Blog Entry

Lions Make History. BUT...

Posted on: December 28, 2008 5:10 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2008 5:12 pm
 

Detroit Lions logo

With their loss to my Packers today, the Lions became the first team to go 0-16 in NFL history.

As a graphic showed near the end of the game, a lot has happened in the world since the Lions' last regular season victory over the Chiefs on December 23, 2007.  Over a year has passed on the Earth, other NFL teams have won a combined total of 262 games, Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in the Olympics, and Brett Favre retired, unretired, became a Jet, and could easily retire again before the Lions' next win.  After such a poor season, it is obvious that change is needed within the organization - and lots of it.  However, the Lions franchise is in possession of a few "building blocks" - people who, in my opinion, could help the team turn things around in 2009.

1. Kevin Smith - In his first year as a pro out of Central Florida, Kevin Smith became the starting running back for the Lions.  Despite the team's lack of success, Smith did his part, rushing for almost 1000 yards.

^(Calvin Johson and Kevin Smith)

2. Calvin Johnson - Whenever the Lions needed a big play (and whoever was playing quarterback threw to him) Johnson delivered, catching 78 passes for 1331 yards and a dozen TD's.  If Johnson was on any other team, I feel sure that he would have been a Pro Bowl starter.

3. Rod Marinelli - Despite losing every week, the Lions coach did everything he could until the end.  Even today, he was "getting into it" with the refs, challenging calls, and cheering his team on.  In my opinion, the failure of the team is not his fault.  Firing him would be a huge mistake.  In the last few years, I've seen several coaches try to turn things around in Detroit, and the franchise needs to build with the coach they have, not keep hiring new ones who don't know what's going on.

^(Rod Marinelli)

4. Jason Hanson - The kickers of a team are usually ignored, but Hanson is something special.  The 17-year veteran hit 21-for-22 field goals on the season, including 8-for-8 from 50+ yards.

^(Jason Hanson)

5. Nick Harris - The Lions' punter had a busy season, but was mostly consistent - consistently good.  Although he obviously was getting a lot of game experience, he got the job done, not getting a punt blocked all season (I think).

Last but not least:

6. Ernie Sims - Sims is the buried treasure in the pile of dirt that is the Lions defense.  While the rest of the team continued to give up big plays (such as the 70 yard TD reception that sealed their fate today) Sims did his job well, making 111 tackles on the season.

^(Ernie Sims)

Another key to the Lions' future is making good picks at the draft.  They have the first pick plus the Cowboys' pick in the first round (acquired in the Roy Williams trade).  High draft picks have mostly been duds for the Lions in recent years.  Good draft picks, as well as action in the free agency market, will be required for the Lions to turn it around in 2009.

Good luck Rod.  You're gonna need it!

-M.M.

PS: Happy New Year to my blog readers!

Comments
Icky Shuffle
Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: January 13, 2009 2:15 am
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Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2009 12:40 pm
 

Lions Make History. BUT...

Thanks for commenting ImJustLazy!  I will be sure to check out your blog!



Since: Aug 16, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2009 9:55 pm
 

Lions Make History. BUT...

Muffin,

You are right about the talent they have on the team.  Megatron, Kevin Smith, Ernie Sims, Nick Harris, and possibly Gosder Cherilus and Leigh Bodden are about all they have.  And Lord knows how many fewer wins we would have over the past few years without Jason Hanson.  However, I disagree that they need to pick a QB with the first pick in the draft.  I think Andre Smith from Alabama is the answer they need to start with.  I am going to post a blog of my own explaining my reasons why, if you would care to read it in the next few days.

Always glad to read about a Detroit sports team.  Nice write up!




Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 30, 2008 12:05 pm
 

Lions Make History. BUT...

BuccinGator and WingsDiva,

I agree that Marinelli should have got another chance in Detroit.  I am sorry to see him go and honestly don't think that anyone else will rebuild the Lions better than he would have eventually.

it seems to me that the coach gets way too much credit when they win and way too much blame when they lose

Exactly my point!  As you say, the coach is not the one playing the games!

I also agree that the Lions need to keep Calvin Johnson - a receiver who actually catches the ball!  Same for Hanson...sticking around all those years...

BigBlu,

I agree that the Lions need to draft a good QB to turn things around.  Maybe the Heisman winner...

Free agent signings could be tough; on the surface it would seem that anyone signing in Detroit would only be doing it for big, big money - many of today's players - not all, but many - unfortunately are looking to step into a quick opportunity at a ring or an easy gig for a big paycheck.

I think that's what Culpepper did...big mistake on his part!

PennStateFan,

The Lions do need a new owner.  Ford is simply too old!  Illich...that would be great!

Thanks for the comments everyone!  Happy New Year!




Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2008 6:37 pm
 

Lions Make History. BUT...

I am a Giants fan.....but I have always had a place in my heart for the Lions. I liked them since Fontes lol.....,but now a new coach will,be chosen,  good for Detroit! !  They need new management!  A new owner perhaps. maybe Illich ....yea .  Next year I hope the team will prevail....sorry guys,...it will get better..



Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: December 29, 2008 10:51 am
 

Lions Make History. BUT...

It was just announced that Rod has been fired.  Now, I don't watch football anymore even though I was a huge fan back in the day and knew more about the sport than some coaches, but it seems to me that the coach gets way too much credit when they win and way too much blame when they lose.  The coach isn't the one out there throwing the interceptions or slacking on defense or fumbling the ball.  Every coach we've had in my memory has been hailed as a savior in the beginning and run out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathered.  (Feeling vindicated, Mr. Fontes?)  The team couldn't win with arguably the best receiver in the game.  They've never had an All Star caliber quarterback, and who knows if that would even help?  Gotta have someone to catch the damn thing.  And who can say enough about Jason Hanson?  The man has stuck with this team and performed year in and year out consistently.  Hall of Fame? No.  But the Lions should retire his number out of sheer gratitude for him putting up with the Fords and the losing records all these years.  You can't tell me no one has offered this man a contract outside of the Lions. 
Anyway, I find it very difficult to be optimistic about the Lions after all these years.  I've seen them have spectacular individual talent and never gel as a team.  The team must play on an Indian burial ground or something, because they sure as *#&$ seem cursed.  My condolences to all the Lions fans everywhere.  If you can find a ray of sunshine in any of this and come back to watch them next year,  you're a better man than I am.  Viva la Detroit!!



Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: December 29, 2008 12:56 am
 

Lions Make History. BUT...

Mr. Muffin,

I think you hit on most of the bright spots the Lions have. Obviously they'll need to address the quarterback situation with the first pick in the draft, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle like Atlanta has with Matt Ryan. Free agent signings could be tough; on the surface it would seem that anyone signing in Detroit would only be doing it for big, big money - many of today's players - not all, but many - unfortunately are looking to step into a quick opportunity at a ring or an easy gig for a big paycheck.

Great write up, Muffin - as always an enjoyable read. My condolences on what must have been an excruciating season. Chin up, see you at the draft.




Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2008 9:20 pm
 

Lions Make History. BUT...

Muffin.  As a Buc fan, I love Marinelli from his time here as D Line coach.  People like Sapp and Culpepper swear by him.  I do think he's getting an unfair shake from the media, practically begging him to quit mid season.  A also think the shot by that one reporter on his son-in-law Joe Berry was WAAAY below the belt and totally uncalled for, although I think Berry is in over his head as D.C.  But hey, now that Millen's gone, maybe they will draft better.  I wish Marinelli would get another chance, but could see how management would want to go in a different direction.  I think he might have to sit down with Berry and get a better D.C. if he hangs on.  Berry's better suited as a position coach anyway, and could go back to coaching the LB's.



Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2008 6:41 pm
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