Monday, August 25, 2008

Preseason Couldn't Have Gone Better For Lions

OK, three preseason games are done for the Lions. They went 3-0, and it does seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel - be it ever-so-small based on it only being preseason.
What more are we were going to find out about the Lions this preseason that has not already been discovered? Nothing, because the fourth preseason game is meaningless.
Calvin Johnson has made a dramatic leap forward, the secondary is much improved, the defense looks swifter overall and Kevin Smith has the makings of a pretty good running back. Those are the good points, along with the Lions' overall sound fundamental play.
The offensive line has broken down too much run blocking. Their special teams coverage could be better. The Lions also need to be more effective inside the 20 offensively. Their lack of depth at running back is alarming.
But the perception of the Lions today is much better than it was a month ago. They have sparked interest with their play this preseason. Suddenly they are being turned to as a potential "surprise" team.
I do wonder if it is the Marinelli factor kicking in. They say so many good things about him out in Allen Park, but the results to this point have suggested he is a less-than-effective coach. This preseason has been different.

Random Thoughts

- The Tigers may very well be stuck with Gary Sheffield next season because of his contract, but it can't be expected he will turn it around. He has essentially not played well the last three seasons, save for a couple months during 2007, his first season with the Tigers.

- A huge key for Michigan State this season is Mark Dell. The sophomore wide receiver from Farmington Harrison has to pick up the slack left by the departure of Devin Thomas. He has the talent to do it.

- I don't think Nate Robertson should have any complaints about being moved to the bullpen. It's the last thing the Tigers wanted to do given the contract extension they gave him. His performance dictated it. I'm surprised it took the Tigers so long to call up Chris Lambert from Triple-A Toledo. He is a former top-line prospect for the Cardinals, who has had an excellent season at Triple-A.


Blogger Fred Brill said...


The Lions of 2008? Like the optimist who jumped off the empire state building - as he fell past each floor's window he was heard to yell "so far .. so good!!".

Sorry about your cornflakes. While on such positive topics ...

I am ok with being "stuck with Gary Sheffield" next season.

I'm not paying him.

And the worst that can happen is he sits - or goes to the farm - or waived. The best that can happen is the Old Sheff shows up again. I know, not likely. But as you say, the likelyhood of getting value for him in a trade at this point is nill. And the last little bit, he's been better more often than worse.

As for Nate - this has been a common recomendation by all of us in here that Nate move to the pen. For over a year now! I'm sorry he thinks so low of it. He better get over it.

I wish I could pitch in the bullpen. I guess it just sucks to be Nate.

12:32 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Here come the lions again. I tell you what book I am taking the same approach as I did last couple of seasons. No Expectations!! makes it much easier and keeps the blood preasure low LOL... I am still and forever will be on the band wagon except with a more open mind. I like what I have been seeing from this team. Especially from the defensive side of the ball. I am glad you made the point about the run blocking as oppose to the RB's. Kevin Smith is a decent back. The bottom line is the O-line BLOWS!!!. I look at Barry. How many of his big games came off of 2 or 3 plays. The rest of his carries were mostly running for his life tring to pick up 1 yard. Overall though I like what I see..

On the Tigers. Personally I know the bullpen hasn't been great, but how come nobody is blasting the hitting for losing games. I mean we go up 3-0 fast and that's it. We have had plenty of games where it didn't matter what the pitchers did they were going to lose cause we weren't going to get any hits. In the offseason where do the Tigers go? Personally I think Nate has found his home and will instantly boost our bullpen. I think he should stay there.

I'd like to touch up on College Football. Personally I wish I could fast forward this week just to get there. I am a huge wolverine fan as you are Spartan fan. You look at OSU and u see them play teams like Texas lately and I think USC. Wouldn't it be nice to see the NCAA make these big power house schools play one out of conference game a year. Maybe do a 2 year thing where one year you go to their territory and the next we go theirs. I'd love to see Mich. play a Auburn, Florida, Texas or something once a year as oppose to the Applacian states of the world and stuff. Know what I mean. Just the football fan in me I guess.

1:04 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, DD should work day and night to get rid of underachieving players because no sense waiting to last moment if they need to shed payroll. My fear is if there is a urgency to shed payroll, their most marketable players (Maggs and Polanco) most likely to go. There is a rumor that the Tigers are going to lose money this year, is that true? I cannot believe this happen, mistakes of being dominant right hand hitting club, spending every last dime on #5 guys and worst mistake of all you have no bullpen. I hope over the next 40 years we never see this formula again. This is the wrong way to build a club.
I think it is a good thing that Nate in the bullpen, he needs some time out to get a good start next year. I hope he works on a cutter and get his slider back. Chris Lambert could be interesting, he does has a bit of different delivery.

2:10 PM 
Blogger John said...


I'm very interested regarding your comment on Notre Dame not winning more than six games last year. Yes, I'm very aware that they only won three last year and that Charlie Weis deserves an F for his coaching performance in getting his team ready each week. However, the guy still knows how to coach, he won three super bows with the patriots and turned a very mediocre team under Ty Willingham into a consistent top 15 team. Very few teams have the talent across their roster that ND does...although it is still young it gained experience this year. We will see how far it comes but I can tell you barring some unforseen catastrophic injuries, Weis will be on the firing line if he can't win more than six games.


11:12 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
The thing about Sheffield is whether he can stay healthy as much as whether he can still hit. He has been missed, or played injured, each of the last three seasons.

6:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

That is so true about the running game. Barry was the extreme of that where he'd do little on a lot of carries - and a lot on a few carries. But it is like that to less of an extreme across the board.

6:46 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I saw the Gammons piece it doesn't seem like Ilitch would just shed payroll to that extent. Knowing him, he'll want to win next season more than ever after the frustation of this one.

6:48 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I know their recruiting class ratings say different, but Notre Dame doesn't look like it has same caliber athletes it used to. Weis' system seems almost too pro-oriented. You need a super QB to run it. Not sure Clausen is that.

6:50 PM 

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