Last season most of the year all I saw was an offense that was thoroughly confused. Sure once in a while they could get the confusion together and score, but even a pig finds a truffle. There were a few plays last season that worked time and time again, most of them were to Calvin Johnson.
They would always fake this play about three or four times a game. The team would line up in the normal I power formation hand the ball to Kevin smith as Calvin came around behind for the fake handoff. When they actually give him the ball on the reverse it is near impossible for one player to make the hit on CJ in the open field. Just ask the Buccaneers how they liked it two years ago when CJ juked past two guys and stiff armed two more.
2. Quick Slant...... to Calvin
A play that should have been beat to death is the quick post. For some reason I swear Colleto tried not to get the ball to Calvin thinking maybe the opposing team expected the ball to go to CJ, so instead he would go somewhere else. The quick slant is how CJ has scored a good amount of his touchdowns. Green Bay week two, CJ single handedly (literally) took the Lions on his back with two quick slants for touchdowns. If it works keep calling it!
3. Quick Curl....... to Calvin
This play was a guaranteed seven yards at least. This play was called about seven times in one game which amazed me that they were finally forcing the ball to CJ. He takes two steps, turns around, catches the ball, then dives with his huge body for about four more yards.
4. Quick Pitch
I found that Kevin Smith's best play to run is the quick pitch. The QB just takes a quick step, pitches the ball to Smith while one or two offensive lineman pull to block out front. This allowed Kevin Smith more time to make a decision on where the hole would be. What made Kevin Smith so good in college and helped him to the rushing title in '07 was his vision. Smith has amazing vision and if the blocks are set up he will exploit it, so this play was a benchmark to Smiths success last year.
5. Tight End Screen
This play was used once that I remember last season. It was a much needed two point conversion to tie a game. Orlovsky rolled right, but on the opposite side was were the real play was forming. Fitzsimmons sat down on the left side while Backus, Cook, and Raiola set up the screen. Orlovsky stopped the bootleg, threw it back across the field to Fitz who caught it and walked in the endzone untouched. This was the one play I was astounded that Colleto had called.
These are five plays that really helped move the ball last season. Hopefully Linehan will learn the golden rule of the Lions offense: Give The Ball To Calvin Johnson.