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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.

9/22/2008

Lions-49ers postgame thoughts

Can I take it back? My post from the other day, the one where I wrote that the Lions aren't No.-1-overall-pick bad? Three weeks into the season, three horrible losses and three lifeless starts later, I'd like to change my mind.

Kansas City and St. Louis might be worse. Oakland could have a new coach by daybreak tomorrow. Miami's bad, but it just snapped New England's 21-game regular-season win streak.

The Lions? They'll find a way to win three games this year, NFL teams always do. But there's not a sure thing left on the schedule. Chicago at home in two weeks? Washington? Maybe Thanksgiving against a surprising Tennessee team or Oct. 19 at Houston?

I'm guilty of overestimating the Lions' talent. I didn't think they were world beaters by any means, but I didn't realize just how mediocre the defense is or how bland the offense can be.

Lions coach Rod Marinelli has no concrete answers for what ails his team, publicly at least. Deep down I'm sure he knows how bereft of talent his roster is, but he'll never admit as much. Instead, he's left repeating lines like this one he uttered Sunday: "We've got to make plays. Players and coaches both. We've got to make plays and we're not doing that."

Marinelli promised changes when the Lions return from their bye week, only there aren't a lot of moves he can make. At some point this year, Drew Stanton will take over as quarterback (Jon Kitna sprained a knee Sunday, but I think Stanton's day is still a few weeks away). On defense, Marinelli said the Lions will blitz more.

Truth is, the Lions lack the playmakers up front to be anything other than ordinary. They've forced one turnover and have three sacks through three games, and Sunday against a San Francisco team that ranked last in the NFL in both categories they had one sack and no takeaways.

After the game, receiver Roy Williams did his best to stay positive about what looks like a lost season, but even he didn't sound convinced.

"We got a chance to turn it around," he said. "We're in the NFC, maybe 8-8 will get you in."

A few more post-49ers thoughts to end the night:

• San Francisco quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan was sacked eight times last week. The Lions got to him once. "They moved the pocket, obviously," defensive end Dewayne White said. "And then he didn't look to throw the ball when we did put pressure on him. He took off running, which it's hard to get sacks when he's making decisions like the pocket collapses and I'm gone."

• How bleak are the Lions' hopes now? Just five teams in NFL history have started 0-3 and reached the playoffs. The Bills a decade ago are the last team to do it. The 1995 Lions — they finished 10-6 — also are on the list.

• Jordon Dizon missed Sunday's game with a neck injury, but there's no reason for the Lions to keep him on the bench now. Ryan Nece filled Dizon's spot as the backup middle linebacker against San Fran. He got burned down the middle by Delanie Walker for the 49ers' third touchdown.

• Right guard Stephen Peterman, who fractured his hand in the fourth quarter, on the Lions ugly start: "It sucks, man. It sucks. We start in like March 1, I remember coming back, starting workouts, go up through the whole damn offseason, doing the running, pushing sleds, OTAs, meetings, getting the new offense, feel excited and just now it just sucks because there's so much hard work a lot of guys have put in. Everybody thought it was the right chemistry here and for some reason we're just not winning, and it sucks because we put in the work. I don't know what to say."

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave -

like i said, you're much to good a writer to be covering these losers. can't believe shitna got sacked by paris hilton. wait, yes i can, she IS a slut after all.

they benched smith for rudi, time to bench shitna for stanton.

11:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the San Jose Mercury news. What could have been if the Lions had the talent. The Lions will be no better than 2 - 14 this year if they are lucky. Blow the team up including Millen, start over, it can't get any worse.

Kawakami: 49ers carry Martz's imprint
By Tim Kawakami
Mercury News Columnist
Article Launched: 09/21/2008 10:24:56 PM PDT

http://www.mercurynews.com/49ersheadlines/ci_10526688?nclick_check=1

He's not the head coach, of course. That's still Mike Nolan's job title and salary slot.

Martz is only the offensive coordinator, and he isn't doing the drafting or the big-picture thinking. Martz might not be here for much longer — he'll get a top job next season if things continue to go well and he'll get fired if things don't.

But after viewing the fourth-quarter events during Sunday's easy 49ers 31-13 victory over woeful Detroit, you'd have to say that, in the tussle for the 49ers' 2008 stylistic soul, Martz has clearly won it.

And Nolan has conceded it.

Nobody was quite saying that in the postgame locker-room conversations — surely not Nolan and definitely not Martz, who declined interview requests for the third consecutive game.

Oh well. It's obvious: This team runs by Martz's biorhythms now, on his pace, with his aggressiveness, and that's not a bad thing at all (based on the past three years).

It's the Martz imprint — risky, daring, cocky and never, ever boring. It's the 49ers, a la Martz.

"You mean like running up and down and throwing the ball?" Frank Gore said with a bright smile after gaining 130 yards in 27 carries.

And going for it on fourth-and-goal? "Getting touchdowns," Gore finished, happier than ever.

Yeah, that is different.

Sometimes it happens slowly, sometimes it happens fast, and
sometimes it happens in front of 67,000-plus at Candlestick Park and a regional television audience against the team that dispatched Martz after last season.

At some point, the dominant coaching personality emerges and takes over and it just so happens that that moment came for the 49ers with 9:37 left, with the 49ers ahead 21-6.

Nolan decided to kick a field goal on fourth-and-one, as Nolan has done so often in his 49ers coaching career. Then Nolan hesitated and called a timeout. Then he conferred with Martz, who did all of the talking.

Then the 49ers went for it, as Martz wandered back to his usual isolated spot 40 yards from the line of scrimmage.

And the 49ers scored on a reverse to Allen Rossum to salt away this easy victory.

Martz was immediately bathed in congratulations — mostly by the defensive players — then Nolan quick-walked his way over to Martz's position, stopped about 20 yards away, pointed at his coordinator and gave him a quick "thumbs-up" sign.

"Great job," Nolan said later when asked what he was communicating to his offensive coordinator at that moment.

Later, Martz raised his fist as he left the field to a chorus of fan appreciation.

So yes, it was only against 0-3 Detroit. Yes, it was in the fairly meaningless fourth quarter of a dominating 49ers performance.

But that would never have happened in previous Nolan administrations. The J.T. O'Sullivan Experience would never have happened in previous Nolan administrations.

The bubbling and true excitement in the locker room about this balanced, productive offense — 182 rushing yards, 188 passing on Sunday — never would have happened in previous Nolan administrations.

"You never know what you're going to get from a Mike Martz offense," Rossum said. "I sit back and I'm in awe of just the brain that he has.

"We haven't even begun to delve into our playbook."

The man behind all that was Martz, and he wasn't talking. We don't know if he was doing a little running up the score against his old team with that call or just making a point to his own team or what. He was silent. But everything is changed now.

"Yeah, that's definitely his influence," receiver Arnaz Battle said.

To be clear, Nolan wanted to emphasize that it was the head coach, not the offensive coordinator, who made the decision to go for it. I believe Nolan, at least on the surface. It was his call.

"Just like when we don't make it," Nolan said, "that's my decision, too."

After a timeout. And a consultation with Martz. And Martz is the guy who called the play. So you decide who's the alpha-coach here.

The 49ers are 2-1, moving the ball with relative consistency, and you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind to figure out why they're so different.

It's one guy. It's the new guy. How can you argue that

1:57 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ONLY way this team will get better is if ford sells the team to someone who gives a damn AND knows how to run a franchise and then dies. nothing more, nothing less.

2:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O.M.M.F.G

W.T.F kinda BULLSHIT elmer fudd presser was THAT?!?

jesus christ, i'm convinced now more than ever that fudd is the worst head coach the lions ever had. he and millens' egos are so big that they refuse to see what EVERYONE else already glaringly sees....this team is and will ALWAYS be doomed until ford sells the team to someone who gives a damn AND who knows what the FUCK they are doing. hope he dies RIGHT AFTER he signs over the lions to a COMPETENT new owner too.

5:06 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Oakland Press along with the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, MLive and every other local media whether print or airwave needs to get on the fire Millen bandwagon.

Turn up the heat beat reporters, do any of you think Millen would have lasted 7+ years with a 31-84 record with a New York team and NY press. No way.

11:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TO THE LIONS FANBASE -

PLEASE COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY BOYCOTT THE LIONS FROM THIS DAY FORWARD UNTIL MILLEN GOES, FORD SELLS THE TEAM, AND WE GET SOME FRONT OFFICE PERSONNEL AND AN OWNER WHO KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THEY ARE DOING AND HAVE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD. WE SHOULD ALSO LOBBY FOR CHEERLEADERS. SINCE IT'S OBVIOUS THE FRANCHISE ISN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING, IT'S UP TO US. IT'S GOING TO TAKE EVERYONE [FANS, MEDIA, FANS FROM OTHER TEAMS, MEDIA FROM OTHER TEAMS], BUT WITH ENOUGH PEOPLE AND ENOUGH TIME, WE HAVE TO BELIEVE IN NOW. WE CAN GET THE JOB DONE, BUT LIKE I SAID, IT'S GOING TO TAKE ALL OF US. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. MAKE FLIERS AND PASS THEM OUT TO EVERYONE YOU SEE, BURN YOUR LIONS MERCH IN PUBLIC FOR EVERYONE TO SEE, DO NOT GO TO FORD FIELD FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER, WATCH THE GAMES ONLINE IF YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO, DON'T EVEN TALK ABOUT THE LIONS. SHITFORD SR IS SO SICK THAT HE BELIEVES BAD PUBLICITY IS BETTER THAN NO PUBLICITY. IT'S TIME FOR ALL OF US TO COME TOGETHER AND REVOLT AGAINST THE BIGGEST SCAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE NFL - THE LIONS. THANK YOU.

11:22 AM 

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