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BECAUSE Not Caldwell, So Then Who?

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6 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Caldwell may be a hack, and may hate to run the ball, but his NFL history proves little in this regard. As OC in Balt, his team rushed rushed for 1900 yards, pretty much equal to what the opposition ran the ball against the Ravens. In '13 the rushing output dropped, but his  offense won the Superbowl, so I'm not going to knock it. In Ind the offense was built around Manning and the team structure was put in place by Tony Dungy. He was hired to maintain continuity and wasn't really there long enough recreate that team into anything other than what it already was. 

Absolutely Caldwell came into the league as a passing and QB guy, but that doesn't mean the Lions' running woes aren't still injury and personal based.

I agree they missed Decker. I agree they had a lot of injuries on the line. However, Larry Warford was not good enough for us but is starting LG for the Saints - who are #5 in rushing. Riley Reiff was not good enough for us but is starting LT for the Vikings - who are #8 in rushing. Our cast offs are starting for other teams that are killing it on the ground. 

True, the Lions don't have good backs. But Caldwell stubbornly insisted on feeding Abdullah and wouldn't give Tion Green a chance. Maybe with Green (averaging a full YPC more than Abdullah and Riddick) they would have converted a few of the goal line situations they failed on this year - and that kept them out of the playoffs. The decision to keep Green on the bench and to force the inept Abdullah/Riddick combo is 100% on Caldwell. 

Finally, we don't know the the draft room dynamic between Caldwell and Quinn. Did Caldwell discourage Quinn from taking a RB? "We believe in Abdullah and Riddick, let's draft a different position." Pure speculation, but not out of the realm of possibility. 

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2 minutes ago, Jason_R said:

Finally, we don't know the the draft room dynamic between Caldwell and Quinn. Did Caldwell discourage Quinn from taking a RB? "We believe in Abdullah and Riddick, let's draft a different position." Pure speculation, but not out of the realm of possibility. 

this is a fair point. And of course the companion point is who calls for the offensive personnel on the play packages from week to week, Caldwell or Cooter? I said before I don't care if they clean house at the coaching level. On one hand, they have been much more disciplined under Caldwell then Schwartz, on the other, yes much of what they do does seem inscrutable as well. TBH - My biggest fear with the Lions now is that I do believe Quinn is doing the most important thing, which is improving the overall talent level on the team, and I'm afraid Martha will keel over and we end up at ground zero with a new owner and front office.

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...I'm afraid Martha will keel over and we end up at ground zero with a new owner and front office.

There was some talk when WCF died about some family politics that may complicate ownership when Mrs. F dies.

I don’t know the details, but I always had the sense that WCF Jr. was pushing his dad to be more aggressive, and I always hoped Jr. would become the face of ownership after WCF passed. I seem to recall some sibling rivalry and resentment about that, and he basically disappeared and Mrs. F has stepped up.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens when she passes.

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18 hours ago, hardyaf said:

The franchise QB was Jay Cutler... are we sure he was wrong there? And didn't he get a ton of picks for him? If those picks pan out (I remember reading an article saying they absolutely did not) maybe that job goes differently.

 

Edit, I'm not sure if he was coach/GM or just coach. If he was responsible for the myriad of poor personnel choices,  I'm sure we can look past that, since he wouldn't be doing that here. If he wasn't, then isn't he the guy who started 6-0 with Kyle Orton at QB?

Whether trading Cutler or not and the return was the right move is irrelevant. McDaniels pissed Cutler off to the point where Cutler demanded a trade. Cutler was a young QB at the time with talent who had a pretty good season prior to McDaniels arrival. Cutler was the future QB. You would think an offensive guru would want to work with a talented young QB. McDaniels then pissed off Brandon Marshall to the point where he wanted out. Lets throw in the video taping scandal and the fact his assistants couldn't stand him.

He then became offensive coordinator for St Louis and they had one of the worst offenses in their history. To put it in perspective, the Rams scored 75 fewer points than the 0-16 Lions. They scored fewer points than this year's 0-15 Browns who still have one more game to play. Sam Bradford was in his second year as a pro and regressed and had the worst year of his career albeit with injuries. Jim Bob Cooter meanwhile is being run out with Stafford having elevated his game from simply good to elite under Cooter. 

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10 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

Did you avoid saying that "franchise QB''s name on purpose...

He also traded Marshall away for good value and then drafted Demayrius Thomas and Eric Decker. But sure, lets go with the TMZ narrative.

Jay Cutler was young and coming off a pro bowl season. He was the future QB in Denver. One would think an offensive guru would want to work with a 25 year old QB with talent coming off a pro bowl season instead of alienating him and making him demand a trade.

What he got in return is irrelevant. He has a history of pissing players off to the point where they do not want to play him. That is not good coaching. 

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even if gruden were in play - and he's not - he would probably demand personnel control and he isnt going to get it here.

the same may go for mcdaniels.

no belicheck disciple has ever done anything outside of new england, oc or dc.  that doesnt mean petricia wont succeed, but it should make people pause before annointing him.

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9 hours ago, Buddha said:

.

the same may go for McDaniels.

no Belicheck disciple has ever done anything outside of new England, oc or dc.  that doesn't mean Petricia wont succeed, but it should make people pause before anointing him.

McDaniels may have a good relationship with Quinn. I believe the can work together. Sometimes coaches need a second and third shot. I think most coaches learn more from their failures than success. Which is I prefer McDaniels of the 2 coordinators of the Pats.

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19 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

and fwiw that's the same issue people have with Josh. Is it his or Brady's offense?

That is a fair point. Garoppolo seems to have developed well under McDaniels. Matt Cassel in 2008 also had a career year with McDaniels. Brissett also looked serviceable for a couple of games under McDaniels system.

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11 hours ago, Motown Bombers said:

Jay Cutler was young and coming off a pro bowl season. He was the future QB in Denver. One would think an offensive guru would want to work with a 25 year old QB with talent coming off a pro bowl season instead of alienating him and making him demand a trade.

What he got in return is irrelevant. He has a history of pissing players off to the point where they do not want to play him. That is not good coaching. 

"

Trading Cutler was not McDaniels' intention when he arrived in Denver. He had heard some things and was sniffing around. Then Cutler started to get suspicious, and the relationship started to turn.

Rather than try to salvage things, McDaniels said screw it. He traded him."

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2666428-the-redemption-of-josh-mcdaniels-failure-taught-pats-oc-how-to-pick-his-spots

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On 12/27/2017 at 5:33 PM, EchO said:

I would NOT want Shaw or any other college coach as that just doesn't seem to pan out.

Pete Carroll won a Super Bowl after being a successful (shady/crooked) college coach.

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Pete Carroll won a Super Bowl after being a successful (shady/crooked) college coach.

But I don’t think you can call him a “college” coach since he was, in effect, demoted to the college game after short stints as head coach with the Jets and Patriots.

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21 hours ago, NYLion said:

That looks like a bunch of fluff to me.  What has he actually done to prove that he learned from his mistakes? Anybody can say that they learned from their mistakes.

I'm just trying to figure out what he's done to earn a head coaching promotion.  At least Patricia has made a poor defense on paper look respectable, whether or not that is due more to Belichick is pure speculation.

and Mcdaniels runs the #1 offense. Whether that is because of Brady/Gronk more so is pure speculation. 

 

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19 hours ago, Jason_R said:

https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/12/28/nfl-coaches-black-monday-firings-hirings

I don't know where he gets the last part of this, but it is a scary thought. Cooter is young and may still have a lot of upside, but he needs someone who can build a running game. If there is a coaching change like the one described above, that doesn't lead to an obvious upgrade in the run game, it will be a failure.

Their first ten games together, Abdullah and Cooter gave us about the 15th best running game. We had been looking to challenge the all time worst rushing year under Lombardi when Cooter went out. The narrative that he doesn't know how to call a running play I just don't buy. Abdullah just never got his burst back and the others suck IMO. When they gave Riddick the few carries his body can handle, he didn't have trouble getting yards nor did it typically look like a bad play call. I'm gonna go ahead and label this one a silly media narrative. 

In short, sign me the **** up for Cooter and Patricia as a combo if Caldwell has to go

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18 hours ago, Jason_R said:

I agree they missed Decker. I agree they had a lot of injuries on the line. However, Larry Warford was not good enough for us but is starting LG for the Saints - who are #5 in rushing. Riley Reiff was not good enough for us but is starting LT for the Vikings - who are #8 in rushing. Our cast offs are starting for other teams that are killing it on the ground. 

True, the Lions don't have good backs. But Caldwell stubbornly insisted on feeding Abdullah and wouldn't give Tion Green a chance. Maybe with Green (averaging a full YPC more than Abdullah and Riddick) they would have converted a few of the goal line situations they failed on this year - and that kept them out of the playoffs. The decision to keep Green on the bench and to force the inept Abdullah/Riddick combo is 100% on Caldwell. 

Finally, we don't know the the draft room dynamic between Caldwell and Quinn. Did Caldwell discourage Quinn from taking a RB? "We believe in Abdullah and Riddick, let's draft a different position." Pure speculation, but not out of the realm of possibility. 

Warford was always good for us. WHy do people keep trying this narrative? We were able to get a slight upgrade for a good price, so we did. Same with Wagner, as Reiff was never the same on the right as he had been on the left. 

While we're at it, I can't stand the Tion Green narrative either. Rookies get brought along differently. They often increase snaps throughout a season, they often start the season inactive or on the bench. They developed a UDFA into a guy who can contribute potentially in his rookie season and we are whining about it and making it into a negative? What the actual......

 

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19 hours ago, Jason_R said:

 

Finally, we don't know the the draft room dynamic between Caldwell and Quinn. Did Caldwell discourage Quinn from taking a RB? "We believe in Abdullah and Riddick, let's draft a different position." Pure speculation, but not out of the realm of possibility. 

Lets be clear, we all knew Quinn's style of building a team was going to be build the lines and the "high value" positions first and then add things like skill guys to a team with stud lines in place. Now only 2 years in and we want to go back to the Matt Millen strategy...

and no, I don't think its reasonable to think that Caldwell convinced Quinn to not draft a RB

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14 hours ago, Motown Bombers said:

 Whether trading Cutler or not and the return was the right move is irrelevant. McDaniels pissed Cutler off to the point where Cutler demanded a trade. Cutler was a young QB at the time with talent who had a pretty good season prior to McDaniels arrival. Cutler was the future QB. You would think an offensive guru would want to work with a talented young QB. McDaniels then pissed off Brandon Marshall to the point where he wanted out. 

BOTH OF THESE THINGS AT THE TIME AND NOW WERE CLEARLY THE RIGHT MOVES

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14 hours ago, Motown Bombers said:

Jay Cutler was young and coming off a pro bowl season. He was the future QB in Denver. One would think an offensive guru would want to work with a 25 year old QB with talent coming off a pro bowl season instead of alienating him and making him demand a trade.

What he got in return is irrelevant. He has a history of pissing players off to the point where they do not want to play him. That is not good coaching. 

THey were pissed because he didnt' want them on the team, because they're cancers. Stop it. Just stop it. 

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3 hours ago, MAROTH4MVP said:

That is a fair point. Garoppolo seems to have developed well under McDaniels. Matt Cassel in 2008 also had a career year with McDaniels. Brissett also looked serviceable for a couple of games under McDaniels system.

Sure, both guys have positive things on their resume too. I'm intrigued by both. Both have similar things against them though. 

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1 hour ago, Nastradamus said:

Their first ten games together, Abdullah and Cooter gave us about the 15th best running game. We had been looking to challenge the all time worst rushing year under Lombardi when Cooter went out. The narrative that he doesn't know how to call a running play I just don't buy. Abdullah just never got his burst back and the others suck IMO. When they gave Riddick the few carries his body can handle, he didn't have trouble getting yards nor did it typically look like a bad play call. I'm gonna go ahead and label this one a silly media narrative. 

In short, sign me the **** up for Cooter and Patricia as a combo if Caldwell has to go

Maybe you're right and Abdullah was just too fragile to carry the load of the #1 back, but you're forgetting that Cooter said himself in the offseason that he needed to improve his knowledge of the running game:

Quote

But Cooter is took a page from Michael Jordan's playbook this offseason -- turn your weaknesses into strengths -- and devoted himself to becoming a student of the running game. He talked to coaches he respects, he studied film, he read books.

"It's been a big, big, big point of emphasis for me," Cooter said. "Just dealing with my own background, what I've gone through, it's been a really important point of emphasis for me this offseason. I think I have personally improved in the run game, how I see things, how I call things."

I don't see why you're blindly defending the guy against a weakness that he knows he has, and has publicly stated his desire to improve. 

1 hour ago, Nastradamus said:

Warford was always good for us. WHy do people keep trying this narrative? We were able to get a slight upgrade for a good price, so we did. Same with Wagner, as Reiff was never the same on the right as he had been on the left. 

While we're at it, I can't stand the Tion Green narrative either. Rookies get brought along differently. They often increase snaps throughout a season, they often start the season inactive or on the bench. They developed a UDFA into a guy who can contribute potentially in his rookie season and we are whining about it and making it into a negative? What the actual......

 

Warford had an outstanding rookie season, then by all accounts seemed to plateau

Quote

Warford’s 2016 was much like his first three years in the pros: His play was not offensive enough to draw a lot of negative attention, yet it wasn’t flashy enough to earn him any accolades.

Warford finished with an above average 81.5 grade with Pro Football Focus—21st among 76 qualifying guards—with nearly even grades in pass and run blocking.

However, the Lions still struggled immensely running the ball in 2016 and Warford deserves some of the criticism there. According to Football Outsiders, the Lions ranked 29th in average yards per carry to Warford’s side of the field.

And I don't understand what you are talking about in saying that I'm somehow making Tion Green a negative. I'm saying that Caldwell might have been able to save his job had he not been so blindly protective of the roles of Abdullah and Riddick in the running game. Do you think Green was so raw as an UDFA that he was unable to learn half a dozen plays in short-yardage and goal line packages before Week 13 when he came in and was the team's leading rusher against one of the best NFL defenses in the Baltimore Ravens? Do you think some magic happened prior to Week 13 and that he couldn't have come in Week 12 against Minnesota and outgained Theo Riddick's team high 20 rushing yards (on five carries) or Abdullah's 14 rushing yards (on six carries)? Do you think it's impossible that he could have studied up during the bye week and come in to the Pittsburgh game to help at 1st and goal from the Pittsburgh 4? Or 2nd and goal from the Pittsburgh 4? Or 3rd and goal from the Pittsburgh 2? or 4th and goal from the Pittsburgh 1?

1 hour ago, Nastradamus said:

Lets be clear, we all knew Quinn's style of building a team was going to be build the lines and the "high value" positions first and then add things like skill guys to a team with stud lines in place. Now only 2 years in and we want to go back to the Matt Millen strategy...

and no, I don't think its reasonable to think that Caldwell convinced Quinn to not draft a RB

For you to say I'm calling to go back to the "Matt Millen" strategy is ridiculous. Somehow you have blind faith in Caldwell and Cooter, just like Caldwell had in Abdullah and Riddick as his lead backs. 

I've said elsewhere that Cooter is very young, and clearly has some talent, but he has demonstrated no ability to implement a successful running game (except the handful of runs you cherry picked that actually ended beyond the line of scrimmage). Unlike Cooter, Caldwell is an old dog who never learned the trick of a successful running game. Maybe it is worth keeping Cooter for continuity in the passing game, but if so, he needs a proven OL coach and/or run game coordinator - one who has been an Offensive Coordinator before - to help him build a respectable running attack.

Is it conceivable that Alvin Kamara was on the Lions' board as a possibility when Teez Tabor got picked, but Caldwell said, "We feel good about our RBs, but last year the depth in our secondary hurt us," and Quinn was persuaded to shore up the CB position because, yes, lack of depth in the secondary did hurt in 2016? Yes, it is conceivable. This is how draft rooms work. And I'm not saying the team should have picked Kamara (or anyone else) over Tabor, just that this scenario wouldn't surprise me because Caldwell seems consistently to have overrated Abdullah and Riddick as his lead RB options, and to have overrated Cooter's ability to fix the run game, and these are the major reasons he is likely to be fired.

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7 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

BOTH OF THESE THINGS AT THE TIME AND NOW WERE CLEARLY THE RIGHT MOVES

In hindsight trading Cutler was the better move if Denver had done anything with the picks. There was no way to have guessed that at 25, playing only two full seasons in the NFL, and coming off a pro bowl season, that Cutler had peaked. There was a reason Chicago gave up multiple picks. I seem to recall there was a deal in place to send Cutler to Detroit. He was a young and talented QB.

7 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

THey were pissed because he didnt' want them on the team, because they're cancers. Stop it. Just stop it. 

Cutler never demanded a trade with Mike Shanahan and never demanded a trade in Chicago. I haven't even gotten into the fact that Mike Nolan hated McDaniels and quit. He traded Peyton Hillis and a draft pick for Brady Quinn, and even Ton Scheffler didn't like him. Don't forget his peers don't even respect him like Todd Haley. I guess everyone else is the cancer? Even if Cutler and Marshall are cancers, the NFL is full of them. New England seemed to make it a thing by taking cancers from other teams. 

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7 hours ago, Jason_R said:

. And I don't understand what you are talking about in saying that I'm somehow making Tion Green a negative. I'm saying that Caldwell might have been able to save his job had he not been so blindly protective of the roles of Abdullah and Riddick in the running game. Do you think Green was so raw as an UDFA that he was unable to learn half a dozen plays in short-yardage and goal line packages before Week 13 when he came in and was the team's leading rusher against one of the best NFL defenses in the Baltimore Ravens? Do you think some magic happened prior to Week 13 and that he couldn't have come in Week 12 against Minnesota and outgained Theo Riddick's team high 20 rushing yards (on five carries) or Abdullah's 14 rushing yards (on six carries)? Do you think it's impossible that he could have studied up during the bye week and come in to the Pittsburgh game to help at 1st and goal from the Pittsburgh 4? Or 2nd and goal from the Pittsburgh 4? Or 3rd and goal from the Pittsburgh 2? or 4th and goal from the Pittsburgh 1?

Tion Green has borderline NFL talent. Washington has much more upside as a power back but is raw and struggled with injuries. Zenner is a better all around back, but was dinged up late. You can never base an opinion on such small samples, especially in football.

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Tion Green has borderline NFL talent. Washington has much more upside as a power back but is raw and struggled with injuries. Zenner is a better all around back, but was dinged up late. You can never base an opinion on such small samples, especially in football.

Tion Green has borderline NFL talent, and yet he averaged a full yard per carry more than Abdullah and Riddick, 2.2 yards per carry more than Washington, who has athletic ability but cones to a complete stop every time he has to make a decision, and 2.5 yards per carry more than Zach Zenner, who is better suited to being assistant running back coach than actually being a running back. (One 14-yard run and thirteen other rushes for a total of twelve yards!?!)

Green is never going to run for 1,000 yards, but could he have converted a few goal line situations that meant the difference between winning and losing? He was a better option than anyone else we ran out. Could that have pushed the Lions into playoff contention this last week? Could that have saved Caldwell’s job? All possible.

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44 minutes ago, Jason_R said:


Tion Green has borderline NFL talent, and yet he averaged a full yard per carry more than Abdullah and Riddick, 2.2 yards per carry more than Washington, who has athletic ability but cones to a complete stop every time he has to make a decision, and 2.5 yards per carry more than Zach Zenner, who is better suited to being assistant running back coach than actually being a running back. (One 14-yard run and thirteen other rushes for a total of twelve yards!?!)
 

Samples are way too small to make any realistic judgement. Go back and see how each run was blocked, Green does not create on his own. By the way, Zenner is much more athletic, faster, quicker and more instinctive, compared to Green.

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Samples are way too small to make any realistic judgement. Go back and see how each run was blocked.

Sure. I’ll get right on it.

Until then, the numbers will have to do.

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27 minutes ago, Longgone said:

...Zenner is much more athletic, faster, quicker and more instinctive, compared to Green.

He hasn't proven that on the field yet...

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