Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't Believe the Hype, the Lions will not Roar in 2009

As baseball season sets to go into their stretch run towards the playoffs, other sports are getting ready to begin their training camps and pre season games.

NFL training camps started this past weekend. Fans are anxiously waiting with bated breath to see how that new draft pick, free agent signee, or coach affects their team. Some teams are looking to build upon their success last year, and others are trying desperately to forget the 2008 season.

The Detroit Lions recently started their training camp under a new coaching regime. This new staff, led by a 1st year head coach, is changing the attitude in Detroit. The practices are more intense, the players are showing marked improvement over last year already, and the rookie quarterback that they drafted in the 1st round is looking great! This year is going to be different for Lions fans.

Sorry…my mistake. That’s actually what is reported each time the Lions start training camp under a new coach.

Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself…
In a fight to change the attitude of the Detroit Lions organization, first-year head coach Marty Mornhinweg delivered the first blow at the start of an afternoon training camp session Monday.
Mornhinweg threw his sunglasses on the ground 35 minutes into the practice at Saginaw Valley State and kicked all of his players off the field.
All of the commotion was unexpected following the Lions toughest workout in the morning session, which Mornhinweg called "the best two-minute drill on offense that I've seen this early in a season since I began coaching."
- CnnSi.com 7/30/01

Tywan Mitchell, a tight end signed for depth over the weekend, failed to hustle downfield on a possession pass play. Mariucci got in his face and sternly said, " You got to get up and go." Within minutes, he prodded running backs to finish carries in team drills that start at the opponent’s 30-yard line and always end up in the end zone. Any lack of attention to detail brings out the fire in Mariucci.
"Coach Mariucci is a very, very precise, very detail-oriented person," Harrington said. "He speaks in a meeting and acts it on the field, and that's what people respect. That's why people here are rallying around him. He tells you exactly what he wants on the field. He hammers it home and doesn't expect anything less than perfect."
- ESPN.com 7/30/03

I’ve always coached real strong players,” said Marinelli. “And when we get on that field it should be competitive every day in practice. I like that. Both sides trying to compete. How important it is to win every drill, every group period, how important that is to winning.”
I guess they know how much I like football,” said Marinelli. “They know how hard I’ll push them. They’ll all identify with that. I’m going to make them all accountable. They’re different personalities, but they’re all strong. I like that. You just tell them what you need, tell them what you want. And then you stay after it and stay after it and stay after it. It’s a daily effort. And they see how hard I go after them every day. You just love it. It’s fun.”
- DetroitLions.com 2/6/06
See? Each new coach that is hired is going to bring in this “new” attitude and change the franchise. Since 2001, this “new” attitude has gotten them an astounding record of 31-97 AND the dubious honor of being the only team to go 0-16 in NFL history.
But now the Lions have hired Jim Schwartz to come in to coach, Matthew Stafford to be the future franchise quarterback, and instilled a new attitude that will make Lions fans forget 2008.
I used to be a Lions fan. After so many years of getting hyped up and excited about this new attitude that the Lions are going to have, only to be disappointed in their performance on the field, I decided to resign as a fan of the Detroit Lions.
It took me 32 years before I finally realized that the Lions are never going to be a good football team. They will make a lot of changes each off season that will make fans excited about the team. They then take all of that excitement, attach a huge anchor to it, and toss it into the lake. It stays at the bottom of that lake until the following training camp, where it will miraculously resurface and be full of hope and promise…only to be tossed back into the lake again.
Can you see a pattern here?
But hey, this is 2009. Jim Schwartz has issued in a new era. Matthew Stafford was the right guy to pick #1. Right??
Only time will tell. I honestly hope that the Lions do well. I really do. But I’m not going to hold my breath anymore. I got tired of being thrown into the lake.


Anonymous said...

You're forgetting one major aspect and that is that Matt Millen is gone this year. He was largely responsible for the last decade of utter suckness. His absence will probably not have a huge impact this year, but over the next two or three years they will hopefully be a much better team. 2009= 5-11

Matt Musk said...

Yes, Millen was largely responsible for the debacle of the last decade. However, both of the guys that are running the show in his place (Mayhew & Lewand) are both Millen guys. Only time will tell if they will work out. Hopefully they will be a better team over the next few years. 5-11 is a bold prediction for this year though. My pick is 3-13.