ROB PARKER: GM Bob Quinn makes safe Lions pick

ROB PARKER: GM Bob Quinn makes safe Lions pick
Posted at 3:39 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 15:51:50-04

In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday.

New Lions general manager Bob Quinn didn't wow anyone with his first NFL draft in Motown.

Instead, Quinn made a safe choice with the 16th overall pick, grabbing Ohio State OT Taylor Decker.

More than anything, Decker fills a need. The Lions need help on the offensive line badly. Last season, the Lions' offensive line gave up 44 sacks and was dead last in the run game.

"This is a position of need," Quinn said to the media after making his first selection at the helm. "When you factor in those stats, you evaluate the film and say, "How did the offensive line play?' I think that's one of the areas we had to address.

"I felt like this was the best player at the right time to help us going forward."

Some believe that Decker will ultimately play right tackle although he played left tackle the last two years at Ohio State. Decker is open to either position.

"I'm just look forward to the opportunity," Decker said to the media. "I'm looking forward to going up there and meeting my teammates and eventually getting to work."

Decker will have a big job. He will need to be able to protect Lions' QB Matthew Stafford. "He's obviously a great player," Decker said about Stafford. "I'm really looking forward to meeting him. I've heard good things about him."

Drummond: A Keeper

If true, Andre Drummond is a keeper.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said on Thursday that his All-Star center is willing to do anything to improve his free throw shooting - even shoot them underhanded.

"As far as shooting underhanded or anything else, it's fair to say my discussion and Andre yesterday and the discussions (GM) Jeff (Bower) and I have had  and staff - everything is on the table," Van Gundy said to the media.
Drummond shot a career-low 35.5 percent from the free throw line this past season. It was the was worst free throw shooting season for a player in NBA history.

That definitely needs to change before next season.

The idea that a current NBA player would embrace the underhanded free throw says something. Nobody uses that form of free throwing shooting although it was effective when used in the past. Rick Barry was a great free throw shooter and used the underhanded style.

Sure, it may never get there and Drummond won't use the underhanded style. Still, the idea that Drummond wants to get better and do whatever it takes is so appealing, especially since there's a good chance he gets paid this summer.

Drummond, 22, is a restricted free agent and could get close to a max deal worth $120 million. He's worth the investment because he is a double-double machine. His one weakness, however, are the free throws.

The Pistons won't be able to win a thing if Drummond is on the bench come crunch time because he can't make free throws.

"We'll do some research on some things and come up with what we think is a good approach, talk to Andre and see what he thinks and develop an approach going forward," Van Gundy said.

Verlander off base
For sure, you can understand Justin Verlander's frustration with performance-enhancing drug users in MLB.
It makes the game look bad and isn't fair to the players who play clean.

On Thursday, Miami Marlins All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon was busted for PED use and suspended for 80 games without pay.

Verlander took to Twitter and said, "This PED **** is killing me. If u test positive u need to not play. You shouldn't be allowed to effect games while appealing."

Here is where Verlander is wrong. This a process that that was negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement. It's wrong to just assume everyone is automatically guilty just because they are charged with someone.

Mistakes have been made in the past. Players have a right to an appeal. Plus, forcing a player to miss games while an appeal is pending would constitute irreparable damage if it were later proved that the positive test was incorrect or that suspension were not merited.

JV has to let the system work. Ultimately, if Gordon is guilty, he will be punished.


Rob Parker, an award-winning sports columnist, writes every Monday and Friday - or when sports news breaks. Watch Rob's Barbershop Sports on 7 Action News at 10pm on TV20 Monday-Friday.