.. their focus is still on what they know.

Much like players, it's about potential. They have the potential to create some interesting schemes. Could they flop? of course. And Having success goes towards expecting success. I'd be much less hopeful about the potential if it was someone that came from schemes that never did anything right. Would you be excited about the Lion's secondary coach the last 5 years being the DC? That's all I was getting at.


January 23rd, 2014, 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
m2karateman wrote:
Let's make sure we understand something. Just because a coach has success in other places, does not equate to them automatically having success here. Rod Marinelli was pretty successful where ever he coached. Problem was, he was promoted to a level he couldn't handle. Same with Schwartz.

Lombardi and Austin may have been successful where ever they were as POSITION coaches. That doesn't mean they'll be successful here as first time NFL coordinators. They could be just like Rod Marinelli....questionable outside of being a position coach.


Previous success at the same position doesn't equate to success either. Many coaches have failed moving from one team to another at the same position. I don't think anyone assumes these hires will work because they had success working under successful people. It just gives people hope and it does show that FO and Caldwell are looking to bring something fresh and innovative to the team by not just going after retreads.


January 23rd, 2014, 3:18 pm
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Post Re: Lions bet the farm on Stafford
This staff might not be the right staff for these Lions, but if they fail, I have a feeling it will not be because the F.O. didn't try to do the right things.
The major concerns going into 2014 with any coaching staff, as far as most fans are concerned, was getting Stafford some help, number one. I think Mayhew and Lewand have demonstrated with hiring Caldwell/Lombardi, that they acknowledge it and have made a solid attempt at addressing it.
Another thing that has plagued the Lions has been flat offensive playcalling. The offense never really seemed to go for the kill, if that makes sense. Up by 7 before the half, one minute on the clock, one timeout left, on the 50 or so yard line? Leave it to the Leos to take a knee and not go for the kill shot. By hiring Lombardi or ANYONE from an offensive juggernaut of a team like NO, I think this has been acknowledged and addressed - on paper.
Another concern has been the defensive playcalling. While the defense kept the Lions in the game more often than not, I think most of us agree that there should have been more production out of one of the best lines in the NFL. Blitzes, stunts... an underused weapon for the Lions. Any defense gets beaten when the offense knows exact where you're coming from. Though the Lions lack a true blitzing LB, I think that's a need easily solved. How many times did we see a good 3rd down blitz that hit home this year?
By hiring a guy from Baltimore in Austin, I think Mayhew sees that, acknowledges it and attempts to fix it - on paper.
It's no guarantee, but it looks good on paper.


January 23rd, 2014, 5:44 pm
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