By: Matt Shepard
Ford Lions Report Analyst
The Lions dismal season will conclude soon and we'll keep searching for answers to why this team regressed from its 10-6 playoff campaign from last year.
There are plenty of culprits: Jim Schwartz, Martin Mayhew, Matthew Stafford, the secondary and injuries to name a few.
Schwartz let things spiral out of control starting with the off-season transgressions with Mikel Leshoure, Aaron Berry, and Johnny Culbreath. He waited too long to hold Titus Young accountable, and he's handled Ndamukong Suh with kid gloves for far too long.
Stafford has shouldered the blame for this teams struggles and that's admirable. And even though it's not all on him, that heavy load comes with the position and he has to deal with it.
When you're considered a franchise signal-caller, you have to be better than 17 touchdowns and 15- interceptions. You can't throw pick sixes in the red zone and you have to complete more than 59% of your passes. Forget the "mechanics."
Don't buy into that bull crap.
Watch film of Joe Montana, Phil] Simms, Boomer Esiason, Tom Brady, Johnny Unitas; they've all thrown sidearm at times. He isn't even close to this team's biggest concern. I think he's part of their solution, but he must play better than he did this year.
Mayhew is bright and hard-working and I'm not sure if he's listened to too many people on draft picks, but he better come through with more than just a first round gem this April.
This team needs depth at linebacker and starters at safety, corner and defensive line. It also needs help on the offensive line as well and it's his job to cure those ills.
His recent drafts of unproductive players like Ronnell Lewis (4th rd), Tahir Whitehead (5th rd), Doug Hogue (5th rd) and Derrick Williams (3rd) are too common. I'm tired of hearing Gunther Cunningham gush about the young talent taken in the draft when these guys can't even suit up for a regular season snap.
Maybe last year's success came too soon, thus elevating unreachable expectations, but there have been way too many glaring mistakes for the fan base to accept and it needs to change this off-season.
Enough lip service. Maybe it starts Saturday night against the Falcons.
I don't want to hear the Lions "are playing for pride." They are playing for jobs because as far as I'm concerned they're all on notice.