Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Big Baby Being Treated Like One

Nearly a month after training camp opened in July, Lions defensive tackle Shaun Rogers ran a few plays in practice. So what are we supposed to do? Go out and celebrate with a ticker tape parade?
I fully understand Rogers’ value to the Lions. He is a rare combination of size and quickness. There aren’t many defensive tackles as gifted. But while preaching toughness and team unity, the Lions have let Rogers work at his own pace, one so slow that it would be difficult to imagine supposedly hard-nosed coach Rod Marinelli letting anybody else get away with it.
Given Rogers’ talent, I am not sure if Marinelli isn’t right to comprise his standards for Rogers. It’s about winning during the regular season. Everything else is just rhetoric.
Talent-wise, Rogers can definitely help the Lions win because he does clog the middle so effectively and is a playmaker.
But how likely is that if he barely plays in the preseason? Or after spending all of training camp working on the side rather than in pads with the rest of the team? Will he tucker during the fourth quarter of close games? Can he, honestly, be depended on?
Those questions are legitimate ones. And they are disconcerting.

Random Thoughts

- Jair Jurrjens has filled out some and is throwing harder than he did when I saw him pitch in the minor leagues. He used to sit pretty much at 90 mph with his fastball. Tuesday against Cleveland it was at 92 mph to 94 mph. That extra velocity helps him a great deal to hit the strike zone. He has to keep the ball down and work it in and out because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of late life on his fastball. His changeup is pretty good, but his breaking ball is inconsistent. I still see him as a fourth or fifth starter, but he is pretty poised and has a good feel for pitching. That might give him a chance to ultimately be better than that.

- It seems strange that Chad Henne has started for four years at quarterback for Michigan - and wasn’t named as one of the Wolverines’ captains.

- One of the worst parts of this Michael Vick mess is having to see these painful Joey Harrington press conferences during which he explains, "I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, dog gone it, people me." They are giving me nightmarish flashbacks.

- I know he has had some injury issues, but Jarvis Hayes was a solid signing for the Pistons. He is a smart player with solid athleticism who can score off the bench. And he remained relatively healthy last season.


Blogger Fred Brill said...

Let's hope this year Shaun Rogers can give something back to the Lions, like a solid year of good yardage. But I can sense another issue with him coming up soon.

As for your Harrington woes, remember - the Lions (and the Detroit sports media and we the fans) trainined little Joey to autmatically have to defend himself to the press. It became second nature - like automatically ducking from the guy that punches you in the nose everytime you walk by. But it does not lend itself to the leadership qualities he failed to accquire here.

I liked little Joey, but kept waitng for him to grow up into a Joe.

Maybe he can do that this year with the Falcons. Put yourself in his shoes - Would you like to be the guy that fills the Vick void? I wouldn't. Joey's shoes got a lot bigger and I hope he can grow up into them. I still like the guy.

And I bet he is kind to animals.

So far Jurrjens has been a real asset. I like the idea that we are seeing a European in the league now. The scope has expanded beyond the Domnican Republc and other Spanish nations, Japan, and even Canada (which may not seem so foreign). It's like when the Europeans entered into the NBA with real promise.

1:13 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and, dog gone it, people [like] me."

That was funny. I guess it is Joey "Stewart Smiley" Harrington.

1:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I always wonder about people who say the right things, but the facts as they present themselves tell another story. Seems like that is where the Lions and Rogers are at this point. We'll see what he does on the field. He was great in the opener last season and then fell apart like a house of cards. I agree with you about Harrington. Good way to put it.

1:46 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

That is who Joey has become, it seems.

1:47 PM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...

Chad Henne has only started for 4 years? It seems like 6 or 7 at least. Do his kids attend UM yet?

4:24 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Book, J.J may be the fourth or fifth starter that the Tigers desparately need right now. After watching Verlander tonight after seeing Bonderman on Sunday, I'm just wondering about the first three. Our Tigers can't seem to get two quality starts in a row.

With Sheffield hurting and struggling, I'm glad to see Maybin in the field and Thames DHing. Wouldn't mind seeing more Raburn at third.

Big Baby is a stereotypical dumb jock. The classic example of someone who has gotten used to special treatment from a very young age. If he makes it through this entire season without incident, accident or injury I'll be amazed. If he is someone that the Leos can count in the fourth quarter, especially in a December game, I'll be truly shocked at him actually showing some intestinal fortitude. If he does grow up, which I hope he does but won't hold my breath, the Leos might actually return to the mediocrity of 8-8.

10:21 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Eric Chase,
Yeah. I kind of get the same feeling I had about John Navarre with Henne. Something about Michigan lately where their quarterbacks are there forever. Next up: Ryan Mallett.

2:06 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
I was at Wednesday's game and wrote my column (see sports columns) on Verlander and Bonderman. I see their struggles as the Tigers biggest problem. They are not living up to their considerable reputations. You're right about Rogers. Pampered is the word.

2:07 AM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

I think weather we like it or not the Tigers outlook has to look gloom. I was very disappointed in the game I went to Wednesday night. Yeah it is great the tigers got the back three of the bull pen in order. Fantastic. But what has to be the concern is the starters. I think it is clear they currently don't have a true ace on this team. Verlander and Bonderman can be that guy absolutely. Just right now. yesterday is where they needed a guy like Verlander to step it up. The true great pitchers do taht and give there team a chance to win. Now is the time that Verlander, Bonderman and Robertson need to get this tigers team to at least the 6th and 7th innings. The Tigers should be in the lead of the central division right now and have the chance to pull a game and half themselves today, but now it doesn't look good. With the Yankees comin into town the tigers in my mind need a performance like they got against boston right before the break and take at least 3 of 4 if not I hate to break the news the playoffs will be tough to crack. Cause we aren't even beating the teams like Tampa and Oakland like we should be.

Dude can you believe Maubury's comments about Vick. He is prrof of where sports is today. that guy should be banned from the NBA jsut for being a looney. that has to be the dumbest thing said all year. Vick did this to himself and deserves all he can get.

Jarvis Hayes was an ok signing. It has to mean the end for somebody probably Flip Murray. But the Pistons Front Court especially the center position still has to be a concern. Personally I'd rather us sign Dale Davis back and part ways with Mohammad. Pistons should even consider seeing if a guy like Antonio Davis would come back. Esepcially if they don't want webber back. I think Big Z from celveland was one of the reasons Pistons lost. He was able to rebound at will. With out big ben we had nobody to get in there.

9:15 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I was at the game Wednesday, too, and wrote my column (see sports columns at about Verlander and Bonderman and how their struggles are the biggest problem for the Tigers. Seems ironic just when they get their bullpen straigtened out, the starters go south, especially those two. I agree about the Pistons, particularly your thoughts on how the Cavs hurt them with hustle from their bigs. I do wonder if Maxiell has enough size to neutralize that type of thing.

12:19 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Man I tell you what book I was at game 2 and wasn't as disappointedas last night, but hey welcome Joel Zumya back to the bullpen. I was glad to see Miner go back he wasn't getting it done. I think the whole team is struggling. Other then really in my mind Guillen and Ordonez nobody has been consistant all year. I think Inge may need to take a seat more often as well and beused as a defensive replacement in late innings if he continues to struggle at the plate. Cause Rayburn has been hitting and this team needs results bottom line. They need some of these top salaried guys to pick up there game and show that they really watn to win this thing cause personally this looks like a team that is just plain beat.

I think Maxiell can be good enough to play. If you go back to those games the times the Pistons did well was when he was in there. The bottom line is Flip needs to learn how to work his rotation and take advantage of the talent he has.

5:04 PM 

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