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  1. #101

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    With training camp less than a month away, there really hasn't been any football discussions worthy of in-depth note here. The volunteer workouts for our Lions have been neat to see on a team building basis but that's been about it. It was a good move to see Titus Young show up to meet his new team mates but with no official team playbook to learn from, it's just terminology and vocabulary.

    Ideally we'd be talking about who's moving around in free agency, other teams, trades and the other off-season football chatter... but sadly we're in limbo until the suits can settle the differences in divvying up that $9 billion dollar pie.

    There is some cause for optimism though:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6623923

    I just hope it leads to somewhere and it can be game on once more for the NFL.

  2. #102

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    The lockout is over. Lets GO!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejames01 View Post
    The lockout is over. Lets GO!!!!!!!!!!
    Hot diggedty dang! Itís about high time these folks got themselves together and had this agreement ratified. Now letís see if weíre going to be good for the next ten years before we have to re-visit this NFL lockout topic. The nine billion dollar pie has been divvied up and for the most part and all the parties are happy. The 133 day madness is now officially over with.

    The madness now follows and Iím not even talking about the actual game on the turf. Teams like our Lions are going to be on the horn, being as nimble as possible trying to work the free agent wires. Un-drafted college players, unrestricted, and even restricted players are going to be getting phone calls; the wheeling and dealing will begin. We can only hope Martin Mayhew and his staff will have the agility and acumen to bring in the missing pieces to the re-build of this team.

    Letís go out and re-sign the likes of Chris Houston and/ or the other corner (either a Joseph or an Ike Taylor would be a nice upgrade) to immediately ease our brows of that porous secondary. I wish we were in the Asomugha discussion but for the kind of money heís going to want and probably the length of the contract, itíd be awfully tough for this team to swing. And who could blame him for not wanting to make top dollar or go to a team thatís a lot closer to the grail than we are?

    Letís also resolve the linebacker situation somehow too. Either we get Stephen Tulloch and move Levy to the outside or we go after the Tampa Bay Bucs, Quincy Black for the OLB position. Iím still curious as to whether the former first round Dallas draft pick, Bobby Carpenter can be a starter for us. He obviously had some skill coming into the league to be drafted that high and maybe he can revive his career here playing in our system. We need these three guys back here who can go sideline to sideline with some reckless abandon (it almost makes me miss Ernie Sims) and to be able to erase that occasional guy that can dart past the front four.

    Other immediate unrestricted signings I hope theyíll pick up would be Drew Stanton (he knows his role here and is comfortable), John Wendling (I liked his special teams coverage last year), Turk McBride (I know the defensive line is solid but it never hurts to have some depth), and maybe Dylan Gandy (just for some offensive line depth). I have faith that the restricted guys Cliff Avril (long term contract please?), Andre Fluellen, and Jerome Felton will want to remain with this team. I can also see our team trading a guy like Fluellen or McBride because of their value but itís always nice to see some of our own guys developing with us.

    Another tough decision for Mayhew & Lewand to make is going to be to sign kicker Dave Rayner or not. It could signal the end of Jason Hansonís glorious run with this sad sack team; he truly has been a pro and a gem in the sea of mediocrity for the longest time. And while weíre at it- and thanks to the new CBAís structure, letís get the rookies like Fairley, LeShure, and Young into the fold. I want to see these guys pounding the pads as well as the Lions playbook ASAP. It seems as though thereís finally some internal leadership within the organization (thank you Kyle Vanden Bosch) to help the new guys along and get them up to snuff.

    Itís going to be some scrambling but I know my Sunday afternoons will be exciting again. I know itís early but itís nice to take some of that fan excitement from last yearís four game winning streak into the new season. Play ball, gentlemen!

  4. #104

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    Another outstanding post SM. You touched on many topics; each one worthy of their separate threads, but the one I'll pick up is Jason Hanson.

    In a heartless move, I fear we've seen the last of JH. A Classy guy who is just the latest in a long line of very good Lion kickers. If we would keep JH for one more run, we would lose Raynor and thereby tossing our kicking future into the realm of the unknown. We have been blessed with steady legs since the 1970's. It has been the lone bright spot in a hapless history of ineptitude.

    JH's surgeries and age translate into the fact that he is not the future. Raynor did a great job last yr and could provide us with a solid leg for the next 15 yrs. However I fear JH would be picked up by Green Bay or Chicago and come back and kill us in the final seconds of a crucial game this yr or next.

    If I was God, I'd hire raynor in some sort of fluff front office job for a yr or two, with the promise he'd walk into the kicking gig once JH decides to walk away. I'm sure there are rules against doing something like that, but a guy can dream ...

  5. #105

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    We need linebackers as a #1 priority, at least 2 good ones
    re-sign Houston is a 2nd priorty
    sign a compentant DB is 3rd

    and pray Stafford stays healthy

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenp View Post
    We need linebackers as a #1 priority, at least 2 good ones
    re-sign Houston is a 2nd priorty
    sign a compentant DB is 3rd

    and pray Stafford stays healthy
    Damn, it's good to talk football again.

    I would have to agree on all these points with the exception of flip flopping the Houston signing as priority one. He's already been in the system. He knows the schemes, the routine and what his role is here. If he bolts then we have to sign TWO corners- so let's take care of our own first.

    Linebackers I think we can land at least one good free agent. Palmer and Carpenter played well and could be up & comers. Anyone know what happened to Follett or Campbell? And what happened to Landon Johnson? He was crazy reckless back there until he got hurt late in the season. Is he even in the mix at all?

    Stafford? It's just bad luck that he's been dinged up. It wasn't like the offense line sucked that bad last year either. One lousy incident, Stafford goes down and the Backus haters are out en masse. He's put on some muscle & bulk but that still might not protect him from unlucky spills. Let's pray for some luck for that boy.

  7. #107

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    So far the Lions management has done whatís expected of them in wrapping up their draft picks. Theyíve inked Fairley to a four year deal for $10 million and a club fifth year option. Not bad considering what this team has gotten used to signing with their super high picks in Suh & Stafford. It was also really refreshing to see Johnny Culbreath sign early (why not get it done with, learn as much as possible and get ready to go on the practice squad?) and the likes of Doug Hogue, Mikel LeShoure and Titus Young signing their four year deals today. No extended silly rookie dramas in this lockout shortened training camp will be good for them as well as the team. The lockout already hampered them enough so getting them into the fold as fast as possible will only benefit them.

    Signing LB Justin Durant will be an interesting signing. His injury history doesnít exactly bode well but if heís healthy could be a great addition, especially if the Lions pick up another stud linebacker. And from all of the rumors swirling about Stephen Tulloch is being courted pretty heavily. DB Maurice Leggett is also another risky signing but I can see him being an extra warm body for now; possible insurance. Heís another one who just might want to prove something after coming back from injury. Supposedly another one of the Millen Eraís early picks (2nd round!) in Jordan Dizon has also been released.

    The signing of Rashied Davies might also spell the end of what could be considered Martin Mayhewís only high draft bust in Derrick Williams. Dropping Bryant Johnsonís enormous unproductive contract was relatively easy but having to admit that Williams is a bust will sting a bit for Mayhew & Lewand. I think for those of us who watched Williams play at Penn State thought he was pretty good. Why he couldnít transition it to the pro level has been a mystery- but then the same couldíve been said for so many other players as well (anyone remember Joey Harrington & his great collegiate performances?). I canít imagine Williams really making the roster as the sixth wideout on this team.

    And today, Friday night is when weíll find out who officially signed where. Detroit still has some glaring needs and some of their more desirable targets are still floating around out there. I sure hope Mayhew & Lewand have left their cell phones attached to their respective chargers because I can only imagine how many phone calls theyíre going to have to deal with today. With training camp mere days away, itís interesting to see what will finally round out their roster.

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    Another outstanding post SM. You touched on many topics; each one worthy of their separate threads, but the one I'll pick up is Jason Hanson.

    In a heartless move, I fear we've seen the last of JH. A Classy guy who is just the latest in a long line of very good Lion kickers. If we would keep JH for one more run, we would lose Raynor and thereby tossing our kicking future into the realm of the unknown. We have been blessed with steady legs since the 1970's. It has been the lone bright spot in a hapless history of ineptitude.

    JH's surgeries and age translate into the fact that he is not the future. Raynor did a great job last yr and could provide us with a solid leg for the next 15 yrs. However I fear JH would be picked up by Green Bay or Chicago and come back and kill us in the final seconds of a crucial game this yr or next.

    If I was God, I'd hire raynor in some sort of fluff front office job for a yr or two, with the promise he'd walk into the kicking gig once JH decides to walk away. I'm sure there are rules against doing something like that, but a guy can dream ...
    And yes, it will be a sad day when Jason Hanson finally quits being the Lions' kicker. He's been as steady and as steady as they come. If he got released I'm sure other teams will snatch him up in a heartbeat. I think we still might be able to get another season out of him reliably. The new kickoff rules might actually help him whereas he no longer has to boom it as far. Field goals at nearly any range- he's still as accurate and as deadly as they come.

    Not that it would be ideal because it'll take up another valuable roster spot, but it wouldn't surprise me to see the Lions having two kickers on opening day.

  9. #109

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    I knew the Lions didn't have the money to go after Asomugha and yeah, we've signed a few free agents but where's the splash? Weren't we supposed to be a destination for free agents? I thought we were perceived as an up and coming team that others were going to flock to.

    Or are all of the big splashes going to come later tonight? I'm waiting.

  10. #110

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    They just signed Stephen Tullock!

  11. #111

    Red face

    We have to have the BEST front 7 in the NFL. What other team could compare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Supersport View Post
    They just signed Stephen Tullock!

  12. #112

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    FINALLY- the splash I've been looking for! Landing Stephen Tulloch is going to be huge! For him it's going to be amazing to play behind that front four. What linebacker wouldn't want that? Everyone knows that Suh is going to get double & triple teamed. Toss in Fairley. Rotate in Williams, Hill, Jackson, Vanden Bosch and the rest of that group and they're just going to bitch slap the other team's offensive line. Pickin' should be easy for the linebackers compared to years before when the D-Line wasn't as strong.

    Now we just got to see where Levy's going to play. Is he going to move to the outside?

    I wonder why he just signed a one year deal though.

    Next splash they need to sign is Chris Houston. Get him back into the mix and things are starting to look a lot better than they did a few weeks ago.

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejames01 View Post
    We have to have the BEST front 7 in the NFL. What other team could compare?
    I think Mike Martz and his "hang onto the ball for a few more seconds" offense in Chicago just got re-vamped. I don't care if they just signed Roy Williams and Marion Barber. Jay Cutler had better wear two cups this year and dig a moat just to buy himself some more time in that backfield. We're coming after him and every other quarterback this year.

    Not that I would want it to happen but Ford had better get his wallet opened up now. I can see a few fines being levied for our super aggressive defense. In this day and age of being over protective of the QBs, it's just going to happen if we as so much ruffle their petticoats.

  14. #114

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    I'm with everyone's optimism about all the defensive upgrades the Lions have been making but we're all forgetting about the weakest O-Line in recent years. With a QB as fragile as Stafford and not that much depth, even though I'm one of the few that likes Stafford at #2, we can't risk going through another broken season without at least somebody who can handle an outside rush.

  15. #115

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    The OL can't get much love, Backus in particular gets an abundance of hate mail; however, the average NFL team gave up 35 sacks last yr, the lions? 27.

    That is not so bad. The issue of Jeff B giving up the sack to all world Julius Peppers is one that should have been avoided by giving the guy some help. With LeShore (?) back there maybe he can play Alamo man and pick up hard charging rushers. Pepper v Backus was an accident waiting to happen. Making that a 1 on 1 was a tactical error based on poor strategy.

  16. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by Genesyxx View Post
    I'm with everyone's optimism about all the defensive upgrades the Lions have been making but we're all forgetting about the weakest O-Line in recent years. With a QB as fragile as Stafford and not that much depth, even though I'm one of the few that likes Stafford at #2, we can't risk going through another broken season without at least somebody who can handle an outside rush.
    You got anything to prove that the O-line stunk? I'm sure stat geeks like smogboy could come up with them but they were pretty darn solid last year. You cite that one incident where Peppers comes through and levels Stafford but that's one incident. I'll give you the fact the run production should've been better but when it came to QB pass protection, they were pretty damn good.

    Stafford at number two? Come again? WHY? You'd be willing to start Hill or Stanton over Stafford?? I dunno 'bout anyone else but I want to hear your thoughts as to why on this one. I can't think of any reason not to start Stafford. He's heads, shoulders, arms, and ass over any of the other QBs we have in camp.

  17. #117

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    Chris Houston inked for two years.

    There are still a few floaters out there such as Bobby Carpenter that still need to be signed for depth and a long term Avril contract might not be a bad thing to get done.

    And I haven't seen anyone talking about this yet but I was just seeing the management going short term deals- one year, two year deals at best. Is this Mayhew trying to save some money for the impending Calvin Johnson contract after this season?

  18. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by smogboy View Post
    Other immediate unrestricted signings I hope theyíll pick up would be Drew Stanton (he knows his role here and is comfortable), John Wendling (I liked his special teams coverage last year), Turk McBride (I know the defensive line is solid but it never hurts to have some depth), and maybe Dylan Gandy (just for some offensive line depth). I have faith that the restricted guys Cliff Avril (long term contract please?), Andre Fluellen, and Jerome Felton will want to remain with this team. I can also see our team trading a guy like Fluellen or McBride because of their value but itís always nice to see some of our own guys developing with us.
    We can kiss Turk McBride away. I just saw that he signed with New Orleans. We're still pretty deep on the D-line.

  19. #119

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    Genesyxx, I heard on the radio that the OL was rthe 4th best in the league if we take into consideration, sacks, hurries and knockdowns.

    While I'm not a Backus fan and Raiola is too small, imo, they did a helluva job last year and I can't knock them for it.

    Thruster, I was thinking the same thing but I think we are goig to lose Johnson to a Superbowl bound team anyway unless we have a very good season this year.

    As for Stafford, he has gotten even bigger than he was last year and those shoulders are massive!

    Looking forward to a good season. But I do have to say that the NFC North is going to be a powerhouse division for the next few years.

  20. #120

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    Now come on guys, no fair ganging up on Genesyxx, he might be a little off on the pass protection but remember a ton of our passes last yr were of the dink'n dunk variety. Pretty tough to get a sack on a 2 second flat pass to Logan or Calvin.

    That simple fact shows that Linahan ( sp) was outstanding in crafting attacks based on available weapons. His game plans made a massive difference over previous schemes.

    To Henesyxx point, the Leos barely ran for 1000 yards - as an entire team. Most of the yr Best was running a matched set of Turf Toes. Huge swollen blacken big toes. That was a big reason why we sucked running, but the other part is the OL. Chelios couldn't open a hole in a wet klennex. Hillard showed progress, but if the point is that OL needs help I will set down my glass of Blue and Silver koolade and agree ...

    Up front counts.

  21. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    Now come on guys, no fair ganging up on Genesyxx, he might be a little off on the pass protection but remember a ton of our passes last yr were of the dink'n dunk variety. Pretty tough to get a sack on a 2 second flat pass to Logan or Calvin.

    That simple fact shows that Linahan ( sp) was outstanding in crafting attacks based on available weapons. His game plans made a massive difference over previous schemes.

    To Henesyxx point, the Leos barely ran for 1000 yards - as an entire team. Most of the yr Best was running a matched set of Turf Toes. Huge swollen blacken big toes. That was a big reason why we sucked running, but the other part is the OL. Chelios couldn't open a hole in a wet klennex. Hillard showed progress, but if the point is that OL needs help I will set down my glass of Blue and Silver koolade and agree ...

    Up front counts.
    Ain't no ganging up here. I just want an explanation. Wanna post an opinion- then back it up. I don't mind an informed opinion, but c'mon now... we can all agree that comment that the O-Line is the weakest in years is off base. We all agree that the running game was suspect- whether it was because of the line or Jahvid Best's injuries remain to be debated.

    I'm still waiting to hear his argument of making Stafford #2.

    We all know that the game is won in the trenches. The guys up front aren't dominant but in no way does it suck as badly as he makes it out to be.

  22. #122

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    Ok, fair enough, I agree with your position that Gen needs to do some 'splainin ... Especially on the Stafford point. This thread, and the previous Lion threads, have always stood out as islands of respectful discourse, limited in number of posters and I didn't want Genesyxx to be scared away.

    Now, pls don't think that I considered anyones' comments needlessly harsh. Not so. Just did want him intimidated by all you experts.

  23. #123

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    Oh, yeah, I wasn't being a smartass when I said, "all you experts".

  24. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    Oh, yeah, I wasn't being a smartass when I said, "all you experts".
    Whaddaya mean? We're ALL experts here. Some of us just happen to be able to back it up better than others! I'm all about debating the good, bad & ugly about the Lions here. I have no problem with someone disagreeing with me but give me evidence to support your view. If I'm going to take the time to post an opinion or view here I'd like to think that I can back it up somewhat with facts, stats or something a little more substantial than a hit & run rant.

    It seems as though there are a few of us here that disagree with Genesyxx's view and I'd welcome his explanation.

  25. #125

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    On a semi-sadder note it seems as though Zack Follet's career as a Lion is done:

    http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf..._called_i.html

    On a human scale, I guess it's better that he get out of football and have a darn good life as opposed to becoming a vegetable with another vicious hit. He was something out there though on special teams.

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