Detroit Pistons: Drummond receives green light to shoot 3 pointers

Embed from Getty Images Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond was given permission few big man get. Drummond’s head coach Dwane Casey wants the big man to shoot 3 pointers.

 

First things first, Andre Drummond will not be hanging out in three point land. His job is in the paint. As a both feared and gifted defender Drummond knows this full well. But teams will not be able to tell when he is going to pull up and fire a 3-point attempt.

 

In order to add to his already extensive list of offensive weapons the 3-pointer  is something he is going to add more of. Rolling to the rim, rebounds both offensive and defensive and power moves already have been established. Andre Drummond is a very good center. This will round his game further along.

 

At the Detroit Pistons media day, Drummond said he has never had a coach that would allow him to grow his 3-point game. Enter Dwane Casey. Fresh off NBA coach of the year. Odds are pretty good Casey knows what he is doing. It sounds like player and coach are on the same page.

 

It use to be Drummond would “mess around in practice with the three.” Dwane Casey said it has an upside. “It is about taking advantage of spacing. It opens doors on the court.” It seems Casey is willing to join the current league “in thing.” That is a good thing. The Pistons could be left in the dust if they do not follow along.

 

More and more NBA teams are encouraging their big men to shoot. It seems both Casey and Andre are thinking in 74 3-point shots are taken during the season Drummond could make 40.5 percent of those shots.

 

It is another way to both get the Pistons down in the defensive end quicker as well as create space for offensive rebounds and put ins. This is a way the Detroit Pistons can generate more offensive points.

Detroit Lions: Bob Quinn’s master plan

  Embed from Getty Images After posting back-to-back 9-7 records the Detroit Lions are under construction again. Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn let head coach Jim Caldwell go after last season saying he needed a coach to get them over the hump.

 

The Detroit Lions 2018-19 season has begun with a resounding thud. 0-2 under Bob Quinn hand picked head coach Matt Patricia. I do not believe Quinn targeted this season as make or break for the Lions.

 

In his third season as Detroit’s chief architect, Bob Quinn began an overhaul of the Lions offensive line. A unit that has yet to gel. However there are young players on the line that need more seasoning.

 

Kenny Galloday, is a freak and a playmaker. As is rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. Where it gets a bit grey is wide receiver Golden Tate. He appears to be headed out of town after the season when his contract expires.

 

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, could be replaced by Quinn. That may shock Lions faithful’s. Yet, given Bob Quinn’s New England Patriots background it should not. Patriot players are always viewed as having a short shelf life except at the quarterback position.

 

In year three Quinn has had ample  time to look over and get to know the roster. A roster that he has been over turning upon his arrival in Motown. Where it gets really bad is on the defensive side of the ball.

 

Detroit ran a 4-3 defense for years and enjoyed some success. Now it is clear they are switching to a 3-4 as through two games they have lined up in the 3-4 formation 70% of the time. One problem they do not have the proper personal to sustain this defense.

 

It gets worse when players are trying to learn Patricia’s system during games. It has not gone smooth. There will be more bumps and bruises along the way until Quinn has all of his players on the roster and the players understand where they need to be and how to do their job.

 

Once young players grow into their roles things should improve IF Quinn has been successful in both draft picks and free agency. This team is still capable of a 6-10 season which is where I had them before the opening week.

 

It will not be until next season until Detroit Lions front office and fans see what if any fruit Bob Quinn has grown in the Motor City.

Detroit Tigers: Christian Stewart providing a boost

Embed from Getty Images Detroit Tigers outfielder Christian Stewart got a September call up. He has simply put, been on fire.

 

Two homer runs. In the same game. In the same place in the ballpark. Christian Stewart is living up to his billing. Stewart has “Stupid power,”  according to teammate Jeimer Candelario. Christian had big crowds around him during pregame batting practice. His own teammates, Detroit media, as well as players from the opposing team and their media.

 

Christian Stewart is a key part of the Tigers rebuild. He still has issues in the field and does not run all that well. But a player with the hitting tools Stewart has at his disposal will always have a roster spot.

 

In his Detroit “cup of coffee” (fancy, yet odd way of saying getting a look for next season.) Stewart has 43 at bats, 5 runs, 10 hits, 2 home runs, 7 rbi and 6 walks. Hitting .233.

 

Christian Stewart is not going to hit for average. That is not his job and the Detroit Tigers did not draft him to hit .300. Stewart will come close to 40 home runs and 80+ rbi’s. That is the reason the Tigers drafted him.

 

His most likely destined spot in the Detroit batting order is fourth or fifth. That is where power and rib’s are needed. Stewart has shown he can handle it. He still needs to learn to lay off the high stuff. He does chase balls out of the strike zone at times.

 

But when he is locked in he can do some serious damage. As I alluded to before. Christian Stewart is a big part of the Detroit Tigers rebuild. Even if my gut feeling is correct and he is just a designated hitter (D.H.) The spark he can provide is enough to warrant hype.

 

While not my absolute favorite player in the Detroit Tigers pipeline. I do like Christian Stewart a lot. He will be a HUGE asset when the Tigers come out of their rebuild and begin to play relative baseball in the near future.

 

He is one of many reasons to continue to follow the young Tigers through the process of getting better. I fully expect Stewart to break camp with the Tigers next season. With Tigers D.H. Victor Martinez retiring Stewart could slide into that role seamlessly.

Detroit Lions: actually showing some improvement

Embed from Getty Images The 0-2 Detroit Lions showed some signs of life during Sunday’s loss to the 49ers. Here are some of the good, bad and ugly from the first two games. Also why I firmly believe in Matt Patricia.

 

No matter the early results the sky has not fallen. First and formost the Detroit Lions of 2018-19 were never going to be a playoff team. I believe that is by design. General manager Bob Quinn has a long term vision and one Lions fans need to remember.

 

The defense is a hot mess. I will have more on that unit in a moment. Kenny Golladay is having a fantastic he is on his way to being a game changing wide receiver. That is good because Golden Tate who is in the last year of his contract is playing like a guy who does not want to get hurt in order to get a big payday.

 

The running game is actually showing signs of life. Rookie Kerryon Johnson has breathed a new life in the run game. He should get more touches as the season moves along.

 

Da’ Shawn Hand, has been the lone bright spot on a terrible defensive line. The unit misses too many tackles and does not generate much of a pass rush. There is still a lot of improvement to be had.

 

Linebackers have begun to cover pass routs better. And have been solid against the run.

 

The offensive line has been all over the board Rookie Frank Ragnow has allowed more quarterback pressures than any lineman in the NFL. Taylor Decker at left tackle is the worst rated run blocker. Both are young players who have time to put in the work and clean up their game.

 

Because the defensive line has yet to find the footing they need. The secondary has taken a hit. No pass rush has allowed wide receivers to get open sooner.

 

Matthew Stafford who was a top 5 deep ball passer last season is currently #32. He has been victim of the drops. Detroit Lions receivers have dropped more passes than any other team in the NFL.

 

So based on all of that. The Lions have gotten better. Remember this is a long process. Bob Quinn took over a roster of far less versatile players and is slowing bringing more into the organization.

 

Other than a questionable use of the clock in week one Matt Patricia has not shown me anything that makes me think the Lions made the wrong pick at head coach. For a team that was not going to the playoffs this season. It if far more important the learn Patricia’s system and find out who can and can not play in his system.

Michigan Wolverines: must identify who they are

Embed from Getty Images After a week one meltdown in South Bend to Notre Dame. The Michigan Wolverines have bounced back. Only it has been against sub par teams yet again. That said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has made adjustments.

 

Playing his college football at the University of Michigan under Bo Shembechler, Harbaugh understands the slam the ball mentality that he carries with him today.

 

The problem is when the defense crowds the box. Harbaugh still calls for the run. That all changed Saturday when Michigan hosted the SMU Mustangs. When the defense lined up eight in the box. Michigan passed.

 

It worked so well that Michigan running backs had a big day rushing the football. It seems the Wolverines coaching staff is coming to an understanding the fans have come to a while ago. The passing game and the running game need to compliment each other.

 

Even though it was against a lesser foe. The progress was much needed. Michigan still gets flagged for way too many penalties. And most are bone headed that can and need to be cleaned up.

 

With Big 10 play starting this Saturday it will be a better test as Michigan sees Nebraska invade Ann Arbor and the Big House. Adjustments are part of any sports. In game adjustments are critical to the outcome of games.

 

For the first time since taking over as head coach Jim Harbaugh has begun to make those all important adjustments. The offensive line still needs to be upgraded the tackles both right and left are still a sore spot on the roster.

 

It is now more interesting to watch Michigan football knowing the coach is going to make some micro moves to help his team. The days of running a play just because that is the one that was called appear to be over.

 

Michigan fans and media should know more after this weeks Big 10 opener.

Detroit Tigers: owner Chris Ilitch is pleased with the rebuild

Embed from Getty Images He does not speak about his teams very often. Yet Chris Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings spoke about his baseball team. He started by saying he has no intensions of selling the Tigers which had been rumored.

 

The Ilitch family is and has been fully committed to the city of Detroit. The work they have done is stunning. The city has not given him any heat for rebuilding two  of the cities most treasured franchises at the same time.

 

Ilitch ordered  the farm system to be replenished. While the Tigers are now moving closer to the middle of the rebuild there is still work to do and salary to shed.

 

Since he gave the order. Chris and Detroit Tigers fans have seen the teams franchise go from 30th ranked to 9th ranked. That is an incredible one year jump.

 

The Tigers are still on a three year projection to return to competitive baseball. This time around they will be younger and the winning will last longer. MLB teams have placed a premium on home grown talent. Sure teams will still sign a free agent. Maybe even two. But even the mighty New York Yankees have come to understand that keeping and not rading blue chip prospects is the way to go.

 

The Detroit Tigers farm system is pitching heavy. The best in the minors. They have some bats as well. Rebuilds are not fun. But the fun will soon return to Comerica Park.

Detroit Pistons: the cities best chance for a playoff run

Embed from Getty Images The rebuilding Detroit Tigers and Red Wings are still a couple to few years away from competitive play. The Detroit Lions look like a mess. Which leaves the Pistons as not only the most complete Detroit sports team but the best shot at a playoff run.

 

As the Detroit Pistons are days away from the opening of training camp. There is interest in Detroit basketball again. For good reason. A new proven head coach, a new trainer and a veteran heavy roster gives the Pistonsthe old “punchers chance.”

 

While the Detroit Pistons have not won a playoff game in over a decade. But I really believe that changes this season. Detroit has a solid front court anchored by Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. they are a matchup nightmare in the paint.

 

The Detroit bench is strong. Luke Kennard can drain shots and then there is shooting sniper Langston Galloway who shoots with quickness. The Pistons will also have either Glenn Robinson III or Stanley Johnson to deepen the bench depending who wins the starting job.

 

While Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto are favorites in the East the Detroit Pistons are next in line along with Miami and Indiana. All of those teams do not have the front court duo the Pistons have.

 

Another reason Pistons fans have hope is little thought of but big game player Henry Ellenson. He is a graceful big man. He can give the Pistons defense at critical times of games off the bench. Something every team covets.

 

There is no reason the Detroit Pistons can not make some waves in this years NBA season and playoffs. They would help pass the times as the other teams move along in rebuilding and trying to figure out a new coach.

Detroit Lions: season kickoff on Monday Night Football

Embed from Getty Images The ever rebuilding Detroit Lions are set to kickoff their portion on the 2018-19 NFL season tomorrow on Monday Night Football.

The good news is football is back. The bad news the Detroit Lions need more pieces to go with some nice parts. I can not envision Matt Patricia and his coaching staff feel this is a championship defense. Or even a playoff defense for that matter.

 

The offense is set. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has plenty of weapons around him including rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. Johnson will be the best Detroit back since the great Barry Sanders. Mark it down.

 

The offensive line started preseason shaky but ended up molding together. This unit has the upside to be among the best in the NFL.

 

Back to the defense. The secondary is top notch. The linebackers are solid but not spectacular. But they do not need to be. Look at the New England Patriots. They have a rather unassuming group of linebackers and generally do well.

 

The defensive line is horrible. They are in no position to run a 3-4 based defense full time. In fact in my opinion that is exactly why Matt Patricia and his defensive coaches did not commit to lining up in the 3-4 down after down.

 

Too me this Detroit Lions team is indeed close to being a very good football team. I just can not see it being this season. Too many questions on the defensive line limit expectation for the Lions.

 

I have little doubt Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn and Patricia will get the players they both want and need to push the team forward. It should be a fun and interesting season ahead for the Lions.

 

Fun because the team is close. Interesting because it is year one of a brand new head coach. There will be bumps and there will be joy. I do not feel there will be a playoff appearance.

 

That may seem to counter what I said about the team being close. It is not. Teams take a step back before going forward often in sports. Better days are coming for sure.

Detroit Tigers: minor league player of the year

Embed from Getty Images I feel like a broken record in talking about Detroit Tigers minor league phenom Isaac Paredes. Yet, here we go again. This time I have backing. Parades is the Detroit Tigers minor league player of the year by a landslide.

 

The single greatest thing that Isaac Paredes has going for him is his age. 19 years old. The other great thing is Paredes’s raw talent.

 

In the pitching dominate Florida State League. Isaac belted 12 home runs. That has not happened in a long time. The Florida league is all about pitching.

 

As the season moved along Isaac Paredes was moved to Double A. The Erie Seawolves. Isaac, posted even better numbers. he boasted a .319 batting average in 36 games. He also has a .404 on-base percentage and an .858 OBS.

 

While the Detroit Tigers are still trying to figure out where he will play in the field. The organization is toying with a corner outfield spot next season. With his bat Paredes could very well see time at Comerica Park late next season. He is that good.

 

The Detroit Tigers, got a heck of a baseball prospect when they acquired Paredes last season from the Chicago Cubs. He is my favorite prospect in the farm systems and has future all-star written all over him.

 

Isaac Paredes, will be a catalyst for the next wave of competitive baseball in Motown. Fans should go ahead and get familiar with Isaac now. Because when he arrives in the Motor City they will stand and cheer. A lot.

Detroit Lions: 53 man roster

Embed from Getty Images In 2017 the Detroit Lions fielded one of the youngest teams in the NFL. in 2018-19 the Lions will field one of the oldest. As general manager Bob Quinn has tweaked the roster.

 

26.6 is the average age of the Detroit Lions players making up this seasons roster. That is up from 25.8 in the 2017 campaign. That may seem dramatic. In my opinion this is partly because Lions head coach Matt Patricia had many veteran players in his time with the New England Patriots.

 

The Detroit Lions roster has young players at the skilled positions: not to mention the team is going with:

 

2 quarterbacks, 5 running backs, 6 wide receivers, 4 tight ends, 10 moffensive lineman, 7 defensive lineman, 7 linebackers, 4 cornerbacks, 5 safeties, 3 special teams.

 

The team announced the signing of 6 players to the practice team. To me this shows the Lions are in a win now train of thought. As they should be. The need to clean up in some areas. But it should be a good season.