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So you are saying that 1) Matt Cassel continued to make NE's offensive line look good? 2) If Ben/Brady/Peyton Manning were on the Lions the past 2 years, we would have been a playoff team?

You do realize these guys have been saying that the Lions offensive line is not that bad right? Do you agree with that? Perhaps I'm assessing them wrong, but they are saying the offensive lines problems are not as much to do with them, as they are to do with the QB and Stafford will fix that problem.

I think the Lions QB's were making the line look worse than it is. They're at least league average imo. And the Pats receivers made Cassel look better than he is.

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I think the Lions QB's were making the line look worse than it is. They're at least league average imo. And the Pats receivers made Cassel look better than he is.

I agree with Cassel, no doubt, but where would you rank NE's offensive line compared to the rest of the NFL?

I also agree with the Lion's QB's, but disagree that our line was league average last year. I know it is nearly impossible to measure, and you definitely watch the games closer than I do so I would say your opinion is better, but I thought if I were to rank the Lions' O-line last year with the NFL, I would have them in the mid 20's possibly as high as 22-23 or as low as 25-26. I think they could be league average with a good QB, but I don't think they have the ability to be better than that. IMO most of them just aren't that good.

Again, don't get me wrong everyone. I'm rooting for the Lions, but I just find that many fans are going to put so much on Stafford "saving" the franchise, when IMO success if the NFL comes from role players, not pro bowlers. I'd rather have a team full of quality role players, than a team with 5 pro bowlers and a bunch of below average/washed up guys (guys I would label Lions last year). This draft makes me optimistic, but I think we need another 2 drafts before we actually have a team that can make us cheer again.

Edited by belcherboy

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I think the Lions QB's were making the line look worse than it is. They're at least league average imo. And the Pats receivers made Cassel look better than he is.

I believe that to be true and the addition of Pettigrew as a first option for a quick pass will also help.

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IMO Ben and Flacco are not even top 5 QB's, I would argue if they are even top 10 QB's in terms of talent. They have some GREAT people surrounding them. Along with a KILLER defense that puts them in positions to look good.

Also we've had a lot of guys with the same potential as CJ, Smith, and Pettigrew. We've had A LOT of those guys the past 10 years.

IMHO, Big Ben may not be top 5, but last season he was the best QB in crunch time when his team needed to score to win.

I am not so sure the Lions had a WR or TE with the same potential as CJ and Pettigrew. Maybe I am forgetting someone, so can you please tell me a WR or TE that the Lions had that had the same potential as them?

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I agree with Cassel, no doubt, but where would you rank NE's offensive line compared to the rest of the NFL?

I also agree with the Lion's QB's, but disagree that our line was league average last year. I know it is nearly impossible to measure, and you definitely watch the games closer than I do so I would say your opinion is better, but I thought if I were to rank the Lions' O-line last year with the NFL, I would have them in the mid 20's possibly as high as 22-23 or as low as 25-26. I think they could be league average with a good QB, but I don't think they have the ability to be better than that. IMO most of them just aren't that good.

Again, don't get me wrong everyone. I'm rooting for the Lions, but I just find that many fans are going to put so much on Stafford "saving" the franchise, when IMO success if the NFL comes from role players, not pro bowlers. I'd rather have a team full of quality role players, than a team with 5 pro bowlers and a bunch of below average/washed up guys (guys I would label Lions last year). This draft makes me optimistic, but I think we need another 2 drafts before we actually have a team that can make us cheer again.

NE's line isn't really special. What they do best is eliminate errors, which is a bugaboo for the Lions, but ability wise, they're middle of the pack. The Pats also have been more of a shotgun team than most teams, so that must be taken into consideration. They have it nice and easy with their speed on the outside, but we'll see when teams don't have to worry about that.

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thing is I think Detroit has a lot of talent

Like whom?

I disagree. Plus I believe we have at least 3 or 4 future pro bowl players on the roster today - CJ' date=' Stafford, Pettigrew and Delmas.[/quote']

3 pro bowlers from on draft class? History is not on your side.

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IMHO, Big Ben may not be top 5, but last season he was the best QB in crunch time when his team needed to score to win.

I am not so sure the Lions had a WR or TE with the same potential as CJ and Pettigrew. Maybe I am forgetting someone, so can you please tell me a WR or TE that the Lions had that had the same potential as them?

I can tell you what the experts have said, immediately following the draft, the past 8 years about our draft classes, but that would be a waste of time because they were proven wrong. What is so different now than when we drafted Charles Rogers, Joey, BMW, and all the other first round picks that are no longer on our team? Honestly, did you not think those guys had a high level of potential or are you basing your opinions on hindsight?

Edited by belcherboy

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3 pro bowlers from on draft class? History is not on your side.

I honestly feel like this every year with the Lions. You have several fans who feel like we have 3 or more pro bowlers in our draft class, yet I can't think of anyone outside of CJ that has really come close to living to that potential. The thing that baffles me is that we promoted a guy that lived in the Millen system, and everyone thinks we have finally turned a corner?

Again, I hope to be dead wrong, but I don't quite understand why many on here think that the Lions are close to respectability after an 0-16 season, and a GM that has been working in the worst run organization in the NFL.

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Like whom?

I've already answered the question. Multiple times in fact.

3 pro bowlers from on draft class? History is not on your side.

How often do teams have 3 picks in the top 33 spots?

I honestly feel like this every year with the Lions. You have several fans who feel like we have 3 or more pro bowlers in our draft class, yet I can't think of anyone outside of CJ that has really come close to living to that potential. The thing that baffles me is that we promoted a guy that lived in the Millen system, and everyone thinks we have finally turned a corner?

Because I judge Mayhew by what he has done since he is has taken the position, not based on the actions of Mr. Millen. Since Mayhew has taken this team, he got a wonderful deal for Roy Williams, organized a fantastic coaching staff, brought in some solid veteran talent (including a Pro Bowl LB) and had what I believe to be a knock out draft class. Why wouldn't I think we have turned a corner?

Again, I hope to be dead wrong, but I don't quite understand why many on here think that the Lions are close to respectability after an 0-16 season, and a GM that has been working in the worst run organization in the NFL.

Because I watch football. Because I watched a team that was one play away from being the first 0-16 team make the playoffs. Because I understand that projecting 2009 based purely on 2008 doesn't work.

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Again, I hope to be dead wrong, but I don't quite understand why many on here think that the Lions are close to respectability after an 0-16 season, and a GM that has been working in the worst run organization in the NFL.

The simple answer - it doesn't take much in the NFL to get to a reasonable level of respectability, and it's done all the time. Again, it depends on what people think is a reasonable level of respectability. Right now getting to 6-10 would qualify. No team should be that far off that ever.

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I think you underestimate the role of the offensive line, but I'm not a football pro by any means. Are you saying that New England has won many SB's the past 6 years, DESPITE a bad offensive line? Same thing with Roethlisberger?

Well New England's offensive line has changed since their last Super Bowl victory. New England's Offensive Line is not as bad as I am making it out to be, my point is - however - that that same Offensive Line gave up 50 sacks last year to Matt Cassel. So the idea that you need an OL that never gives up sacks to win is simply incorrect. For the record, yes - Roethlisberger absolutely won a Super Bowl last year behind a bad offensive line. That's not really up for debate.

I don't disagree that QB can make them better, but IMO if you put Kitna, Culpepper, or even Dan-O behind those two lines they will have a better record than 0-16 (personally I think they would have made the playoffs on many of those Pittsburgh and NE teams the past six year).

To further indicate the difference a QB will make on that offensive line, Dan-O got took 255 of Detroit's 509 QB snaps last year. He, however, was only sacked 14 times out of a team total 54. Dan O out performed the other QB's on the roster last year. The Lions QB play from Kitna and Culpepper made the Lions O-Line look worse than it was.

I mean Matt Cassel was basically a ROOKIE and won 11 games, was it because he was this incredible QB?

No, it was because he had a fantastic coordinator that molded the game to fit him (like Chan Gailey was able to do for Tyler Thigpen) and was working in the most prolific offense of all time with Randy Moss, Wes Welker and the Patriots offense. I fully expect Cassel to fail to repeat anything close to that success next year in KC.

Honestly, who could have gotten less out of Detroit's defense last year? Getting more is not necessarily that difficult, when you have the worst defense in the NFL.

You were asking how Atlanta could have had such a better year if they weren't all that more talented on defense. I gave you the answer: the difference in defensive coaching.

They both played for Super Bowl caliber teams. IMO Ben and Flacco are not even top 5 QB's, I would argue if they are even top 10 QB's in terms of talent. They have some GREAT people surrounding them. Along with a KILLER defense that puts them in positions to look good. Also we've had a lot of guys with the same potential as CJ, Smith, and Pettigrew. We've had A LOT of those guys the past 10 years.

We have never had a player with the potential of Calvin Johnson, but that beside the point. Baltimore was not a Super Bowl caliber team, they had a fantastic defense - but they just came off a terrible year. So out of the three players I mentioned, only one played for a Super Bowl caliber team, one of them came from a bad team (Ryan) and one came from a team with a loaded defense.

You can quote me on this. Arizona won't sniff the playoffs this year. Their history of incompetence brought them one year IMO, and their regular season record proves that to me. If we are like Arizona last year, we won't make the playoffs.

Their regular season record is overrated. The team was immature and not use to success, anyone that followed the Cardinals could see that once the team locked up a playoff birth they put on the breaks emotionally. The Cardinals learned how to win in the playoffs, they learned how to be champions. If Warner stays health, I believe Arizona will do fine. The key is coaching - Ken Wisenhunt is a fantastic coach. I think Jim Schwartz is similar.

Again, you are going against every expert out there. Find me one expert that would even say Atlanta and Detroit are comparable, in ANY aspect of the game. Find me an expert that claims that Ben Roethlisberger. Tom Brady/Cassel and Matt Ryan don't have above average, to VERY good offensive lines. I think it says a lot about how much less important a QB is when Cassel comes in and wins 11 games as a nobody QB in New England.

How many experts predicted Atlanta to do what they did last year? Or how about Miami? Do you not remember how experts were dismissing Miami as a spot for Favre because they were not a team ready to win now?

Pittsburgh's Offensive Line:

Steelers' No. 1 concern is their offensive line - NFL - ESPN

Pittsburgh Steelers' Offensive Line: Who Is To Blame? | Bleacher Report

Steelers' offensive line continues to jell - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

- this article talks about how the O-Line is getting better, but it also describes it as "the worst offensive line in Super Bowl history."

Great to have 3-4, but you don't win SB's without role players. The Lions lack sorely in that department.

I'm not predicting a Super Bowl in 2009. I am predicting Playoffs within 3 years.

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I'm not predicting a Super Bowl in 2009. I am predicting Playoffs within 3 years.

You've done nothing but say how talented the Lions are, how awesome Matt Stafford is, and how Jim Schwartz is the second coming of Chuck Noll...and you're predicting playoffs WITHIN THREE YEARS?

Way to go out on a limb Norm. Hell, I'll go out on a limb and predict they make the playoffs within three years and I think the Lions suck right now. Making the playoffs in the NFL over a three year time span is not that difficult to do.

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I've already answered the question. Multiple times in fact.

Indulge me.

How about this. How many Lions players are in the top third of starting players in the league for their position?

I'll start.

Calvin Johnson

Julian Peterson (and that's a bit of a reach)

And that's it.

I think if you went through the NFC North, you'd find that the Lions have the least amount of talent of any team in the division.

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Name me a top OL without a good QB.

Washington. Dallas. Minnesota.

I can keep naming if you want.

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You've done nothing but say how talented the Lions are, how awesome Matt Stafford is, and how Jim Schwartz is the second coming of Chuck Noll...and you're predicting playoffs WITHIN THREE YEARS?

Way to go out on a limb Norm. Hell, I'll go out on a limb and predict they make the playoffs within three years and I think the Lions suck right now. Making the playoffs in the NFL over a three year time span is not that difficult to do.

The Lions happen to play in an increasingly strong division. The Lions could go 8-8 or 9-7 next year and still not make the playoffs.

The key to a team success is QB and Aaron Rodger, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler, I believe, will all be in the discussion of the top 5 in the league over the next few years.

The team with the worst QB play, Minnesota, has the best all around team.

I try not to make irrational proclamations.

Indulge me.

How about this. How many Lions players are in the top third of starting players in the league for their position?

I'll start.

Calvin Johnson

Julian Peterson (and that's a bit of a reach)

And that's it.

I think if you went through the NFC North, you'd find that the Lions have the least amount of talent of any team in the division.

I think Pettigrew will move into the top third of starting players at his position very quickly. I think Kevin Smith has the potential to be a top third running back.

On defense, Julian Peterson certainly fits that bill. I think Delmas has the potential as well.

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I'm not predicting a Super Bowl in 2009. I am predicting Playoffs within 3 years.

Really, a team that doesn't exist next year but comes into existence the upcoming offseason would have a reasonable chance at the playoffs in three years (or in two since they are already missing this year).

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Really, a team that doesn't exist next year but comes into existence the upcoming offseason would have a reasonable chance at the playoffs in three years (or in two since they are already missing this year).

Not in the NFC North.

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I remember having a lot of the same arguments around Joey Harrington.

In the absence of a competent OL it is hard to judge a QB.

In the absence of a competent QB it is hard to judge an OL.

In the absence of a competent Defense it is hard to judge the offense.

In the absense of a competent offense it is hard to judge the defense.

etc, etc ...

The Lions were 0-16 last year. It is hard to say any particular part of them is any good whatsoever. They have to improve, only because they were so bad. But it is hard to argue which particular improvements will be significant.

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The Lions were 0-16 last year. It is hard to say any particular part of them is any good whatsoever.

Not if you know what you are talking about. Then it is quite easy.

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Not if you know what you are talking about. Then it is quite easy.

Maybe I should say that, while you might be able to convince yourself, it is hard to convince anyone else.

Edited by thewave84

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Tony Romo is a Top QB?

Yes, he's a top 10 QB.

Last year he was in the Top 10 of QB Rating (8th), YPG (5th) and TD's (6th) with an above 60% completion rating.

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Not in the NFC North.

I don't care if the past three Super Bowl winners are in your division. If an organization thinks it's going to take three years to build a team into a possible playoff contender, they should axe themselves right now.

The NFL is set up so any team should never be on the bottom forever or on the top forever. It promotes balance through draft picks, sheduling and the salary cap. And if that's not enough, the attrition rate for players only encourages it more. In today's NFL if you are at the bottom for a long time, you've truly done something yourself to make that happen, because someone can certainly "luck" themselves to an 8-8 record occasionally.

And I'm willing to venture that not all 5-11 teams vs. 11-5 teams through the course of football history are "even." You used to be able to expect double-digit losses. But with football's parity, this decade seemingly has more games decided by two or less TDs than I can remember in the past.

I just took the point differentials for teams with double-digit wins and losses last year and figured by what average they were outscored. I then just went to 1984 (just picked a year and I picked this one because the Tigers won it all in 1984) and did the same thing.

1984 teams with 10+ wins = 124.3 more points than opposition during season.

1984 teams with 10+ losses = 151 less points than opposition during season.

In 2008?

2008 teams with 10+ wins = 94.4 more points than opposition

2008 teams with 10+ losses = 137.3 less points than opposition.

These could be two fluky years, but at least these two years kind of proved my point. Today's worst and best teams are winning and losing their games by a smaller point margin than in 1984 - by more than 40 points a team. That's seems like a considerable difference. So, knowing this I think you can argue that moving from 2-14 or 0-16 or 4-12 in today's NFL isn't the task it may have been even in 1984. The gap between the best and the worst just isn't as great as it was. Asking any team to improve to a level of a possible playoff team in three years isn't asking much. If you can't, you probably should be fired.

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