More random thoughts from the Beer Thinker...
I tell ya, it has been highly entertaining reading and listening to what everyone has been saying what the Detroit Lions should do with the number one draft.
In one camp, there are those that firmly believe Georgia's Matt Stafford is the no-brainer pick. Yet another camp believes that defense wins championships and that Wake Forest's outstanding linebacker Aaron Curry is the missing ingredient to lead the Lions to a Super Bowl.
And others still feel the lines, both offensive and defensive, are the keys. For the offense, Jason Smith, Micheal Oher and Andre Smith have been bandied about. On the defensive side, I've seen players such as Brian Orakpo and B.J. Raji being discussed.
Seems to me that a lot of people have the answers to fix what ails an 0-16 team, me included. I'm on record stating the Lions need to address the offensive line since giving up 166 sacks over three years as well as taking Aaron Curry to make the defense fast and hard hitting.
Fact of the matter is, no matter who the Lions take with the number one pick, they are to fill whatever void they need to address.
I’m on record stating to either build the offensive line by drafting Smith, Oher or Monroe or draft Curry to increase the speed and improve the attitude of the defense.
But my instincts tell me the Lions are going to go with a quarterback, most likely Stafford. He won’t start right away as he will most likely be third string, at least for the first month.
With Culpepper and Stanton to waste, there isn’t any reason to put Stafford in a position to fail. Granted, it sounds cold to reduce Culpepper and Stanton to placeholders until Stafford is deemed ready but such is the realities of the game.
If by chance they decide they can make do with what they have at QB for 2009, they really should address the offensive line. Backus, while a durable player, is often over-matched at left tackle. At 6-5 and 305 lbs., he may be a bit large to play left guard but with his current abilities, what liabilities he had at left tackle could turn into strengths at left guard. Lions could go with ultra-athletic Jason Smith who at 6-5 and 309 lbs. is a pretty much a clone of Backus but with better technique.
I would be very happy if the Lions decided to go with Aaron Curry. Take him and opposing defenses now have to worry about four play makers at the linebacker spots in Curry, Sims and Peterson as well as Jordan Dizon. The last few years, the Lions have lacked teeth in their defense. With the secondary upgrades they made with free agency, getting Curry would allow the Lions to have a certain amount of swagger that’s been missing for a decade.
What my expectations for the Lions this year, regardless of who they take, is to protect their home turf. Sure, losses will happen but no team should come into your house and act like they own it. Make opponents pay for winning in Ford Field. While the team develops this attitude, Lions fans will leap on board and make the opposing teams feel might uncomfortable. This will feed the team, knowing they finally have some support behind them, and the level of play will increase. Not to say the Lions over the past three seasons didn’t deserved to be mocked and ridiculed but that was then, this is now. Millen and Marinelli are gone.
The current regime has done some very good things. But the true test if they made the right moves will come when the regular season starts.
If they go 8-8 in 2009, the entire Lions roster should be considered for Comeback Player of the Year. I wonder of the NFL would consider a special honor such as Comeback Team of the Year?