Embed from Getty Images To say this season has been rough for the Detroit Lions, is like saying water is wet. It is plain to see and a fact. Yet the Lions have found some building blocks (more on that in my next entry.) One such block is wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
Be it Freddie Scott, Jeff Chadwick, Herman Moore or Calvin Johnson, the Detroit Lions seem to usually have a very good receiver on the roster. That is the case with Kenny Golladay.
The third year wideout has emerged as one if not the best deep threat in the NFL. This season because of injuries, Golladay has played with three different quarterbacks. Has it slowed him down? NO! Golladay continues to make defenses pay downfield.
This season no wide receiver has more receptions of 20+ yards than Golladay. With 13 games played he has 19 catches of 20+ yards. One other important note, Golladay has the highest percentage of receptions at 35.8%. Kenny is ahead of the Chargers Mike Williams.
Perhaps the most interesting fact in this, is Golladay ranks near the bottom of all receivers in average separation per route run. Defenders blanket him because they know Golladay is the man who is being targeted downfield.
Golladay is a former third round draft pick who is about to post a second straight 1,000 yard season. Golladay, said he wants to sign an extension and remain in Detroit. His current contract runs through next season.
“I definitely feel like I’ve done my part,” Golladay told the Detroit media. The question is will Lions general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia be back? Or will a possible new regime come in and need to look at players and contracts?
No matter what happens, any general manager or would-be general manager can see beyond the shadow of a doubt, Kenny Golladay is the real deal. He is worthy of a new contract. I suspect he will get one.
Embed from Getty Images Emperor Palpatine AKA Darth Sidious, was last seen in Return of the Jedi being tossed into the second Death Star’s reactor core. We were lead to believe that was it. Now with next weeks release of the final Skywalker film. It turns out Darth Sidious not only survived, but has been calling the shots the whole time!
Star Wars fans have been wondering if there is a connection between Darth Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) and Supreme Leader Snoke. There is!
******This is a spoiler******
Kylo Ren discovers, Palpatine’s secret head quarters on the dead planet Exegol. He walks up to an old man with white eyes. The old man claims to be none other than Darth Sidious. Ren does not believe him at first and holds his lightsaber to the old man’s throat. But here’s where things get a little creepy: Palpatine tells Kylo that he’s been every voice he’s ever heard inside his head, but Palpatine’s voice is only heard saying the first part of that sentence.
When he refuses to believe what the Sith Lord is saying to him, Palpatine allegedly gets angry and cries out “I am Snoke!” One can only assume it is metaphorically, though. Darth Sidious is behind Snoke, as Snoke was his puppet creation. A clone!
This movie promises to be a fantastic ending to the saga!!!
Embed from Getty Images Do not call it a rebuild. Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn will not. Head coach Matt Patricia will not say the word either. Yet, that is exactly what is taking place within the Lions organization. The Detroit Lions have slid into last place in the NFC North standings with six straight losses and nine in their past 10 games, Patricia has referenced the “process” his team is going through.
Patricia was asked Wednesday if that (“process”) is code for “rebuild,” he simply would not associate that word with where the Lions are 29 games into his tenure as head coach.
“I don’t know. You can divide the English language however you want,” Patricia said. “I think for us, you know me, we’re just trying to get better this week. We got a lot of young players out there that are trying to get better and certainly for us, I think every season is a process.”
The 2019 Detroit The Lions are 3-9-1 and have won just nine games under Patricia, who inherited a team coming off back to back nine win seasons. Before he was brought in to coach the Lions, general manager Bob Quinn famously said he thought the Lions were better than their record under Jim Caldwell, and he was looking for a coach who could lead the team to Super Bowls.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, left tackle Taylor Decker and wide receivers Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, hid the fact the Lions were about to enter a rebuild. Last season’s 6-10 result was considered a minor step back to take two steps forward.
Back to this past Wednesday, Patricia would not utter the word rebuild, rather he stated the Lions are”just building.” This season was always going to be bumpy and tough, and that has been the case.
Current Fox NFL television analyst and former Detroit Lions legend, Chris Spielman, who still does a weekly spot on the teams official website said, “I think the Lions as an organization made a decision to rebuild. It’s like renovating the house. Sometimes you’ve got to tear it down to the studs. They’re changing what type of team they are and it’s my opinion that you have to be a little bit patient with that. I have numbers to back that up.”
I do not think Quinn or Patricia should be fired. There is enough evidence the suggests the Lions are on the right path.
Embed from Getty Images Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila Monday night gave his his mission for the offseason, essentially saying the teardown is complete. It was a roster deconstruction that lasted three years. Speaking at the MLB winter meetings Avila revealed what fans have been asking for and Detroit media wondered about.
“The mindset here is to move forward and build back up,” Avila said in front of the media, after he had finished the first day of activity at the Winter Meetings. “We’ve made a lot of trades. We’ve traded everyone we needed to trade and we’re at the point where this team is very young and we need to build it back up.”
Al Avila said he and his staff are looking to add a veteran catcher, first baseman, corner outfielder, starting pitcher and possibly a middle infielder before spring training begins in February. One difference, they will be looking for middle tier players and not bottom feeders to fill out the roster.
Avila continued, “The biggest concern when you bring in veteran free agents is taking away time from your prospects,”But the situation here now is we can add free agents as needed and maybe create competition for young guys.”
The Detroit Tigers are looking to make the team better for 2020. The Tigers have top prospects knocking at the major league door. There is a decent chance Tigers top pitching prospects Casey Mize, Matt Manning and 3B/SS Isaac Paredes could all end up in Motown next summer at some point, as the trio’s development is ahead of others in the Detroit minor league system.
While it will be another long summer at Comerica Park, the light at the end of the rebuild tunnel is in sight. After the 2020 MLB season the Tigers will have over $150 million come off the books, from years of making championship runs.
In my opinion that is when Detroit will begin in earnest to go after big name free agents. Coupled with the fact the Tigers other prized prospects will be ready for The Show.
Assuming Detroit’s prospects and free agent signings are not complete busts, 2022 is the year that Detroit will likely start looking somewhat competitive again.
Embed from Getty Images In a panel meeting JJ Abrams, director of both “Star Wars The Force Awakens” and “The Rise of Skywalker” was asked if there was going to be anything new in the December 20 release of the final film in the Skywalker story. He replied yes, but refused to go into details. Now those details have come to light.
This could be a spoiler, or not depending on “A certain point of view.” I have pulled enough away, there really is not much spoiler info. The new Force powers that fans will soon get a first-hand look at is “Force Flash Fights.” What is that you ask?
“Force Flash Fight” is only being used because as of right now there is no other title for it. So I will now attempt to shed some light on the new power. When ‘The Rise of Skywalker” opens Rey and Kylo Ren are considerably more powerful than ever.
As they engage in fighting, they are able to seemingly transport themselves around to different areas. This was seen in the opening of the final “Rise of Skywalker” trailer.
If you recall Rey is running through what looks like a forest, she jumps and lands on some metal structure. As Rey and Ren battle the backgrounds change. The two battle in different locations from all nine of the Skywalker locations.
To keep this as spoiler-free as possible, I will not detail specific locations. What is unknown at the present time is when the locations change. Bet it when the sabers strike together or a thought or what have you.
Remember the teaser trailer back in April? When Kylo Ren is in his Tie-Interceptor and Rey ignites her lightsaber as a sort of wild-west show down? Rey leaps and cripples Ren’s ship. Ren is seen walking away while the remains if his ship burns.
Right after the ship is burning, the two fight and “Flash” somewhere different. People who have seen the film promise the New Force Power works really well on screen and in the film.
Fans will be able to judge for themselves, very soon. Until then, ‘May the Force be with you.”
Embed from Getty Images Major League Baseball has awarded what they call the competitive balance draft picks since 2012. That is the good news. The bad news, the extra draft pick goes to the worst team in baseball. That team last season was the rebuilding Detroit Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers received an early Christmas gift this week, landing the 69th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. The draft slot is sandwiched between the end of the second round and beginning of the third round. This is the first time Detroit has been awarded the competitive balance pick in the organizations history.
In the 2020 MLB Draft in which the Detroit Tigers hold the No. 1 overall pick they will also receive an additional pick in competitive as a means of speeding up the teams rebuild.
By receiving a competitive balance pick it includes a built in bonus of receiving extra international bonus pool money, The Tigers, picking in round B, will get a minimum of $5.75 million, as opposed to the normal $4.75 million.
Coming off of their worst year since 2003, the Tigers have been in a downhill slide since 2015. Fans want to know when the team will be competitive again. It is probably safe to say 2020 will not be a whole lot better for the Motor City Kitties.
After the 2020 season, the Detroit Tigers have a lot of old bad contracts coming off the books. That is when the team will begin to add players for the next title run.
It will not be until 2021, when all the organizations top prospects are in Detroit that the team will go after big name free agents. So, if Detroit’s prospects and free agent signings are not complete busts, 2022 is the year that Detroit will start looking competitive again.
This season and next look to be rough, but if everything goes well, these tough years could pay off in a big way. Starting in the 2020 MLB season it will be worth checking the progress of the top prospects as they take the next step in development.
Embed from Getty Images ***This is a spoiler first and foremost*** it has been confirmed. Stop reading if you do not want anything spoiled for the upcoming Star Wars film that will conclude the Skywalker saga.
Still with me? Great! This is a juicy spoiler that will add a rather deep twist to all of Star Wars. The twist is so big it actually takes the focus off the Skywalkers and directly onto the Sith.
“The Rise of Skywalker,” Opens with Kylo Ren landing on the planet Exegol. Ren walks across the stormy plane of the dead world, and passes a cube about thirty feet in the air. There are some small creatures that are working on some capsules or maybe barrels called The Relics.
This is where the twist come into play. Inside all of these barrels, Kylo sees the bodies of former Supreme Leader Snoke. However, he was killed and disposed of. These are all clones!!
The implication is Snoke has always been a clone. There many barrels full of dead Snoke clones to count. Kylo Ren next comes upon an old man in a bed. The old man claims to be non other than Darth Sidious himself. Kylo does not believe him and ignites his lightsaber and holds it to Sidious’ throat and the old man laughs at him. The old man looks up and reveals the Sith fleet of Star Destroyers that waits for him above the planet as seen in the trailer.
Back to Snoke, Snoke was a puppet of Palpatine, a proxy. Palpatine cloned him to lure Kylo Ren to him. Needless to say it worked. This to me is a game changer. The Emperor whom we were lead to believe died in “Return of the Jedi,” has been calling the shots all along. Ever since “The Phantom Menace.”
It will be exciting to see how it all plays out December 20 when “The Rise of Skywalker” hits theaters.
Embed from Getty Images Doug Mientkiewicz, was fired October 31 after two season with the Mud Hens. Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila, cited discipline as the reason for the move without any elaboration. The Tigers made it clear they wanted someone who had experience in developing high-level talent . Enter Tom Price.
Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield, said “It was clear from the beginning that Tom Prince fit that mold perfectly, and we’re thrilled to have him lead our staff in Toledo.”
Price spent the last three seasons as the Major League bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates, after serving as the club’s Minor League Field Coordinator in 2016.
What attracted Tigers front office to Price is his blend of Major and Minor League coaching experience which is well respected throughout baseball. With the Detroit Tigers preparing to send many top prospects to Toledo, a strong leader was needed.
People across baseball have noticed the young core of talented players the Tigers have built over the last few years. Price’s job is getting players to focus on playing fundamentally sound and winning baseball.
Last season, the Detroit Tigers hired former Pirates hitting coach Jeff Branson as the organization’s roving hitting instructor. Branson has received positive marks for his contributions in 2019. This is all setting up the porganization for post rebuild success.
Upon learning he was getting the Mud Hens manager job. Tom Price said, “This is a tremendously exciting time to be in the Detroit Tigers organization, especially playing a role in what’s grown to be a top-tier player development system.”
This is a very solid move for the Tigers to make. The Tigers are confident that Price’s leadership both in the clubhouse and on the field will be impactful and will prepare them to excel at the Major League level. Many around MLB applauded the move that can do nothing but prepare the team to lay the foundation of winning.
Embed from Getty Images In a calculated move by Disney, when the mega company launched Disney Plus streaming, it did so with specific shows in mind. It has now been confirmed, that the December 20 release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will directly be tied in with “Star Wars Rebels” as well as “The Clone Wars.” Both shows are on Disney Plus.
Star Wars creator, George Lucas said he expected The Clone Wars to run for four or five years, but planned to produce at least 100 episodes regardless of ratings. The show exploded. It was a huge hit.
When the show was cancelled, many graphic novels were released the continued the story. The show proved so popular with the die-hard fans, who repeatedly petitioned for the revival of the series, often using the social media hashtag #SaveTheCloneWars.
The show will indeed have a seventh season due to the relentless fans. Now with the final Skywalker film set to be released, it is said to connect both the film series as well as the popular shows.
Fans have hit Star Wars fever-pitch, with what looks like and epic-ending.
Embed from Getty Images Jim Harbaugh was brought to Michigan to close the gap on Ohio State. Talent, coaching, recruits scores and wins. He has not delivered on that yet. In fact one might say it has worsened. The Michigan Wolverines lost on their own field 56-27. This on the heals of losing last season in Columbus, Ohio 62-39.
Two schools headed in different directions. Ohio State to the Big Ten title game, with a shot at the College Football Playoffs, Michigan will head to a bowl game with it’s psyche shattered again. It is a yearly broken record.
To examine why Ohio State has beaten Michigan over and over, the first place to look is in the coaching. Be it Jim Tressel, Urban Meyer, or Ryan Day for Ohio State or Rich Rodriguez, Brady Hoke or Jim Harbaugh for Michigan. Ohio State has been better prepared for this game, “The Game” over the years.
Sure the Michigan fan base and media has heard how serious the Wolverines take this game, but the on-field production does not match the empty words spoken. It takes more than words and players walking around in T-shirts with last seasons score on it to get ready to play.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields put it as plainly as could be “I just think we take it more serious than they do.” TRUTH! Michigan has regained dominance over Michigan State. Ohio State does not seem that important to the Wolverines based on the play they have shown on the field for a while now.
Michigan defensive end Aiden Hutchinson said “I didn’t see this coming.” That is telling. He thought his team was ready to compete. Everyone thought Michigan was ready to compete. Instead fans chose to believe the hollow words and not the facts.
The Ohio State coaching staff made some very good in-game adjustments and were very disciplined. Michigan made no in-game adjustments and were not as disciplined. That did not hurt the Wolverines as much as poor execution. 9 dropped passed, as well as turnovers killed Wolverines offensive drives.
Still Michigan has beaten Notre Dame and the Spartans this season. For people who say Harbaugh can not beat his rivals, he beat two of them. To beat Ohio State changes need to be made starting with the approach.