Nothing to see here.
The final game of the 2009 season ends with the Lions losing at home. They finish 2 - 14, last in the division, and drafting 2nd in the 2010 draft. In my prediction contest (see http://www.theNetRat.com/contests.html) there was a tie between I Believe in Now & proof, both nailed the Lions 2009 season results right on the nose. I'm sure they would've rather I won with my 6-10 prediction, but I was once again too optimistic, so Congratulations guys on seeing the future better then I!!!
That won't deter me from trying to predict the draft, or the eventual roster, or anything else for that matter. Besides, as Lions fans know full well, there is always next year.
In this game we saw many of the same mistakes as were seen all season. Wrong routes, mental lapses resulting in penalties and broken coverages, and gutsy play calls that didn't work out.
We fans also see over a fifth of the team on IR by the end of the season once again.
We can expect to see some coaching changes (small ones, like possibly special teams coordinator, wide receiver coach, and maybe a couple others). That isn't a given, just another prediction on my part.
We can expect to see a trade or two maybe, some more roster turnover in free agency, and then we get to hopefully see another good draft. The roster turnover won't be quite as bad as last year however, since there actually are a few keepers on the team now. That's a good thing, because without a new CBA there won't be nearly as many free agents and with no salary cap the good teams are going to spend the big money on the big name free agents... plus with 2 franchise tags per team, many big name players are going no where.
We won't see the Lions using their franchise tags. At least, I can't think of any free agents on the team who the Lions will pay tag money to in order to keep them. It's not like there are many draft picks from previous drafts (from 5 years ago or longer) that are still on the team (see http://www.theNetRat.com/draft.html and click on the draft history link on the lower left).
Some players won't be cut until there is someone else to win their job in camp. The Lions have said they intend to build the team through the draft, that means a few starters per year if you're lucky, so the progress of building the team is going to go a bit slower then most would prefer. Still, fans should see some improvement, even next year. There was some this year, though it's not immediately obvious. Think back to last year and who was considered a "keeper" on the roster... now think of this year's roster... are there more names? Lot more names if you were to ask me. In fact, my next task will be to start my 2010 estimated roster sheets, they will be on the free agency page of my site (http://www.theNetRat.com/freeagency.html)
You should also see the Lions try to fill every "hole" with a body through trades and free agency. In that way, they will not feel obligated to draft any particular position in the draft in any particular order. The Lions front office know they can't do it all in one year, or two years, and that they will need another off season to really get the team built up to a respectable leverl... so if they can get a great possession receiver in round 2 they may take him, if they have him ranked higher then say a defensive end, or a cornerback. I know many don't believe me, but I truly believe the Lions are not going to go into the draft expecting to fill any particular position in any particular round. They could easily take offense in 2 of the first 3 picks. I can see it happening.
In fact, I think I'll make a few more blog entries on this subject... after a few weeks off.
So check back towards the end of the month, until then, there will be nothing to see here.