Yorrick - a lot of great thoughts, let me start with some of the easier ones.
Chat Room - we have a chat room, you can link to it from the front page (right under the LB Forum Lion) or by going to:
Hidden Writer Forum - actually we have a hidden staff forum much like you suggest, we could bounce more article ideas off each though like you suggest.
Newsletter - this time last year, there was no Lionbacker and simply a newsletter that I sent around to some buddies. I had hoped to get this feature up last season but have been too busy keeping everything else up and running.
Scouting - we run scouting reports for each opponent during the regular season. I hope to expand that this offseason to a scouting report on every team in the NFL.
Board Mock expansion - being a relatively new site (launched last August), word about LB and the forum is just getting out. We are now getting enough members to do more things like this.
Chalk Board - very cool idea - I'll leave that one for Alpha!
Editing - actually I have a strong Senior Editor - the issue has been more of timing. Having a day job (and a wife), I usually don't get started on the articles until about 11 est. Many times I don't get the articles until the day of publication and editing it so late can be rough. We do need to work to improve this process and have a developer working on a content management system that will automate some of the process and hopefully allow our editor more access to the articles.
Article/Board connection - you bring up some good thoughts here, let me put some thought into how best to accomplish this. Any other ideas would be welcome.
The main page was designed to be the starting point for the site. Not only does it have our feature articles (generally updated each weekday), but we pull in multiple RSS feeds that include articles from the Detroit News, FREEP, Scout Inc., Yahoo and many other newspapers every hour. The goal was to have the most comprehensive Lions news source on the web from one page.
Yorrick - thanks for the toughtful feedback. Many of the features on Lionbacker (Videos, Chat Room, Stats, etc.) come from forum members.
Keep it coming!