Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lions Can't Coddle Stafford Like They Did With Harrington

After weighing all the factors, I came to the conclusion the Lions should select Matthew Stafford with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
But I also understand, especially after hosting radio shows the last week, including Saturday morning after the deal was completed, the Lions' decision couldn't be more unpopular with their fans.
I'd say every seven of 10 calls were against the Lions taking a QB, and often Stafford in particular. There was often a harsh bitterness in the tone.
It points to two things: Just how burned Lion fans felt by Joey Harrington. It also reveals just how much mistrust the Lions' fans have in the franchise and its management. That part hasn't changed. And it is more than understandable.
The Lions will have to deal with this. They can't make Stafford the focus of a marketing campaign, and he is going to have to develop a thick skin. He can only win the Lions' fans over with victories and by being standup guy. No hype will do.
The Lions handled Harrington poorly. They coddled him, and he'd act like a spoiled brat. By the time he developed an understanding of the pressure points of the position, it was too late.
Harrington was already ruined.
The last thing the Lions should do is make it easy on Stafford that way. If he doesn't embrace the pressure of playing QB in a town that has a natural scorn for the position, he has no chance.
He can't hide from it, so the worst thing he can do it run from it.

My Sunday column on the Lions' draft.



Blogger maddog52 said...

Lions can't coddle Mayhew and Lewand either like they did Millen. They don't address this defense then we are in for a long year. They got the thirds to do so, but man they let some serious contributors get away.

Though Pettigrew is a good TE. We also let some other serious talent get away such as Jerri who I thought would of been an awesome pick at that spot. then with Delmas not bad. I jsut think we could of got a very solid TE like a Ingram from Florida or a James Casey out of Rice in later rounds.

now if we can grab a Fili Moala and a Max Unger in the 3rd I can buy into the lions.. but right now i just don't know yet..

Don't get me wrong I like the players just liked other players for the lions as well...

8:43 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree. No interior linemen. No middle linebacker. Seems odd.

10:17 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

just think we debated for months should we go Jerry, Malauluga, Oher, Larinitus, ziggy Hood, with the 20th and 33rd picks. man we had a chance to nab 2 of those players. Look nobody is doubting that pettigrew is a great talent. I just don't think they hit on the value they talked about. We could of instantly upgraded our MLB and and defensive lines plus got a really good Tight End (which I feel is one of the deepest positions in the draft) in the 3rd round.

So hard to believe the Lions got a swing on things. We took a bunch of value in the past and where did it lead us. We had a chance to fill with immediate impact players to improve our team and we didn't.

You look at the Packers who will bolster one if not the best D in the league next year. A scary Chicago defense, and hell don't look now but other then a lack of QB the vikings are way better.

u add a perry and Rey wow.. Plus you know what they say Malaluga will have the biggest chip on his shoulders with all the teams passing on him.. Hell that is the type of guy we need.. players with something to prove....

I give the lions a C+. They got solid talent , but I think they missed out on the immediate value.

11:56 AM 
Blogger John Bernia said...


It seems to me these guys demanded we judge them not from the past 8 years that they were a part of, but of the work they do in their new roles.

The draft, for lack of a better term, was Millen-esque. I missed the signs of the Lions getting "bigger and stronger" as Mayhew and Lewand promised as they drafted tight ends, a wide receiver, and a running back.

At least the Tigers won a nicely played 3 to 2 game this afternoon to keep themselves in first place in the division. Baseball made the day better, as it always seems to.

8:38 PM 
Anonymous Dave in Windsor said...

hey pat - love the blog, and the radio show - keep it up -

like most fans, I am terribly disappointed with the lions draft - i realize i might not be as "wise" as the lions mgmt on football issues (i don't get paid to know everything) but I have been a fan of the game my whole life, played it too for a little while so I think I know something .. and their strategy just makes so little sense.. can u explain 2 TEs in 1 draft? i mean, even if they drafted great in every other way - WHY WOULD YOU DRAFT 2 TIGHT ENDS? has this EVER been done before?

i do have a non-lions question - what are your thoughts on some of the college players who were not drafted? any major surprises? i see the Texas Tech QB never got drafted, or the Mizzou QB, either did Hoyer or the UM D-lineman .. any other surprises and/or rookie free agents to watch for?

10:02 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard all this hype about, "this is a new regime, we are here to win". But, after the draft, as an average fan, I see nothing but the same failures ahead.

Pat, I think you put it best when you said that they were arrogant enough to select a TE in the first round, as if they had the luxury.

I don't care if Pettigrew is the best TE to come along in years. TE was NOT nearly one of the dire needs.

The Lions gave up 32 pts per game last year!!!! In contrast, the Super Bowl Champion Steelers gave up a mere 13 pts per game. But, to bring the comparisons closer to our division; the Packers gave up 23 per game. That's 9 less per game, for all you math freaks. HOWEVER, the Packers STILL saw the need to bolster their defense. They had a solid first round!!! Granted, they have a solid offense, IF you compare it to the Lions, but everyone knows you win with defense.

I just don't get it. They will continue to draft to the beat of their own drum. NOBODY is gonna tell a Ford what to do. They sucker the fans in, after not selling out several games last year. They promise change. They air embarassing desperate commericals during the Super Bowl to soothe the remaining fan base. They popped bubbles the lion for a more modern logo, to signify change. Change is here, they lead us to believe change is on the horizon. Whatever!#*@#!

Pick 1, I grew to accept, prior to the draft. I finally caved in and said, you know what? Why not take a QB during a year with 2 first round picks. Take the QB, sit him for a year. Let him learn the NFL system. Let's watch 30 lbs less of Culpepper run around, avoiding sacks for this year. Lets enjoy watching the defense get a makeover with the rest of the draft. YEAH RIGHT!#@#!

With the 20th pick, in the 2009 NFL Draft, The Detroit Lions select.....(PLEASE don't be a WR..Oh, it won't be....Millen is gone....). Pettigrew TE! WTF? Oh, wait a minute, good one Ashton Kutcher. You Punk'd us real good. We don't need no stinkin' TE. Nope. No joke. This is the Lions organization. Nobody tells this organization what to do.

Now I now feel the Lions are gonna start Stafford very soon this year. Whether he is ready or not. That is why they took a TE. For the supposed easy dump off pass from a young QB who developed "happy feet" in a pocket with no protection. They are not going to pay him 41 million to sit for a year and develop. It is on the job training in the quick sand pocket now baby. Don't get me wrong, it is great if he is "ready" sooner rather than later. BUT, he won't be protected.

Oh well, whats the sense in whining anymore. I'll watch them for the first few losses, in anticipation of seeing ANYTHING different. Then I will get disgusted. I will quit watching them by Thanksgiving. And, then I will get all excited prior to the draft, next year.

3:00 AM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...

Pat - With all the hoopla over Sanchez, and the Jets showing ferocious intensity to move up and and select him, should the Lions have given him more consideration?

The Lions have 0-16 to overcome, but I wonder if that donut is blinding people to a Stafford vs. Sanchez debate.

1:31 AM 

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