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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Game 11 Analysis.

11 games, 11 losses. The blogs are getting harder to write. Perhaps I should just copy/paste a previous one. Nah, that would be taking the easy way out… don't want to be accused of coasting, of not trying, of unwilling to work hard, or of giving up. I'll save those accusations for various other people (some of who just might be getting their paychecks from the Detroit Lions).

Since I've harped on coaching a lot of late, I'll save that for later and start off on some players this week.

First. Paris Lenon. Where to begin? He's a free agent at the end of the year. I would think he would find it hard to earn a roster spot on most teams yet the Lions insist on starting him over Dizon who they drafted to replace him. Oops, there I go, turning it into a coaching thing. Sorry. My bad.

Second. Raiola. Didn't start again, and even though his replacement made a few mistakes early, I can't really say I've missed him. In fact, with the cap savings that would occur if he were cut or traded, the next front office should do just that. Replace him with an expensive but worthwhile free agent, like Jason Brown of the Ravens. At least two thirds to one half of the cap hit would be covered by Raiola's savings. A very affordable upgrade to the Oline (and a possible extra draft pick for a defensive player).

Third. Backus. Who once again has proven he should not be the starting LT for the Lions. With there being several LTs ranked very high in the coming draft, there is no reason not to (finally) replace Mr. Backus with a genuine pro-bowl potential caliber, LT. Plus, if you can find a dance partner, maybe you could trade him for an extra draft pick as well… for yet another defensive player.

(notice, these last two player complaints are front office complaints, not coaching… I am at least trying, no? yes.)

Fourth. Cason. Is he a better return guy then Middleton? Yeah. Barely. Is he a better running back then Smith? NO! Play Smith, not Cason. (Darn it! Went all coaching again! My bad).

Fifth. Avril. He has potential. I think. It's hard to tell for sure, but for now, I'm going with potential.

Sixth. Fluellen. Same thing.

Seventh. McDonald. A great slot receiver. But as a possession 2nd receiver? Not so much. Especially since he is getting more looks then the star (or potential star) wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Why isn't CJ getting more looks? Is it the play calling? The quarterback? The scheme? Don't just use him as a decoy, throw to him already!

I'm not sure if this last was a player complaint or a coaching one, if coaching, my bad.

Okay, I can't take it any more. Enough with the players. Some of them are showing signs of quitting on the team, I just think it's because it's becoming painfully obvious these coaches and their schemes are next to useless as they are being coached.

Why can't these coaches remain aggressive all game long? Why is that such a difficult concept? When they blitz often they get stops, burned once in a while, but stops. When they don't, they just get burnt. When they throw deep or even to a covered CJ the offense puts up points. When they don't, they stop scoring for the most part. It must not be showing on film because they are not getting it. They get a lead and they immediately revert back to tentative, to cautious, to losing.

Here's what they need to do. On offense, 2 of every 6 plays goes to CJ. 3 of every 6 plays goes to Smith. The other play out of every 6 gets spread over the rest of the team. In no particular order, and in unpredictable but simple enough ways. On defense, blitz. You have to. You can NOT play zone nearly every play, even with a lead. Get over it and blitz. At least try to win.

And since I'm in such an advice-giving mood, I've decided to write Marinelli's press conference answers for him. For every question asked, simply answer "My Bad". Because, near as I can tell, every wrongly used player, every wrong play called, every wrong player played, and every play lacking in aggression is indeed 'your bad'.

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