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Archive for the ‘Michigan Sports’ Category

The Lions Go With Caldwell

In Football Stuff, Michigan Sports on January 15, 2014 at 5:13 am

Jim Caldwell

The Detroit Lions will introduce their 26th head coach. Former Colts head coach and Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will try to do what no man has done in 56 years and make the Lions a winner. The Lions apparently missed on former Cardinals head man Ken Whisenhunt. Caldwell beat out freshly booted Gary Kubiak (Texans) and Mike Munchak (Titans) to take over Detroit. Not sure if this head coach will work out for the Lions but at least he has a resume that makes you believe he can fix some of the problems with the team. That being said I do have my concerns.

Caldwell has the kind of background that the team says that they were looking for. He is a former head coach who is offensive minded. His Colts teams had two winning seasons before being fired for a 2-14 season. That last losing season most will give him a pass for due to his star quarterback not playing the entire season. The team also had plenty of injuries throughout the team and who has won in the NFL with Curtis Painter under center? The belief is that he could a good tutor for Matthew Stafford. Caldwell is a long time quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. The fact that a big part of his resume is that he coached Peyton Manning and not sure how much credit a coach gets for his development.

Caldwell does get a lot of credit for pushing the 2012 Ravens offense to the Superbowl after taking it over at the end of that season. His mentoring of a young Joe Flacco is believed to be the difference in their season. In 2013 Caldwell was not able to follow up on the success. Baltimore finished 26th in total offense this season. They were 30th in rushing and 18th in passing offense. That can largely be attributed to the offseason fire sale that the organization went through. Ray Rice was never 100% and Flacco really didn’t have a lot receiving options.

It appears that any of Caldwell’s shortcomings in the NFL come with extenuating circumstances. He is spoken extremely high of by former players and coaches that he has worked with. One of the major issues with the Lions last season was discipline. Being a disciple of Tony Dungy, Caldwell definitely get this team in line. Hopefully he can push Detroit in the right direction with some wins in the playoffs.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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Working on Schwartz Time

In Football Stuff, Michigan Sports on December 20, 2013 at 4:38 am

Lions Coach

The Detroit Lions will have to face a tough decision when the season is over. They will have to figure out whether or not if they are going to fire their coach Jim Schwartz. Now conventional wisdom is that if the team makes the playoffs then Schwartz’s job will be safe. Most coaches don’t lose their jobs after a successful season. The thing is not sure how successful this season has been. The Lions are a talented team and maybe need another voice to get them over the top.

In a league of parity the Lions have as good of a roster as the NFL will let you. They are an offensive juggernaut and have a pretty good defensive line and linebackers. They need a little help on the back end of the defense but no team is perfect. What is costing this organization wins is coaching. It’s not what they are doing things scheme wise but their lack of discipline is costing them games. The falling apart late in contest is due to a coach not being able to hold a team together.

Some of the numbers are disturbing with this Detroit team. Last season they started 4-4 and finished 4-12 dropping their last 8 games. Right now they are 7-7 after starting 6-3. After being in firm control of 1st place, the club no longer controls its own destiny. In 6 of the 7 losses this year the team blew leads late in the game. In their 2012 campaign the team fell apart late a lot there too. That kind of lack in focus can be directed at the head coach.

Now team is no longer in the top 2 or 3 teams in penalties but they are still have way too many. This directly points to leadership and lack of discipline. The team is tied for 9th in the league this season for the most penalties with Baltimore and the Jets with 97 total flags thrown against this season. That breaks down to almost 7 infractions per game for a total of 813 yards so far. What team couldn’t use an extra 813 in a season? Not their highest total under Schwartz but the team still has 2 games left. In their most recent loss to Baltimore the Lions had 8 penalties for 89 yards. That is almost the length of the field. In a close game where your defense did not give up any touchdowns this is unacceptable.

The team also turned the ball over 3 times in their last loss. Championship caliber teams do not turn the ball of a lot. Currently the team has the 2nd most turnovers in the NFL at 31 only behind the NY Giants. Only 2 behind the season total of last season of 33. When you are giving the other team 2 extra possessions per game something is wrong. Sloppy play can be attributed to coaches not holding players accountable for their mistakes.

The franchise is 29-47 during Schwartz tenure as head coach. That is a win percentage of 38%. Only in 2011 did the team finish above .500 and that team got bounced in the first round of the playoffs. The team may turn it around but their time is running Schwartz.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

Detroit Lions Break Up Letter

In Michigan Sports on January 9, 2013 at 12:50 am

Detroit Lions
Dear Detroit Lions

This has been a weird 33 years for our relationship. There have been some ups but mostly downs for us. I just feel that it’s time for me to take my football heart somewhere else. I am getting nothing out of this besides being misused as a fan.

Don’t worry I’m not seeing anybody else right now. There is this nice Falcons team here but we will have to see how the playoffs workout. This is just something that I have to do for my own mental health. The constant promise of winning but it never happening is hurtful. Only one playoff win in 50 years is just not enough to keep this going.

I can’t watch what you do with Calvin Johnson’s career and ability. I have sat through you not getting Barry Sanders a championship or even a constant contender. Tired of watching you blow games that you should easily win. I have had enough home blow outs and bad quarterbacks for my life time. I may tune in every now and then but trust it won’t be the same. I will not invest my emotions in the games.