Detroit Lions: the wheels have come off

Embed from Getty Images In a season with much promise. The same old Detroit Lions have emerged. The team that can not block, can not tackle and can not coach. This is the opposite of what general manager Bob Quinn actions were taken for.

 

Detroit Lions fans were told Jim Caldwell was fired and Matt Patricia was brought in to get the team over the hump. Fail. There will be no 9-7 finish this season.

 

The Detroit Lions have taken not one or two but three or more steps backwards. Not ideal for general manager and first year head coach. It gets worse though. The team is getting out everything gameday.

 

Other than Kerryon Johnson, Quinn’s draft picks have been close to awful. Both the offensive and defensive lines are a total mess. Even quarterback Matthew Stafford has looked lost at time. When he is actually on his feet and not the ground from yet another sack.

 

I am not sure where the blame falls. Fans are pretty divided. Some say Quinn some say Patricia. I would like to toss in team owner Martha Ford who sign this clown show on.

 

Trading Golden Tate was the right move. The problem was in doing so there was no replacement on the roster. I am at a loss for where this team is. But more than that how pathetic they look.

 

I am not sure if the team has quit on Patricia. They seem to be playing hard. It also seems like the talent gap is huge. Detroit sits firmly planted in last place with a national t.v. game Thanksgiving Day with the Ford family in there luxury box.

 

It would be great to be a fly on the wall. Or in late November in Michigan a snow flake. The Lions were supposed to be a fringe playoff team. Not one that is joining the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers in a rebuild.

 

The Detroit Lions have been a mess since 1957. At this rate the Tigers and Red Wings will return to competitive play long before the Lions. Maybe that is it. Maybe the Fords should sell the Lions to Tigers and Red Wings owner Chris Ilitch.

Detroit Lions: so long Golden Tate

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions were never going to give a 30 year old wide receiver a contract extension. General manager Bob Quinn is following the New England Patriots way of doing business. Keep a player on his rookie contract or until 30 and bring in new players.

 

Golden Tate was the Detroit Lions most productive receiver since Calvin Johnson. Tate excelled in yards after catch (YAC) in fact he is the best in the NFL.

 

At 30 years old according the  Patriots Golden Tate is past his prime. Thus when the Philadelphia Eagles offered a third round draft pick Bob Quinn jumped. It is a good value trade.

 

It is both the right move for the Lions to make and it is frustrating for fans as Tate was a big fan favorite. The Lions could have justified giving Tate an extension. Because that was not going to happen they made the safe deal.

 

The trade leaves Detroit somewhat thin at receiver. Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay are both lethal and offensive fixtures. Bob Quinn has made two in season trades and signed a free agent linebacker.

 

Why? In my opinion, Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia have their sights on 2019. This was always going to be a transition season as far as players learning a new coaching staff. As well as a coach knowing what personal he wants.

 

It is also my opinion that Quinn will be looking to draft longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s replacement in the next two NFL drafts. Trades are always unsettling and there is a fear of the unknown. But in order to keep the team young and headed in the right direction the moves will continue.

Michigan Wolverines: dominating again

Embed from Getty Images It seems like forever since the Michigan Wolverines bullied teams the way they are this season. Jim Harbaugh’s team is not only dominating teams they are flat out suffocating  them on both sides of the ball.

 

Jim Harbaugh is not an elite coach they said. Jim Harbaugh can not beat rivals they said. After beating Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State by a combine score of 101-20 that can be tossed out the window.

 

Penn State is the latest big name team to get hammered by the Wolverines. Last season Penn State had the ball in the waning seconds of the game. They chose not to take a knee and scored a touchdown to run the score up. Fatale mistake.

 

In this seasons tilt Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson said he was not here last season. But, if Michigan had the chance to run the score up they would do it. Check that. Michigan dropped the hammer. 42-7.

 

Jim Harbaugh’s team did not want to just beat Penn State, they wanted to embarrass them. Sacking Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley 6 times and intercepting 2 passes Michigan’s top ranked defense was relentless.

 

As the “Revenge Tour” rolls on. It is a safe bet the Michigan Wolverines have their sights set directly on Ohio State. The game is in Columbus. Michigan would have it no other way.

 

Like Penn State, Harbaugh’s boys will want to embarrass the Buckeyes on their home field. Given the glaring talent gap. Michigan will be favored. This will be the game that changes the guard in the Big Ten. It is the game that will show Michigan is back and ready to stand on the national stage again.

 

With a very talented team and Harbaugh not being afraid to agitate fellow coaches. Michigan is set to both irritate opposing fan bases while enduring themselves to Michigan loyalists.

Michigan Wolverines: 2018-19 basketball preview

Embed from Getty Images The Michigan Wolverines had a great season last year. One that saw them come up short in the title game to Villanova. Michigan finished last season with 33 wins and 8 losses. Head coach John Beilein is set with new players.

 

With big names from last seasons team gone to the NBA. Michigan is looking for new players to push the program forward. The did get a blessing.

 

6’6″ guard Charles Matthews chose to come back for another year and another shot at post season play. Matthews was the second leading scorer for the Wolverines last season behind Moritz Wagner.

 

Matthews is joined by returning teammate 6;0″ guard Zavier Simpson. This is good as it gives Michigan a returning backcourt for this upcoming season. The loss of Moritz Wagner(center), Muhammed-Ali-Abdur-Rahkman(guard) and Duncan Robinson (forward) were a blow. One that will test the Wolverines early in the season.

 

Losing 3 valuable players hurts any team. Coach Beilein, will have to find players to fill the sizable void. Enter Bandon Johns and Ignas Brazdekis. both players play the forward position. Look for Johns to be at the power forward.

 

Projected starting lineup for the Michigan Wolverines basketball team:

 

Zavier Simpson

Jordan Poole

Charles Matthews

Isiah Livers

John Teske

 

Michigan was one game away from being Nation Champions last season. They should settle for nothing less than getting back to the big dance and in that big game.

 

Matthews, will be counted on to score even more. He has the ability to carry the team. Expect Michigan basketball to be top three in the Big Ten. This team is loaded. John Beilein is tasked with growing them up in time for March Madness.

 

 

Detroit Lions: made a huge trade

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions who are on a 3 game winning streak ranked 30th against the run. Giving up 139.3 yards per game. Today made a trade that will shore up the defensive line.

 

The New York Giants have waived the surrender flag and will enter a long pain-staking rebuild. Yesterday the Giants traded corner back Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints.

 

Needing more push up front the Detroit Lions were going to shop for a nose tackle this off-season. With the New York fire sale they got one of the best in the game.

 

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn, taking a page from the New England Patriots stole Damon “snacks” Harrison. Quinn gave up one of the Lions two 5th round draft pick which they obtained when they traded Laken Tomlinson to the San Francisco 49ers . A tremendous value trade to be sure.

 

Damon Harrison is a game changer. He has an overall 89.9 grade. Harrison 6′ 3″, 341 lbs is a run stuffer. His size and strength allows him to shove offensive linemen out of the way and attack the ball carrier.

 

The Detroit Lions are ranked third in quarterback sacks. They are very good vs the pass. Now with Damon Harrison they should improve vs the run. Harrison makes up for the oft injured Ezekiel Ansah.

 

For the second half playoff push Bob Quinn knows his team is playing better and is within striking distance of the division leading Minnesota Vikings. They have 2 games against them and also 2 games against the Chicago Bears. While the Lions beat the Green Bay Packers a couple weeks ago they still have to travel the cheese state which is never easy to win in.

 

Harrison has lead the NFL in run stuffs each of the past three seasons. Damon signed a 5 year $46.25 million dollar deal with the Giants three seasons ago. Detroit is on the hook for $4.1 millions and $7 million next season.

 

That is not bad for one of the NFL’s best defensive  interior linemen. Not to mention Damon Harrison is just 29 years old. To get a player of this caliber for a 5th round draft pick shows that the New York Giants are desperate to shed talent and payroll. It also shows that Bob Quinn made a savvy deal.

 

This sets Detroit up nicely for the remainder of the season. It also give Matt Patrica a key player and a disruptive force in the middle. Making the Detroit Lions defense more physical.  Something Quinn vowed to do after last seasons final game.

How Jim Harbaugh shifted Big Ten power to Michigan

Embed from Getty Images He was questioned. All good coaches are. He was booed from a fan base that demanded more. Yet through it all, Jim Harbaugh was building the Michigan Wolverines to win. Not just for one season. To over-take the conference elite. The time is at hand.

 

Ohio State has owned it’s fair share of Big Ten titles for 17-18 years. Michigan State had a nice little run in there as well. Jim Harbaugh was brought to be the savior of a university he played quarterback for in the 1980’s.

 

While the aforementioned Ohio State continued to win and as Michigan State continued to beat the Wolverines. Harbaugh did not flinch. Like a mad chemist he kept adding. a three star recruit here. A four star there. While releasing troubled players from the school.

 

Other teams kept winning. But history was on Jim Harbaugh’s side. History of building championship programs. He did it in college at Stanford. He did it in the NFL with San Francisco. Interesting both places fell on hard time when Harbaugh left them.

 

He accepted the Michigan coaching job. Upon his arrival in Ann Arbor he gave a warning. “It takes time to build a sustainable program. That is what I am going to do.”

 

He has done it. Never listening to the media, fans and critics. Sticking to his guns. Allowing other schools the false sense of security. When you have a coach who has accomplished as much as Jim Harbaugh it is a bad idea to fall for such thoughts.

 

Now the Michigan Wolverines football team is loaded. Not just for this season. But this is a return to glory. Michigan is here to stay. They will continue to grow and beat the teams that once “owned” them. Jim Harbaugh has done it under the radar.

 

Teams that were winning, he was building. Now Michigan is winning the recruiting battles. Players are not jumping at Ohio and Michigan State they way they once did. Those programs  if they have not already soon will begin to feel the sting of Harbaugh’s work.

 

The kicker is Jim Harbaugh wears glasses that are a direct tip-of-the-hat to Woody Hayes. The former Ohio State coach. Sort of a shot at the school he beat 3 times in his playing days.

 

The Big Ten should brace for it. Michigan Wolverines football is back. With a coach that built the program the only way he knew how. His way.

Michigan vs Michigan State a rivalry built on desdain

Embed from Getty Images It was ugly. It always was going to be. Michigan State players who for years have done questionable antics started the show. Taking Michigan Wolverine players head phones, trying to trip them and throwing pregame punches. All as Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio stood by smiling.

 

Rivalries are by nature nasty. They build up and then release. Michigan linebacker Devin Bush in retaliation to the Spartans pregame brew-ha scraped his cleats across the Michigan State logo on the middle of the field. Childish? yes.

 

Michigan should not have an eye for an eye thought process. But in a rivalry emotions seem to take over. Right or wrong. They should have been the bigger group of players. Michigan State is known for this throughout Dantonio time at the school.

 

Michigan, destroyed Michigan State all over the stat sheet and scoreboard. That should have been enough. Michigan is in the drives seat to finish the 2018 “Revenge Tour.” That is what senior defensive end Chase Winovich labeled this season for the Wolverines.

 

In my opinion that is part of what lead to the pregame flare up. it is hard to have revenge when your school has struggled in recent years. I get trying to kick start it. Which it seems to have done.

 

With Michigan State having a bad season and Ohio State looking like they have lost a lot of luster. Michigan now has a clear shot to win the Big Ten and perhaps go to the College football playoffs. That and not revenge should be the focus.

 

Through it all Michigan has regained swagger that has been missing. Jim Harbaugh who has been building his program has caught up to Dantonio and Urban Meyer. Now the playing field is level.

 

So no matter what “little brother” does. Michigan can not let it get under their skin. Just line up and beat them. That is better than revenge.

 

Solo a Star Wars story is under appreciated

Embed from Getty Images It was never meant to fit into a trilogy. It was the first real Star Wars stand alone. Yet, it was not well received. That does not change the fact Solo a Star Wars story is a fun break from the same old, same old.

 

Much was made of the director switch early in production. Ron Howard, was brought in and made a solid piece of art. Which is no small task given the movie that was involved.

 

Alden Ehrenreich, was fine as the lead Han Solo. One thing that bothered me was how he received his last name. From and empire employee. Just did not sit well with me.

 

Emilia Clarke as the love beauty Qi’ra delivered a solid performance. She seemed to fit with other Star Wars leading ladies very well.  Woody Harrelson was a veteran actor who brought stability to the film as did Dydren Vos who was portrayed by Paul Pettany.

 

The greatest acting job came from Donald Glover. Lando Calrissian, came to life in a young fun ways. He really became a young Billy Dee Williams. Other than an awkward moment where he seemed to treat his droid shutting down like his girlfriend. Glover was fantastic.

 

I don not want the same settings in my Star Wars films. I want new. New locations, new ships, new characters. Yes this had characters we have all come to love and know. But in a new light.

 

The film was interesting as it felt like we knew what was going on but we did not. The story was sort of ho-hum. But where the story lacked. The acting carried it.

 

I went into the film not knowing anything. I walked out feeling good. Not great like “The Force Awakens.” But, good. Better than I thought I would.

 

If there are more stand-alone films. They should look to Solo as a blueprint. Star Wars fans would rather a solid film than mass produced junk. As a Star Wars fan I would rather a film every two years. Not one right after another.

 

 

 

 

Michigan Wolverines: the team has come a long way

Embed from Getty Images The team that began the season in South Bend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is not the same team that just beat the Wisconsin Badgers. Jim Harbaugh has molded this team into a power again.

 

The Michigan Wolverines offensive line that was a sore spot last season has grown into a huge area of strength. Pass and run blocking has taken a huge step forward.

 

The defense is ranked #1 in the country. It was never going to be an issue. It is the linebackers that have shined the brightest. They swarm to the ball. This group is flat out nasty.

 

However, what has been missing from a Jim Harbaugh lead Wolverines team have been two key factors. Quarterback.  Running back. They have had ok players at those positions. This year they have game- changers .

 

Quarterback Shea Patterson has been as good as advertised. Dangerous in the pocket, Patterson unleashed a new side to his game vs the Badgers. Shea Patterson, can run. He had an 81 yard TD that now puts fear in the rest of the teams on the Michigan football schedule.

 

Running back Karan Higdon has become a go-to player. Chris Evans was supposed to be “the guy.” However Evans has missed games due to injury. Giving Higdon, an opportunity to take control of the job.

 

This years Michigan football team has become a well rounded group. They have a big game Saturday vs Michigan State. It will tell us how far the team has come. Michigan opened up as a 7 1/2 point favorite.

 

Should the Wolverines beat Sparty. They will become the team to beat. Even over Ohio State who this year has a flawed defense.

 

This is what Michigan fans have waited for. A return to the limelight. The time is at hand

Detroit Lions: are looking for consistency

Embed from Getty Images With wins over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers. The Detroit Lions look good. But 3 losses against sub-par teams leaves people scratching their heads.

 

There was always going to be an adjustment period in Detroit. The Lions after all had a new head coach. It has taken the entire preseason and 5 games into the regular season. It looks like coach, coaching staff and players are all on the same page.

 

It is not the 2-3 record that means anything. It is the fact that across the board the Detroit Lions have shown growth. The offensive line that under-performed in weeks 1 vs the New York Jets have gelled and are a great asset to the team.

 

In order to become a more physical team Detroit has cranked up the running game. It has shown real life.  LeGarrette Blount is a basher. Kerryon Johnson is the speed. They have been a formative combo.

 

Kenny Golladay, is turning into a superstar. The second year wide receiver ranks 5th in yards per catch at 15.9. He is a short, middle and deep threat. To go along with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones the team is looking much better.

 

Defensively is where the Detroit Lions have come the furthest. Defensive end Da’ Shawn Hand looks like a draft day steal in the third round. Da’ Shawn is 10th overall, and seventh most disruptive against the pass also he has been the best rookie interior defender in the league.

 

The team heads into their bye-week beating the rival Green Bay Packers in a one sided affair. They harassed Aaron Rogers all day and shut down the Packers running game.

 

The Lions need to clean a few things up during the week off. They need to begin to get up for the lesser teams the way they do against good teams. General manager Bob Quinn’s draft picks and free agents have been a blessing to the team.

 

Bob Quinn, is quickly becoming a know general manager around the league and is getting praise from his fellow general managers. I look for the Detroit Lions to keep grinding and get better every week. They are headed in the right direction.

 

As long as rookies continue to improve the Detroit Lions are building something that will lead to bigger things.