Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Are the Detroit Lions Finally on the Right Track?

Nothing frightens me more than the idea of a Superbowl between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans. Nothing.

Are the Lions for real this season? They've gotten rid of their perennial boat anchor, Matt Millen, and ESPN has this report for us from Lions camp:

I don't know if I buy that. Here's John Clayton:

Coach Jim Schwartz came to Detroit knowing he had to make changes. The Lions haven't had a winning season since 2000 and are coming off a 0-16 season.

But how do you change the culture of losing? Three other coaches tried change and failed.

Enter Schwartz, whose coaching and scouting eyes were trained by Bill Belichick and Jeff Fisher. With the Lions, Schwartz has worked on subtle changes. He altered a few things around the locker room. He moved some of the returning players' lockers. He changed weight-lifting equipment. He brought in a smashmouth style of football. More than anything else, he worked with general manager Martin Mayhew to change the roster.

Change will be constant this year with the Lions. Any available veteran on the street might find a home in Detroit. Players know it. The Lions are expected to head into 2009 with 20-30 new players. Why not? When you go 0-16, jobs aren't guaranteed.

That whole "smashmouth" football thing is a joke, a marketing ploy left over from the failed XFL. Is there a team in the NFL that blocks politely and doesn't play "smashmouth" football? Is there a team that taps you on your shoulderpads and tackles you high so as to keep from skinning your knees? Please.

I'll tell you what should go away, though--the Thanksgiving Day Detroit Lions game should go to a different team. The Ford Motor Company used to buy significant ads on Thanksgiving, but I think that time is over. They need to play a game in New York on that day, in conjunction with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

1 comment:

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