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NFL 2009 Offseason thread


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#1 of 51 Patrick Sun

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Posted April 24 2009 - 05:15 PM

The NFL 2009 draft is today (Saturday), starting at 4 p.m., a departure from the usual noon start time.

The Lions have signed Matthew Stafford, now the first pick, with a 6-year, $78 million contract, with $41.7 million guaranteed, which is now the NFL record in guaranteed money in a contract.
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#2 of 51 DavidJ

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Posted April 24 2009 - 05:24 PM

Wow, Matthew Stafford signed a pretty nice deal, didn't he? I think the system is out of whack when guys who haven't even played a down get these exorbitant deals. I think I may be in the minority (of HTF Lions fans) on this, but I'm OK with the pick.

There were safer picks from both an economical perspective and a football perspective. They probably should've gone with an offensive lineman, but I'm glad they rolled the dice and made the risky play. You've got to hit sometime, right? You can't be a Lions fan without being either delusional or cynical. I pick delusional.

Does anyone else think that for such a highly touted QB prospect Stafford throws an ugly spiral?

#3 of 51 Jim_F

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Posted April 25 2009 - 01:00 AM

I would've really liked to see a left tackle first and a MLB and DT (not necessarily in that order) at #20 and #33. The Lions are married to Backus for another year or two, though, so there wasn't much chance. I'm hoping to see some good defensive talent with maybe a guard mixed in the rest of the way.
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#4 of 51 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 25 2009 - 11:42 AM

Thanks for starting this thread, Patrick.

The Lions could have moved Backus to guard or cut him.

I'm not thrilled with their first three choices. I think Stafford has a much better chance of being the next Tim Couch or David Carr, not Peyton Manning or Carson Palmer. The track record of underclassmen 1st round QB's is terrible, and I don't see the Lions being the exception.Then they passed on Oher with their 2nd #1 to take another skill position player (albeit one who can block). Finally, they pass on two linebackers at #33 for a DB from a small school. It's like Millen never left.

I didn't like Cincy or Oakland's picks, either. The Bengals should have went for Monroe instead of Andre Smith (much less risk), and I have no idea what Al Davis was thinking in passing on Crabtree for a fast WR with bad hands. It just shows why these three teams are always picking in the top part of the draft.

BTW, I'm typing this from the Myrtle Beach airport -- they have free WiFi. Detroit Metro Airport wants $10 for WiFi Internet access. That sucks!

#5 of 51 DavidJ

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Posted April 25 2009 - 12:03 PM

See what I was saying about Lions fans...Scott chose cynical. Posted Image

#6 of 51 ZacharyTait

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Posted April 25 2009 - 05:15 PM

I just saw that the Lions second pick, Brandon Pettigrew, was picked at #20 and went to Oklahoma State. Hmm, interesting.......

#7 of 51 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 25 2009 - 11:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ
See what I was saying about Lions fans...Scott chose cynical. Posted Image

Yep, and I will continue to chose cynical as long as the old fool owns the team. Posted Image I think the senile drunk was behind the Stafford pick, just as he was the Joey Harrington choice several years ago. He actually thinks a young QB will sell tickets. How about putting a winning team together, you moron? That might sell even more tickets!

IMO, this draft would have looked much better with Curry, Oher and Delmas. I would be okay with the safety from Western Michigan had they already taken the LB Curry, but with the linebackers from USC and OSU available and no Curry on the roster, they should have went for a LB. It brings back memories of Millen passing on Posluzny and David Harris a couple of years ago.

Taking Stafford put them behind in filling all their other needs. They could have waited on the QB until next draft and taken Bradford. This is more than a one year rebuilding process, and they will be in position to take Bradford next year.

#8 of 51 Johnny Angell

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Posted April 26 2009 - 11:21 AM

So, anyone have the skinny on Larry English, the LB the Chargers picked? They bypassed several players they were thought to be interested by picking him.
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#9 of 51 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 26 2009 - 01:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angell
So, anyone have the skinny on Larry English, the LB the Chargers picked? They bypassed several players they were thought to be interested by picking him.

Here is what NFL.com said:

After watching their sack output drop significantly with Shawne Merriman injured, the Chargers add another pass rusher with English. The hard worker gives Ron Rivera a possible replacement for Merriman in the event of a rehab setback, and he gives the team three capable rushers in its 3-4 (Shaun Phillips, Merriman and English). With pass rushers at a premium, the Chargers made a wise choice.

BTW, NFL.com lists him as a defensive end, not a linebacker.

#10 of 51 ZacharyTait

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Posted April 27 2009 - 07:15 AM

ESPN has collected the various grades that online pundits gave the teams.

Not surprisingly, the Raiders were blasted for their picks.

ESPN: Consensus Grades: NFL Draft - SportsNation

#11 of 51 DavidJ

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Posted April 27 2009 - 09:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZacharyTait
ESPN has collected the various grades that online pundits gave the teams.

Not surprisingly, the Raiders were blasted for their picks.

ESPN: Consensus Grades: NFL Draft - SportsNation

Interesting. The Lions draft scored a little higher than I thought it would, but it does range from A to C. I personally think an A is nuts and that a C is too low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield
I would be okay with the safety from Western Michigan had they already taken the LB Curry, but with the linebackers from USC and OSU available and no Curry on the roster, they should have went for a LB. It brings back memories of Millen passing on Posluzny and David Harris a couple of years ago.

This is the one part of the Lions' draft that really puzzled me. With the need at linebacker, I would've thought that they would take either Laurinaitis or Maualuga. I thought Laurinaitis would be a great pick at that spot. He reminds me a lot of Chris Spielman.

Of course, I always stop to think about it and come to the conclusion that they probably know football and these players better than I do. I mean they are the experts and they've put in hundreds and probably thousands of man hours preparing for the draft. Maybe they know something I don't and Delmas was the right pick. Shocking concept, I know. Posted Image

Quote:
Taking Stafford put them behind in filling all their other needs. They could have waited on the QB until next draft and taken Bradford. This is more than a one year rebuilding process, and they will be in position to take Bradford next year.

You can't be sure of that. Stafford is a risky pick, but you don't know how often you are going to be in that position so I don't blame them. As good as Bradford is in college, I'm not sure that he is going to make a good pro. I actually think Stafford has better pro potential.

I really liked the pick of Pettigrew at #20. I actually think he was a top 10 talent. It's just that not many people are going to pick a TE that high. He was a good value at #20. Sure they had bigger needs, but they said they wanted to draft for value and I think they did.

#12 of 51 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 27 2009 - 10:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ
You can't be sure of that. Stafford is a risky pick, but you don't know how often you are going to be in that position so I don't blame them. As good as Bradford is in college, I'm not sure that he is going to make a good pro. I actually think Stafford has better pro potential.

While I cannot be sure that Bradford will be an available pick next year, I still do not like the Stafford pick. By using the #1 overall pick on a QB, they are paying him as if he's one of the top QB's in the league. I just do not see Stafford becoming that good of a QB. I think they could have obtained an equivalent QB a lot of other, less expensive, ways.

Had they taken Curry or Jason Smith, then the Lions would have be building a foundation, and taking a player that could maybe someday justify being paid as a top player at his position. Instead they take a player who will not make the team better for years (if ever), and then follow it up with another 1st round receiver! They once again ignored building the trenches (OL and DL), which are critical to winning in the NFL.

I still think Curry, Oher and Dalmas would have been a much better way to go.

Not to be completely negative, I did like the later choice of the receiver Williams from Penn State. Detroit has needed a good kick returner for years -- ever since Desmond Howard's demise. This seems like a good fit at the spot they drafted Williams.

#13 of 51 Patrick Sun

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Posted April 27 2009 - 02:30 PM

I've seen Stafford play for 3 years at UGA (off and on), and I don't think he'll be the answer for the Lions, either. But boy did Stafford hit the jackpot with the 3 other QBs (Tebo, Bradford, McCoy) staying in college, making his early departure a no-brainer. Stafford has a strong arm, but, I just don't think he's got it all going on upstairs for the NFL level, and if they push him into the starting lineup in 2009, he'll probably just get battered a la David Carr, stunting his maturation. Let's just hope the Lions' running game can keep the heat off Stafford long enough to get a look at the secondary without having to run for his life towards the sidelines. But time will tell.
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#14 of 51 Brandon_T

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Posted April 29 2009 - 12:33 AM

I hate, absolutely hate the Lions pick, especially the Pettigrue or however you spell it pick. I would have much rather had an OT than a TE. Don't even get me started on Stafford. I am fine with Delmas as he was the #1 rated safety and word is New England was pretty upset that the Lions took him a pick ahead of them. So if New England wanted someone and Detroit got him I am feeling ok about that.

Rumor has it that they passed on a MLB early in the draft because the knew about the impending release of Larry Foote and his willingness to come home and play here. I will believe it when I see it, and if that is the case I will give them some credit. It is sad that after an 0-16 season, then almost a full offseason that the only two players to really be excited about are Calvin Johnson and Jason Hanson, though I think Kevin Smith will be a solid pro.

#15 of 51 DavidJ

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Posted April 29 2009 - 10:07 AM

If Foote does end up in Detroit, that would be a great pickup. I hope it happens.

I understand not liking the Stafford pick, but I don't get the hate for the Petttigrew pick. He is a stud who can both block and catch. I wouldn't be surprised to see him develop into a consistent all-pro and a good tight end can be a young QBs best friend. And no, I'm not advocating that Stafford play much this year. That would be a huge mistake.

#16 of 51 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 29 2009 - 01:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ

I understand not liking the Stafford pick, but I don't get the hate for the Petttigrew pick. He is a stud who can both block and catch. I wouldn't be surprised to see him develop into a consistent all-pro and a good tight end can be a young QBs best friend. And no, I'm not advocating that Stafford play much this year. That would be a huge mistake.

The problem with the Pettigrew pick is that taking a tight end in the first round is not the way to build a team from nothing, which is what the Lions have. A tight end in the first round is a luxury pick that should only be made by a top team looking for a final piece, not the worst team in the league that needs help at many more important positions.

Pettigrew may end up being a decent player, but he was the wrong pick for a team that needs so much help on defense and the offensive line. Many top teams get by without a decent tight end, but none get by without a good defense or a solid offensive line.

#17 of 51 DavidJ

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Posted April 29 2009 - 02:25 PM

I hear what you are saying Scott, but the Lions staff said all along that they were going to pick for value and it looks like that is what they did. Was that the right strategy? Maybe not. I agree with you that they need to get better on the lines. There is no doubt about that.

Despite there 0-16 record last year, I don't think the cupboard is completely empty. There were reasons that some pundits thought they could contend for a playoff spot. Obviously, they were badly mistaken, but there was more to it than that: the culture of losing that has hampered the franchise, a team that went into an early death spiral and a staff that had no answers.

I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you about the need for better talent and play on the line, but that I think there is more potential on the team than you do. Of course this assumes that the new regime can change the culture and that they hired the right coach and staff. That and I really think Pettigrew has a chance to be special at his position and not just decent.

As always, I reserve the right to be dead wrong on all accounts. Posted Image

#18 of 51 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 29 2009 - 11:45 PM

David, if the team's philosophy was to pick for value, I will contend that taking a tight end was NOT a value pick. The TE position may be the least important of the 22 positions on offense and defense. Look at the Super Bowl teams from the past several years -- hardly any had top tight ends (Shockey was hurt when the Giants beat the Pats). Meanwhile, almost all the top TE's from last year were on teams that missed the playoffs -- Cleveland, KC, Dallas, New Orleans, Denver all come to mind. Only San Diego had a top TE among playoff teams, and that was more to do with someone from that division had to make the playoffs (and only Oakland didn't have a top TE).

Also, I disagree with you regarding the cupboard not being empty. With Ernie Sims having an off year, only Calvin Johnson and Jason Hanson were starting caliber players at any position on last year's team. Kevin Smith would be an average RB if he had a quality offensive line, but he's nothing special. The rest of the team was garbage -- especially on defense, which was statistically one of the worst in NFL history.

#19 of 51 DavidJ

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Posted April 30 2009 - 03:04 AM

Though I don't think we are philosophically that far apart, I'm guessing we will just have to agree to disagree on this one. Our common ground appears to be that the Lions are not very good and have a long way to go. We just disagree on the degree of badness.

As far as the importance of the tight end to a team, you make a strong case, but I could also name many successful teams that had good-to-great tight ends that were instrumental to their success. In most passing schemes the tight end is the second most important receiver and they are also instrumental in blocking. That's a pretty important player to a team as far as I'm concerned.

The thing about the cupboard being empty---you may be right. Still my contention is that most of the players were playing below their potential thanks to the death spiral, losing culture and poor coaching. I expect that to improve, but even with improvement they may not be good enough.

I think I like Kevin Smith more than you, but this too is a matter of degrees. I'd say he was an average performing back as a rookie behind a horrible line. As the line improves (big if, I know) and as he gains experience, he should be even better.

#20 of 51 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 30 2009 - 04:28 AM

David,

Yes, we will just have to agree to disagree on the importance of a top tight end and the level of talent on the Lions. And this draft resembled their drafts of the past GM too much for me to be encouraged about the future.

FYI, I do like Kevin Smith, and think he can be a serviceable, but not exceptional, NFL back behind a decent OL. I just do not see him as big difference maker, like Barry Sanders or Billy Simms were in their time here.

Personally, I think a 4-12 season would be a major accomplishment with what has been assembled to this point. While that is an improvement from 0-16, it will still land them in the top 5 of next year's draft.


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