Who is your favorite Lions writer?

By Imperical Evidence

Ok, got some light work out of the way today. I went to the bank, went shopping and bought some new shoes, wrote this, mowed the lawn, worked out, and did a few other things for work. Now to do the manly stuff, my laundry.

With the loss of Tom Killer Kowalski, most of us need to find something to latch on to for Lions news. Why? It's simple, Killer would want us to stay interested with the Lions. Many of us have allready found that writer, some of us are still looking. So, in short, who do you like and why? Post it here, and let others read it. Do not worry about offending me. I do not write enough or write well enough to even enter into your consideration. Once in a while, I do have some interesting things to say, so I am not even in the running.

My choice for Lions news can be found here...

Lions do not need to run more...

Running the ball comes down to two things, the skill of the running back and blocking.
I have seen many comments on the internet lately, even going back to last year, that
"the Lions need to throw more to set up the run."
I would point out that the Lions had the 12th best passing offense in 2010, and would get a reply something like
"The defense isn't good, the Lions had to throw because they were behind."
Ok then, it didn't help the running game because they couldn't run as much?

The Lions don't need to run more. They need to be more effective when they do run.

So, can passing more set up the run?

The Lions had 633 passing attempts in 2010. There were only two teams with more passing attempts, the Colts and the Patriots. How many times do they need to throw the ball before that theory is shown to be wrong?

Don't believe me?

Pass all you want, it all comes down to blocking. When you pass a lot, you might get 7 or even 6 in the box. Well, that should open up the running game, right? No, those defenders are not beaten, they cam still come up and make a hit to stop the run. That's where blocking comes in, downfield and by the recievers. Running requires blocking, no way around it.

Does running set up the pass?
Yes, and here's why. When you draw 8 or 9 defenders into the box playing against the run, they can be beaten over the top. They can't recover to make a play, it's too late.

I think the Lions have a chance at a good running game without running more. They are a team built to throw the ball, and that becomes obvious when they take the kick returner listed as a reciever and make him a running back to make room for more recievers. I'm ok with that, and that might have been a great move now that Aaron Brown is no longer a Lion. Stephan Logan should provide little drop off in speed if Best goes down again for any amount of time. He can also catch out of the back field. Enter Mikel Leshoure. A larger running back, and the Lions were hoping for more than just a third down back that can pick up the blitz and move the pile. They were hoping Leshoure could compliment Best in the running game. Best on first or second down? Sure. Now, do that with Leshoure on occasion. The whole 3rd down pile moving pass blocking picking up the blitz coming out of the back field in pass routes was all just a big bonus, but one the Lions had to have. The Lions decided to let Kevin Smith go into free agency without any offer from them. Kevin Smith was that 3rd down back, but maybe not the pile mover. That's why the Lions moved up to draft Leshoure. Leshoure suffered a torn achilles tendon in practice and is out for the season, before the season even started. Exit Leshoure. For now.

The Lions claimed running back Keiland Williams off waivers Sunday, and may have found someone to fill the offensive role the Lions expected rookie Mikel Leshoure to play, to some extent. Williams will probably go in as the number 3 or even 4 running back. At 5' 11" and 230 pounds, I think this fills the void for a third down back for sure, time will tell. I don't think Williams will be a feature back in a dual feature back set. That's what the Lions wanted from Leshoure.

The Lions also claimed second-year offensive guard Jacque Mcclendon, who appeared in four games for Indianapolis last season. The Colts selected McClendon in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft, out of Tennessee. Coming out of college, the 6-foot-3, 324-pounder was known for his strength and ability to power block, but his footwork was considered a weakness. The Lions also had an eye on him in the 2010 draft. I don't see him as a starter until he can pass protect. That's big money bright future Stafford back there, not Joe Schmoe. Mcclendon might be able to contribute in goal line type packages, and maybe he can become better at pass protection. He also provides depth at guard the Lions needed.

So, we can all expect the same offensive line to start this season. I think the pass protection has improved. I think the run blocking needs to get better. I think that means new players down the road, and I would start at center. No, I do not expect Raiola to become a premier run blocker after 10 years. The short yardage running game also needs to improve. The Lions need to be able to chew clock with a slim lead if they have the ball late in games, it's just football sense.

So, though I would like to see the Lions run more at times, they really do not need to run more.

They do, however, need to become more effective when they run it.

Well, the Lions had the 23rd best rushing offense for total yards in 2010?
The Lions had 1,613 total rushing yards. The key word is total. The recievers rushed for 202 yards, at least. The Redskins were ranked 30th overall in total rushing yardage, with 1,461 yards. That's a difference of 152 yards between the Redskins and the Lions. The Redskins recievers rushed for 2 yards total. Take away the recievers rushing yardage from both theams, and the Lions are ranked 31st. Thing is, to be accurate one would have to look at the reciever rushing yardage from every team, then subtract that from their total to get their total RUNNING BACK rushing yardage. I didn't do all that, but I'd still guess the Lions would be in the bottom five.

Keep an eye on Stephan Logan this season. Last season, as a reciever and kick returner, he had 15 carries for 95 yards. Can he do that as a running back now?

I drift a lot in my writing, hope you stayed in there. That's also why I will not write a tribute for 'Killer' Tom Kowalski, I'm not good enough.

In his spirit, because this isn't me, I'll just add the following:

I hope you learned something.

Killer, you were the best.

Lions make roster moves...

By Imperical Evidence

The Lions made a pair of roster moves tonight, signing free agent linebacker Bobby Carpenter and signing cornerback Paul Pratt back to the practice squad. Pratt was moved onto the roster before the Giants game, then released so that the Lions could sign him back to the practice squad. The Lions also cut Dante Wesley, leaving them two roster spots.

The Lions also signed C Cody Wallace off the Jets' practice squad.

The speculation is that Wallace, a fourth-round pick by San Francisco in the 2008 draft, will back up veteran Dominic Raiola in Detroit. He played collegiately at Texas A&M. Now, where would that leave Dylan Gandy, a five year veteran? Well, the Lions do have room on the roster right now for everyone. Gandy also played mostly guard at Texas Tech University, until his senior year when he moved to center and had 12 starts at that position.

Cornerback Jack Williams came off the Physically Unable to Perform list this week. He can practice with the Lions for three weeks before the Lions have a decision to make. The Lions could activate him to the roster, waive him, or put him on Injured Reserve.

Bobby Carpenter worked out for the Lions earlier today.

Dallas originally drafted Bobby Carpenter with the 18th overall pick in 2006. He couldn't manage to break the starting rotation in his four years there, and was traded to the Rams. He was one of the final roster cuts by the Rams, and the Dolphins picked him up. He was then released by the Dolphins earlier this week. Jim Schwartz has to be thinking that he could help the Special Teams unit, because the Lions also signed Bobby Carpenter to the active roster. The Lions 4-3 defensive scheme also might be the thing for Carpenter, and he should provide at least depth.

Quarterback Shaun Hill, receivers Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Bryant Johnson, running backs Jahvid Best and Kevin Smith, tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Will Heller, offensive linemen Jeff Backus and Stephen Peterman, defensive linemen Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams and Andre Fluellen, linebacker Zack Follett and defensive backs Alphonso Smith, Nathan Vasher and Louis Delmas all missed practice today. That's 18 players that at the very least are nursing minor injuries and will use this bye week to heal. In a week before a game, most of these players would have been at practice, except maybe Hill, Levy, and Follett.

Matthew Stafford did practice today, but not with the first team because of all of the players that did miss practice. Stafford said his arm was near 100%, and that's great news for all Lions fans. One of his receivers said later that Stafford threw the football 70 yards in the air.

The bye week comes at an extraordinary time in the NFL, with the new rule on helmet to helmet hits and violent hits going into effect. The Lions will have an opportunity to watch other teams, and maybe learn from the mistakes they make, before this new rule effects them. The Lions also have that extra week to try to adapt, most of the NFL dosen't.

Hammer interviews Matthew Stafford

By Imperical Evidence

You've heard of Axe hair products. They are everywhere, they are hip, and your own Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is promoting them. What does that mean?

Well, a bunch of interviews, with Axe hair products as the sponsor. I know, you're thinking same old stuff, politically correct and not revealing. You haven't read Hammer at the Bleacher Report then. He knows football, knows how to write, and knows how to draw people out. He was also the one, out of many at the Bleacher Report, doing this interview. What did we learn?

I'll give you a few pieces, but if you want the whole story, you're gonna have to go there and read it.

Is Stafford going to be the starting quarterback when the Lions play the Redskins after the bye week?

"I’m going to practice through the bye week and if it reacts well, then hopeful to be starting against the Redskins the following week."

Well, we all know by now I think he'll be starting that game. He will increase the workload in practice, and he has two weeks to get ready. He almost came in when Stanton got the wind knocked out of him against the Giants. He'll be ready.

How did Stafford try to improve in the off season?

"I looked at every interception I threw and categorized them and will hopefully limit them going forward."

Yep, he wants to cut down on those costly interceptions.

Guess what, he likes Golf. Maybe I'll invite him out to the Timbers after the season, and after it warms up.

What does he think about the Lions offensive line?

Ok, that's all you get. If you want that you'll have to go to the Bleacher Report and read it. Hammer is a devout Lions fan, and he followed me over to the Sporting News once upon a time. There are other interviews out there, even audio on Pride of Detroit, but this is the good one.

Lions Mix blog featured writers Imperical Evidence
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