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4 Reasons The 2009 Lions Won't Suck As Bad As The 2008 Lions

ALLEN PARK, MI - MAY 01:  Brandon Pettigrew #84 of the Detroit Lions runs after catching a pass during rookie orientation camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on May 1, 2009 in Allen Park, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joel JarviContributor IMay 29, 2009

I had all kinds of flashy hyperbole and metaphors (and a little bit of onomatopoeia, too) to explain why this year's incarnation of the Detroit Lions won't suck as bad as last years version. Cheeseburger vs. Filet Mignon...Schwinn vs. Harley Davidson...The Empire Strikes Back vs. The Phantom Menace...too geeky?

I came up with 4 good reasons and their impact on the 2009 Lions playbook and ranked them on the universally recognized and renowned MEOW FACTOR:  

1. Julian Peterson, Larry Foote and Ernie Sims are a real linebacking corps. Any addition to a defense as bad as the 2008 Lions, unfortunately, is an upgrade. But adding Foote and Peterson, two hometown kids with proven track records in the NFL is a HUGE upgrade. These 3 allow the Lions to throw out the Tampa 2 and play a more modern style defense, complete with blitz AND coverage packages. Welcome to 2005, Leos! Your defense is only 4 years behind everyone else instead of 10!


2. Brandon Pettigrew is a complete Tight End.  I can't remember the last time you could say this about the Lions. Dan Campbell? Nope. I just mentioned his name and he pulled his hamstring. Michael Gaines? Nope. He is still fumbling away first downs somewhere in Chicago. Marcus Pollard? Nope. Can you say "Product Of Having Peyton Manning Throwing You The Ball", as exhibited by his stellar career away from Indy. David Sloan? Nope. Stats from Madden 94 don't count.

This kid is the real deal, he opens up the offense to run/pass at any time in a game. Linebackers can no longer tee off on our QB/RB anymore, someone has to respect Pettigrew.


3. Lions just might have an offensive line. Somewhere, Matt Stafford's eyes just lit up a little more. Cherilus, Raiola, Backus, Fonoti, Peterman, Loper, Salaam and today's addition of Jon Jansen from the Washington Snyders...the talent is there. Again, I can't remember a time when there was so much PAPER POTENTIAL for a Lions offensive line.


4. Lions got rid of bubbly Lion on helmet and replaced him with stream-lined Lion. OK. Maybe this isn't going to add anything to the playbook this year. But I envision stream-lined Lion as tearing apart opponents limb from limb, while bubbly Lion enjoyed curling up at opponents feet and barfing up its kitty chow. That has to equal ONE win this year, right?


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