Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Too Little, Too Late.

Warning: This post is about the Detroit Lions. Since Matt is the only one to really ever respond or show interest in these posts, I am putting this up so those who don't care don't have to waste their time reading. But if you're interested, please, read on.

I woke up this morning to reports that the Lions were having a Pro-Bowl player coming in to work out for them. Usually, I would be the happiest man on the planet upon recieving this news, but I'm not.

The reason is because of who it is. Daunte Culpepper. Anyone who watches football, Culpepper's best years were with the Minnesota Vikings when he was teamed with freak-of-nautre wide reciever, Randy Moss. Culpepper was a young QB with accuracy, a cannon arm, and had lots of mobility. Culpepper and Moss were thought to be one of, if not the best WR/QB combination in the NFL. Eventually, Moss, with his flamboyant attitude and me first mentality, became a problem for fans and ownership. He was shipped to Oakland a few years back(now with the Patriots) and Culpepper's career has gone down hill since then.

He has always had trouble holding onto the ball when he ran with it or got sacked. Without Moss to dump it off to for a guaranteed catch, he was sacked more and more, losing the ball more and more. Needless to say, he wasn't the same Daunte. One sack ended his career that season when he tore 3 ligaments in his knee and required surgery. Once he was healthy and back able to play, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins where he was not the same Daunte, then shipped to Oakland(the year after they got rid of Moss incidently) and he wasn't the same Daunte, but did show more improvements.

For this entire 2008-09 season he has been in the news talking about retiring because no team was going to pay him what he was worth, correction, what he THOUGHT he was worth. Due to his knee injury and his age(31 going on 32) he isn't as mobile as he used to be.

For anyone who has watched the Lions this year, for the first 4 games they lost, Quarterback was a big problem for them. I hate to age discriminate, but I think Kitna's years are behind him, he was forcing too many balls and giving up on too many plays(i.e. the game against Green Bay). In comes Dan Orlovsky who had a shaky start at first but has improved each game and has yet to throw an interception. So it is safe to say that our Quarterback is not losing our games for us anymore.

So why waste money on a new Quarterback while you have one that has so far proven to be worthy? I'm not completely counting Culpepper out because if he is back to 100% mentally and physically, there is a possibility he can help us. It will be a risk, with a potential upside, but still not a risk I'm completely willing to make. We might as well save the money.

Right now, I'm at work bored, but things are starting to pick up so I have to cut this post short, maybe I'll continue it later.

Kal El


Head Artichoke said...

An absolutely pointless purchase. New backroom staff - let it go for the season, trying to make the players work together - and then get your shit together for next season. And don't pick a fucking WR with the #1 draft pick you're going to be getting.

Head Artichoke said...

One possibility...

I don't know if there are great QBs in college at the moment, but Daunte might be able to teach a rookie some things for the first few games of next season. Kitna can't - he's always been useless.

Kal El said...

That is one possibility, but a very small possibility. Culpepper in his prime, like I said was a mobile QB who could dump it off to 6'4" Randy Moss and the best hands in Pro Football, Cris Carter. He was also behind a very strong O-Line.

The Lions don't have an O-Line, their best shot is putting in their huge rookie Gosder Cherilus. He is 6'5" 335 lbs, why would you not put him in? He can definitely out play George Foster, all he has to do is stay onside.

The only possibility I can see is if Culpepper can connect well with 6'5" Calvin Johnson. I don't care what anyone says, Calvin Johnson is going to be Randy Moss, maybe even better because he has a better attitude.

Randy Moss-6'4" with a 4.3 40.
Calvin Johnson-6'5" with a 4.3 40, while wearing someone else's shoes.

I guess another possibility is Culpepper could bring veteran vision that a starting QB has. Kitna has always been a back up, he hasn't ever had that vision.

The Lions problem isn't really their players, at least I don't see it that way. They have the talent, the coaching staff just needs to realize that they aren't Tampa Bay, and they can't execute the Tampa 2. I've never been a fan of the Tampa 2, ever. They need more of a Pittsburgh or Philadelphia style defense.

Have you ever heard of Stewart Bradley? Chris Gocong? Omar Gaither? Not many people have but they are part of one of the best running defenses in the league with Philly. Why? Because they know how to blitz. If you watch the Lions, really watch close, you notice that they are never in position to make tackles, because the Tampa 2 is basically a zone defense. That is why they get burned on deep balls and can't tackle on running plays, because their defensive scheme doesn't allow them to be. You have a beast of a tackler with Ernie Sims and even he can't make tackles on some plays because of the position he is in. He is a tackling machine, a beast, unleash him! Blitz the fuck out of teams with him.

If there is one thing we have, it is speed, so use it. Why do you think our D-Line never gets any sacks? Because it is always 4 of them going against 5 O-Linemen and an occasional FB to keep them from the QB because we never really blitz our linebackers.

Guess what? Putting pressure on the QB causes them to make bad throws and poor decisions! Which usually lead to INT's for our secondary. We have Leigh Bodden, who was a stud in Cleveland, Cleveland runs a 3-4 scheme, which usually involves a lot of blitzing...do you see what I'm getting at?

I say, switch to the 3-4. What successful teams do you know that run the 3-4? Pittsburgh and New England just off the top of my head. Fuck Chuck Darby, his good years, if he ever had them, are behind him. Put Cory Redding in the center of the line with Dwayne White and Jared Devries on the ends rotating with rookie Cliff Avril and second year player Alama-Francis to keep them all fresh, Chuck Darby and Shaun Cody can sub in for Redding if he ever needs it but I doubt he will. Start 4 LBs, Ernie on the outside, Dizon and Lenon on the insides, and Alex Lewis on the other outside. Blitz the hell out of Ernie Sims and occasionally Alex Lewis with Lenon and Dizon staying back a bit for pass support to watch the Tight Ends of Running Backs. With pressure on the QB and all of his guys covered, he forces a throw somewhere it shouldn't go and it's either incomplete or picked. I know this is a lot easier said than done, but I really think this would work better for them. Which is why I am praying to the Football Gods that they clean house on their coaching staff, offer Bill Cowher anything he wants to coach and bring in his own staff and bring in Floyd Reese(who by the way built Tennessee's defense into what it is today) switch to the 3-4 and begin Detroit's dominance.

Now onto Offense. Calvin on the right, Furrey on the left, and McDonald in the slot. McDonald has always been a solid receiver when people use him in the slot. That is where he was in St. Louis when they had an unstoppable offense. He isn't cut out for an outside position. Did you see the game right after trading Roy Williams where they lined McDonald up on the outside and threw him a pass they would usually throw to Roy but McDonald was too short to reach it? Yea, put him in the slot. I'm not saying Furrey is tall, but he is taller than McDonald. Remember the year before Calvin? When it was just Roy and Furrey and they were both over 1,000 recieving yards on the season? Yea, I do.

Now with the receivers in place, start rookie Kevin Smith, he is faster and more versatile than Rudi. Rudi's best years are behind him, but he is still a solid 3rd down back option to pound in a could yards for the first or on the goal line. Kevin Smith is quick, he can make runs to the outside with Gosder's big ass leading his way, or he can go out for a quick dump out pass and get us 7-10 yards. When we pass, we should ALWAYS be in a 3 receiver set because that is our strength, our receivers. Quick passes to McDonald running across the middle, or a quick slant or screen pass on Calvin's side and have Calvin blocking for him along with TE Michael Gaines and let McDonald use his quickness to get us some good yards. Quick passes, quick passes, QUICK PASSES! Our O-Line can't really pass block well, this is a good option for us. Quick passes for good chunks of yards would set up our running game, and you know what neat little toy that also comes with establishing the running game? PLAY ACTION TO CALVIN JOHNSON DOWN THE FIELD! He is huge, and fast, very fast. USE HIM!

So, back to Culpepper. I think he would be a good person to execute quick passes. He is a big QB, and has a strong arm to zip the balls in their to the slot man. His big arm will also help on the play action bombs to CJ.

This comment turned out to be longer than the original post I think, lol. But does any of this make sense to you?