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What exactly does this team need?

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On 12/6/2018 at 7:14 PM, MDMAzing said:

Its just yet another example of how horribly run this org is.  No other team would of stuck with that bum for as long as we have all while  giving him those ridiculous extensions.  Decisions like paying a QB that elevates the play of no one and can only perform if he is surrounded by superstars at every offensive position 15% of your cap is why the Lions are perennial losers. 

 

Disagree.  Look, even if you only consider Stafford "above average" and not a good or great QB, I think it's silly to part ways with someone who is better than average and thereby create more holes in our team.

The Lions have typically had more than their fair share of positions that need to be improved.  If you've got a guy who's actually better than average, let's worry about the spots that that below average or worse before we look to replace a QB who's (at the very least) NOT dragging the team down.
 

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49 minutes ago, RedRamage said:

Disagree.  Look, even if you only consider Stafford "above average" and not a good or great QB, I think it's silly to part ways with someone who is better than average and thereby create more holes in our team.

The Lions have typically had more than their fair share of positions that need to be improved.  If you've got a guy who's actually better than average, let's worry about the spots that that below average or worse before we look to replace a QB who's (at the very least) NOT dragging the team down.
 

Two things . . .

First, I would agree with your opening sentiment if it weren't for the fact that he's being paid to be an elite-level QB whose given us average to above-average results. We aren't paying him $29/million with a 15% cap hit to go out there do what he's done this year. You could go out and bring in Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh McCown at half or less the price and cap hit and still manage to field a 5/6 win team with them. We are paying him to go out and be Jared Goff, Pat Mahomes, Drew Brees, etc. We are paying for elevated performances. We are paying for playoff wins.

For $29/million a year I want a guy who can read complex defenses and make the correct audible at the line. I want a guy who does a better job checking into a new play. I want a guy who can create plays by throwing guys open. I want a guy who can elevate the play of those around him. I want a guy who can understand and implement, complex and creative playbooks and playcalls from his OC. I want a guy who doesn't need the playbook cut and dumbed down, which Stafford may or may not have had done by Joe Lombardi and now JBC.

Second, I would like to disagree that he isn't dragging this team down. There are anywhere between 3 to 6 games that you can directly point to this season where if Stafford had played better, if Stafford and his offense didn't get off to slow starts, we'd have won this game. 4 INT's against the Jets (albeit with an atrocious defensive performance backing him up), a slow first half start against the lifeless 49'ers, his awful performance against the Vikings (taking unnecessary sacks by holding the ball too long) and two dreadful games against the Bears.There are also cases to be made that he could have done more against Seattle and Dallas too, earlier on in the game.  Now, you may not agree that he cost us any or all of those games, but I do believe he played a role (or significant one) in each of those loses.

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A couple of responses: 
First, Stafford of this year has not been as good as previous years and I'm not 100% sure why.  If we were just talking about this year I'd be more inclined to agree... at least a little more.  But the post I was replying to sited a long period of time.

Second, His pay was/is the going rate for a front line (not necessarily elite, but good) QB.  If the Lions balked at the pay, he would have walked and the Lions would have the aforementioned hole in their roster.  Did they over pay for him?  This year it certainly seems like it yes.  But last year I wouldn't have said that, and I'm not sure that I would say it in the future either... we'll have to see.

Third, do we have any evidence that the playbook is being dumbed down for Stafford? 

 

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3 hours ago, RedRamage said:

Third, do we have any evidence that the playbook is being dumbed down for Stafford?

Joe Lombardi had made a comment after leaving town alluding to, but not saying that explicitly. I'll try and find the quote.

Per Ian Rappaport at NFL Network after Lombardi was fired as Lions OC . . .

Joe Lombardi comments on Matt Stafford

"[Lombardi] was frustrated that he couldn't put enough on Stafford's plate, [Lombardi] did not think Stafford was able to handle it," NFLN's Ian Rapoport said. "[Stafford] was not taking as much control of the offense as the coaching staff wanted."

Rapoport also added that he was told that new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter "had to simplify things" for Stafford.

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4 hours ago, RedRamage said:

A couple of responses: 
First, Stafford of this year has not been as good as previous years and I'm not 100% sure why.  If we were just talking about this year I'd be more inclined to agree... at least a little more.  But the post I was replying to sited a long period of time.

Second, His pay was/is the going rate for a front line (not necessarily elite, but good) QB.  If the Lions balked at the pay, he would have walked and the Lions would have the aforementioned hole in their roster.  Did they over pay for him?  This year it certainly seems like it yes.  But last year I wouldn't have said that, and I'm not sure that I would say it in the future either... we'll have to see.

Third, do we have any evidence that the playbook is being dumbed down for Stafford? 

 

Stafford has been frustrating this season, but boy that Russell Wilson just made a real boneheaded mistake out there. 

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16 hours ago, RedRamage said:

A couple of responses: 
First, Stafford of this year has not been as good as previous years and I'm not 100% sure why. 

 

Probably something to do with having no weapons, with Johnson hurt , Blount is one trick pony. Lack of a TE, and slot WR after Tate was traded is a real issue. Marvin Jones is out for the year. 

 Toilolo the past two weeks is the combined leader in receiving yards. He finished 1st in the Rams game and 2nd in the Cards game.

Given Stafford's contract he isn't going anywhere for at least 2 more seasons. So Patricia might as well try to build around him or he will be gone by then. 

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13 hours ago, Mr.TaterSalad said:

Joe Lombardi had made a comment after leaving town alluding to, but not saying that explicitly. I'll try and find the quote.

Per Ian Rappaport at NFL Network after Lombardi was fired as Lions OC . . .

Joe Lombardi comments on Matt Stafford

"[Lombardi] was frustrated that he couldn't put enough on Stafford's plate, [Lombardi] did not think Stafford was able to handle it," NFLN's Ian Rapoport said. "[Stafford] was not taking as much control of the offense as the coaching staff wanted."

Rapoport also added that he was told that new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter "had to simplify things" for Stafford.

why do you see that as evidence of stafford not being able to handle stuff rather than lombardi making excuses for why he was so bad and was fired?

lombardi hasnt had a sniff of a oc job since then while stafford had two straight top 10 qb seasons.

yet stafford was the problem?

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53 minutes ago, MAROTH4MVP said:

Probably something to do with having no weapons, with Johnson hurt , Blount is one trick pony. Lack of a TE, and slot WR after Tate was traded is a real issue. Marvin Jones is out for the year. 

 Toilolo the past two weeks is the combined leader in receiving yards. He finished 1st in the Rams game and 2nd in the Cards game.

Given Stafford's contract he isn't going anywhere for at least 2 more seasons. So Patricia might as well try to build around him or he will be gone by then. 

Last couple of games I totally agree.  But Stafford had some bad games prior to the loss of Tate, Jones, and Johnson, so it's not fair to say all his struggle this year has been due to that.

But, on a side note, I get so sick of the narrative during games that the Lions are really struggling because of trading Tate.  No question that's a part of it, but as you correctly point out, they also lost Johnson and Jones, which really, really hurts an offense.

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36 minutes ago, Buddha said:

why do you see that as evidence of stafford not being able to handle stuff rather than lombardi making excuses for why he was so bad and was fired?

lombardi hasnt had a sniff of a oc job since then while stafford had two straight top 10 qb seasons.

yet stafford was the problem?

Well, assuming that Rappaport's sources are legit, he did say that Lombardi felt Stafford couldn't handle the complex play book AND that JBC had to simply things for Stafford.

BUT.....

This was also info right after Lombardi left, so even if Rappaport's sources are correct and he's not adding to the sources comments, it still might be more Lombardi and less Stafford.

If Lombardi was drawing up an overtly complex play book that neither Stafford, nor any reasonable QB, could handle, then it makes all the sense in the world that JBC's first task would be to streamline and simplify the playbook when he took over for Lombardi mid-season.  JBC isn't going to be able to put in his own scheme in the week between games so he's going to have to largely use what the offense already has, just simplifying it.

On a completely side note... It seems to me that Stafford is usually most successful when they are kinda "winging it..."  when they aren't playing a really conservative game, when Stafford's in crunch time and has to whip it around the field.  This would seem to contradict the idea that Stafford isn't capable or willing to take on a large roll or to run the offense.

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If the lions win out and finish 8-8, they have a 25% chance at a playoff berth. 

That seems insane to me, but it’s true. 

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1 hour ago, RedRamage said:

Well, assuming that Rappaport's sources are legit, he did say that Lombardi felt Stafford couldn't handle the complex play book AND that JBC had to simply things for Stafford.

BUT.....

This was also info right after Lombardi left, so even if Rappaport's sources are correct and he's not adding to the sources comments, it still might be more Lombardi and less Stafford.

If Lombardi was drawing up an overtly complex play book that neither Stafford, nor any reasonable QB, could handle, then it makes all the sense in the world that JBC's first task would be to streamline and simplify the playbook when he took over for Lombardi mid-season.  JBC isn't going to be able to put in his own scheme in the week between games so he's going to have to largely use what the offense already has, just simplifying it.

On a completely side note... It seems to me that Stafford is usually most successful when they are kinda "winging it..."  when they aren't playing a really conservative game, when Stafford's in crunch time and has to whip it around the field.  This would seem to contradict the idea that Stafford isn't capable or willing to take on a large roll or to run the offense.

my point was that this quote is more likely evidence of lombardi covering his own *** for being fired by blaming someone else rather than evidence that a 10 year nfl qb cant handle a playbook.

moreover, stafford had really good success right after lombardi left.  which indicates the problem may not be the qb or the playbook, but rather who was calling the plays.

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The central problem with Lombardi’s offense was not Stafford but mass chaos within the OL. (Ron Prince had his greasy fingerprints all over it.)

Lombardi got in over his head, got fired, then complained to the press that Stafford didn’t do Lombardi’s job, on the field, in real time, while being chased by 280 pound freaks of nature who wanted to break Stafford’s body into pieces. Classy, Lombardi. 

Now Lombardi is back to breaking down game film for Sean Payton and Drew Brees, and trading on his family name to get auto insurance commercials. Fine. As long as he’s not connected with my team. 

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2 hours ago, RedRamage said:

Well, assuming that Rappaport's sources are legit, he did say that Lombardi felt Stafford couldn't handle the complex play book AND that JBC had to simply things for Stafford.

BUT.....

This was also info right after Lombardi left, so even if Rappaport's sources are correct and he's not adding to the sources comments, it still might be more Lombardi and less Stafford.

If Lombardi was drawing up an overtly complex play book that neither Stafford, nor any reasonable QB, could handle, then it makes all the sense in the world that JBC's first task would be to streamline and simplify the playbook when he took over for Lombardi mid-season.  JBC isn't going to be able to put in his own scheme in the week between games so he's going to have to largely use what the offense already has, just simplifying it.

On a completely side note... It seems to me that Stafford is usually most successful when they are kinda "winging it..."  when they aren't playing a really conservative game, when Stafford's in crunch time and has to whip it around the field.  This would seem to contradict the idea that Stafford isn't capable or willing to take on a large roll or to run the offense.

Stafford has been in the Cooter system for years now. Even Jamarcus Russell would understand it by now. The point is irrelevant given the time Stafford has had with Cooter. He has been O-cord since 2015. 

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22 minutes ago, Jason_R said:

The central problem with Lombardi’s offense was not Stafford but mass chaos within the OL. (Ron Prince had his greasy fingerprints all over it.)

Lombardi got in over his head, got fired, then complained to the press that Stafford didn’t do Lombardi’s job, on the field, in real time, while being chased by 280 pound freaks of nature who wanted to break Stafford’s body into pieces. Classy, Lombardi. 

Now Lombardi is back to breaking down game film for Sean Payton and Drew Brees, and trading on his family name to get auto insurance commercials. Fine. As long as he’s not connected with my team. 

I understand what you are saying. But the counter argument is that Stafford has gone through multiple O-cords and some of them are well thought of in the NFL, nothing has worked long term. 

There is of course reason why things didn't work, like lack of weapons, injuries, poor play calling, over rated coaches, etc.

Stafford is an above average QB, with all the issues the Lions have I wouldn't be looking to create a whole a QB. Fix the defense, RB depth, WR, TE, etc first. I'd be fine with using a mid round pick to push Stafford but that's it. 

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Lions do not need a QB, nor do they need to spend a draft pick on one. Pick up a FA QB cheap . One who is trying to make a comeback or something along those lines (Not a Cassell).  Stafford isn't going anywhere. 

What they do need is speed. At LB, DB and WR and a edge rusher. May be one of the slowest teams in the league. They also need a OG. Maybe even a OT. 

 

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1 hour ago, MAROTH4MVP said:

I understand what you are saying. But the counter argument is that Stafford has gone through multiple O-cords and some of them are well thought of in the NFL, nothing has worked long term. 

There is of course reason why things didn't work, like lack of weapons, injuries, poor play calling, over rated coaches, etc.

Stafford is an above average QB, with all the issues the Lions have I wouldn't be looking to create a whole a QB. Fix the defense, RB depth, WR, TE, etc first. I'd be fine with using a mid round pick to push Stafford but that's it. 

Scott Linehan is the only OC Stafford has played under, other than Cooter and Lombardi.

Linehan was a “retread,” even then, but is generally well regarded. Still he was very recently on the hot seat in Dallas... until they got a #1 WR. 

Lombardi was a hot young prospect... a swing and a miss. 

Cooter was in the right place at the right time, and didn’t do anything obvious to **** things up, but is clearly not on the cutting edge of offensive football. 

Stafford has not worked with anyone close to being considered an offensive genius or innovator. 

That said, Stafford is not above criticism, which he generally earns for trying to do too much. 

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3 hours ago, MAROTH4MVP said:

Stafford has been in the Cooter system for years now. Even Jamarcus Russell would understand it by now. The point is irrelevant given the time Stafford has had with Cooter. He has been O-cord since 2015. 

No, the point isn't irrelevant.

I was responding to the claim that Lombardi and Cooter have had to 'dumb down' the play book for Stafford.  The only evidence provided was RIGHT AFTER Lombardi was fired and Cooter stepped in as OC.  My whole response was based on saying that IF Rappaport's sources where all correct, then here's why it might be the case...

I've seen no comments from any sources in the last couple of years that Cooter has had to dumb down the playbook, so I wasn't talking about STafford having been in Cooter's system for a while now.

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21 hours ago, RedRamage said:

No, the point isn't irrelevant.

I was responding to the claim that Lombardi and Cooter have had to 'dumb down' the play book for Stafford.  The only evidence provided was RIGHT AFTER Lombardi was fired and Cooter stepped in as OC.  My whole response was based on saying that IF Rappaport's sources where all correct, then here's why it might be the case...

I've seen no comments from any sources in the last couple of years that Cooter has had to dumb down the playbook, so I wasn't talking about STafford having been in Cooter's system for a while now.

My point was if even the dumbest QB has not learned the entire system since 2015, then there is something wrong with the system.

3 Offensive Cords have failed with Stafford. All 3 of them have had some success in the NFL.

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On 12/11/2018 at 8:32 AM, Shelton said:

If the lions win out and finish 8-8, they have a 25% chance at a playoff berth. 

That seems insane to me, but it’s true. 

Yep, giving 8-5 Seattle one of the wildcards, 8 teams in the mix for the other one if you include the Lions.

5-8 Tampa will finish with @ Baltimore, @Dallas, Atlanta. They will lose at least 1 of those games, will be behind an 8-8 Lions

5-7-1 Green Bay could do no better than 7-8-1 if the Lions finish 8-8, as GB would have lost to the Lions in the last game of the season in Green Bay

5-8 NYG will finish with Tennessee, @ Indy, Dallas. Highly likely they lose at least 1 of those games to finish behind an 8-8 Lions

6-7 Philadelphia will finish with a tough schedule of @LA Rams,  Houston, @Washington. Could easily lose 2 of 3 to finish behind 8-8 Lions

6-7 Washington will finish with @ Jacksonville, @Tennessee, Philadelphia. This may be the biggest risk of a team finishing ahead of an 8-8 Lions. And unless Washington and Philly both lose their next 2, the final game against each other would allow one of them to get up to 8-8 to tie the Lions (not sure about tiebreakers at this point). BUT the 'Skins have been playing lousy recently.

6-7 Carolina  will finish with @ New Orleans, Atlanta, New Orleans. Could easily lose 2 of 3, and even if they instead win 2 of 3 the Lions would beat out Carolina at both 8-8 thanks to head to head result, if it was only a 2-team tie

6-6-1 Minnesota would have lost to the Lions in the next-to-last game of the season and so would have to either lose a home game to Miami or to Chicago to finish behind an 8-8 Lions

 

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I'd guess Stafford is objectively more intelligent than most fans criticizing his intelligence.

I think he has a number of flaws, but I tend to doubt his intelligence is the thing holding him back.

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18 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I'd guess Stafford is objectively more intelligent than most fans criticizing his intelligence.

I think he has a number of flaws, but I tend to doubt his intelligence is the thing holding him back.

One thing that Joe Lombardi and JBC have both been criticized over is there lack of creativity on offensive play calling. Predictability is a word that has been thrown around with both guys. Is there any possibility in your mind that their lack of creative play calling/predictabiliy could also fall at the feet of the person in charge with implementing the plays on the field?

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22 hours ago, lordstanley said:

Yep, giving 8-5 Seattle one of the wildcards, 8 teams in the mix for the other one if you include the Lions.

5-8 Tampa will finish with @ Baltimore, @Dallas, Atlanta. They will lose at least 1 of those games, will be behind an 8-8 Lions

5-7-1 Green Bay could do no better than 7-8-1 if the Lions finish 8-8, as GB would have lost to the Lions in the last game of the season in Green Bay

5-8 NYG will finish with Tennessee, @ Indy, Dallas. Highly likely they lose at least 1 of those games to finish behind an 8-8 Lions

6-7 Philadelphia will finish with a tough schedule of @LA Rams,  Houston, @Washington. Could easily lose 2 of 3 to finish behind 8-8 Lions

6-7 Washington will finish with @ Jacksonville, @Tennessee, Philadelphia. This may be the biggest risk of a team finishing ahead of an 8-8 Lions. And unless Washington and Philly both lose their next 2, the final game against each other would allow one of them to get up to 8-8 to tie the Lions (not sure about tiebreakers at this point). BUT the 'Skins have been playing lousy recently.

6-7 Carolina  will finish with @ New Orleans, Atlanta, New Orleans. Could easily lose 2 of 3, and even if they instead win 2 of 3 the Lions would beat out Carolina at both 8-8 thanks to head to head result, if it was only a 2-team tie

6-6-1 Minnesota would have lost to the Lions in the next-to-last game of the season and so would have to either lose a home game to Miami or to Chicago to finish behind an 8-8 Lions

 

Yep. So the question becomes, do you want the lions to go 0-2 or 2-0 over the next two games. Do you want the better draft position or the chance that the lions are playing for a playoff spot in week 17?

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4 minutes ago, Shelton said:

Yep. So the question becomes, do you want the lions to go 0-2 or 2-0 over the next two games. Do you want the better draft position or the chance that the lions are playing for a playoff spot in week 17?

I'm clearly not the same Lions' fan I was 20 years ago, but my view on these types of questions hasn't changed. I always want the team I'm rooting for to win. Even if the Lions are 5-10 going into the last week of the season, when I watch the game, I'm going to pull for them to win. If I start pulling for the teams I root for to lose, then I know I truthfully need a new hobby.

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Same.  I feel like if they have the right leadership they will find talent wherever they pick.  If they don't have the right leadership then they will have to hope to get lucky with who falls to them, meaning they will likely only get the can't miss picks right.

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