Make the Lions Great Again: An Attempt at Constructive Dialogue


#21

Well, I have found a different method. This past weekend was the 3rd annual Lemon Frog Nation Veteran’s Relief Benefit series. 3 shows in 3 days, one of them a Sunday matinee.
You don’t get as pissed when you don’t watch the shit show!
In 51 seasons, no matter how upset I get, it never fixes the Lions.
Fixing me, seems the obvious answer.


#22

The O-line is a major disappointment. It was fully invested in and it is an absolute mess.

The D is a hybrid that makes you wonder if it is even understood. The breakdowns yesterday showed me that the back seven were not in sync. The front has been discussed to death. For a system that is suppose to focus on putting players in the best possible position to succeed, we are seeing an abundance of failure.

As for fixing all of this, the short term pain to clear cap space may work. This season is an abject failure, but couple higher draft picks and solid cap space and we “could” see a talent infusion.

My biggest disappointment is this. I was fooled. I thought the team had showed up most of the holes and we had at minimum a team of average starters with +recievers and +secondary. We obviously are not where I thought we were.


#23

I think you have to fill whole at RG and otherwise try and coach the OL up. If Crosby forced his way in at tackle or guard great, but I think a OG in free agency is necessary evil. Maybe another new OL coach. These guys have talent. They just don’t seem to put it together as a unit.

Defense is a mess. I think Walker can be a player and I still think Diggs is solid at safety. We probably could use another safety with wheels but CB is a way bigger need. I think we need two starter level types. I think it’s imperative to be elite at nickel in today’s game. Then we need an edge guy or two, another stout run defender and a linebacker that can cover.

So I think we are probable 5-6 starter level pieces from having a league average defense. I think with the right scheme on offense we could be league average right now. Snacks, Okwaro, Hand, Kennard and Slay I feel pretty good about. I still have high hopes for Davis and Walker. We badly need athletes on defense though.


#24

Retitled because I woke up this morning feeling snarky.


#25

This hits it for me. Life is meant to be lived…not wasted pining for “my team” to get it right. I have plenty of other things to enjoy.

I will always be a Lions fan. I have no input into what they do or don’t do. If they did then Cooter would have already been fired and Stafford would have a back-up that can put some pressure on him. We need a back up QB to groom for the future.


#26

Man, this team has a lot of problems. I’m going to look at 2019 only right now. I think turning the Lions back into a playoff team will take more than one season, but let’s start with next year. I’ve written the current one off.

Our offensive line pisses me off to no end. They’ve invested too much to get a unit that gave up 16 sacks the last 2 weeks. I know some came from Stafford holding the ball too long, but I think we can agree the line needs to step the eff up. Getting a RG that isn’t in and out of the lineup all the time would be a big help for Wagner. They overpaid for him, but he’s a solid player. It’s no coincidence that he looks better when he has Lang next to him. Decker… I don’t know what to think of him. He has regressed badly this year. For now I think they have to roll with him and hope he gets better. A quick fix would be to have a TE on his side more often, or a back to chip the elite rushers like Mack.

We need a true slot receiver who can quickly get open on the short routes. That would help with the pressure on the line, and Stafford plays better when he can up the tempo.

Defense. Crap.

Obviously we have to get a consistent edge rusher. Kennard and Okwara cannot be our top threats to the QB. I like them, but they aren’t game wreckers. Getting a game wrecker will almost certainly require our first round pick. Hopefully 2019 is as good for ends and rush linebackers as they are saying it will be.

The only way Davis can stay on the inside is if we switch to a dedicated 3-4 defense. He’s good coming downhill, but gets lost in space. Either that or they need to try him on the outside.

Glover is on his last legs for us. I hate to say that, but we need to face reality here. Finding a true outside corner to play opposite of Slay is a must. Lawson doesn’t have the range to challenge passes to the bigger receivers. His lack of ball awareness makes that even worse.

So my plan would be to target an edge rusher, RG, a safety, and a complimentary RB in the draft. If they like any developmental young QBs in the draft, pick one. I half expect Kelly to demand a trade. They should be able to find a reasonably priced #2 corner and slot receiver in free agency. They’ll have to find a new MLB/ILB if they don’t think having Davis and Jones switch spots would do the trick. I think all of that is doable in one offseason. Patricia needs to look for new coordinators as well. The confusion on defense and sloppy execution on offense is pretty damning. I’d give Quinn (and probably by extension Patricia) one more year to fix this mess.


#27

I shut the team down until the owners get experienced , knowledgeable, winning persons to run the offense and defense. this team won’t win a damn thin until that happens. you can’t just slap any old body in charge of shit that has ZERO experience or ZERO winning…in the NFL and treat the team to this kind of BS ! 50 &^%## YEARS of losing and not a single bowl?? when is enough…enough!? we as fans should demand it…we don’t pay for season tickets and shit until we have REAL capable leaders ! they soak us of money for a garbage product…and WE watch them throw away season after season while we do it. sure we wouldn’t have the Lions for a while…but we as fans should demand a better product for the time and money .


#28

I think that lions fans somehow walk the line of being pessimistic about the team, but also greatly over estimating the teams talent at the same time. Most consistent winners have around 4-8 top level players on their rosters. And usually good quarterback play, but not always a necessity. Look at the Rams now - Suh, Donald, Gurley, Brockers, Whitworth, Peters, Cooks. The Chiefs - Hill, Kelce, Hunt, Fisher, Schwartz, Houston, Berry. Look at any super bowl team. This is completely true. Who do the lions have for top level players? Slay and Snacks. That’s it. We are in desperate need of true play makers on both sides.

I see articles about how our offense should be much better, but should it really? To be honest, guys like Golladay and Kerryon look like good young players, but if you are hoping they turn into the next Kamara and Julio Jones you will be disappointed. And outside of that, we are below baseline for sure. Marvin Jones is not a number 1. Luke Wilson is a backup level player. Taylor Decker is Riley Rieff 2.0. TJ Lang is over the hill. Rick Wagner is solid but unspectacular. Ragnow has promise, as does Glascow… at the 2 least important positions on offense.

On defense… all of our DBs but Diggs and Slay would be on the roster bubble of good teams. I loved Glover Quinn, but he is ready to hang em up for sure. At LB, Davis is a huge disappointment, I think his ceiling if he improves with experience is just a solid player, Christian Jones was a backup, and Devon Kennard was a spot player for the giants. Our Dline has snacks, an average A’shawn, and a young promising player in Hand.

Now, its not completely hopeless, we have some depth and solid role players around. We just need some actual high level guys that force teams to adjust or account for guys.


#29

I have a hard time believing GQ just suddenly fell off a cliff. Speed was never his game and he was great last year. I’d like to see if he’s willing to stay on, maybe at a reduced rate.


#30

Wagner has been pretty solid for us. I don’t think I’d cut him for having a few down weeks when it seems the line doesn’t even understand the blocking schemes.

I put a lot of this struggle on coaching. I think Ratricia is in over his head


#31

I’ve been going around and around on this, and chatted up some friends and people I know and trust in opinions for football on an honest state of the Lions. This will be a long post, so apologies in advance. First and foremost, this is not all on one person and not at all an easy fix. Also let me state, I have been disgusted by this team as many fans have.

One thing that stands out. I dont get why everyone is all of a sudden wishing Caldwell back. “Well, at least we were competitive!” No we weren’t. Go to NFL.com or youtube.com search every single week, and watch the game highlights. See how many times the Lions were flat incompetent and couldnt compete against elite teams. See them collapse, again, in a year where the division was WIDE open. Minnesota had that defense, but they also lost their start RB and were playing Case Keenum at QB. The same Case Keenum running Denver nowhere. See all of 2016, where the Lions had to set a record for most comebacks in a year. Then after getting to 9-4, they absolutely tanked when the division was in the bag with ONE win. Oh, and then the pathetic excuse of a playoff game. See 2015, where we started 1-7. Sure, they “rallied” to 7-9. However, when they actually HAD a chance to get into the wildcard hunt, Caldwell did that Jim Caldwell coaching, and cost us the Hail Mary game that shall forever be played in Aaron Rodgers highlight reels. Caldwell’s best team was 2014, with Jim Schwartz’s guys, and he should’ve beat Dallas but he went conservative after a nice first half, allowing us to get screwed on the PI that was called back.
Fact is, we weren’t competitive. We were not. We got smashed by elite teams. We beat the majority of bad teams, sure. Well, that is unless it was a must win game. Then we lost to teams like iffy Baltimore, horrible Cincy and got ourselves eliminated. Then we “ralled” when once again, the games meant nothing.

Now, I know everyone was butthurt because Quinn said the Lions should’ve won more and that this wasnt a rebuild. I honestly think, Quinn DID think we were better. However, I also think Quinn knows what the ENTIRE league knows. The Lions are SOFT. S-A-W-F-T for the WWE fans out there. I think Quinn WAS and IS planning a subtle rebuild. I do not think he thought this year would turn out the way it has, but I do think he knew there was some rebuilding needed. Id imagine his end of the year speech will include some of this, and he will be right. He will probably take the blame, and say its clear where they need to get better, and some names are going to start disappearing.

Now, for the coaching. Patricia, I think has been ok. He has had bumps in the road as any rookie coach does. As for the snow practice. Thats shameful nitpicking by the Detroit media. You know what most of the league is saying about the Lions practicing in the snow? “So?” We brought Patricia in to win games. That includes winning games in tough conditions. We won in Miami in tough conditions. We have games to close the year in tough conditions. Part of being tough, is not letting outside factors affect you. How many times have we seen the Lions lose games in tough conditions. The Lions are an indoor team, and they arent so hot at that either. If you want to be a complete team, you have to play no matter what the weather is. The fact some of the players were complaining, well if Im Bob Quinn, Im taking names and offers. This is what I mean by the Lions are SAWFT. Most football players love playing in the crap. Give them rain and mud. Give them snow and cold. If you have guys who are complaining, while getting paid HUGE money, about their playing conditions, those arent football players. Those are paycheck players. And Detroit has way to many.

Cooter will go I’m sure, and he should. I dont think he is a great coach, but honestly we know that Cooter was kept because they wanted to keep Stafford happy, and because they knew the offense had to carry the team. Well, the offense is NOT carrying the team, at all. When you watched the Minny game, they were basically running the old 46 defense against us. They loaded 8 and 9 guys in the box, and dared you to run and overwhelmed the line. Now, heres where I blame Cooter. There was 1 team that beat the 46 defense in '85. The Miami Dolphins. With Marino killing their loaded front with short quick passes. You know, a QB taking a game over. While watching his line be overwhelmed, did the Lions try keeping 2 TE’s in? Try bringing in an extra lineman? Nope. They let their 5 man line get swallowed by 8 man fronts, and watched Stafford take another beating of a lifetime. Thats shameful coaching. Lions could’ve went max protect, couldve hit slants, couldve done anything different rather then 5 and 7 step drops and getting slaughtered. Time for an offensive coordinator who can actually run an offense and isnt just the QB’s bestie.

As for defense, for everyone wanting to point the fingers at this side of the ball, they need to keep some facts in mind. The Lions secondary was a bright spot on the team through the first 6 weeks of the year. What happened since? Everyone seems to say “Boy we look slow out there”. Know why? We lost our fastest defender. Ever since we lost Agnew, the secondary has been slipping and is now way down. Our 2nd fastest defender, Slay has been substandard, and hobbled himself. This defense is counting on Nevin Holding Lawson, and guys like Tabor and Shead to hold fort. And a clearly slower Quin. And a broken handed Diggs. Its no wonder why they are having problems. Tell me what coach is going to be able to dominate on D with those guys. Not happening. The run defense has improved since Snacks, but it doesnt matter if teams can throw to guys open by 5 yards.

So where to do we go from here…

  1. The Lions need to start brooming older guys. There was a caller on 97.1 Thursday who echoed what Ive thought for years. Detroit is known as a cushy landing spot for guys. They dont drive their players. The Fords are extremely generous. Guys sign here for big money, and typically tank. We are seeing this, again. Im tired of it. Some of our vets are the ones leading the bitching brigade, and they need to go. Here is a straight fact in the NFL. College and High School guys work harder, because of all the rules the NFL has. Detroit is even softer. I believe Patricia is trying to change this, and I believe a lot of the Caldwell guys dont like it. Broom them. We need as many draft picks as we can get so we can get young guys who are ok working, and let Patricia groom them and build the defense he sees. We need a lot more speed, and now.

  2. Someone mentioned it in the Spielman thread. The Lions are sorely lacking in guys who truly want to play football. Quinn has found some better guys, but he must keep turning out players. Ragnow was a great pick, but we need more. Dont overpay for another guard. Find it in the draft to replace Lang. Find guys who are willing to run through brick walls to play football. Toughness isnt necessarily strength, its a mentality. The Lions are mentally weak, and to me thats echoing the leadership void I keep seeing.

  3. Its time to truly look into replacing Stafford. Not for the sake of it. I believe Stafford is a pretty good QB, who can win and win playoff games. However, I also see that Stafford keeps making the same mistakes, 10 years into a career where he absolutely should not. Fumbles. Bad picks. Sometimes its him trying too hard to make a play. However, holding the ball out with one hand in a collapsing pocket is asking for trouble. Part of being a good football player is understanding when a play is done, and the best thing to do is to throw it away. Now, here is the real issue with Stafford. He is making too much money. We paid him to be an elite QB. He isn’t, and he won’t be. He needs TE’s. WR’s. A line. Stafford cannot overcome shortages like Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisburger, etc. Thats OK! However, you cannot pay the player that much money when you need to supply talent elsewhere for him to be effective. I know the next 2 years we are screwed. Lions made a mistake signing Stafford to that deal. However, we need to draft a QB, and use those 2 years to either force Stafford to make that step, or have someone to take the reigns, like the Chiefs did with Alex Smith/Mahomes, and GB did with Favre/Rodgers. We must set up the line of succession. Even the Pats had Garappalo ready and waiting, but for their own reasons they ended up dealing him.

I know Stafford isnt that kind of guy, but someone on this team needs to be that ass kicker that lets guys know they arent playing good enough. This team needs people who hold others accountable. This is what I mean by a leadership void. You dont have to be a yeller and a screamer, but you do need to have the balls to look a teammate in the eye and say “You step it up” and that they need to get focused and get their ass in gear.

There you go. Ill stop now and let people respond. I really thought the Lions could take the next step, but once the stuff about guys bitching about practice started, I knew we were in trouble. I figured they’d learn to be grownups and work harder, but alas it seems it will take more of a brooming.

Lastly. For every guy out there whining about Patricia’s record and that we need to dump him, remember one thing. The best coach the NFL has ever seen, started new jobs twice. Both times, his first season was no better than 6-10. Everyone wanting to make a change, all you do is set the clock back even further. No one is fixing this team in one season. Winning is a process, and it starts with drafting guys to go with a coach, not with changing coaches annually.


#32

Added to the above statement that I made. At this point, we should tank. Higher picks this spring are a bonus and no reason to win meaningless games.

Unlike others, I do not believe firing BQ and MP are the answer. I do believe we need coordinator changes. Some of that is due to MP getting hired so late. Some of it was keeping JBC to not upset the complete balance. But this is where we need decisive leadership by bringing in MPs guys. I have no belief that this round of coordinators are his. It has a short term/stop gap feel to it.

So tank this year for better picks. Tank next year while new coordinator schemes are implemented and talent is adjusted to optimize the schemes.

Expect to compete in two years and give Matt a couple year window to truly compete. If that doesn’t get it done, move Matt in a couple of years to a team desperate for QB and build with a young one.


#33

What team is going to be desperate for a QB in two years? Seems like all the young guys drafted are panning our well


#34

Good topic, just not ready to respond to it.
I’ll say one thing.
Hiring a top notch OC this year is going to be critical.
I think that is the first and most critical move needed.


#35

Roethlisberger is only signed through next year. Ditto Russell Wilson. Titans will be over Mariota by then, Jacksonville, Denver, Washington are all teams that wont suck enough to get a top 5 pick but have need at the positiin while having some or a lot of the other pieces.


#36

Any one here old enough to remember when they were Great? And I’m not talking about the 91 season.


#37

Barring a better post to place this, I would like to look over the FA additions made by Quinn.
M. Jones…the best WR out there when Calvin stiffed us. Grade A.
T. Lang…pro bowl talent swiped from GB, injuries have riddled the guy and he still got a pro bowl in. Grade A.
R. Wagner…best RT available, serious problems with pass rush. Asset in the run game. Grade C.
He brought in some others but these were the big guns

I think Rieff was never going to sign here. I think they moved on from Warford because they were running a different type of blocking scheme and that is the only reason. That OL coach cost us in that situation. I think they attempted to keep Golden Tate and found out he wanted to max things. They made the decision to get something rather than let him walk. Ebron was garbage and he wanted 8 million per year. He has had diarrhea of the mouth since his conception. I would rather cut my own throat than have that piece of shit on our team.

I left out Harrison, because of the trade. I think Kennard and the other LB’er were decent additions but the guys people talk about are the first three.