The Buccaneers declined matching Kalvin Pearson’s offer sheet today, which officially makes him a member of the Lions.
May God have mercy on your soul. You have entered the depths of NFL Hell.
warning to Pearson out of the way, on to more important business. That being the dissection the Lions’ off season…
With the majority of their free agent signings taken care of, and the draft still a long 6 weeks away, it’s time to do some off season math. Let’s go over their roster additions and subtractions, to see where the Lions stand 2 weeks into March.
The Lions lost:
Damien Woody – guard/tackle – Only played hard when his contract was on the line, spent the rest of his time with Shaun Rogers in the buffet line. The Jets were insane to give him so much in guaranteed money.
Shaun Rogers – defensive tackle – We can only hope this is addition by subtraction, as trading Rogers means the Lions have no impact players on defense. He was a true game changer (When he wanted to be) on the d-line. Pass rushing tackles are hard to find, so it’s going to be impossible to fully replace him. Rogers was a huge talent, but he couldn’t control his huge appetite. Being great 1 game out of 3 isn’t enough.
Boss Bailey – linebacker – Never lived up to the hype. Unquestionably fast, but it doesn’t make a difference how fast you are when you can’t tackle.
Teddy Lehman – linebacker – Another player who never lived up to the hype, mostly due to suffering a severe listfranc foot injury 3 seasons ago. (The same injury caused Kevin Jones to miss the first 5 games of ’07) Lehman was never the same player after hurting his foot.
T.J. Duckett – running back – With the health of Kevin Jones still very much in question, the loss of Duckett hurts. He was a quality back up, and performed well when called upon.
Blaine Saipia – guard/tackle – Career backup, nothing more. The Lions offensive line sucked with him as a backup, so does it make any difference if he stays or goes? Exactly. Saipia won’t be missed.
Fernando Bryant – cornerback – Sucked, when he wasn’t hurt, which was most of the time. An overpaid corner who couldn’t cover will not be missed.
J.T. O’Sullivan – quaterback – Sucked even more, should never had been a Lion in the first place.
Overall – The only players who will truly be missed is Rogers and Duckett, though depth at linebacker is now a major issue.
The Lions re-signed:
Tatum Bell – running back – Bell may be the only “name” running back acquired in this off season. There’s too many holes that need to be filled via the early rounds of the draft (both lines, linebacker), the odds of the Lions taking a back on the first day of the draft should be minimal. But never say never in regard to the Lions doing something stupid on draft day. Bell was a massive disappointment in 2007, yet the Lions think losing the offensive mind of Mike Martz will make Bell MORE effective. Go figure…
Aveion Cason – running back – Sucks, never should have been brought back. The Jones’ injury is a big reason he was signed, the Lions need bodies in the backfield.
Keith Smith – cornerback – Was the nickel in 2007, expect Smith to be the 3rd corner in 2008. I’m not sure that’s actually a good thing.
Travis Fisher – cornerback – Was the dime in 2007, expect Fisher to the 4th corner in 2008. I’m not sure that’s actually a good thing. (I know it’s the same comment as Smith’s, but they are damn near the same player. They are average, at best, NFL corners. That’s on a good day…If you are feeling generous.)
John Owens – tight end – Owens is the 4th string tight end, ’nuff said.
Overall – A whole lot of nothing. Strictly backups, and not good ones at that…
The Lions acquired:
Dwight Smith – safety -The 6th safety to be added to the Lions’ roster. Will he start? I’m guessing the odds are good, if only because Rod Marinelli and Jon Barry know him from their Bucs days. This signing has you wondering about the future of Kenoy Kennedy.
Kalvin Pearson – safety – The 7th safety to be added to the Lions’ roster. Will he start? I’m guessing the odds are good, if only because Rod Marinelli and Jon Barry know him from their Bucs days. This signing has you wondering about the future of Kenoy Kennedy. (Is this a trend?)
Chuck Darby – defensive tackle – Another former Buc, will be a big part of the Lions defensive tackle rotation. Will he start next to Cory Redding? I’m guessing the odds are good, if only because Rod Marinelli and Jon Barry know him from their Bucs days. (I think we have a trend?)
Brian Kelly – cornerback – Another former Buc, will likely start opposite Leigh Bodden at corner, as Rod Marinelli and Jon Barry know him from their Bucs days. (Yes, it’s officially a trend!)
Leigh Bodden – cornerback – Bodden was acquired in return for Big Baby. A starter at corner in Cleveland, he will definitely start in Detroit. You do have to wonder why the Browns traded him, as corners are a valuable commodity.
Michael Gaines – tight end – Thanks to Dan Campbell’s elbow issues, Gaines will be the starter at tight end, and surprisingly, it’s not because he was a Buccaneer.
Corey Hulsey – guard – Roster filler, nothing more.
Overall – Depends if you like the Buccaneers. The Lions did shore up the defensive backfield considerably, but got older in the process…
The Lions still have issues at the following positions:
Offensive right tackle – There is going to be a good one available when the Lions pick at 15th overall. It cannot be emphasized enough. THE LIONS HAVE TO DRAFT A TACKLE IN THE 1ST ROUND! It’s imperative, as they can’t pass block, and their run blocking isn’t much better. If the Lions want Jon Kitna and Kevin Jones to survive the 2008 season, they best draft an offensive lineman as high as possible.
Linebacker – Currently it’s Ernie Sims and…Well, your guess is as good as mine. Other than Sims on the outside, the Lions have nothing but stiffs manning the position. Hopefully there will be a solid MLB available in the 2nd or 3rd round. It’s a position they can no longer ignore.
Defensive line – Be it a tackle or an end, preferably both, the Lions need to get a player or 2 somewhere in the draft. They have to replace Rogers somehow.
Running back – This is a need, but if Jones is healthy (He is still a question mark), it’s not a dire need. Improving the o-line will make what the Lions currently have running the ball that much better. I could see them taking a depth guy later on the draft’s second day. God forbid they take the Illini’s Rashard Mendenhall 15th overall, as some mocks have the Lions doing. There is no way in HELL the porn ‘stached goon can get away with taking anything other than a lineman in the 1st round. The fans will riot. I know, Detroit and riots is a long dead cliche’. But seriously, the fans will RIOT. They will storm the Lions’ Allen Park HQ with torches and pitchforks, looking to rain blows upon the very dense head of Matt Millen.
Cornerback – With the additions of Kelly and Bodden, along with the re-signing of both Smith and Fisher, this is another position that isn’t as desperate a need as it was a month ago. You can never have enough corners though, so I’d hope one would be picked up later in the draft.
Overall – The Lions have some very specific and obvious needs. We can only hope they are addressed in the draft. my perfect draft? A right tackle in round 1, linebacker and d-lineman (In any order) in rounds 2 and 3. After that, just find talented players, regardless of position.
But we are talking about the Lions, so who knows what bizarre moves they’ll make, and what odd players they’ll take in the draft. After the past 7 porn ‘stached goon led years in the D, we all know the formula by now.
Millen + draft picks = DISASTER. (I’m still pissed over the unconscionable Drew Stanton pick)
I’ll believe there is a new draft philosophy in place after we actually see it.