Monday, August 18, 2008

Thoughts On Lions, Phelps, Big Baby And Pistons

The Lions’ second preseason game Sunday was intriguing.
Calvin Johnson was sensational for the second week in a row. He can’t be defended one-on-one in press coverage by anyone. That much is evident. That means opposing teams are going to have to roll coverage his way, which should make for a field day for Roy Williams.
Kevin Smith is clearly the Lions’ best running back. He has decent size and some explosiveness through the hole. But he is about it in the backfield. Makes you wonder - again - why the Lions didn’t sign a veteran running back. The offensive line play was inconsistent, both in the run game and pass protection. It must get better.
As for Drew Stanton, I thought he was terrific Sunday. Great play-action throw for a touchdown. Excellent touchdown run. His other run was a good example of athleticism, but it seemed like he baled out of the pocket too soon. I would have liked to have seen more of Stanton. Dan Orlovsky was OK.. He doesn’t have mobility, which is a weakness. He has good arm strength and accuracy, and did have a couple passes dropped, so his statistics should have been better.
Gosder Cherilus was better in Game 2 as opposed to Game 1. Didn’t see much from Jordan Dizon, though. The Lions’ first-team secondary played well.
Wonder what the third preseason will bring in terms of playing time for the backup QBs? Jon Kitna will likely play the entire first half, which is necessary for preparing for the season. The fourth preseason game is played mostly by backups. It would be interesting to see how Stanton would do running the first-team offense, but that’s not going to happen during the preseason.

Random Thoughts

- The medal count certainly suggests Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympic athlete of all-time, but I’d still take Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis over him. Owens because the circumstances were so compelling, and because in a different era, he would have been able to compete - and dominate - in multiple Olympic games. Lewis because the competition in track and field seems more difficult to fight through than in swimming. Not what Phelps has done isn’t utterly sensational...

- So what will happen Saturday? Will Shaun Rogers be booed or cheered upon his return to Ford Field with the Browns? He was the Lions’ best player in recent years. He was also a distracting element. Hmmm.

- What amazes me about the Tigers is that there are actually nine teams in the major leagues with worst pitching than they have displayed. That includes the Rangers, the club the Tigers play this week. That is going to be some series, isn’t it? Doubt it will be pretty.

- What happen to the Pistons’ off season? Thought they were going to be so active?


Blogger D_Fenner said...

I'm starting to think that Jon Kitna might take every snap again this season (barring injury). All the talk of Stanton getting some playing time this season seems to be out the window. It's frustrating to have to watch him play behind the third string line with fringe NFL skill position players around him. Why is Orlovsky ahead of him on the depth chart? There is a reason he has never made a start for the Lions, and it surely isn't because of phenomenal play by the starting Lions Quarterbacks the past 5 years.

It also seems to me like Kevin Smith should be playing more. He's a rookie. He needs NFL game experience if he is to be our starter.

10:35 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, being ninth from the bottom in pitching is still not good. I think the biggest difference between Tigers and other teams is their bullpen. If you look at the Twins stats on Team Pitching and Hitting in comparison to the Tigers, it is not too far apart. The difference between these two teams is Nathan, their closer. He has 33 saves in comparison to Jones'18 saves. The Soxes did wonders by signing not one but two set-up guys and now their bullpen is near the top. If the Tigers can keep their payroll as is, with 25 million coming off the books minus Verlander pay raise, there greatest need even over a left hand hitting ss is to fix their bullpen. K-Rod, though not the greatest, would help out greatly. There is a few set-up guys available this off season and the Tigers should get one. Tigers would be wise to shorten the game then to play a full 9 innings. Is the Marlin's Kevin Gregg any good at closing or a set-up guy? He is suppose to be available.

4:23 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You might be right. Certainly Kitna has a track record for staying healthy. And he has played extremely well during the preseason. I'm starting to come around to the thought Stanton is just a more gifted QB than Orlovsky.

5:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Nathan is terrific. So is K-Rod, but the Tigers aren't going to get a closer near that caliber during free agency or trades. It's a real problem going into next season.

5:51 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Well Pat, the Tigers should not throw in the towel. They should try to reload for 09 and see what happens. If something goes wrong there still take advantage of the 09 non-waiver trade deadline. It would be a good PR move for season ticket purchasers if they could get K-Rod. They need to do something to sell out Co-America next year. There is always Fuentes and set-up guys Lyon, Howry and LH specialist Marte. Are any of these appealing?

11:59 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Obviously, one of the first things Dave Dombrowski must address is the bullpen. It will be interesting to see how quickly they bring Ryan Perry along.

12:57 PM 
Blogger Jim15032 said...

Greatest Olympic Athlete? How about any of Paavo Nurmi (5 golds in track, 1924); Alexander Karelin (perhaps the greatest Greco Roman wrestler: 3 golds, silver); Teofilio Stevenson; Bob Matthias (2 Decathlon golds); Jim Thorpe; Dan Gable (unscored upon in 1972); Wilma Rudolph; Greg Louganis; Kip Keino; and on and on. My point: the sheer number of medals is hardly dispositive, and NBC's declaration is less so. The true spirit of the Olympics is to compete, or better, to participate. The Chinese gymnasts were both wonderful and frightening. What's scary is how we react to them, as though they were gods descended among us, even if we care for only a few days.

12:29 AM 

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