|Ndamukong Suh was one target of an anonymous general manager. (Getty)|
The way the Lions' season has gone so far, you'd have to think they'd be ripe for some slamming, especially with the never-ending parade of stories of offseason drug-test violations and generally uninspired play in the regular season.
And some anonymous sources did just that for Pro Football Weekly, saying the team has too many bad-character guys and not enough talent.
“Nick Fairley, Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure, Johnny Culbreath … they have targeted a lot of issue guys, more so in [Jim] Schwartz's first few years,” one talent evaluator told PFW. “A big problem (in Week 4) was that their leaders were not leading by example. Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew were uncharacteristically making drops. [ Ndamukong] Suh disappeared.”
And the talent? Overrated, one general manager said.
“They don't have enough good players, and the players they think are good are not that good,” the general manager said. “Suh belongs on the All-Hype team. [Cliff] Avril is not that good -- put on any game and you can watch him get blocked time and time again. Corey Willliams is solid, but nothing that wows you or makes you wonder how you are going to block him. The other guy [defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch] is a try-hard guy getting up in years that does not really threaten you. For as much as people talk about that D-line and all its depth, where are all the players?
“I have listened to the media hype about Suh since he got in the league -- what has he done? Even the year he had all those garbage sacks, the guy took a million plays off and got pushed around in the run game. I have never thought he was a very good pro player. I liked him coming out and thought he had a chance. But I also never thought he was going to be the second coming that he was labeled. I am not sure who bestowed that on him, but it is kind of a joke.”
So, um, wow, right?
I wonder what Suh will say when he hears about this. I mean, it would have been nice if the GM talked on the record, yes?
“True men do that,” Suh said, via the Detroit Free Press. “But I don't know who he is, so I can't tell you if he's one. … People have their opinions, and that's, basically, what it is to me. I don't really pay attention to it. He's a GM, he's supposed to be knowing what he's talking about, so it's up to you guys' discretion whether he's right or not.”
So far, the GM's early season analysis seems spot-on. Suh has eight tackles and 2.5 sacks and Avril, since having to sign his franchise tag, hasn't done much better (10 tackles, 1.5 sacks). But the good news for the Lions is that there's still time to get their offense back on track and for their defense to figure out how to stop opponents from scoring so many points (Detroit ranks 26th in points allowed, but ninth in yards allowed).
“This is not where we expected to be one quarter of the way into the 2012 NFL season,” team president Tom Lewand said recently. “But we also know it's a different 1-3 than we've experienced in the past.”
Maybe so, but don't expect those anonymous sources to be optimistic that the Lions' season will feel much different at the end of the season.