Lions tales: Kitna’s on the run…Seriously, he’s going to run the ball


The Lions plan on taking advantage of the running ability of…Not Kevin Smith. Tatum Bell? Please. Drew Stanton? Nope. Who? Jon Kitna. HUH? Yes, the 36 year old Jon Kitna:

We saw glimpses of this strategy, with the Lions continually using bootlegs against the Giants. Jim Colletto says we can expect it to be a big part of the offense.

"“He can run and he likes doing it. It’s of his favorites things,” Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto said. “I told him ‘I don’t care what your age is, you’re going to run. He said ‘I’m all for it.'”"

Then we find out something even more interesting.

"Detroit’s new offense will lean heavily on zone blocking schemes and one of the weapons in that system is the quarterback running a naked bootleg. With the entire offense flowing to one side of the field, the quarterback fakes the handoff and then spins away to the opposite side of the field. There usually will be a tight end who also will peel off the line and become a passing target. The quarterback has the option to run or throw."

What? Wait a second. Did I read that correctly?

"One of the weapons in that system is the quarterback running a naked bootleg. The quarterback has the option to run or throw."

I guess I did…

Letting your only experienced QB, a 36 year old one at that, have a pass/run option? Kitna is a QB  who has often shown more bravery than brains the way he throws himself into contact when scrambling. Now the Lions want Kitna to run…On purpose?  Does this sound like an odd strategy to anyone else?

Kitna is also being looked at…get this…as a 3rd and short option.

"“Every time we run a play — any of those zone principle plays — there’s a chance he can run a naked boot. Every time,” Colletto added. “We’re going to force somebody to look at the quarterback.”That play also could be crucial on short third-down plays, when the running game is an option. If Kitna can’t force teams to honor the bootleg, those backside defenders will be available to chase down the running play from behind."

Oh my dear God. Kitna’s so going to get KILLED.

This is how Kitna protects himself when running the ball.

This is going to end well…

I like the idea of using the roll out to give Kitna more time to throw, but anything more than that is a disaster waiting…No, going to happen.  We saw Kitna get drilled numerous times while running for his life in 2007 (remember the miracle concussion recovery?). I’m not sure I can buy into this new strategy.

"And, even if it’s designed to be a passing play on the boot, Kitna still could make a first down if it’s well-covered."

Yep, he’s a dead man. I hope Kitna’s got life insurance. Lots of life insurance. I hear term life is a pretty good deal.

"“It could conceivably happen, definitely,” Kitna said. “I have to keep that option open. I’ve got to be smart when I do in terms of getting down and not getting hurt.”“We’re telling him to run as far as he can,” Colletto said, “and then slide.”"

You’re going to tell Kitna to slide. Mr. Hell Bent For Leather is going to slide? Well, that’s different then. I feel so much better.

Christ, this is all I need. Every time Kitna runs wide this season, my intestines are going to tie themselves in knots. Orlovsky and Stanton best be ready for some playing time. Quite a bit of playing time…

Pooch kicks:

The Lions expect their starters to play a little longer in the 2nd exhibition, 18-22 snaps. Save for the Wonder Twins, Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. I know CJ has been nursing a minor leg injury, but Roy? I guess he’s special!

The MSM loses another solid reporter, as the Lions’ beat writer for the Detroit News, Mike O’Hara, officially called it a career as of today. Any man who could cover the insanity that is the Detroit Lions for more than 30 years deserves our kudos! Good luck, sir.