Friday, February 14, 2014
Many may look at yesterday's release of Nate Burleson and Louis Delmas as puzzling moves, especially since both expressed a willingness to return at restructured salaries and their status as the team's unquestioned leaders on offense and defense.
Ironically, it was their strong leadership that forced the Lions to release them.
In order for franchise players Mathew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh to reach their full potential, this has to become their team, and that was never going to fully happen with strong leaders like Burleson and Delmas on the roster.
With no veteran presence left in the locker room to defer to after their releases, this team instantly falls under the control of Stafford on offense, and Suh on defense.
It will now be up to those two players to learn their new playbooks, lead offseason workouts, and bridge the gap between the new coaching staff and the rest of team.
If Stafford and Suh embrace those roles and their teammates respond, they'll be the face of the franchise for years to come. And if not...Well, let's try not to think about that.
Monday, October 28, 2013
I still don't know what it was, but something definitely happened. In fact, I heard myself asking out loud in disbelief, "How the Hell did THAT just happen?"
While Calvin Johnson had 329 receiving yards and one touchdown (nearly three), set the record for the most receiving yards in NFL history for a non-overtime game, he still arguably had his worst game as a Lion with a fumble and a dropped pass that deflected into the hands of a defender for a key interception.
The Lions had four turnovers, making them only the second team out of 55 in NFL history to overcome a minus four takeaway deficit.
The Lions slumping defensive line only managed to sack Tony Romo one time even though he holds on to the ball longer than an Ohio State fan holds on to a bitchin' pair of jean shorts from his college days at Northern Ohio University in "beautiful" Ada, Ohio.
But Mathew Stafford still had 50 seconds left on the clock to cover 80 yards to overcome a six point deficit and salvage the Lions day, and possibly their season.
Conceding defeat and attempting to get a jump on traffic, many of their fans had already left Ford Field. Included amongst those who did was Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva.
Sadly, that was the first time in a long time that Charlie managed to get out of his seat in what turned out to be a Detroit victory.
However, after completing two key long passes to Kris Durham and Calvin Johnson, Stafford improbably had the Lions at the 1-yard line with just under 20 seconds left in the game.
And somewhere between Megatron's final reception and the next snap, Stafford made the improbable decision to go "Sarah Palin."
As he instructed his teammates to line up to spike the ball and kill the clock, Stafford went rogue and ran a QB sneak that even his teammates didn't know was coming.
Along with Megatron's record breaking day, Mathew Stafford's "Decepticon" fake spike helped the Lions stun the Cowboys.
Fortunately it worked, as the Dallas defense was caught flat footed as Dez Bryant, Tony Romo and Jason Witten debated about who had the lowest Wonderlic score on the Cowboy sideline.
Meanwhile, Megatron ended any debate as to who the best receiver in the NFL is. But unlike Dez Bryant, he didn't even want to talk about it.