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actually this was you homey, post 961

Please, quote me. I was asking why the players who were acquired via trade played better on the Lions than they did with previous teams if our coaching staff was so bad that they took a top talented secondary to below average.

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Please, quote me. I was asking why the players who were acquired via trade played better on the Lions than they did with previous teams if our coaching staff was so bad that they took a top talented secondary to below average.

ya, exactly.

except nobody said the top secondary thing. You made that up all on your own.

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SF has never been known for having a great secondary, they have always been shaped by their front 7. Even if you did like their secondary, they lost 3 of 4 starters, so they don't really exist anymore.

Carolina is another team defined by their front 7. Look where their money is spent. They turned over most of their secondary last offseason and again this year. They don't value them any more than we do and have spent no high picks there recently. They likely caused more TOs due to a more effective pass rush. All in all, they had 20 INTs to our 15 and allowed 66% of passes to be completed to 59.1 for us, .1 more than San Francisco. I'm not making baseless claims here or "blanket statements". You're free to disagree with my logic, but the disrespect of saying that I"m not using any is unnecessary.

You said the 49ers of last year if I'm not mistaken so the "they don't really exist anymore" argument doesn't mean much. Please, show me any articles or examples indicating that the 49ers had a weak secondary or less than talented secondary.

49ers Secondary: From weakness to strength - Niners Nation

Now, maybe some people claim that their secondary is the weakest aspect of their top ranked defense...but everyone says the same thing about the Lions (the secondary being a weakness). They are focused on their front 7, so are we. They produced, we haven't. How about this, explain to me how you decided the the Lions secondary members (who were led by a FA making the vet minimum last season) are more talented than the 49ers or Panthers secondary who has done nothing but succeeded.

And I agree that Carolina is more of a no-name secondary, "Legion of Whom" but that doesn't mean that they haven't produced or aren't talented. When it comes to production, the two secondaries aren't even close. And BTW, 6 of our 15 INT were from Levy (not necessarily a member of the secondary). And awesome, we allowed less completed passes...too bad we allowed 500+ more yards and significantly more TDs through the air. But those things pale in importance to completion %. All three teams listed are built around their defensive front, their secondaries have produced while ours hasn't, so please explain to me how our secondary is more talented. If these aren't just baseless, blanket statements explain to me your thought process. Because the statistics, the production, tell a different story.

Edited by EchO

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ya, exactly.

except nobody said the top secondary thing. You made that up all on your own.

You said the lions secondary is more talented than two of the top 5 producing secondaries. That doesn't imply that the Lions are a top secondary? What importance is "talent" if it doesn't lead to production? That makes absolutely zero sense. Do me a favor, explain to me how the Lions secondary is more talented than SF or Carolina, and explain to me why the hell being more talented matters if it doesn't correlate to success.

Edit: Maybe what we have here is a miss-communication of what you mean by "talent." To me production is a direct result from having talent, there are obviously some other factors (luck for example) but the cream typically rises to the top and are the ones with sustained production. The Lions have had a vast lack of sustained production from their CB which IMO would imply they are not a talented group. Now, they are a very athletic group that have the physical tools necessary to compete at a high level...but they haven't realized that potential. If you are defining "talent" as potential talent then I could even agree. But there is no indicator, thus far, that our secondary is more talented than either of those teams. They have simply outproduced in every way.

Edited by EchO

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You said the lions secondary is more talented than two of the top 5 producing secondaries. That doesn't imply that the Lions are a top secondary? What importance is "talent" if it doesn't lead to production? That makes absolutely zero sense. Do me a favor, explain to me how the Lions secondary is more talented than SF or Carolina, and explain to me why the hell being more talented matters if it doesn't correlate to success,

Never said those were two of the top producing secondaries and not sure what you are going off of. I mentioned that Carolina gave up a much large comp% than us and SF was basically tied.

SF and Carolina were clearly better defenses than us, by a good margin. Nobody is arguing that. I'm simply pointing out that it is relatively common to see a top defense without elite talent(or whatever word you would like to use, since you have a problem with that word and think it only means what you did at the combine or something) in the secondary.

Also, we value different things in DBs. You value "production" where as I value stopping production. Don't get me wrong, I want more INTs from our DBs, but it is my experience that you get in a ton of trouble trying to grade DBs by their tackle and INT numbers.

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Never said those were two of the top producing secondaries and not sure what you are going off of. I mentioned that Carolina gave up a much large comp% than us and SF was basically tied.

SF and Carolina were clearly better defenses than us, by a good margin. Nobody is arguing that. I'm simply pointing out that it is relatively common to see a top defense without elite talent(or whatever word you would like to use, since you have a problem with that word and think it only means what you did at the combine or something) in the secondary.

Also, we value different things in DBs. You value "production" where as I value stopping production. Don't get me wrong, I want more INTs from our DBs, but it is my experience that you get in a ton of trouble trying to grade DBs by their tackle and INT numbers.

Nas, why are you using comp%?

I included our passing defense as compared to the other two...did you not see that? They gave up less yards, less TD, and caused more turnovers. Who cares about comp%...what does that prove when you are giving up more passing yards, more passing TDs and causing less turnovers? I used yards given up in the air, passing TDs, INT, tackles, pass deflections, and forced fumbles (which all suggest SF and Carolina have been producing secondaries) and could add average yards/reception, yards per game, 1st down%, and QBR against...and you are singling out completion %?

What has suggested to you that Detroit's secondary is more talented? Comp%? What else?

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You said the 49ers of last year if I'm not mistaken so the "they don't really exist anymore" argument doesn't mean much. Please, show me any articles or examples indicating that the 49ers had a weak secondary or less than talented secondary.

49ers Secondary: From weakness to strength - Niners Nation

Now, maybe some people claim that their secondary is the weakest aspect of their top ranked defense...but everyone says the same thing about the Lions (the secondary being a weakness). They are focused on their front 7, so are we. They produced, we haven't. How about this, explain to me how you decided the the Lions secondary members (who were led by a FA making the vet minimum last season) are more talented than the 49ers or Panthers secondary who has done nothing but succeeded.

And I agree that Carolina is more of a no-name secondary, "Legion of Whom" but that doesn't mean that they haven't produced or aren't talented. When it comes to production, the two secondaries aren't even close. And BTW, 6 of our 15 INT were from Levy (not necessarily a member of the secondary). And awesome, we allowed less completed passes...too bad we allowed 500+ more yards and significantly more TDs through the air. But those things pale in importance to completion %. All three teams listed are built around their defensive front, their secondaries have produced while ours hasn't, so please explain to me how our secondary is more talented. If these aren't just baseless, blanket statements explain to me your thought process. Because the statistics, the production, tell a different story.

Right, both of those teams let all of their secondary players go, with only Whitner making big money, because they were all super great players who they found to be irreplaceable. That makes a ton of sense. Not to mention that many of Carolina's guys weren't on the roster and weren't good players just the year before. Another coincidence? They're starting to add up pretty quickly these coincidences.

I posted the other stats because yards are a poor indicator. They don't take into account how many drives or what the situation was. That's why its better to look at the complete picture. Yards are a factor, but not the only factor.

That's why things like QBR,passer rating and 3rd down conversion rate are good things to look at. Even in TDs, we were 13th, which isn't too shabby. We had 3 less picks than SF who is oh so much more productive.

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Right, both of those teams let all of their secondary players go, with only Whitner making big money, because they were all super great players who they found to be irreplaceable. That makes a ton of sense. Not to mention that many of Carolina's guys weren't on the roster and weren't good players just the year before. Another coincidence? They're starting to add up pretty quickly these coincidences.

I posted the other stats because yards are a poor indicator. They don't take into account how many drives or what the situation was. That's why its better to look at the complete picture. Yards are a factor, but not the only factor.

That's why things like QBR,passer rating and 3rd down conversion rate are good things to look at. Even in TDs, we were 13th, which isn't too shabby. We had 3 less picks than SF who is oh so much more productive.

You keep avoiding my questions. Please explain to me your logic as to why the Lions secondary is more talented.

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Nas, why are you using comp%?

I included our passing defense as compared to the other two...did you not see that? They gave up less yards, less TD, and caused more turnovers. Who cares about comp%...what does that prove when you are giving up more passing yards, more passing TDs and causing less turnovers? I used yards given up in the air, passing TDs, INT, tackles, pass deflections, and forced fumbles (which all suggest SF and Carolina have been producing secondaries) and could add average yards/reception, yards per game, 1st down%, and QBR against...and you are singling out completion %?

What has suggested to you that Detroit's secondary is more talented? Comp%? What else?

those teams have sustained considerable losses and I have used a wide variety of stats. I did not say that our pass D was better than those teams last year. I did not even say that they would surely be better this coming year. I simply showed a precedent for good defenses being strong in the front 7, but relatively weak in the secondary.

Outside of the Carolina/SF comparisons, I posted a large number of statistics that showed our pass D to be around the top half of the league. QBR,TDs allowed,passer rating, 3rd down conversions etc.

We were also 2nd in the NFL in both points and TDs allowed per RZ trip. Let me ask you, would you consider it a stretch for me to say that 3rd down and RZ play are the two most important situations that a defense needs to play well in?

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those teams have sustained considerable losses and I have used a wide variety of stats. I did not say that our pass D was better than those teams last year. I did not even say that they would surely be better this coming year. I simply showed a precedent for good defenses being strong in the front 7, but relatively weak in the secondary.

Outside of the Carolina/SF comparisons, I posted a large number of statistics that showed our pass D to be around the top half of the league. QBR,TDs allowed,passer rating, 3rd down conversions etc.

We were also 2nd in the NFL in both points and TDs allowed per RZ trip. Let me ask you, would you consider it a stretch for me to say that 3rd down and RZ play are the two most important situations that a defense needs to play well in?

Nas, you are dodging. What was your logic used in deciding that our secondary was more talented than SF and Carolina.

Its a better group than what SF has, for example, or what Carolina had last year, and deeper.

What makes our group a "better group" what makes us "deeper"?

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I'll happily answer your question, but enough with the condescending tone and reducing our conversation to that one question. Your posts above are multiple paragraphs long and address multiple issues. You didn't just ask me to respond to one poorly worded, over simplified question.

To answer that over simplified question though, I am making that assessment based on my eyes, statistics, how desired the players were by NFL teams and how those players have played and produced in the past, when not behind elite secondaries. I don't think anyone in the world, even SF and Car fans, considered their secondaries to be particularly talented or particularly valuable to their roster. That is why each of them let most of their secondary walk this offseason. If that doesn't speak to you, I don't know what will.

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I'll happily answer your question, but enough with the condescending tone and reducing our conversation to that one question. Your posts above are multiple paragraphs long and address multiple issues. You didn't just ask me to respond to one poorly worded, over simplified question.

To answer that over simplified question though, I am making that assessment based on my eyes, statistics, how desired the players were by NFL teams and how those players have played and produced in the past, when not behind elite secondaries. I don't think anyone in the world, even SF and Car fans, considered their secondaries to be particularly talented or particularly valuable to their roster. That is why each of them let most of their secondary walk this offseason. If that doesn't speak to you, I don't know what will.

I guess I was looking for a more specific answer but you clearly have your reasons. I personally don't see how you could use that criteria and make your assessment (considering Carolina and SF outperformed the Lions, produced better statistics, and were more desired than our FA) but you are more than entitled to your opinion.

I disagree they just "let their secondary walk" unless you consider the Lions doing the same thing by not resigning Delmas and replacing him with someone else. The 49ers offered a contract to Brown, Whitner signed a large deal, Carlos Rogers was 33 and they had better options. The Panthers didn't resign Captain Munnerlyn (who I like as a player) or Mike Mitchell but they signed Roman Harper and Antoine Cason to replace them...I don't think it is a strong indictment on them as players but more so a common free agency occurrence. But I'm done pressing the matter, you are more than welcome to your opinion...I'm sorry if I offended you.

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At the least, they lost a lot of desirable FAs and replaced them with undesired FAs. If that works out, great for them. Its far from a guarantee though. Guys like Cason and Harper have not played well anytime soon, why so much confidence?Nobody has 2014 production on their record right now though and all we can do is look at what's on paper. Mostly I just don't think its ridiculous to suggest that Carolina's pass rush, which produced 27 extra sacks, helped their DBs quite a bit.

We stack up to them in certain statistical categories and are close in some others. Its not like there is zero statistical evidence for what I'm saying. I don't think you get off the field on 3rd downs better than any team in football if you are a terrible secondary.

Edited by Nastradamus

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At the least, they lost a lot of desirable FAs and replaced them with undesired FAs. If that works out, great for them. Its far from a guarantee though. Guys like Cason and Harper have not played well anytime soon, why so much confidence?Nobody has 2014 production on their record right now though and all we can do is look at what's on paper. Mostly I just don't think its ridiculous to suggest that Carolina's pass rush, which produced 27 extra sacks, helped their DBs quite a bit.

We stack up to them in certain statistical categories and are close in some others. Its not like there is zero statistical evidence for what I'm saying. I don't think you get off the field on 3rd downs better than any team in football if you are a terrible secondary.

The perception with the Lions though is that the D would play a pretty decent game for 25 minutes a half and then turn to mush as soon as our opponent went to their two minute offense. Now most teams give up more plays to the 2 minute 'O' and I don't know if the Lions were actually that much worse than average, but they looked pretty horrible at it. If it is true, maybe average aggregate stats don't tell the story.

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At the least, they lost a lot of desirable FAs and replaced them with undesired FAs. If that works out, great for them. Its far from a guarantee though. Guys like Cason and Harper have not played well anytime soon, why so much confidence?Nobody has 2014 production on their record right now though and all we can do is look at what's on paper. Mostly I just don't think its ridiculous to suggest that Carolina's pass rush, which produced 27 extra sacks, helped their DBs quite a bit.

We stack up to them in certain statistical categories and are close in some others. Its not like there is zero statistical evidence for what I'm saying. I don't think you get off the field on 3rd downs better than any team in football if you are a terrible secondary.

I never said getting to the QB helping out the secondary was ridiculous, not once. What I find ridiculous is that you said our secondary is more talented than what SF has and what Carolina had last year. And to be honest, I am more taken aback by the 49ers reference than the Carolina one...but lets look at them player vs. player?

Detroit matchup against SF (what they have now):

FS: Ihedigbo (2 year/$3M deal) vs. Eric Reid (Pro bowl as a rookie last year) - Advantage SF

SS: Quin vs. Bethea (4 year/$21M deal) - This is close, I like Quin, but I think Bethea is probably the better player...I'll say a tie.

Backup Safety: Don Carey vs. Jimmie Ward - I know he is a rookie, but I liked Ward - Advantage SF

CB1: Houston? vs. Tramaine Brock - Houston is a huge question mark he may not even play, Brock was solid last year - Advantage SF

CB2: Mathis vs. Chris Culliver - Culliver was solid in 2012 but has too many off the field issues - Advantage Detroit

CB3: Slay vs. Chris Cook - Both are size/speed freaks, Cook has more of a track record - Advantage SF/Tie

CB4: Bentley vs. Eric Wright - Wright, easy pick...Bentley has struggled. - Advantage SF

CB5: Greenwood vs. Darryl Morris - 3 GP vs. 13 GP - Should go to SF, but lets say tie due to inconclusive evidence

CB6: Green/Lawson/Vaughn/ vs. Parrish Cox/Dontae Johnson/Keith Reaser/Kenneth Acker - I would say Advantage SF

I mean, I just don't see it...I would choose SF secondary over ours every single day, they are just a better group, period. I think I was even being generous to the Lions with some of those ties.

Carolina I think played very well last year, I think Captain Munnerlyn was a great ball-hawking playmaker and I think he would end up being our #1 CB on this year's team, no problem. Cason and Harper, I'm less worried about because I was going off of what Carolina had last year (as you said in your original post on the matter). I don't know if Carolina is going to be as explosive as they were last year with the lose of Munnerlyn or Mitchell, they were two players I really liked. If you want to say that the Lions are (possibly) more talented than the Panthers of this coming year, I probably wouldn't argue too much. And about your quote on Cason and Harper and how they haven't played well lately so why am I so confident, I'm not confident that they are going to come in and match the production of the guys they lost...what I had taken issue with is your assertion that Carolina "let their secondary walk" like they were no good so they just dumped them. I think Carolina would have liked to keep their two best playermakers in the backfield, but it just wasn't in the cards...free agency happens that is no indictment on them as players.

But let me ask you this, I understand that Cason and Harper haven't played well recently...but neither have Houston, Slay, Green, Bentley, or Vaughn so why are YOU so confident. You and Buddah posted the PFF numbers, they aren't cute those players have struggled to say the least and to just expect them to come in this year and do a complete 180 production wise just because we have a new DC (who's secondary in Baltimore has been struggling the last year or so) seems odd and premature to me. Before we list the secondary (which EVERYONE recognizes as a weakness) as a talented group that is on par with some of the best producing secondaries in the league how about we see them play a game or two first?

Lastly, on your last paragraph. We stack up well in what statistical categories? 3rd down conversion (which isn't secondary specific) and completion % (which tells you practically nothing)? I honestly don't understand why you are focusing on those specific statistics when every other statistic is saying something else...yards, yards/attempt, yards/game, plays over 20+, plays over 40+, TD, INT, PD, FF, and QBR against. All of those statistics which should give you an excellent view of which secondary was better able to help a team win a game suggest that Detroit is inferior to SF and Carolina. You are kind of cherry-picking two stats that don't say much and even those stats we aren't clear "winners". Yeah, we have a better 3rd down conversion rate on defense...what does that matter when we give up more 1st downs through the air and a worse first down %? We are giving up more first downs then those teams, how is it a positive that they are coming (through the air) on first and second down and teams aren't even needing to reach 3rd down? Who cares that we have a similar completion % (or even better) when we are giving up more yards, more big plays (20+ and 40+), more TD, more yards per attempt, and getting less turnovers? I honestly don't understand how your statistics prove anything, which may simply be ignorance on my part.

Edited by EchO

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I said we HAVE a better secondary, not HAD.

I think your SF comparison is pretty skewed. Flip the safeties and it compares much better for Detroit. Bethea and Ihedigbo are similar solid vet leader types who don't necessarily have splash athleticism. Quin and Reid are your studs. Ward was a great get for the Niners though.

I did forget about Brock a bit when I originally made the comment though, he played pretty well. Still, we're talking Mathis/Brock, both played pretty well last year. Who knows for this year. I also factor in things like Culliver coming off an ACL and Cook and Wright(who are both terrible) constantly being in trouble or hurt. If I had my choice on going into next year with those 2 or a couple of guys like Slay and Bentley who still have a chance to be good players, I know who I take.

Both secondaries are somewhat talented, with some solid depth, but a lot of question marks.

Here's where you lose me, with the quote "I never said getting to the QB helping out the secondary was ridiculous, not once. What I find ridiculous is that you said our secondary is more talented than what SF has and what Carolina had last year." There's a disconnect between us here, because you clearly understand that a large part of the discrepancy was due to pass rush, but when it comes time to look at the secondary you show zero acknowledgement of that.

and 2 stats? What 2 stats? I've listed about 10 different stats where we were decent. I fully acknowledge we need to let up less big plays and get more INTs. I have said that repeatedly. I think a large part of that is pass rush. You sometimes allude to agreeing with that, but then always back away from it like I mentioned above.

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I never said getting to the QB helping out the secondary was ridiculous, not once. What I find ridiculous is that you said our secondary is more talented than what SF has and what Carolina had last year. And to be honest, I am more taken aback by the 49ers reference than the Carolina one...but lets look at them player vs. player?

Detroit matchup against SF (what they have now):

FS: Ihedigbo (2 year/$3M deal) vs. Eric Reid (Pro bowl as a rookie last year) - Advantage SF

SS: Quin vs. Bethea (4 year/$21M deal) - This is close, I like Quin, but I think Bethea is probably the better player...I'll say a tie.

Backup Safety: Don Carey vs. Jimmie Ward - I know he is a rookie, but I liked Ward - Advantage SF

CB1: Houston? vs. Tramaine Brock - Houston is a huge question mark he may not even play, Brock was solid last year - Advantage SF

CB2: Mathis vs. Chris Culliver - Culliver was solid in 2012 but has too many off the field issues - Advantage Detroit

CB3: Slay vs. Eric Wright - Slay more potential, Wright more production - Advantage SF/Tie

CB4: Bentley vs. Chris Cook - Cook, easy pick. - Advantage SF

CB5: Greenwood vs. Darryl Morris - 3 GP vs. 13 GP - Should go to SF, but lets say tie due to inconclusive evidence

CB6: Green/Lawson/Vaughn/ vs. Parrish Cox/Dontae Johnson/Keith Reaser/Kenneth Acker - I would say Advantage SF

FS: Quin is our free safety, and I would put him on par with Eric Reid, who was a Pro Bowl alternate. Reid's ceiling is higher, but Quin played very well last year.

SS: Ihedigbo and Bethea are basically the same player. Stable, reliable run-defending safeties who are out of place covering the deep ball. For what it is worth, PFF ranked Ihedigbo's (+4.7) 2013 performance a bit better than Bethea's (-1.4).

CB1: If Houston played the way he did last year, he will be behind Brock. If he plays like he did the year before, he would be solid here.

CB2: Mathis vs. Eric Wright is probably a tie at this point, though Mathis is more reliable off the field.

CB3: Slay vs. Chris Cook - Projection v. Production

CB4: Bentley v. Chris Culliver - I'd take Bentley, because Culliver may not make the team due to off the field matters. Bentley has done little though to stand out, so I would put him on the same tier as the other defensive backs on the roster.

CB5/CB6: I like Greenwood, perhaps more than I should but I am glad to put the rest of the line up as a push.

So I view things, if we rely on 2013 performances, to be pretty even. Reid could end up being the best safety of the group, Slay could end up being the best corner of the group.

The reality though is this, I would be much more skeptical of this unit if Schwartz, Gunther and company were still in charge - there is always a risk of blind spots developing amongst a coaching staff. But we have a new defensive staff, including a defensive coordinator whose specialty is defensive backs, and their input and analysis of our roster was key to the draft. They brought a fresh perspective and new eyes on the talent that we have and off that evaluation we did not prioritize secondary talent in the draft - and that is with Houston's injury concerns well known. Mayhew was also very high on Lawson, he said in an interview yesterday - for whatever it may be worth - that they were considering him in the third, but had more trust in the depth of the corner position than center. Casual football watchers who get caught up in trends are freaking out about his size, but if he reaches his potential, he could be Ladarius Webb - and that would be a very very good thing.

You don't trust Mayhew's eye for talent and you apparently have no regard for the opinion of a coaching staff you have no reason to distrust at this point. That is fine. But while I have no problem criticizing offensive and defensive schemes - I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to professionals who have a lot more knowledge about these players than we do.

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I said we HAVE a better secondary, not HAD.

I think your SF comparison is pretty skewed. Flip the safeties and it compares much better for Detroit. Bethea and Ihedigbo are similar solid vet leader types who don't necessarily have splash athleticism. Quin and Reid are your studs. Ward was a great get for the Niners though.

I did forget about Brock a bit when I originally made the comment though, he played pretty well. Still, we're talking Mathis/Brock, both played pretty well last year. Who knows for this year. I also factor in things like Culliver coming off an ACL and Cook and Wright(who are both terrible) constantly being in trouble or hurt. If I had my choice on going into next year with those 2 or a couple of guys like Slay and Bentley who still have a chance to be good players, I know who I take.

Both secondaries are somewhat talented, with some solid depth, but a lot of question marks.

Here's where you lose me, with the quote "I never said getting to the QB helping out the secondary was ridiculous, not once. What I find ridiculous is that you said our secondary is more talented than what SF has and what Carolina had last year." There's a disconnect between us here, because you clearly understand that a large part of the discrepancy was due to pass rush, but when it comes time to look at the secondary you show zero acknowledgement of that.

and 2 stats? What 2 stats? I've listed about 10 different stats where we were decent. I fully acknowledge we need to let up less big plays and get more INTs. I have said that repeatedly. I think a large part of that is pass rush. You sometimes allude to agreeing with that, but then always back away from it like I mentioned above.

What stats are we better than SF or Carolina so far you listed 3 down conversion and completion %, this all started because you said we have a better secondary than SF and Carolina had...I'm not seeing many stats where we are better. And I understand that pass rush is helpful, but I don't think that a better pass rush means that their secondary is less talented, I don't think the too correlate. For instance, the Rams had the best pass rush last season...their secondary didn't rank nearly as high as Carolina or SF (Rams ranked 19th in yards, 7th in TD, 20th in INT). So clearly pass rushing isn't a good indicator of overall success in the secondary. Quite a bit had to do with them having good secondaries.

And you list how Cook and Wright "were terrible" but they produced more than Slay/Bentley. Houston is an injury concern and may miss the entire year, Slay missed a quarter of the season due to injury, should I just not count of them because they have an injury history? You seem to be giving the Lions players all the benefit of the doubt and then only looking at the worst for the 49ers. Brock, if he played for the Lions would be our #1 CB, without question...his last 6 games were stellar, his game against Atlanta on MNF he practically won the 49ers the game. He broke up the pass that would directly lead to Navarro Bowman INT the ball and then INT the last hail mary in the end zone to win the game. I would take him over the 33 year old Mathis every day. Culliver, Cook, and Wright have some question marks (injury concerns) but they have a history of producing in the NFL, I take the history of production from players in their prime over guys who have no history of success. SF has their young rookie guys who may or may not produce and turn into good players (Morris, Johnson, Reaser, and Acker) but the difference is they aren't relying on those guys to produce like the Lions are. If Slay doesn't produce he will have to be replaced by whom...Vaughn who is beyond terrible or Greenwood who is just as uncertain as Slay. If Bentley doesn't produce (which he has never done so far) he will be replaced by Lawson who has no history of production. I'll take producers with the rookies as a fallback option over unproven rookies who COULD be good (but haven't yet) who would be replaced by other rookies who are unproven and have zero success thus far.

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FS: Quin is our free safety' date=' and I would put him on par with Eric Reid, who was a Pro Bowl alternate. Reid's ceiling is higher, but Quin played very well last year.

SS: Ihedigbo and Bethea are basically the same player. Stable, reliable run-defending safeties who are out of place covering the deep ball. For what it is worth, PFF ranked Ihedigbo's (+4.7) 2013 performance a bit better than Bethea's (-1.4).

CB1: If Houston played the way he did last year, he will be behind Brock. If he plays like he did the year before, he would be solid here.

CB2: Mathis vs. Eric Wright is probably a tie at this point, though Mathis is more reliable off the field.

CB3: Slay vs. Chris Cook - Projection v. Production

CB4: Bentley v. Chris Culliver - I'd take Bentley, because Culliver may not make the team due to off the field matters. Bentley has done little though to stand out, so I would put him on the same tier as the other defensive backs on the roster.

CB5/CB6: I like Greenwood, perhaps more than I should but I am glad to put the rest of the line up as a push.

So I view things, if we rely on 2013 performances, to be pretty even. Reid could end up being the best safety of the group, Slay could end up being the best corner of the group.

The reality though is this, I would be much more skeptical of this unit if Schwartz, Gunther and company were still in charge - there is always a risk of blind spots developing amongst a coaching staff. But we have a new defensive staff, including a defensive coordinator whose specialty is defensive backs, and their input and analysis of our roster was key to the draft. They brought a fresh perspective and new eyes on the talent that we have and off that evaluation we did not prioritize secondary talent in the draft - and that is with Houston's injury concerns well known. Mayhew was also very high on Lawson, he said in an interview yesterday - for whatever it may be worth - that they were considering him in the third, but had more trust in the depth of the corner position than center. Casual football watchers who get caught up in trends are freaking out about his size, but if he reaches his potential, he could be Ladarius Webb - and that would be a very very good thing.

You don't trust Mayhew's eye for talent and you apparently have no regard for the opinion of a coaching staff you have no reason to distrust at this point. That is fine. But while I have no problem criticizing offensive and defensive schemes - I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to professionals who have a lot more knowledge about these players than we do.[/quote']

The amount of Lions optimism and Mayhew love is strong with this post. What did you want Mayhew to come out and say...he DIDN'T like one of HIS draft picks? Come on. These type interviews and news articles around this year are much akin to Bonderman starting to throw a change-up articles.

I will never, ever, ever convince you that the Lions aren't the most talented, awesome team in the NFL and I will never convince you that Mayhew is a well below average general manager. So I won't try. You will be dedicated to Mayhew regardless of what he does, that is fine. I on the other hand value wins and production. Mayhew hasn't won.

Edited by EchO

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I don't know the validity of football outsiders (I would be interested in how PFF ranked the three defenses) but thought this was interesting.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2013 DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY RATINGS

The bottom chart has a ranking of pass defenses and how each team did against WR 1, WR 2, Other WR, TE, RB.

The Lions ranked as follows:

20th overall, 24th against WR1 (Houston), 10th against WR2 (Mathis), 23rd against all other WR (Slay/Bentley?), 5th against TE (Levy/LB), 16th against RB (LB/DL/CB)

This is about what I expected, Mathis having the most success, the others bottom third or so in the league with above average LB.

I know it doesn't reflect the changes thus far in the offseason, but somewhat interesting none-the-less.

Here is SF and Carolina...

SF:

10th overall (lower than I expected), 11th WR1, 14th WR2, 14th WR3, 8th TE, 7th RB - All above average (albeit slightly) with great LB...slightly lower than expected but definitely justifiable.

Carolina:

3rd (higher than I expected), 15th WR2, 4th WR2, 2nd WR3, 12th TE, 8th RB - Captain Munnerlyn was their #2/Slot CB and I thought he played very well so that doesn't surprise me, their LB isn't quite as solid so the lower TE and RB numbers would seem to fit.

I find this ranking to be pretty on par with how I would have ranked them, I thought more highly of SF but definitely agree with the rankings, overall. If PFF has a similar ranking system I would be interested in their findings...not interested enough to subscribe however.

Edited by EchO

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Hopefully the K Nate Freese that the team taken will be much, much more of an upgrade than Akers. Like Akers but time to move on. Hope that he can do that. Freese also kicks off. As that could help Sam Martin just focus on punting.

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The amount of Lions optimism and Mayhew love is strong with this post. What did you want Mayhew to come out and say...he DIDN'T like one of HIS draft picks? Come on. These type interviews and news articles around this year are much akin to Bonderman starting to throw a change-up articles.

I will never, ever, ever convince you that the Lions aren't the most talented, awesome team in the NFL and I will never convince you that Mayhew is a well below average general manager. So I won't try. You will be dedicated to Mayhew regardless of what he does, that is fine. I on the other hand value wins and production. Mayhew hasn't won.

I value wins and production too, it's why I wanted Schwartz fired.

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I value wins and production too' date=' it's why I wanted Schwartz fired.[/quote']

Always nice to defer all blame to a scapegoat. I just personally think the amount of evidence that suggests Mayhew is a sub-par GM is overwhelming.

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