Detroit Lions; With Matt Patricia the team will be fundamentally sound

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions, have had talented players but they have not always had coaches that teach proper fundamentals. Under new head coach Matt Patricia that will change.

The aftermath of the 2018 NFL draft is upon us and mini camps are set to open next week. That said the Detroit Lions, start in a new direction one that is based in fundamentally sound play.

Lions fans, can expect the team to play more sound, cut down on penalties, and play tougher than in seasons past. Patricia, has set the as the new norm in Detroit.

Patricia, while in New England with the Patriots had his defensive unit ready every play, every snap, every down. That is what is coming to the Lions. Attention to detail.

Matt Patricia’s defenses never self imploded as he coached them. The Detroit Lions, had moments sometime big moments of self implosion. That angered and frustrated the fan base at times.

I am not sure if that was the fault of previous Lions head coaches or assistant coaches. But there were times the staff was clearly not on the same page.

I fully expect that to be in the past as the Detroit Lions step in a new direction. A direction that is going to be chalked full of fundamental accountability.

Detroit Tigers: Matt Harvey should not be an option

Embed from Getty Images The rebuilding Detroit Tigers, need to stay focused. As I have stated in the past no quick band-aids should be applied.  Yesterday the New York Mets ,designated Harvey for assignment. He refused and is now a free agent. Detroit should not employ him.

Only a few years ago Matt Harvey was on top of the world. Almost winning the 2013 NL Cy Young award then in 2014 Harvey, missed the whole season and had  Tommy John surgery. He has failed to bounce back.

This season has been rough so far for the former budding ace. When the New York Mets, asked Matt to move to the bullpen he refused. Forcing the Mets, to cut ties with him.

Unless Matt Harvey, is willing to reinvent himself in the bullpen like John Smoltz did years ago. He may have a hard time finding a job. No matter his decorated past. Teams look at the now.

A former shell of his former self is the biggest reason the Detroit Tigers should stay far away. This season and most of next will be throw aways in Motown anyway.

It sure does not look like Harvey, has anything left in the tank. Early word is the New York Yankees have no interest in him. Not that they dictate what other teams do. But, if the Yankees had interest so would other teams.

Detroit Tigers: draft prospect profile Casey Mize

Embed from Getty Images The 2018 MLB draft is five weeks away. The Detroit Tigers, holding the first pick in the draft could do worse than Auburn University’s, Casey Mize.

Not sure where to even start in about Mize. He has simply dominated the SEC. MLB pipeline has Casey, listed as the number one draft prospect . 

Casey Mize, is a four pitch machine. His fastball in the mid 90’s, his split finger fastball (his absolute best pitch) hits the high 80’s. Along with a cutter and a curve/slider combo much like the one current Detroit Tigers Alex Faedo ,throws.

He may have some arm issues due to his mechanics. Nothing that can not be corrected. Certainly nothing that will keep him from being a staff ace. He is that good.

The Detroit Tigers, should waste little time call Casey Mize’s name draft day evening. He is very polished and will need very little minor league seasoning. The Detroit, pitching staff has the makings of being nasty when the dust from the rebuild settles.

The best news is Casey Mize could go directly to Detroit, after the draft. That is how advanced he is.

Michigan Woverines: Harbaugh must deliver

Embed from Getty Images He came to Ann Arbor with much promise. One problem. Jim Harbaugh, has yet to come close to the lofty expectations.

Jim Harbaugh, brought in NFL coaches to help bring Michigan Wolverines, football back to the national picture. Year one started and ended on a positive note. Then the backwards steps were take.

So, this past offseason Harbaugh, fired nearly all of his offensive coaches. That is a bold move. Jim, insisted he was not informed to do so by the athletic director, school president, boosters or alumni.

Even though it seemed like a final grasp at a straw. Given his work he gets a pass on this one. Since coming to Michigan Jim Harbaugh, has been searching for a good solid quarterback. Enter Old Miss, transfer Shea Patterson. There is now no excuse.

Patterson, is good it is safe to say he is the best Harbaugh has had at Michigan. This season wins must come against Michigan State and Ohio State. No longer one or the other.

Michigan’s fan base is on the brink of turning against a coach they all wanted. It could be safe to say be careful what you wish for. It does need to be mentioned that all the players on the roster are now completely Jim Harbaugh’s. No more Brady Hoke holdovers.

If this is not a make or break season it is very close. All though an Ohio State media outlet had Michigan firing him after the Bowl loss. That was wishful thinking and poor reporting.

So as Spring practice winds down. All eyes will be on Jim Harbaugh.

Detroit Tigers: prospect profile Dawel Lugo

Embed from Getty Images He came to the Detroit Tigers, minor league system from Arizona when Detroit shipped slugging outfielder J.D. Martinez, to the Diamond Backs. Dawel Lugo has surpassed his prospect scouting.

Dawel, was projected and still may end up being a utility player for the Tigers. He is an above average fielder at both 3B and 2B. What has caught the Detroit Tigers eye so for this young baseball season is Dawel Lugo, is hitting.

Lugo, is playing in Toledo with the Mud hens. He is hitting .296 and leads the Hens, in doubles and has knocked in 10 runs. His glove was never an issue.

He faces tough competition trying to crash the Detroit Tigers, infield once the rebuild is done. With Kody Eaves, who also plays both 2B and 3B. In my opinion Eaves, is the 2B of the future.

Dawel Luso, does have value in that he can be a late inning substitution in the field or a nice bat off the bench. No matter how the Tigers, choose to use Dawel, he can help them.

Detroit Tigers, fans can be somewhat happy the Detroit, scouting department seems to have found a real gem in Dawel Lugo. Even if he is a role player.

Detroit Lions: Nick Bawden

Embed from Getty Images Right after the 2017-18 Detroit Lions season ended the team did away with the fullback position. Now out of San Diego State they have drafted one.

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn, continued his quest to upgrade the teams running game. Nick Bawden, Has blocked for two 1,000 yard rushers at San Diego State.

Nick, is a stron. blocker who sheds would be tacklers and paves the way for the running back.  He also has great hands and is a weapon in the pass game.

Bawden was recruited out of high school as a quarterback and has a good understanding of the offense. He does need to take better angles to the defenders at times.

Nick Bawden is a punisher of a blocker leading many experts to believe he was not going to be drafted but sign as a free agent. The Detroit Lions, in desperate need of a run game overhaul took Nick in the seventh round.

Bob Quinn, went out of his way to improve the Lions ground game in the draft. Perhaps, the thought was start from scratch. Bring in a center, right gaurd, running back and fullback. Have them young and allow them time to grow and gel together.

That is not a bad move. It could yield the Lions, high rewards.

Detroit Lions: Tyrell Crosby

Embed from Getty Images Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn, continues to upgrade the Lions, offensive line with offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby from Oregon University.

At 6′ 5″ 309 lbs Crosby is a big tackle. He is an above average run an pass blocker. Who some how fell into the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft until Detroit, ended his fall.

Tyrell uses his hands and arms very well to get leverage on defenders. He is a polished blocker. For his size he has good balanced and is not usually moved. Crosby, is a A tough nosed player and plays with a chip on his shoulder.

Detroit Lions, front office and coaching staff had to be hooked when they saw Tyrell Crosby  pushes around defenders with little effort. It is always a good thing when players are brought in to push other players to get the most out of a unit.

Bob Quinn, has been improving the offensive line since he took over as the teams general manager three years ago. He has done a masterful job of transforming this unit into a solid group.

One drawback is that Crosby, Does not have the greatest speed. But that is yet to hurt his game. He was often double teamed while playing at Oregon.

In short Bob Quinn and the Detroit Lions, stole this pick. Tyrell Crosby was projected to be a top three round draft pick. To get him in the fifth round is unbelievable value for the pick.

Detroit Lions: Da’Shawn Hand

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions, who will begin to switch their defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4 needed both more beef up front. As well as a pass rusher. Enter 300 lbs defensive end Da’Shawn Hand.

At the University of Alabama Da’Shawn Hand struggled to find consistent play. He did not become a starter for the Crimson Tide until this past season. His season saw good progress.

His long arm length helps Da’ Shawn close would be running lanes and alters the plans of running backs. For a big player he has fantastic balance. He has versatility to his game. He is fast enough to play end on the 3-4 or 3-technique in a 4-3 formation.

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia,  earlier said the Lions would not commit to one or the other formation but would lineup in either given the situation. Making Hand, a solid pick.

While at Alabama  Da’Shawn Hand, missed 3 games due to a sprained MCL.  He has trouble consistently rushing the passer.  Despite having all the physical tools Detroit Lions, defensive coaches are going to have to work to help him find consistent play.

I have little doubt they can do the job. Lions, general manager Bob Quinn has yet to miss on a draft pick. I think by getting Da’ Shawn Hand in the fourth round they got a solid player with room to both improve and grow.

Given the Detroit, coaching staff this may be a steal of a draft pick.

Detroit Lions: Tracy Walker

Embed from Getty Images At 6′ 1″ new Detroit Lions,  Tracy Walker was brought in with an eye on the future. For good reason. He’s a hitter.

Walker, is a very fluid athlete. He gets to the ball with little problem. As a three year starter at Louisiana-Lafayette he was an absolute ball-hawk. That is a plus given the talent in Detroit’s secondary.

He has a very quick first step and is fast to the point of attack. Tracy Walker does seem to have one speed and has been beaten deep. Leading me to believe he will play in a lot of zone situation.

Again the Detroit Lions, have a very good secondary so if Walker, plays zone he could also be a stand out special teams player given his instincts for getting to the ball.

Not too mention current Detroit Lions safety Quandre Diggs is entering the final year of his contract and has not developed as well as Lions, general manage Bob Quinn had hoped.

Detroit Lions head coach, Matt Patrica is famously known for coaching players up to a higher level than the players draft status could bode well for Tracy Walker.

He has the natural instincts that coaches look for and that can’t be taught. Getting to the ball before the pass is in the air. It will be fun to see just what Patricia and his coaching staff can do to elevate Walkers game.

Detroit Lions: Kerryon Johnson

Embed from Getty Images The Detroit Lions needed to upgrade a woeful running game. In day (actually night two) of the 2018 NFL draft they got a player who can help. A lot.

Kerryon Johnson, drafted out of Auburn University is a smooth runner. He also hits holes quickly. Johnson also is not afraid to lower his shoulders into would be tacklers.

The Detroit Lions, have lacked a bruiser at tail back for some time. Kerryon ends that search. He may also end the playing days of Ameer Abdullah . That is not a bad thing.

Kerryon Johnson, can step in from day one and be an impact back in the Detroit offense. Taking pressure off of quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Lions, may have just pushed the franchise closer to a championship.

One thing that Johnson, must work on is taking a hand off a go straight into a forward leaning run position. There were times while at Auburn Kerryon Johnson, stood straight up and down and took a beating behind the line of scrimmage.

Over all this is an outstanding pick by Detroit general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia. The Detroit Lions, offense is now better balanced with the addition of first round draft pick center Frank Ragnow, and now running back Kerryon Johnson.

Kerryon can handle a heavy work load. He is a solid pass blocker and although he wasn’t asked to catch the ball much out of the backfield. When call upon he delivered.