Another interesting week in Lions land. Roy Williams (and the Lions 2009 7th round draft pick) gets traded to Dallas for their 1st, 3rd and 6th round draft picks in 2009. Then, 5 minutes after the trade deadline Kitna gets put on IR. Then today the Lions once again manage to spot the opponent 21 points and fail to overcome themselves to win the game making them 0-6 so far this season. So what does all this mean?
First, it means that Roy Williams and Jon Kitna won't need to worry about Colletto's offense (or lack thereof) any more. The two were the most outspoken about the offense and now both won't be anywhere near the field (though Kitna is still under contract for 2009, his future is probably dependant on what happens with the front office and coaching staff).
Second, it freed up a lot of cap space. Dallas is now responsible for the remaining 11 weeks of Roy's pay. The Lions made some roster moves with minimum wage guys and are in a better spot then they were before the trade (cap wise). Plus, the 2009 draft will be the best since Y2K or even earlier... since there will be no Millen involved and there will be those extra picks. Plus, there is no one deserving of the franchise tag who will be a free agent in 2009.
Third, it gives valuable experience and evaluation time to the other QBs on the team, and forces Marinelli to play someone other then Kitna after the 0-5 start. I expect within a few weeks that Stanton will get some playing time, even if it's only after the defense gives up another 21 easy points and Orlovsky isn't having any success catching up.
So... do I agree with the moves? I was not for trading Roy, but he wasn't let go for chunk change either. Not that it was a block buster trade (as in two first rounders or a starter and a first rounder, etc). It was okay, not great, but not bad. I can not argue with the decision to accept the offer.
Putting Kitna on IR was not actually a genuine medical decision in my opinion. I don't know if Colletto/Marinelli did it because of his outspoken dislike for the coorindators' scheme... or the front office did it to prevent Colletto/Marinelli from playing the vet over the youth. Kitna, even injured, would've helped the rookie QB (whichever one it was that was playing) from the bench as the #3 QB, so it was a rather drastic move in my opinion.
Okay, now the game against the Texans. The defense didn't play man as much this week, and they didn't have successful blitzes either. They played like they did for the first 4 weeks, and ended up with a score similar to those same weeks. I was afraid they wouldn't stick with the attacking man defense, and they didn't. Maybe they'll learn from this (like they should've learned from last week) or maybe they won't, either way, I have to mark it down as another example of why this coaching staff needs to go.
On offense, I thought Orlovsky did alright for his second start. He didn't go deep enough, but then the blocking is still a joke and the plays to go downfield probably weren't being called. CJ isn't being used correctly, he needs distance to get up to speed, and that means either long slants or deep balls, and it's not happening. The O-Line still can't run block consistantly. False Start Foster can't keep his head in the game. Raiola is giving away the snap count every play by bobbing his head. And Colletto has still not installed a hurry up offense they can use when time is of the essence. That last being another negative mark in the "do we keep these coaches" column. It was refreshing to see some of the youth in the game for a change, and I suppose I would be wrong to assume the front office demanded it of the coaching staff since I have no proof that is the case, but it sure seems like Marinelli just won't play someone and let them make their mistakes and learn without being forced to due to injury or for some other overriding reason. Therefor, I am guessing, pure 100% guessing, that maybe playing the youth was not entirely his idea.
So, what do I take from this game? That I've seen no reason, not one single reason, to keep this coaching staff for next year. In fact, I still maintain that Kippy Brown should be the OC and that Colletto should either be demoted or fired immediately this year, but since the last two players who seemed to think the same thing are no longer on the 53 man roster, I don't want to risk my "12th man on the field" existance (so to speak) suggesting too loudly that Colletto be removed from coordinator duties.
One last note, the refs didn't give this game away, but they sure did blow some more calls. I'm not impressed with them at all, especially after replays. Terrible terrible officiating.