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I wasn’t supposed to have to do any of these team checklists, and that was a good thing: It’s a lot more fun to put up quick posts on the news of the day than to take an exhaustive look at one NFL team.
But after I outed myself as a biased Detroiter in our Barry Sanders-Emmitt Smith discussion, I got roped into doing our Lions checklist. So here we go with what the Lions need to do.
Fast forward a few years to 2009 and once again the Lions have another early pick (this time the number one pick) and they decide to take another highly touted player but this player has no character questions. It seemed the Lions were finally learning. But despite the Lions taking the safe pick (and the correct pick) in Stafford, the same thing happened. No, not the weed and the beating up of girlfriends but the injuries. Stafford in an eerily similar manner to Charles Rogers injured himself as a rookie, and ended his season a few games in, and then did the same the next season.
For Matthew Stafford—quarterback of the Detroit Lions, former No. 1 overall draft pick and “BMOC” at the University of Georgia—the spotlight of an event like the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Award ceremony is practically old hat.
But back in 2006, when he was nominated as the Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year, he played the role of the wide-eyed high schooler himself.
The Lions definitely would be on my list, Allen, maybe atop the list. I also could see the Arizona Cardinals making a turnaround, especially if they wind up landing Kevin Kolb in a trade. But the Lions and Cardinals are two solid guesses for turnaround teams — and don’t forget, we haven’t had an offseason yet.
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