Jon Kitna keeps writing checks he, and his team, can’t cash. I guess he didn’t learn his lesson from last off season, as he tells the media, once again, he thinks the Lions should win 10 games.
"“Last year was not a prediction, it was a statement of fact that if we didn’t win 10 games, we would be disappointed, and I would say that would still hold true this year,” he said. “We will be disappointed, but we’re going to be a better football team.”"
I’d like to know in what way are the Lions “better?” Let’s take a look…
Detroit will be running a dumbed down, bastardized version of Mike Martz’s offense, put together by Jim Colletto. Colletto was a total washout as a head coach, and has done little of note as a Lions assistant.
Kevin Jones, the number 1 running back, was cut, while a back who was benched for the final 11 games of ’07, Tatum Bell, was re-signed.
As bad as the offensive line was last season, it’s gotten worse with the loss of Damien Woody. Who’s going to play right tackle?
The Lions were forced to trade their only impact defender in Shaun Rogers, leaving a massive hole in the defensive line. Chuck Darby will take his place, but is scarcely a replacement, and is much older.
There’s only one legitimate player, Ernie Sims, at linebacker, with absolutely no one to play next to him. Depth is non-existent.
An entirely new new defensive backfield has been signed, but has also gotten much older in the process.
If that’s considered “better,” I need to be thumping the same bibles as Kitna.
Here’s Kitna talking about the running game, and Tatum Bell.
"“I’m excited about Tatum Bell. I love Tatum Bell. I think he’s going to be great in this system,” Kitna said. “He’s obviously been a 1,000-yard rusher in this league.“We’ve got a one-year deal with him right now, (but) that’ll change as the season rolls on. I really think Tatum will thrive.”"
A 1,000 yard rusher? Not with the Lions. Not with the offensive line as it’s currently constructed. Bell is just another in a long line of Broncos system backs. Once they leave Denver, they are exposed for what they are, frauds. So if by “thriving,” Kitna means Bell will backup whichever running back the Lions draft in the 1st round, then sure, he’ll “thrive.”
As for the comment about Bells’ contract situation changing as the season goes on, does Kitna have some sort of inside info from the front office? Why on earth would he even speculate on someone’s contract situation?
Kitna then gives his feelings about the Lions’ new cornerback, Leigh Bodden.
"“I’ve said it all along, (Bodden is) the only person I’ve seen play Chad Johnson one-on-one and be successful,” said Kitna, who was teammates with Johnson in Cincinnati. “I know Chad’s probably pretty glad that he left Cleveland.”"
I’ll just have to take Kitna’s word for Bodden’s skills, as I’ve seen very little of him. But there is one nagging question. The Lions were apparently happy to just get draft picks in return for Shaun Rogers, if you go by the offer they accepted from the Bengals. If Bodden is so good he can shut down one of the NFL’s top wide outs in Chad Johnson, why on earth would the Browns feel the need to trade him? Aren’t good cover corners a commodity in short supply? Obviously, there’s something Cleveland didn’t like in Bodden, or he’d still be a Brown
If Bodden works out, then I’ll give the Lions credit for getting a decent player in return for a very unhappy Rogers. But just because Bodden was a starter in Cleveland, it doesn’t make him a difference maker with the Lions. Remember, Fernando Bryant was a starter in the league too, and we all saw how that worked out. The jury is still out on the Rogers/Bodden trade, and will remain so for quite some time.
Kitna also speaks of his disappointment over the Lions’ 7-9 record.
"“I’m not over the disappointment of last year,” Kitna said. “And I’m hoping that getting back to football will help me get over that. Because just being away from it and having to think about it and watching these teams, and watching the Giants win the Super Bowl — a team that we played right there (with). … Hopefully, when we get back together on Monday, that will kind of start the healing process for me, in terms of the disappointment.”"
You got to be kidding me. He didn’t go there, did he?
He did. Kitna played the “We almost beat the Super Bowl champions” card! Isn’t that the talk of losers? We played with the Giants! Come on…
The Giants played one of their worst games of the season against Detroit. Despite their attempts to hand the game to the Lions, you still couldn’t beat them. In my mind, that’s nothing to hang your hat on. In fact, the fan and media backlash from that game was immense! The Giants loss was the game that convinced everyone the Lions weren’t going to make the playoffs.
Here’s my scathing thoughts about the Giants loss, a performance that left me infuriated. Yet it’s the same game Kitna claims as proof the Lions can play with the NFL’s best.
"Losses like today’s are why we are loathe to ever give the Lions the benefit of the doubt. Why we hold back in believing that they could actually be a playoff team. Why we get pissed off beyond belief. Why we call them “The same old Lions.”The only thing that changes are the names on the back of the uniforms. No matter who is wearing the Honolulu blue and silver, they find a way to blow any and every opportunity given to them. Today’s game was one that they had no business even being in, yet had 2 opportunities to win the game. And they couldn’t convert.That’s just like “The same old Lions.”"
Please, don’t go telling everyone you almost beat the Giants. You were lucky to even be in the game, as the Giants were almost as inept as the Lions that day. The game proved nothing more than the adage of “Any given Sunday” is often true. Period.
I’m not going to hold anything against Kitna for being confident. If he thinks the Lions are going to be “better,” good for him. But it doesn’t mean we fans have to believe his bullshit. The Lions will not get the benefit of the doubt from me.
What would be my advice to Jon Kitna for this season? Rather than talk a good game, how about playing one instead?