Category Archives: Lions

Updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2-27-2014

Updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2-27-2014

Contribution By: Michael Pawlak

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

After clocking a blistering 4.53 40-yard dash, Clowney moves up one spot to be the first prospect taken in 2014. I  have  had “the freak” going #2 in all previous mock drafts, but the combine numbers make him easily the best prospect in the draft. If the Texans trade down, whoever picks here will take Clowney.

* This hit is especially painful to Michigan fans.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Another year, another St. Louis QB gets TKO’d, putting a highly talented team right out of contention. I believe that Sam Bradford has the ability to be good in the NFL, but injuries are catching up. They need protection for their QB and will likely address it with the first of their  two 1st round picks. Matthews is viewed by most as the best tackle prospect in the draft. Sammy Watkins, or Greg Robinson would also make sense here.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Jonny Football posted a great time in the 40-yard dash at 4.68 seconds, and performed in the top 5 among quarterbacks in the vertical jump, broad jump, 3 cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle. He is under 6 feet tall but so is Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. The Jaquars have to take the “sexy” pick here. A few character issues are a concern with Manziel so he should fit right in in the NFL.

4. Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

The Browns get a gem here in the 6’5 gunslinger from Central Florida. I have been high on Bortles since my first mock draft, and I the combine solidified that. He put on a display in passing drills, and showed that he was even more athletic than previously though. I see a potential Ben Rothlisberger type QB here, with more athleticism. The Browns need a QB to get up and coming stars Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron the ball.

5. Oakland Raiders: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

I still believe Bridgewater is the best QB in the draft but any time an athlete decides not to perform drills at the combine, it raises a few red flags. I have had Bridgewater going #1 overall up until now. A good pro day could have him moving right back into the top 3, but for now I have the Raiders hitting a home run with a franchise signal caller.

6. **TRADE** Detroit Lions: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Sammy Watkins is as polished as a WR prospect to come out since Julio Jones. The Lions make a bold move and trade up 4 picks with the Falcons to instantly deploy the most dangerous 1-2 WR tandem in the game. Watkins is the Ideal pick for the Detroit Lions. He is 6’1 / 212lb, and ran a stunning 4.34 40-yard dash that created buzz at the combine. It was later changed to a 4.4 and that is still very fast. He was highly productive at Clemson (101 rec. 1464 yards 12 TD) his junior year. The thing that separates Sammy Watkins from the other WR’s this year is the football player mentality. He blocks, brings a swagger, runs clean routes, and produces. If Martin Mayhew should go this route I would be thrilled and likely rage out on draft day.  (Draft day is our “Super Bowl” after all).

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Bucs have a roster loaded with talent and could be a break out team this year. The defensive side of the ball has plenty of pieces for new head coach Lovie Smith to transition to the cover 2 defense. Robinson in one word is a Hauss, and could easily go top 3 if a team falls in love with him. He is a big athletic frame who is good enough that he would have been the #1 pick last year over Fisher.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Khalil Mack, DE, Buffalo

The top tier QB options are gone, so Minnesota will look to get the best player available. You have never heard of Khalil Mack because he is from the University of Buffalo. In the NFL teams pay high dollar for pass rushers, and Mack fits the bill. Mack is versitle enough to play in the 4-3 or 3-4 defense. I think he is better suited as 3-4 LB but regardless where he plays the guy flat out makes plays. He will be plugged in as a day 1 starter wherever he goes and will be a Pro-Bowl candidate right away.

9. Buffalo Bills: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Mike Evans is a fast rising WR prospect that was often on the receiving end of Jonny Football’s explosive stat lines. He is clearly the second best WR this draft offers. He is 6’5″/ 230 and ran 4.53 40 and was more fluent than expected in individual drills. He is considered raw with only 3 years playing football, but has the measurables and tape to be a difference maker on the outside.

10. Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

The Falcons moved back 4 spots to pick where the Lions previously would have. In theory , it would cost the Lions a 3rd round pick in 2014 and 2015 to move up.They get a big value pick here with a high upside pass rusher out of UCLA. Barr has the athletic frame, and explosive first step ideal for the edge in the NFL.

11. Tennessee Titans: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Mosley is the best ILB in the draft and as battle tested as they come out of powerhouse Alabama. He anchored the middle of the Tide’s defense and should be a starter right away in the NFL. The Titans were embarrassing against the run in 2013 so Mosley appears to be a good match here.

12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Taylor Lewan was slotted here months ago by myself when he was viewed as a late 1st round pick. His Impressive combine fueled by the best 40 out of the deep OT group solidifies Lewan as a top 15 pick. 6″7″/ 305 is the ideal frame for an offensive tackle and represents great value here. The Giants desperately need protection for Eli Manning and they get that here.

13. St. Louis Rams: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Rams will look no further than mr. shutdown Darqueze Dennard. The Rams could pair Dennard with Janoris Jenkins for one of the most potent CB combos in the NFL. Dennard doesn’t have stats to back up a top 15 pick, but that is because teams wouldn’t dare test that side of the field. He still won the Jim Thorpe award as the nations top defensive back. His combine performance solidifies him as a top tier CB NFL teams dream about. His ability to be a force in the run game and around the line of scrimmage puts him slightly above Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State.

14. Chicago Bears: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Gilbert is a lanky, blaxing fast CB that the Chicago Bears could desperately use. He ran a ridiculous 4.37 40 at the combine and showed well in drills. 6’0′ / 200lbs. and speed to  cover a lot of field is the mold NFL teams search for in CB’s. Gilbert picked off 7 passed and returned 2 for touchdowns. The super athletic CB could cause the Lions frustration for a long tome should the Bears pick him.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame

The Pittsburg Steelers add to their front 7 on defense in a big way with the 340lb. brick wall out of Notre Dame. Nix is the best DT the draft has to offer and should immediately eat up space up front and allow the LB’s lanes to attack in Pittsbburg’s attacking 3-4 defense.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Baltimore Ravens need to give Joe Flacco help in the passing game. Ebron is an explosive athlete out of the TE position who could cause havoc over the middle of defenses across the NFL. Ebron is a TE with WR skills and could be a top 5 TE in the NFL someday.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

The Cowboys finally get the piece that will make their secondary respectable again. Clinton-Dix is 6’2″ and has speed to cover a lot of ground. His strength is the ability to cover and finish tackles with authority. HaHa is the best free safety in the draft.

18. New York Jets: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Kelvin Benjamin is a high upside WR with great size. At 6’5″ with awesome hands that he displayed in the National Championship game, he showed that he warrants a 1st round pick.  He enters the draft and passes Marquise Lee as the 3rd best WR based on pure upside.

19. Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Martin is a prospect that I thought would be an early 2nd rounder with first round value. Martin has tested well and showed that he is undoubtedly a 1st round pick since. He is balanced in the run and pass game and can play multiple positions up front. The Dolphins could use all the help they can get on their plagued OL.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

This massive offensive tackle is just what the Arizona Cardinals need up front. CK has a reputation to be a grater in the run game and athletic enough to play tackle of guard. Offensive lineman battle tested in the SEC make them a safe pick, and the Cardinals do just that.

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

Calvin Pryor is the second best safety on the board and the Packers could use secondary help/ Pryor is a big safety who has a reputation of being a nasty hitter. He is a run stopper first, but agile anough to drop back and make those pay who go over the middle. Think Bob Sanders,  with much better size.

22. Philadelphia Eagles:  Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh 

Aaron Donald is a prospect that I hadn’t even heard of until the days leading up to the combine. Donald has shown the world that he has what it takes to be a force up front in the NFL. The strong showing at the  Senior Bowl and  combine proved that he is among the top 3 DT’s available this year.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

Odell Beckham has exploded up draft boards since announcing he was going pro. His game is based on his 6’5 ” height and natural ability to go up and get the football. I see him as an immediate  redzone threat from day one. The Cheifs need all the help they can get on offense.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

The Bengals have a solid defense but are aging up front on the defensive line. Hageman put himself on the map with a dominant showing in the Senior Bowl. This is a deep class for defensive tackles, and this could be viewed as a value pick based on Hageman’s upside.

25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Verette was a fast rising prospect before the combine. By all accounts Verette did nothing but help his stock with flashes of elite athletic tools and speed. Verette isn’t a big CB, but has the ability to be glue like on any WR he has come across. The Chargers of St. Diego need to inject some life into their secondary and Verette could fit well.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

In exchange for Trent Richardson, the Cleveland Browns add a speed edge rusher out of the SEC here. Aside from Clowney, Ealy has the best ability to play DE in the standard 4-3  in the draft, Brings  good size, length, and a quick first step.

27. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

I have a hunch that someone may fall in love with Shazier and pull the trigger on him much earlier than anyone expects. Shazier tested out well and had the best verticle jump of any front 7 defensive prospect.  He is a legitimate tackle machine who plays sideline to sideline, and contributes in pass coverage. Speed is the name of this Buckeye’s game.

28. Carolina Panthers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

I previously had Lee going much higher than here, but the impressive WR class of 2014 has me dropping him slightly, It is not for a lack of talent that he slides back, this is just a very strong WR draft. The Panthers benefit by getting top 15 talent at a position of dire need. If Lee should fall this far it would be one of the steals of the draft.

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

The New England Patriots love TE’s. With Hernandez getting locked up, and Gronkowski being unreliable due to constant injuries the Pats will go with a difference maker at TE. Amaro has great size and is a play maker the Tom Brady will be happy to welcome on board.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

A combine Freak, Cooks worked his way from a mid-round waiver into a top play maker in the draft.  He posted a 4.3 40 yard dash! He also looked like the quickest WR at the combine in other drills and caught everything thrown his way. Someone (Likely the Lions, Raiders, or Cowboys) could shock the world and roll the dice on Cooks.

31. Denver Broncos: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

Tuitt has been graded as a late first round selection by most of the mock draft world. I will follow suit here as it is a move that just makes sense for the Broncos. Tuitt has great size, and versatility to play inside or outside on the defensive line. A  solid player that should contribute early on in his career.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

When Jernigan announced he was going pro after his junior season, I immediately considered him a top 3 DT. Questions about his effort and ability to stay in shape have me dropping him to the final pick in the first round. If the Seahawks can motivate Jernigan, then they may have the steal of the draft here because Jernigan has elite ability.

On the fringe:

Dee Ford  DE  Auburn

Marcus Robinson  CB  Florida

Derek Carr  QB  Fresno State

Marcus Robinson WR  Penn State

David Yankey  OG  Stanford

Cyrill Richardson  OG  Baylor

Antonio Richardson  OT  Tennessee

Scott Cricton  DE/OLB  Oregon State

Chris Boreland  OLB  Wisconsin

Bradley Roby  CB  Ohio State

Vic Beasley  OLB  Clemson

Austin Seferion-Jenjins  TE  Washington

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***UPDATED*** 2014 NFL Mock Draft

Contribution by M. Pawlak

**1. Houston Texans** select **Teddy Bridgewater** QB. Louisville. Houston brings in new head coach, and QB-guru, Bill O’Brien. A team that brings in a coach with a reputation in developing QB’s will pull the trigger right away on the best QB in the draft. Bridgewater may be the best QB to come out of the draft since Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. He brings an NFL arm, more particularly, precision accuracy on every level of the passing game.

**2. St. Louis Rams (via. Washington)** select **Jadeveon Clowney** DE. South Carolina. The most talented defensive player in the draft, Clowney is is simply not a human being. He has ideal size for the NFL, speed that rivals most skill position players in the draft, and will instantly provide his suitor with a play maker on defense. Think Julius Peppers here, with the potential to be better. Yeah I said it.

**3. Jacksonville Jaguars** select  ** Blake Bortles**  QB. UCF. Priority number 1 will be getting their QB. The Jags will not have to look outside their own state to lock down their QB of the future. It didn’t take long for everyone in college football  to notice this small school gunslinger. He is known to possess tremendous leadership skills, and an NFL ready body. In the limited amount of game action I have seen, he looks to be in the mold of Ben Rothlisberger with slightly better athleticism.

**4. Cleveland Browns** select  **Johnny Manziel** QB, Texas A&M. Everyone in football was left asking themselves “what the hell are the Browns doing, trading their star RB, Trent Richardson in 2013”? Trent had one of the worst seasons for a RB ever after being traded to the Colts, the Browns look  genius here. They have 10 picks over the first 3 rounds. This allows them to gamble on one of the most exciting prospects in the draft, Johnny Football. A guy that earns the name Johnny Football, and wins a Heisman trophy will undoubtedly be taken in the top 5. Cleveland will roll the dice.

**5. Oakland Raiders** select **Sammy Watkins** WR. Clemson.  Sorry Lions fans, but the best, and most NFL ready offensive play maker comes off the board here. Blazing speed, ideal size to be effective in the red zone, and superstar potential are all traits Watkins brings to the table, along with GREAT hair. His 16-catch bowl game performance will have his draft stock trending upwards. He could go top 3. Think Pierre Garcon right away, with A.J. Green upside.

**6. Atlanta Falcons** select **Jake Matthews** OT. Texas A&M. Despite deploying a porous defense in 2013, and losing their top player (Julio Jones) to injury, the Falcons struggled to keep Matt Ryan upright. In order for Ryan to sling the pigskin around the gridiron he needs protection. They get just that in this 6’5″, 305 lb. Bookend, who is universally viewed as the best offensive lineman available.

**7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers** select **Anthony Barr** OLB. UCLA. Offensive Tackle also makes sense here. Barr can straight out get to the Quarterback. With Lovie Smith implementing the Tampa 2,  a premier pass rusher is of most importance. The Bucs will have to get creative in using him, but the raw talent is there. In most drafts he would be off the board in the top 5.

**8. Minnesota Vikings** select **Derek Carr** QB. Fresno State. Does this name sound familiar? That’s right his older brother is that one time no.1 pick bust. Derek Carr is a better QB than his elder brother, and it speaks to how strong of a draft this year that Derek Carr gets taken here. He is still a work in progress mechanically, but has very good skills and a relatively high ceiling. The Vikings embarrassing QB situation forces this pick, as they attempt to erase the blunder that was Christian Ponder. The Vikings lose out big with UCLA (rs Jr.) QB Brett Hundley  announcing he will return for another collegiate year. He and Winston will likely be the top two QB’s for 2015, both of them being superior to Carr. * Carr performed well in the senior bowl practices, with a good combine, could move up to the Oakland Raiders.

**9. Buffalo Bills** select **Khalil Mack**  OLB. Buffalo. “Mack Daddy”.  Buffalo has to look no further than their own back yard to find this gem. Mack has upside to be the best defensive player in the draft. A plug and play starting OLB with skills that rival Anthony Barr and Clowney, this appears to be a home run pick for the Bills of the north. With Manny Lawson, and Mario Williams already on board, Mack will make this front 7 among the most feared in the league.

**10. Detroit Lions**select**Mike Evans** WR, Texas A&M. [Insert HATE chant here] Okay Lions nation, before you shower me with popcorn and trash let me explain myself here. Can we all agree that it is time for Durham to go away? Did anybody see how productive the Lions offense was when Nate and Broyles were out? Admit it! It was atrocious.Calvin Johnson is from Mars, and everybody knows it. The Lions CANNOT expect him to regularly conquer triple teams. Evans is easily the second best WR in the 2014 draft. He reminds me of more of a basketball player than a WR at this point, but the bottom line is he is 6’5″/230, and he goes and gets the ball. I think Evans is only now beginning to tap in to his potential. He is a very capable red zone option and can spread defenses out with speed.  Evans catches the ball at the highest point and is comparable to Anquan Boldin. With an offensive minded head coach in Caldwell, the Lions will look to get it right once and for all on offense. Check out a short highlight video here:

**11. Tennessee Titans** select **C.J. Mosely** LB, Alabama. The Titans defense was porous in the middle for most of 2013. They should address that right away with NFL ready Mosley. Mosley does everything well, and when he hit’s a RB they drop on site. Offensive line help  could also be a targeted here.

**12. New York Giants**select**Greg Robinson** OT. Auburn. GRob is a bookend tackle in every sense of the word. If this was last year, he would have been a top 5 pick.   Robinson is a natural road grater that possesses the athleticism to guard the edge. The Giants will plug him in at RT right away. Eli Manning will be glad they go this route.

**13. St. Louis Rams** select select **Justin Gilbert** CB, Oklahoma State. To many Lions fans’ disgust, CB’s start coming off the board in a frenzy here! Gilbert is viewed by many as the best CB in the draft. St. Louis will look to pair him with Janoris Jenkins (another guy the Lions passed on) to have one of the most potent young secondary’s in the NFL.

**14. Chicago Bears** select** Darqueze Dennard** CB. Michigan State. Once again [insert HATE chant here] the Lions look right past a local lock down CB.  Dennard will start immediately over in our favorite windy city, Chi-town. The defense here could use all the help they can get, and Dennard will provide them with plenty of it immediately. Prediction: a thorn in Matthew Stafford’s side for at least a decade. How are you going to do this to us Mayhew?

**15. Pittsburgh Steelers**  select **Taylor Lewan** OT. Michigan.  Lewan was vied as a top 5 pick had he come out as a junior. An abysmal 2013 campaign by the Wolverines, and several recent question marks concerning his character, causes Lewan to drop. The fact that the left tackle position is such a premium, Pittsburgh will gladly make this value pick. Lewan has size and agility to protect the blind side of the often-hit Rothlisberger.

**16. Baltimore Ravens** select **Marquise Lee** WR, USC. Baltimore needs to get Flacco some  help and will look no further than this Trojan. Lee has shown flashes of greatness at the collegiate level, but the circus act led by former coach Kiffin overshadowed this. Lee is a do-it-all type receiver and should see the field early. He is  slightly behind Watkins and Evans at WR.

**17.  Dallas Cowboys** select ** Louis Nix** DT, Notre Dame. At 340 lbs. Nix is a space eater inside. The Cowboy’s are thin on the defensive side of the ball, and there is nothing thin about this man. They likely luse DT Justin Hatcher via free agency. Nix is the # 1 DT in the draft, and  would be a good value pick here. Jerry Jones may have a wildcard in his back pocket here, but in the mean time, let’s assume he does the responsible thing and adds to his defensive front. KB is a 6’5″ junior who elected to go pro. He chose wisely, and will be drafted in the first round this year. The New York  (J-E-T-S) Jets  could use this big target on the outside. Benjamin could emerge as a dangerous red zone threat early. It’s hard to imagine the Jets looking to add anything other than offensive playmakers here.

**19. Miami Dolfins** select **Cyrus Kouandjio** OT, Alabama. Miami needs help up front in the worst way. They lost most of their offensive lineman in 2013 to injury, bullying, and suspension.  This unit was a colossal train wreck, as much as Incognito was a colossal Richard. The good news is Cyrus K is a top 15 worthy player that has started multiple seasons for the Tide. We’re talking about a program that churns out more quality offensive lineman than anyone else. Cyrus K is big, experienced, and can play several positions up front.

**20. Arizona Cardinals** select **Vic Beasley** OLB, Clemson. The front seven is aging in the desert making Beasley a solid fit here. Beasley is a well rounded, just solid overall linebacker. He has developed very good pass rush skills and especially showed them off in the later part of last season.  He could be the injection of youth the Cardinals need on defense. This pick will likely be used on the offensive line, or front seven on defense.

**21. Green Bay Packers** select **Calvin Pryor** S, Louisville. Nobody has heard of Pryor, mainly because he just declared as a junior. This man is a big, physical safety who is not shy around the line of scrimmage. He’s on the raw side, but could be a good piece for the future to the Packers sorry secondary. He’s the second best S in the draft, and will not fall much further than here.

**22. Philadelphia Eagles** select **Tim Jernigan** DT, FSU. Tim Jernigan is an ultra athletic DT who is a high upside player. He could be used in multiple ways up front for the Eagles. With a high-octane offense in place, the Eagles will undoubtedly load up on defense early and often on draft day. Jernigan is the most talented defensive player available at this spot regardless of position and is a legitimate gem.

**23. Kansas City Chiefs** select **Eric Ebron** TE, UNC. Tight end has really become a key offensive position in the modern NFL. Ebron is the best option in the draft and will immediately impact Reid’s underwhelming offense. Ebron has the speed and hands necessary of a receiver who must be accounted for by defenses at all time.

**24. Cincinnati Bengals** select **Ryan Shazier** OLB, OSU. Shazier has the ability to play multiple linebacker positions, and plays with great speed. Cincinnati  craves speed on defense and Shazier fits the bill. With a good showing at the combine, Shazier could see his draft stock rise.

**25. San Diego Chargers** select **Jason Verett** CB, TCU. This high powered offensive team will likely select defense early.  To some national pundits Verett is the best CB that this draft has to offer. At 5’10” he lacks the height to match up on the outside but Verett makes up for it with elite speed and athleticism. With most offensive sets in the league being WR heavy, a solid nickel corner is necessary. It is highly unlikely he falls out of the first based on skill alone.

**26. Cleveland Browns**select **HaHa Clinton-Dix** S, Alabama.  Cleveland lands this draft pick for Trent Richardson. They have addressed the QB position with Manziel earlier in the draft. Now they take a crack at the best safety in the draft, Clinton-Dix. He has the skill to legitimately “HaHa” at each and every team that passed on him. The natural born ball hawk will make the Browns secondary scary good and be a pun factory to sportscasters everywhere.

**27. New Orleans Saints**select** Ra’Shede Hageman** DT, Minnesota. Hagman wasn’t invited to my first mock board. His ridiculous training numbers and Senior Bowl have put him on the map, and I’m willing to guess he is going to continue to trend upwards. By draft day, it’s not out of question that Hageman could be in the top 20.

**28 New England Patriots** select **Jace Amaro** TE, Texas Tech. Here the Patriots go again with the tight ends. Gronkowski’s injuries have robbed him the last two seasons, and he just isn’t reliable. Hernandez is off training with Paul Crew and the chain gang  who are eager to take on the the prison guards. Meanwhile, Amaro is just the type of matchup nightmare Billicheck likes to deploy. Amaro is the second best TE in the draft, and not by much.

**29. Carolina Panthers** select **Jordan Matthews** WR, Vanderbilt. With Steve Smith getting up there in age, the Panthers need to add a WR. Matthews is not the physical specimen that the previous  wide receivers drafted are. He is a polished player who can step in and contribute immediately for this Panthers offense. He looked NFL ready in the Senior Bowl.

**30. San Francisco 49ers** select ** Cyril Richardson** G, Baylor. There could be a a WR selected here, but the 49ers will be overjoyed should this 340 lb. hauss slip this far. Richardson is the best interior lineman of this class and could anchor this group for the next decade. He plays with a Larry Warford- like mean streak. Cyril seems like as good fit in this power running attack. Cyril also gets consideration for the all-name team.

**31 Denver Broncos** select **Kony Ealy** DE, Missouri. The Broncos could use a pass rusher and with their offense being led by the likes of Peyton Manning a DE could be just what the doctor ordered.  Ealy is one of the top edge rushers to come out this year, and the Broncos shouldn’t hesitate to get him on board as they need help in their front seven.

**32. Seattle Seahawks **select **David Yankey** OG, Stanford.  Yankey can play anywhere along the offensive line. He played left tackle in college but will probably be more of a ground it out offensive guard at the next level. The Seahawks have few holes, but their offensive line showed vulnerability at times this year.

The Price Is Wrong!

Lions Tickets

Contribution By: Z. Ficht

As we’ve all learned this week, our Detroit Lions have raised their ticket prices for the upcoming 2014 season.  The move comes after arguably one of the worst second half collapses in franchise history, so it makes perfect sense.  Seriously though, as a season ticket holder  this decision is mind boggling. From a business standpoint, how can you justify increasing the cost of your product, when the on field performance has been below industry standards? I would like to state for the record that I am a season ticket holder, and have been since the 2006 season.  My grandfather -who has since passed his seats onto my uncle-, has had Lions tickets since 1955.  A Ficht has always been present at a Lions game for over 50 years.  That was a fact that I used to be proud of, that my family has stuck with this organization through thick and thin (so much thick). But now it seems that the front office could give a shit about its season ticket holders.

The staff of Motownmeltdown is pretty pro-Lions; we currently have three writers who have season tickets (M.Jones, M.Pawlak) and each one of us were absolutely blown away at the choice to raise ticket prices.

Myself (backwards hat) along with M. Jones (shades on the head) with some fools raging for the Lions pre-ticket price increase.  [Not Pictured M. Pawlak]

That hike comes out to be 8.2 percent higher than they were a year ago if you’re looking to put a number to it.  Let’s take a step back and assess the choice shall we? Two years removed from a playoff berth, no home playoff game in 20 years, went 1-6 down the stretch, fired the head coach, hired the most unpopular new coach they could , and raised ticket prices.  Now do any one of those things seem like it would generate a positive response from a fan base? Not in the least, but yet here we are.  A favorite saying of mine whenever I or any of my friends are having trouble coping with the decisions of this organization on and off the field is “who do we root for?” The answer of course is the Detroit Lions, and that is how easy it is to explain away decades of dumb decisions.  You know that it’s coming yet we are always outraged because in our heart of hearts we KNOW that this organization couldn’t make the right decision if it jumped up and bit them in the ass (Walking Dead style). They are destined to screw you over, destined to pull your heart out, look at it beat a few times and then fuck your mom. Just why? WHYYYYYY?????

All this city does is support you Lions, year after god forsaken year.  And we are rewarded with a price increase, hidden behind the disguise of a new ticketing system that breaks down games into sub categories to determine the desired ticket price on a game by game basis.  Teams like New Orleans and Green Bay will be in the “Touchdown” category. Ooohhh, how exciting! But wait, you can now come in and see shitters like Minnesota and Tampa Bay and pay the “Field Goal” price! What a time to be alive.  This pricing structure may sound familiar as the Detroit Tigers implemented a similar style several years ago, which for the record is working out great. I’m sure it’s due to the business model and not the fact that the Tigers have been to three straight ALCS’s.

This move is a slap in the face to a fan base that already has taken about 300,000 across the bow.  Can you throw us just one bone Lewand? I know that you think that we’re right on the verge of breaking through but [spoiler alert] “who do we root for???” That shit is never, ever going to happen.  In a year where God almighty split the proverbial gridiron sea, knocking out quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Aaron Rogers, with Minnesota taking a drastic step back you would think that you could have  fell into a division title.  Not in Detroit.  There isn’t a fan in all of Michigan who truly, TRULY believes that this team can win a meaningful game.  Why? Because they never have, not since 1991 at least, when the current twenty somethings were still in diapers and when the aging fans were twenty somethings.  This was the year and Detroit blew it in monumental fashion.  For this organization to ask their championship starved (hell I’d settle for a home playoff game!) fans to dig into their pockets and pay more money to support this team is insane.  Draft another D-lineman and ignore our needs at wide receiver and cornerback Detroit and I swear I will throw in the towel.

Before this ticket hike the Detroit Lions ranked 29 out of 32 teams for lowest ticket prices.  Pretty reasonable I must admit, but also appropriate for their overall product.  According to a press release from Lions Pres Mr. Lewand “The decision to incorporate an increase in overall ticket pricing was made after careful consideration. To remain competitive in the NFL and offer an extraordinary fan experience, we need to be able to invest right back into our product, and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.”  Extraordinary fan experience? That’s interesting Tom, I don’t think I’ve ever had an extraordinary experience at Ford Field. Especially not when paying for my $9 a beer, waiting over a half an hour in line to get into the stadium, or watching the Lions lose game after game in an awe inspiring display of ineptitude. I’d happily pay more to alleviate those inconveniences, but sadly I think they are here to stay. So the experience isn’t changing, how about competitiveness? Seems like we’re going pretty strong Lions, fans consistently sell out Ford Field season after season.  If your front office could put together the right collection of players that actually win, I think that Ford Field would become one of the premier venues in all of the NFL.  However, as I pointed out earlier the Lions are incapable of success. Like, someone should take every member of the Lions organization to the doctor and get tested for allergies to winning.  Left untreated, the city may riot.

Despite years of failure and fan frustration, the Lions can still pull this off because it’s the NFL and we Americans eat that shit up like candy.  So raise the prices Lions, draft Johnny Football, bang my girlfriend, and take my job.. it doesn’t matter.  I can bitch and moan until the cows come home, but come September, I will be downtown getting wasted and cheering on our Lions because this is the year! My name is Zach and I have a problem: I’m a Detroit Lions fan. Someone help me.

Senior Bowl Notes: 10 Players Lions Fans Should Take a Look At

senior bowl

Contribution: Trevor Parnell

With the Senior Bowl rapidly approaching, everybody will start talking about NFL draft prospects and what the Detroit Lions should do with their picks in this year’s draft. The first phase of what is normally the most exciting time of the year for Lions fans (that is so sad to say), is the Senior Bowl.

First of all, let’s start by identifying the Lions draft needs and holes. I think every fan would agree that a #1 cornerback is the most important need on this team. The defense was good, not great, but the deficiencies were in the secondary. Yeah, the rush D was good, but the defense became one dimensional. The Leos need a shutdown corner, somebody to force opposing team’s quarterbacks to look to the second and third receiving options.

Secondly, the Lions need a wide receiver to put opposite Calvin Johnson. Nasty Nate is getting older and might not be re-signed  next season. Ryan Broyles can’t seem to stay healthy. Kris Durham… well, I’m going to be honest with you bud, the only reason you are on this team is because you used to be roommates with Matt Stafford at Georgia. I like to think that the scenario went like this: Matt and Kris go to a party, a hot girl and her chubby friend start talking to the “football stars”, and Matt convinces them to come back to the dorm. Matt to Kris: “if you take chubs, I’ll make sure I’m throwing to you on Sunday’s “. Kris took the bait. Anyways, the Lions need a wideout.

Lastly, the Lions need a Center to replace an aging Dominic Raiola (35), and Safety if they don’t re-sign Delmas. They could also use a Tight End, if they decide they don’t want to deal with Pettigrew in the future. So with that said, here are 10 players the Lions could consider drafting that will be playing in this weekend’s Senior Bowl:

1. Pierre Desir, DB, Lindenwood (Division III). Height: 6 ft 2 in  Weight: 206 Projected Draft Position: Second or Third Round    Desir

2.   Stanley Jean- Baptiste, DB, Nebraska. Height: 6 ft 3 in Weight: 220 Projected Draft Position: Third RoundJean Baptiste

3. Keith McGill, DB, Utah. Height: 6 ft 3 in Weight: 205 Projected Draft Position: Third RoundMcgill

4. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt. Height: 6 ft 3 in Weight: 206 Projected Draft Position: Second RoundBBVA Compass Bowl - Vanderbilt v Houston

5. Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin. Height: 6 ft 1 in Weight: 190 Projected Draft Position: Third Roundabbrederis

6. Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State. Height: 6 ft 3 in Weight: 205 Projected Draft Position: Fourth Roundjanis

7. Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State. Height: 6 ft 4 in Weight: 300 Projected Draft Position: Second Roundrichburg

8. Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas. Height: 6 ft 5 in Weight: 318 Projected Draft Position: First or Second Roundswanson

9. C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa. Height: 6 ft 7 in Weight: 265 Projected Draft Position: Third or Fourth Roundfiedorowicz

10. Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State. Height: 6 ft 6 in Weight: 255 Projected Draft Position: Sixth Roundgillmore

Check out the Senior Bowl on Saturday, January 25th. And don’t be surprised if at least one of these guys is sporting the Honolulu Blue and Silver next season.

AINT NO PARTY LIKE A DETROIT PARTY, CAUSE A DETROIT PARTY DONT STOP

Contribution by M. Jones

Recently I received a request from a fan of the blog named Scott M. who supplied an idea for a new post.  The idea was simply – If you had to party with one Detroit athlete, who would it be?  I thought about it, and many bud light platinums later, made the idea come to real life Pinocchio style.  Given that we are the Motown Meltdown and I have dedicated recent posts to national basketball topics, i said simply – ‘Fuck it, I’ll do it live!’ [See video below for reference]

*I suggest enjoying the whole video, but the 1:00 minute mark is where it heats up

Starting with the rosters of all the major teams, i was able to cut it down to 24 people.  Given the un-tournament-friendly number, i decided 8 people (2 from each team) get a bye automatically based on merit in a celebrity death match style breakdown. [Each player listed includes the person’s most likely drink of choice]

Byes:

1 – Todd Bertuzzi – Detroit Red Wings – A no brainer, Todd is an OG.  From the missing teeth proving he parties hard as hell, to the bad ass aggression he shows on the ice.  Just a real easy pick here.  Met this dude in Nashville one day last summer for a bachelor party at a bar and he was a boss rocking a Jimmy Hendrix tee.  Pounded a few brews, took pictures with the bachelor and even offered some of his grizzly tin to the crew.  An early favorite to go deep into the tourney. – Jack Daniels

2 – Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers – This man was bold enough to get pulled over on a DUI and THEN take a pull in front of the cop.  As long as he keep pulling the ball 400 yards over the outfield wall, no harm done in my eyes.

3 – Dominic Raiola – Detroit Lions – Drink of choice is an entire case of miller lite.  Dom can no doubt hold his own.  A ticking time bomb and very ready to regulate the party Warren G style.

4 – Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers – Fully anticipating this guy to be a wild card, he may swing on multiple people before the night is over.  It doesn’t take much to get victor angry:

Imagine him with a fifth of Avion in his system.

5 – Brandon Jennings – Detroit Pistons – Jennings definitely brings the aggressiveness to the party.  He was punched out by The Game (rapper) before this past season in a confrontation at a bar in Cali. Who doesn’t want to see a good drunk fight? – Hennessey

6 – Johan Franzen – Detroit Red Wings – I am thinking this guy could drink a DANGEROUS amount of Svedka.  Step up to the plate bitches.

svedka

7 – Nick Fairley – Detroit Lions – Someone take his keys when he enters the door, Nick is ready to rage at all times.  He is likely to do something that makes the whole party stop and look down on him in disapproval, and then all of a sudden he will totally redeem himself – Drink of Choice is Patron.

dand

8 – Kyle Singler – Detroit Pistons – Everyone wants someone at the party they can group hate chant for being a puss.  Enter Kyle Singler. – Drink of choice: Sex in the Bucket (The bucket man puts a strange twist on the sex on the beach drink).

Elimination Round:

9 – Ndamukong Suh – Detroit Lions – Ready in case the cable guy or the Po Po’s show up.  He is not willing to talk nice – Soco 100 Proof.

24 – Phil Coke – Detroit Tigers – I said drink of choice, right?  Substance of choice exception…judges vote No.  Ok, Captain Morgan.  The party would vote him off quick.

Winner – After a weird amount of Soco 100, there is little doubt what this man couldn’t do.  In this matchup, he body slams Phil into a season long injury making Tigers fans rejoice for the 2014 season.

10 – Josh Smith – Detroit Pistons – Did someone mention The Game?  As The Game said in a song off his last album: ‘Red phantom, they say I look like Josh Smith from Atlanta
I do, hachoo, excuse you, that ***** look like me!’  Ahhh what a passion for the art of music. – Old English 40 ozs.  Playing his own game of Edward 40 hands.

23 – Andy Dirks – Detroit Tigers – This guy is the candidate for the one who will want to play acoustic guitar all night.  Eventually someone will JJ Jeff Jarret his ass though.

http://youtu.be/bT2o3Q7QCNc [Youtube would not let me embed, but i promise it is worth your time]

Don’t expect Andy to win this challenge or start in LF more than 80 games.  – Natural Lite

Winner – In a surprise upset, Andy pulls the upset and lulls the J Smooth to sleep with a ballad from Mumford and Suns before delivering the knockout blow.

12 – Joique Bell – Detroit Lions – Every party is better with some Naughty by Nature.  Joique is a spark plug and hype man for the party.  Hope him and V Mart aren’t partners in pong, with this kind of hype man Victor may swing on someone by 10 pm.  – Atwater beer, reppin the D hard.

22 – Gustav Nyquist – Detroit Red Wings – The wildcard of the tourney, with a name like Gustav a spot in the tourney is an easy decision.  Would be curious to see him and the mule go at it in a Svedka challenge. – Also Svedka

Winner – Do not underestimate the Svedka.  While Joique is celebrating, Gustav goes all villain in ’24’ on him and advances.

13 – Mikel Leshoure – Detroit Lions – This one’s for all the smokers.

mm

Mikel is sipping water all night but on Mars at the party.

21 – Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons – Doesn’t seem like a great person to party with but he brings the celebs and TMZ coverage with his ICarly connection.

dre

The physics of the intercourse for that relationship just aint right. – Busch Lite (He’s under age and Sheed bought his booze for him)

Winner – Andre hits curfew and has to go home.  Mikel is rollin until the sunrise onto the second round.

15 – Luigi Datome – Detroit Pistons the ‘Mr. Steal Yo Girl 2014’. GiGi is gonna bring the hoes no diggity. – Wine

20 – Justin Abdelkader – Detroit Red Wings – Not far removed from the campus over in East Lansing.  That gets the young gun a spot on the list.  Can’t wait to see what he lights on fire. – Keg beer directly in the gullet, college style.

Winner – Although Gi got the hoes, Justin has the younger kidneys and prevails.

16 – Joseph Fauria – Detroit Lions – Another wild card to the mix.  The white guy who will dance like a maniac to all the jams.  I bet he knows every move to the cupid shuffle and the cha cha slide.  – Moonshine

19 – Will Bynum – Detroit Pistons – Just to piss people off in pong as Will ‘The Thrill’ refuses to stop shooting or dropping the ball in his own cup (known as the pong turnover) – Margaritas, hey he is a tiny guy.

Winner – As Fauria is celebrating, not realizing his year is falling to complete shit….pause, stop lions rant, continue….Will wins just to keep pissing readers off.

17 – Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions – The calm presence at the party, until the digornos pizza is ready.  At that point, stand clear all bets are off. – Sailor Jerry’s Rum

18 – Charlie Villanueva – Detroit Pistons – In case the crowd gets bored of taunting Singler, Charlie V is in the wings.  You know this dude is into some weirdddd shit. – Smirnoff Ice, he doesn’t know why everyone keeps laughing at him.

Winner – Charlie V is winning the battle until the party, on cue, turns on him in chorus for an epic ‘hate’ chant.  Flawless victory and Nasty Nate moves on closer to pizza time.

18 – Don Kelly – Detroit Tigers – The utility man at the party.  Weird he keeps asking where Jim Leyland is, right?  Must be a real security blanket to him.  This guy can do many things including; drive everyone to taco bell at 2:30 am, clean up after the party and hit .220. – O’Douls

19 – Durham, Kris – Detroit Lions – The back up for Donny Kelly Baby for the T Bell run in case he is faking a buzz of the O’Douls. – Burnetts

Winner – This is the battle of mediocrity.  In a stunning twist of events, there is a double knockout.  Both people fall simultaneously…and in steps KID ROCK.

kid

Wow with that double elimination knock out, what will happen?  In the spirit of the MTV real world challenge show the show must go on.  Celebrity shot in the truest form. The man from the Motown, who has undoubtedly made some chicks meltdown, kicks in the door ready to step up! – Bad Ass Beer

Sweet 16

1 – Todd Bertuzzi – Detroit Red Wings

69 – Kid Rock 

Winner – Todd was cruising into the second round before the double knockout.  After that happened all bets were off.  Eventually Kid Rock starts singing country music and loses the still heavy pistons and foreign red wings/tigers crowd and momentum shifts to Bertuzzi who moves on. 

2 – Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers

17 – Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions

Winner – Nate approaches Miggy in a friendly manner and offer to shake his hand, in a second Miguel backhand smacks him and calls him a ‘mericon’.  Nate will not get his pizza at this party.  Miggy moves on.

3 – Dominic Raiola – Detroit Lions

19 – Will Bynum – Detroit Pistons

Winner – After will the thrill has annoyed the entire party, Dom stone cold stunners the most annoying party guest into a victory.

4 – Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers

20 – Justin Abdelkader – Detroit Red Wings

Winner – It was a nice run by the young gun, but V Mart is too wild for me to kick out of the party right now.  He and Miggy are on a Latin American collision course. 

5 – Brandon Jennings – Detroit Pistons

13 – Mikel Leshoure – Detroit Lions

Winner – Although Jennings can barely stand, the party finds out that Leshoure went to taco bell with DK and Durham once they woke up and he is eliminatedThat commercial for the stuffed nachos looked so good, on a side note they are F’n delicious.

6 – Johan Franzen – Detroit Red Wings

22 – Gustav Nyquist – Detroit Red Wings

Winner – And the Swedish showdown we all wanted begins.  By the end of the half gallon of Svedka it is a real shit show.  The crafty veteran screens the beer pong table and then quickly moves, Gustav runs through the table and loses the match after ejection by V Mart.

7 – Nick Fairley – Detroit Lions

23 – Andy Dirks – Detroit Tigers

Winner – What the hell?  Who gave Dirks another guitar? Does he have an amp too?  God damnit.  Fairley goes for the headshot and misses into the shark tank and has to undergo concussion tests.  By default, Andy moves on.

8 – Kyle Singler – Detroit Pistons

9 – Ndamukong Suh – Detroit Lions

Winner – No explanation needed, Singler tries to confuse suh by asking him the cosign of X and then there’s a Donkey Kong smash.  Hey at this rate, the police are probably coming so we need all the enforcers we can have.

Quarters

1 – Todd Bertuzzi – Detroit Red Wings

9 – Ndamukong Suh – Detroit Lions

Winner – A true battle in the trenches.  Eventually the cops finally show up, Suh confronts them starts stomping innocent people and is arrested.  Victory for Todd.

2 – Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers

23 – Andy Dirks – Detroit Tigers

Winner – There is no doubt in my mind, a drinking challenge between these two has occurred previous to this day.  Andy is now out of guitars and creating instruments out of brooms and household tools McGruber style.  All of a sudden, as the refs back is turned in true WWF fashion, Dave Dombroski hits Dirks with the steel chair and Miggy moves on.

3 – Dominic Raiola – Detroit Lions

6 – Johan Franzen – Detroit Red Wings

Winner – Raiola is now a case deep and Johan a half gallon in.  A very drunk scene is occurring.  Kid Rock wakes up and goes back into ‘Bawitaba’ and shit hits a dangerous level.   Franzen hits Dom with a big right hand and game over.  He finds a spot into the semis.

4 – Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers

5 – Brandon Jennings – Detroit Pistons

Winner – Jennings is now declaring himself king of the world, but V Mart don’t play those games and taps him on the shoulder with a distraction asking him ‘is that the Game over there?’  Jennings turns around shook and gets knocked out.  V Mart is making a serious run at the finals.

Semis

1 – Todd Bertuzzi – Detroit Red Wings

4 – Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers

Winner – After a night of bullying the crowd, Bertuzzi tosses in a fat chaw and steps to the man who is yelling at him in gibberish.  Todd goes at his knee and finds V Marts weakness.  After applying the Ken Shamrock leg twist, he advances to the finals. 

2 – Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers

6 – Johan Franzen – Detroit Red Wings

Winner – Rod Allen shows up to interview Johan.  Johan, very drunk and confused, is distracted and Miggy pulls out the bat. Let’s Rod toss him a few softballs and hits a HR to center field.  Then he walks the bases and stares down Bertuzzi.

Finals

1 – Todd Bertuzzi – Detroit Red Wings

2 – Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers

Analysis:

Let’s look at these guys’ track records –

Cabrera when arrested in 2011 allegedly told a sheriff deputy to “(expletive) shoot me. Kill me,” after being instructed to drop to his knees.  This guy does not give one single fuck.

Bertuzzi when charged in 2004 with assault – If the case would have gone to the Supreme Court in Canada (which has to be an odd place) the charge could have carried a maximum 10-year prison sentence. It did not, so luckily we have Bert on the ice currently.

sp

Both guys do not care about a court room or jail cell clearly.  On a side note, after reviewing the cases again it really is amazing how easily sports fans forgive complete maniacs as long as they are good on the field/ice.

After all the classic battles above, it comes down to this, who is the best star of the two?  Well, hands down it is Miggy.  Cabrera will go down as one of the best players in his sport of all time.  With that comes great stories and entertainment for hours at a party, even if we all need a translator to understand his punch lines.

ULTIMATE PARTY CHAMP: MIGUEL CABRERA

Caldwell’s Calm Demeanor Exaclty What The Doctor Ordered

TheManyFacesAndEmotionsOfJimCaldwell_medium

Contribution By: Z. Ficht

So its official Jim Caldwell is the new head coach of your Detroit Football Lions. My initial reaction to the hiring is surprisingly content. Maybe that’s just a reflection of Caldwell’s ever calm demeanor. But like I stated previously in my last article, Caldwell is a very solid coach who may not be the sexiest pick but he is definitely, in my opinion at least, a smart choice. Last night Whisenhunt gave our entire city a big middle finger by taking the Titans job over the Lions. Just want to sneak in a quick “go fuck yourself budday.” Good luck with Jake Locker and Company, I’m sure the Super Bowl is RIGHT around the corner. Asshole. So now we march forward with Caldwell, where he’ll take us is anyone’s guess but it can’t be worse than Schwartz’s wild ride. And even if it is, I’ll never admit it, so suck on that Jimmy boy!
The most important thing that this team needs to get out of Caldwell is discipline and respect. I think that this Lions team is hungry to win and wants to learn how to do it the right way. Caldwell needs to set a firm tone from day one, the honeymoon is over. It’s no mystery why certain teams like New England and San Francisco find continued success year in and year out: they play smart, disciplined, hard football with one goal in mind…win. No distractions can penetrate those locker rooms from winning, not Aldon Smith going to rehab for a month or Aaron Hernandez straight up executing someone. Both teams put that shit in the rearview and push forward and were still able to grind their way to their respective league championship games. Keeping a team together as a whole is something that the Lions have never succeeded at. However it is apparently something that Caldwell really shines at. As per Bleacher report and every Michigan native’s favorite ex-coach Jim Tressel. In regards to the Colt’s 2-14 season Tressel states:
[“The (last) three games are division games, Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville, and both needed to win for playoffs and home field and stuff like that, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I wonder how he’s going to keep this thing together.’ But to keep that group together and not fold their tent, and I think the only reason was because how much respect they had for (Caldwell). I really believe that and again I was just a guy sitting in the corner, but I mean I’ve never seen anything like that because usually when your hope is gone it’s really hard to keep things together.”]
Reading that quote, even it is from a POS like Tressel, (who will probably be joining the Lions staff) really grabs your attention and forces you to take notice that this may just be exactly what we need. Under Schwartz the Lions always seemed to play with a chip the size of Lake Michigan on their shoulder and that rarely, if ever paid off for them. Whether it was coming out flat in big games or they were turning the ball over like mad or the always publicized penalty problem, the team was always emotionally too high or too down. What we need is a guy that can find our happy medium. Where that happy medium lies is Caldwell’s job to figure out. I love the bad boy moniker that follows this team but unlike the Pistons and other teams that have shared that label, this Lions team doesn’t win. It is more of a mockery than anything else, a team that needs to play dirty to win and they can’t even do that right! Time to be taken serious Detroit Lions because newsflash: no one takes this team serious and for good reason, this team will always let you down. The stoic level headed approach that Caldwell brings will (I’m hoping) breathe some fresh air into this locker room and hopefully wake a few of these young guys up to work harder and actually practice what they preach.
With all of that being said, with or without Caldwell we all know that the Lions will only go as far as Matthew “Baby Face” Stafford will take them. An important thing to note is that Stafford sat in on the interview process with Caldwell and clearly he liked what he heard from the former Ravens OC. Matt’s reputation for refusing help in advancing his quarterbacking skills is starting to take on a life of its own and that is something that this organization needs to fix immediately. I don’t give a flying fuck what you think Matt, your god awful QBR in the 4th quarter of second half of last season speaks for itself. You have an issue with mechanics, a GLARING issue with mechanics that can no longer be ignored. If you do nothing else Caldwell, at least help Matt develop a better passing game plan. He doesn’t have to be a robo QB, he should still find a way to slip a few side arms into the game a la a screen pass, but the down the field back foot missiles that land safely into the arms of opposing DBs have to stop. Put some onus on Stafford, Jim, that’s one of the things that Schwartz’s consistently refused to do. Stafford’s a big boy and if he plays like shit his head coach should let him know about it. Now it doesn’t have to be via a national press conference or anything but he needs to know that his performance has been unacceptable and it needs to improve immediately. Caldwell has worked with some high profile QBs in his career in the NFL. (Joe Flacco, Peyton Manning, and to a lesser extent Brad Johnson. [who does have a Super Bowl ring btw.]) So I am anxious to see how his relationship with Stafford will play out, because the previous three that I’ve mentioned all sport jewelry. (Even though Peyton won his without Jim, he was still part of the staff) We have been building an offensive focused team for the last several years now, and while Caldwell certainly doesn’t wow anyone I think his hiring is a step in the right direction.
I don’t think Caldwell was anyone’s first choice to lead this team, but here we sit. Only eight short months until next season and that’s when all the questions will be truly answered. Until then, welcome to Detroit Caldwell, let’s see what you got. Forward Down The Field!