A longtime Lions fan I am. And I still long for a Wayne Fontes kind of season where my team performs beyond their likely capability. This is not that season. Again.
On Monday night why did we know that 61 yard field goal would be good before it was even kicked? Deep down we believed it was likely it would be good. And why did we know that botched two point conversion would bite us in the behind?
We knew it because we are Lions fans. We’ve come to expect mediocrity from what most every NFL announcer declares as “One of the most talented teams” in the league. Dang. What is going wrong then?
We can talk owner and top management. Unfortunately we can protest all we want, but the Ford family is not selling regardless of how good or bad they are for our team. We’re stuck with them.
So let’s talk someone who we can protest. Sure, our head coach is a likable guy. One writer who went to high school with him wrote about how smart he. But. What about all that talent. Ponder these things and suggest I am wrong if you will?
Stafford is still a young quarterback. He has more than a cannon for an arm. He could throw it underhand fifty hards if he wanted. But this is the NFL. Sidearm throws, not getting that back let set, and his mechanics are messed up whenever he so chooses. Why has this coaching staff not taught him how to play this game?
He is accurate when he sets. He is smart when he chooses. He could still be an elite quarterback. Yet he trows interceptions like candy at the Christmas parade, and nobody on the sidelines ever gets upset with him. I keep thinking - Get in his freaking face. He’s getting paid millions. Teach him something!
Then I realize on third and one yard and again on third and two yards, both intercepted passes, were thrown three yards downfield. Who calls that play? My eleven year old son is sitting shaking his head after seeing each of those plays. This is not football. This is stupid. Manning nor Brady make those throws because those plays are not called from their respective sidelines. Why then make our young quarterback make those throws?
Developing a quarterback is also about image. Can Stafford lead? It seems the Ford family knows something about projecting image. Why has nobody told Stafford that wearing a backwards hat after games makes him look like a punk instead of a leader. I love Stafford, but that hat! Can not the coach tell him that he needs to become a leader? Seriously, leadership is about moving beyond college quarterbacking. Help him grow up. That is your job Jim Schwartz.
Focus. Focus. Focus. For the diehard Lions fans we know it. We just do not want to admit it. Our great talent is not focused. Or at least they are not focused for an entire game. The defensive line jumps offside like school children standing at spooky doors on Halloween. Stupid. Very stupid, Unsportsman penalties are also about focus. Every second of every play really does count. How many times do we shake our heads wondering ‘Why did he just do that’ about any given player on our beloved team?
Megatron. We all love him. He is our candy even in this bittersweet season. We know he is capable of so much more though. Why does the club not hire good psychologist to work with him on focus if necessary. He just needs to be coached. Coaches make players better. They are not indifferent when our best player leads the leauge in dropped passes.
Time to resign. With a one point lead and just over a minute to play, the Ravens were facing forth down. Instead of taking a timeout in case another score was necessary, Schwartz watched the clock run down another thirty seconds. Did he not realize the best kicker in the league would probably make the field goal? Those of us who were watching and not paid to coach that game all knew. We knew. To shrug this off suggests there was not even one assistant coach on the sideline with a headset asking the question. TIMEOUT!!!
The thought of all that talent getting older with the same coach on the sideline again next summer must be painstaking for Lions fans. eWe have not found a coach to support since Wayne Fontes at least motivated players and got us to the playoffs more years than not. We are the ones paying tickets, watching idiotic television commercials so we can watch the game. We are even buying club gear this Christmas season. We deserve better.
We like you coach. We just are not winning. Give us a Christmas present and resign with dignity. You deserve it. Your players deserve it. And so do we.