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.
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.
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.
Embed from Getty Images 1-6 in rivalry games. Including the 2018 game one loss to Notre Dame. No matter how you slice it that is unacceptable. Perhaps the expectations need to be lowered.
Jim Harbaugh should be on a burning hot seat. He was brought to Michigan to win big games and has not done it. No matter his “this is the beginning” comment he made after yet another loss to a ranked team.
Shea Patterson, looks the part of a solid quarterback. However, Michigan still can not run the ball. The offensive line looks the same it has for 4 years now. Bad. Horrible.
Jim Harbaugh wants to win his way. That is good and all. But his way clearly does not net the results. All the talk this offseason was centered around how improved the offensive line was and how good the defense was.
That is simply not true. Notre Dame sliced through the Wolverines defense. The team was flagged time and time again for all sorts of penalties. The offensive line was aweful.
Big mistakes have over-shadowed the Michigan football team for 4 years now. The fan base is uneasy. For Harbaugh to keep his job the team building needs to amp up.
The losses are mounting. 4 years in they should be easing up and the bleeding coming to an end. They are not. The bottom line is Michigan football is nowhere close to being a contender for anything.
That should not be the focus. The focus should be improving. All over the board. Jim Harbaugh, may find the heat turned up as the season goes on.
Embed from Getty Images While I do believe the Detroit Tigers are as bad as their record. I also believe they may be tanking a bit. Giving the franchise another top 5 draft pick in next June’s MLB draft, and that is alright.
In a week that saw the Tigers finish 1-5 against teams that were suppose to be worse than them. There is little question the tank is on. As I have stated before it is the quickest way to competitive baseball. Like it or not.
It seems the Detroit Tigers front office, has chosen bad unwatchable baseball over wining. For the Tigers too add to an already rising minor league systems this is the best rout for the organization to take. To the dismay of some of the fan base.
In a season that has seen Matt Manning, Alex Faedo, Christian Stewart, Jake Robson, Daz Cameron, Kody Clemens, Isaac Paredes dominate in the minors adding another top 3 draft pick would do nothing more than speed up the rebuild.
Impatient fans will try to say Tigers general manager Al Avila has not done enough or done things fast enough for their liking. That is a joke. In today’s MLB it is all about drafting assets and developing that talent to keep them together for a prolonged playoff run.
It will not happen next season either. The Detroit Tigers, are on a 2020 trajectory for a return to competitive baseball. There is absolutely no reason to rush player development.
There is also no reason to think Al Avila is doing a bad job. Baseball rebuilds take time. When done right, it is well worth the wait. When the season started the Detroit Tigers minor leagues were ranked 30th. They are now #9.
#9 staring at another top 3 draft pick. Detroit is doing this the right way. That is good news.
Embed from Getty Images As the Detroit Pistons training camp inches closer. New Pistons head coach Dwane Casey who is known as a player developer has an opportunity to put his finger prints on the 2018-19 Detroit squad.
Let us start with a player who has been a puzzle so far in his playing career. Stanley Johnson, he seems like a prime target to take a monumental step forward this season.
Miss used by previous Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, who put Johnson on the perimeter even though he lacks the shooting touch from out there. Expect Casey, to use Johnson’s size and power down low.
I fully expect a man who just won the NBA coach of the year to do similar things with all the Pistons players. Blake Griffin, who is at his best inside the paint has no business shoot from the outside.
Andre Drummond is actually a big man who can shoot from the outside and I believe Casey will allow his to do that more often. The NBA is all about a balanced roster. In other sports coaches can mask weak spots. In the NBA players are all front and center. No one to hide behind.
A better Deeeeeetroit basketball coaching staff is going to make a big difference. There is no maybe about it. The Pistons roster is ready to win now. Are they a championship team? That remains to be seen.
Teams like Boston and Cleveland are not as good headed into this year as they have been in years past. The East is wide open. So why not the Pistons>
Embed from Getty Images Given poor performances this preseason. There is a real doubt the Matt Patricia lead Detroit Lions are ready for the 2018-19 NFL season to start. That has Detroit Lions fans feeling unsettled.
The Detroit Lions offense looks out of sync. The Detroit Lions defense looks like it does not have a clue. The Detroit Lions regular season starts soon.
Matt Patricia is bringing a complex defense that is unlike the Detroit Lions have ever used. It is a proven defense. Just ask the New England Patriots. You can say “it is only preseason.” But the defensive unit has not improved. At all.
The Lions secondary has been lit up like a Christmas tree. The reads have been off due to lining up in different spots on the field. Tackles have been missed as players try to figure out who exactly has who on the field during a play.
The Detroit offense, Matthew Stafford is the only player on this unit there is not worry and/or concern for. The offensive line has yet again looked offensive. The Detroit Lions look like a total mess.
I believe part of it is they simply do not have the right players to play “Patricia ball.” Speaking of Matt Patricia, his team looks bad and has played uninsipired through 3 preseason games. Patricia is struggling to grasp when to use timeouts.
For the Detroit Lions to show improvement. Matt Patricia must show he can learn from his mistakes. As of this minute. He is not helping Lions general manager Bob Quinn out.
Quinn, who brought his friend and buddy Patricia in to get the Detroit Lions over the hump and advance in the NFL playoffs has egg on his face as of right now. Unless things drastically change the Detroit Lions are going to have a very bad season.
That would not be getting the team over the hump.
Embed from Getty Images Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh is known for developing quarterbacks. As he enters his fourth season on the Michigan sidelines Harbaugh finally has his guy.
Jim Harbaugh, the quarterback whisperer. Sounds silly. Yet, look what he did at Stanford with Andrew Luck. Ok, that is not entirely fair. How about as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Colin Kaepernick. Before he refused to stand. Harbaugh, coached him and went to the Super Bowl. Jim Harbaugh left the Bay area and Kaepernick’s play took a dive.
In his time at Michigan, coach Harbaugh has been searching for his quarterback. Oh he did well with what he had. The Wolverines went to Bowl games. But now enters Old Miss transfer Shea Patterson.
Shea Patterson, is the best quarterback talent Harbaugh has had since the aforementioned Andrew Luck. Patterson though has a stronger arm. He can run. He does not turn the ball over.
Teammates, want a quarterback who is a leader. Jake Ruddock, Wilton Speight and John O’Korn ok quarterbacks. None none of which were leaders. In 2017 Shea’s last season at Old Miss he threw for 2,259 yards, 9 int’s with a QBR of 63.8.
In my opinion, Jim Harbaugh picked Shea Patterson over Brandon Peters for two reasons. Given the fact Michigan football has the toughest schedule in the Big 10 and Peters lacks experience and also the fact Patterson comes from the SEC and has beaten top programs it was a rather easy pick.
Brandon Peters will be the backup. Shea Patterson will be under center week one. September 1st when the Wolverines invade Notre Dame. Given the Michigan Wolverines #1 rated defense heading into the season. Patterson now gives the offense better balance.
As tough as the Big 10 East is. The Wolverines should give teams fits. It all starts soon. Hail to the Victors.
Embed from Getty Images It is only preseason…. it is only preseason…… it is only preseason. Like many Detroit Lions fans this is what I keep reminding myself. However preseason aside. The Lions have serious problems.
The Detroit Lions have struggled, on both the offensive line and defensive line. The offensive line which was Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s biggest targets in both the NFL draft and free agency has not been in sink. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been sacked 3 times in two preseason games.
Both Kenny Wiggins and Graham Glasgow have gotten off to bad starts. The offensive line has good talent. They must clean up on blocking and individual mistakes. Which certainly could happen.
The defensive line is a whole mess. A’ Shawn Robinson, has been well horrible. The second round 2016 draftee has put in back- to- back bad performances. Against the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants. He missed would be tackles and was shoved out of the way by offensive linemen. At 6′ 4″, 322 lbs he should not simply get pushed around.
Through two preseason games the Detroit Lions have been sloppy. Blown blocks, way too many penalties and not holding onto the ball. This is the part of the preseason where teams are starting to gel and gain momentum to head into the regular season with. Time is ticking. Lions head coach Matt Patrica knows it.
The good in all of the bad play was that Detroit Lions players were mad. After the game. Veterans called out under performing players. As it should be. Players were very quick to praise the work that coach Patrica and his staff has done in preparing the players, The players understand it is all on them.
Still it needs to come together. Soon. Coaches do not coach sloppiness. Matt Patricia is a stickler for detail. He was not in a talking mood after Friday’s loss at the hands of the Giants. He only said “things need to get cleaned up.”
It is only preseason…. it is only preseason…. it is only preseason. But soon it will not be.
Embed from Getty Images For all intent and purpose the Detroit Tigers season is over. Losing has final taken it’s grip. The good news though is Tigers prospects continue to shoot through the system.
I go from Franklin Perez to Daz Cameron, in which player I like more. Both Detroit Tigers prospects came to the organization via the Justin Verlander trade last season. Perez a starting pitcher has been hurt most of this season though still widely considered a can not miss prospect.
Then there is the dynamic center fielder Daz Cameron. Though rated as the Tigers #7 prospect I have him higher. As in #5. He may very well be the centerpiece of the Verlander trade. Cameron went from High A ball, to Double A, Erie Seawolves and today has been promoted to Triple a, Toledo Mud Hens.
Cameron demanded to promotion with his play. In 53 games, Daz is hitting .285, five home runs and 35 RBI along with 22 stolen bases. Daz Cameron is the son of former MLB center fielder Michael Cameron. Daz is that good.
Also on the move in the Detroit Tigers pipeline is 2B Kody Clemens and OF Brock Deatherage who are moving from Single A, West Michigan Whitecaps to High A, Lakeland Flying Tigers.
Also on the move is outfielder Parker Meadows. He appears headed from Gulf Coast League to Penn League affiliate. the biggest mover is SS Wenceel Perez. Wenceel, at 18 years old has made a big impression. Hitting .317 the Dominican Republic native looks like a tremendous pickup.
Even in a rebuild there is a lot to keep and eye. The Detroit Tigers minor leagues have some very good talent. Talent the will soon find itself on the Comerica Park field.