Blind Dog Finds Bone: Film at 11

Charles ClintonCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2009

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Wide receiver Bryant Johnson #80 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at Ford Field on September 27, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

**Explanation of title**

A friend of my dad has an old phrase for whenever the Lions win, "Blind dog finds a bone, film at 11."  I just decided to play off of that a bit.

This was a good game for the Lions and a good opportunity for Matthew Stafford to show his potential.   However this was not a playoff calibre team that they beat and they gave up all the Redskins points in the second half.

Going into this game, I half-heartedly wanted the Lions to lose because I felt like that if the team kept losing it might become an embarrassment to the NFL to have a team play so bad that they would take over the team from owner William Clay Ford Sr.  More than any other person he has been the biggest reason for the Lions culture of losing and constant problems. 

However, it looks like that's not going to happen. 

One of the biggest problems that the Lions have had under Ford is their seemingly infallible belief that one guy can be the savior of the franchise and their willingness to promote that player as such.  With the exception of Barry Sanders, practically all comers have failed.  They have put their trust in rookies like Stafford far too often and expect way too much from them.  Case in point, Joey Harrington and Charles Rogers, the former who has been cut by the New Orleans Saints and currently not playing, the latter can't keep himself out of rehab.

If Ford is to continue to own the Lions something has to be done.  He has to realize that one guy cannot save a team and that there must be a concerted effort to rebuild them as a unit through both the draft, trades, and free agency. 

It seems as if they are making steps in that direction by drafting Stafford and signing Larry Foote from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but those are just baby steps.  They need to concentrate on getting a solid offensive line around Stafford that can both protect him and blow holes for Kevin Smith to run through, and they need more sure tacklers on the team than just Foote, who has averaged nine tackles a game through the first three games, and is on pace to have a monster season.  

Unfortunately I do not think that is going to happen as long as Ford Sr. is owner.  Coach Jim Schwartz may be good but he's going to need the cooperation of the front office to build the team, given the Lions history of miscommunication under Ford I don't see that happening. 

I think the only way this team could truly improve would be for him to sell the team.  While it is highly likely that he may let his son Bill Ford Jr. take over in the near future, I have my doubts about him. While he has shown some business acumen by keeping Ford Motor Company afloat (i.e. they're not bankrupt) in these harsh economic times, I'm not sure he will be able to pay attention to both the company and the Lions enough to make both successful.

The Lions are not going to make the playoffs any time soon, they may be an improving team but they are still bad.  Essentially they are still the same old blind dog, they just happened to find a bone today.