Tuesday, August 29, 2006
After looking at the Chicago Bears yesterday, next on the list is the Detroit Lions.
About Last Year: Um yeah, I think this is something most Lions fans would like to forget. The Lions finished 5-11 last year, including losing 6 of their last 7 games. They had the QB carousel of Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia, which didn't work out well. The Joey Harrington Experiment finally ended, and Garcia is gone as well. There were a couple of good things happening, like Roy Williams showing he's an excellent receiver when healthy, or Dre Bly showing he can be a playmaker on defense, but there was a lot more bad than good. Such as the fact that Matt Millen is still employed.
What they Added: First and foremost, some coaches. In his Rod Marinelli, a no-nonsense head coach. More importantly, at least in my mind, is that Mike Martz is on board as O-Coordinator. I think Martz is an awful coach, but he's a very good offensive mind. For the offense, QBs Jon Kitna and Josh McCown were brought in for a total overhaul, and it looks like Kitna will be the starter. They also brought in Corey Bradford at WR, who's not a real great player, but if nothing else should provide more competition for guys like Mike Williams and Charles Rogers, who have fallen very far out of favor it seems. TWFE has a complete offensive look for the Lions. In the draft, they added a playmaking LB in Ernie Sims, and then added depth in the secondary with Daniel Bullocks. Jamar Fletcher was also brought in to help replace some CB that left.
What they Lost: Well, Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia are gone, but that's kinda addition by subtraction. They also lost some CBs in RW McQuarters and Andre Goodman, and brought in Jamar Fletcher to try and help offset that. But for the most part, other than the coaches, we're going to see a lot of the same Lions this year. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
What does this all mean? It means it doesn't look like the Lions will be competing for the playoffs yet, even in the weak NFC North. Unless Mike Martz can completely overhaul the offense to make it more dangerous (and if anyone can, he can), I don't like Detroit's chances. A lot of their skill players are perennial underachievers, they're starting a new QB, and the defense is still young and a little thin in spots (although I should mention here that I LOVE Shaun Rogers). But all in all, even some Lions fans aren't that excited for the season to start... and I can't blame them. My guess is 6-10, with a shot at 7-9.