Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New feature, plus Lions talk.

I just added a new widget to my blog. As you can see on the sidebar under the links to the other blogs in our community, is a "Lions News" widget. Since I love talking about the Lions, and rarely find time to blog unless I have a specific reason, I put it there in case someone (probably only Matt and Kit) sees something on there they want to talk about, or hear something they want to talk about, I urge you to just comment on the latest post, my email will inform me, and I will make a post answering your question and discussing more things as soon as possible.

On that note, the Lions have made a few free agent signings. They aren't anything HUGE, but they are very good additions. For starters...

-WR Bryant Johnson. Johnson is a good combo of size (6'3", 211 lbs.) and speed. He will definitely compete for the second spot opposite the other Johnson in that position, Calvin, who is 6'5" and disgustingly fast. This is a good thing, especially for a team like the Lions who don't exactly have a franchise quarterback. Obviously, when a receiver is big, it is easier to get them the ball because the range of targeted space is larger than say, a 5'11" speed receiver. Another free agent signing, well, resigning I would love to see from them is Shaun McDonald, the Lions slot receiver from the passed couple years. With two large targets spreading the defense from the outside, and quick McDonald running across the center of the field, it should be easy for projected starter, Daunte Culpepper, to find open targets, especially with an addition they made I am going to talk about next. This addition was much needed since Culpepper never really was known for his accuracy.

-RB Maurice Morris. Maurice is a good veteran running back, who is still quite young at the age of 29. Morris is somewhat of a career backup. For the last 7 years, he has been playing for Seattle. There, he started out backing up Pro-Bowler and one time MVP Shaun Alexander, until last season when he backed up Julius Jones for the same team. I love this signing. I love it because, we have our running back in second year pro, Kevin Smith. Smith proved last year to be a very solid RB and a potential game breaker. Another thing I like about this is Morris' role up until now, a back up. He knows what he is and he knows what he is expected to do. In the NFL, 29 is considered to be the start of decline for a running back because of all the wear and tear on their bodies. But Morris, being a back up his entire career, hasn't received the punishment most backs have. Plus, he has always been a great back up, many times considered to be starting caliber on other teams. We now have a "two-headed" tandem in our backfield. Now we just need to shore up our offensive line.

-We re-signed Kicker, Jason Hanson, enough said.

-DT Grady Jackson. Jackson is huge. I am talking 6'2" 350 lbs. Although he is rather old, 36, Jackson is a great run stopper. One of the best the league has seen. I am pleased because this might mean Cory Redding will go back to his old self when he had another huge nose tackle, Shaun Rogers, commanding a lot of double teams, as will Jackson. The only thing that would make me happier about this signing is if the Lions went out and got Jackson's old running mate, DT Rod Coleman, who is also a free agent and a GREAT run stopper, and a few years younger, 32. This move would allow Cory Redding to move to defensive end, where instead of being a somewhat undersized DT, he will be a powerful, somewhat oversized DE. Leaving our D-Line looking like this DE-White DT-Jackson DT-Coleman DE-Redding. That is a beastly line and would fit perfect in new head coach Swartz's "We must get bigger and stronger" philosophy. This move would also sure up what we would do with out first pick in the draft. We could move second year DE, Cliff Avril, to OLB opposite Ernie Sims, and draft Aaron Curry to man MLB. Aaron curry has been projected by most draft "experts" as the safest pick in the draft, and smartest (in my opinion, too) pick for the Lions. The only downside is the age of the two DT's. But this downside also comes with an upside. We have a young, one time promising DT in Shaun Cody. He is big. 6'2", 310 lbs. He just hasn't really progressed, his only real mentor was Shaun Rogers, who was always so out of shape he would be forced to take plays off. Not a good mentor. Jackson and Coleman are both great veterans and leaders who could teach Cody a few things and hopefully help develop him.

-CB Anthony Henry. I am happy with this acquisition. All we lost was Jon Kitna, and let's face it, his career with Detroit was done last season, so no real loss there. Henry is a solid veteran back who will help sure up our secondary a little bit. Let's just hope we resign Leigh Bodden, whom we cut earlier this off-season for "cap reasons."

I think that's it for now. Any questions, comments of concerns? Just comment and we can discuss.

Here's hoping for the best this off-season...

OO-EH,
Kal El

7 comments:

Head Artichoke said...

Signing backups and average receivers doesn't seem to be the way forward...

Kal El said...

It sure is when the backups you sign are meant to be backups. We already have starters for the RB and WR and those are the only backups we signed. Depth is definitely key in the NFL. And Grady Jackson, although old, is still at starter calibur and Anthony Henry is a starter, that is why he is such a steal for Jon Kitna.

Head Artichoke said...

Whatever helps you sleep at night. The Lions need to be hiring about 18 starters. Think about depth later.

Kal El said...

More than half of the players they got are starters. Grady Jackson will undoubtedly be in the starting lineup, as he was with all his other teams. They just signed CB Philip Buchanon, he is a starter along with CB Anthony Henry. The only real "backups" they signed were Morris, which is good because we already have a starter at RB, Kevin Smith, it is always good to have 2 RBs in your line up these days. Bryant Johnson also could be considered one, but again, we already have Calvin Johnson, who is going to require double coverage, making it easier for Bryant Johnson to get open. He is also a young up and coming receiver.

I'm pretty pleased with what they've done this off season. Considering out 0-16 record last year, I people were weary about coming to Detroit, now I think people will think different with the changes they have said they will make, and the changes they have already made.

Kit Bennett said...

what's the deal with the QB situation long term, is this current draft class too weak to pick a franchise QB or...will stafford/sanchez be good enough?

Kal El said...

As far as the number 1 pick, in my opinion, the draft class is too weak. If the Lions were one step away from being a Super Bowl team and had a solid team all around except QB, then I would say go for it.

I think Culpepper is solid for now. Last year he came in without knowing the playbook and without an offseason training camp. This year, he has all of that. Now QB is going to be good without an O-Line to protect him. Remember when the Patriots went 16-0 and Brady broke all sorts of records? Yea, his entire O-Line except 1 went to the Pro Bowl.

I say build the line, establish a strong running game and open up space for our receivers. Culpepper is capable with a line. No one is capable without a line.

So I hope they stay away from QB unless there is a solid one in the 2nd or 3rd round. If they don't go O-Line, I want them to go with Aaron Curry, the linebacker from Wake Forrest.

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