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Thursday, February 09, 2006 

Mix Master Mike?


Matt Millen just loves the letter 'M.' He has hired coaches Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, Rod Marinelli, and now Mike Martz. The Detroit Lions have signed Martz as their offensive coordinator, after lengthy discussions. Negotiations took over a week after his interview last Tuesday and the result was a 3 year deal. Financial terms of the deal were not released; last week the Lions reportedly offered a 3 year, $2.7 million backloaded contract, while Martz was requesting a 3 year deal worth closer to $5 million. Martz is already due an undisclosed amount from the St. Louis Rams after settling on a buyout for the final year of his contract in St. Louis.

Everyone agrees that Martz, the architect of "The Greatest Show on Turf" while with the Rams, is an offensive genius. The question is whether or not his offensive formula will work in Motown. I actually think his personality will mesh well with Marinelli and defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson; the Detroit News describes his personality as "intense, demanding, and a perfectionist who insists on high-tempo practices." That attitude should fit in with the other new coaches who are also known for being ball-breakers. Martz said "I took the job, first of all, because of Rod Marinelli. He's a great individual. It'll be kind of fun to see what he can do." Marinelli has now hired a coaching staff that is experienced and well respected around the league, and whose members seem to share similar crotchety dispositions.

Martz has a lot more work ahead of him than just establishing good chemistry with his new boss and co-workers. Since the Lions offense has more question marks than one of Matthew Lesko's suits, Noobsports.com offers him a welcoming present: advice on how to fix the Lions O.

1. Keep Joey Harrington. We know, we know: his career has been pretty awful (68.1 career QB rating, 54.7 career completion percentage). Joey's future in Detroit is certainly undecided at this point, but a vote of confidence from Martz would go a long way towards the team giving him another shot. The case for keeping Harrington is that he still has all the physical tools that he possessed when the Lions picked him third overall in 2002. He can still make all the throws but his problems have been largely mental. Let's just say he can be rattled by a stiff gust of wind. Because of poor decision making, Joey regressed in 2005 and couldn't hold the job throughout the entire season. Martz must rebuild Joey Heisman's confidence so that he will no longer panic (e.g. interceptions on balls he never should have thrown) or play too cautiously (e.g. incessant dumping off of the ball to the running backs). Mad Mike can accomplish this by playing to Joey's strengths which are play action passes and throwing the ball to the middle of the field.

2. Fix the line. The offensive line was sickening in 2005, literally. I've seen Kelly Butler's butt crack more times than I've seen my own. Can we get this guy a belt or something? I swear every time he goes down to a 3 point stance, we get about 3 inches of crack. Butler and his linemates also disgusted onlookers with their play. Butler needs a lot of polishing, free agent addition Rick Demulling was a major disappointment, and the rest of the line hardly played at an All Pro level. The "Fire Millen" movement can point to his moves along the offensive line as plenty enough reason for him to be dumped. The line just doesn't mesh well together and lacked an identity. It would be a good idea for the Lions to attempt to move up into the top 5 at the NFL draft in attempt to select Virginia LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Ferguson could be Detroit's version of Orlando Pace, without the douchey alma mater.

3. Feed Kevin Jones. Mike Martz is to running the football as Oprah Winfrey is to dieting; he just can't commit to it for long. While in St. Louis, Martz had Marshall Faulk at running back but often forgot to put the ball in his hands consistently. Jones can be dynamic as he showed during the second half of his rookie year and he is talented enough to be a Pro Bowler. One of the main complaints with Mooch in 2005 was that he only handed Kevin the ball 14.5 times per game. Martz must allow Jones enough carries to establish a good rhythm.

4. Get Roy Williams focused. Williams is so good that he could easily become a top 5 NFL wide receiver. When he is on, Roy is unstoppable yet smooth in a way that resembles TO. Roy's problems are durability and consistency. He has been nicked up throughout his young career and must prove that he can survive for 16 games. He also dropped way too many passes late last year, many while he was wide open. The Lions will not have a consistent attack without a determined Roy and it is Martz's job to reach him.

5. Convert Mike Williams to TE. The former USC stud thoroughly disappointed me as a rookie. This guy can't get any seperation from NFL cornerbacks so the team has no other option than to move him to TE. As mentioned before, Harrington is at his best throwing to the middle of the field and that is where Williams can create mismatches against linebackers. This move might leave the Lions too thin at WR, especially if Charles Rogers is cut, but hesitating to make such a move will only stunt Williams' growth further. To be honest, I'm not sure this guy will ever produce at this level. I'd love to be wrong about this; hopefully he was just rusty after a year off from competitive football.

6. Shut your damn mouth. Sorry Mr. Martz, no one has any respect for guys who manipulate the media to further their own agendas. During negotiations with the Lions, Mad Mike provided the media with information that was not accurate to paint himself in a better light. He must restrain himself from playing games with the media or he might clash with Marinelli. Along the same lines, he must also NEVER second guess Marinelli or openly campaign for a head coaching position. Mike, if you can fix this mess, you'll have your pick of head coaching jobs in a couple years, trust me...

Simple enough, right?

-NJV

Are you telling me that we shouldn't build our offense around Scotty Vines again this year?

i think we should drop roy toy, mike williams, and c-rog and stick to the Scotty Vines, Glenn Martinez, and David Kircus that has taken us to the promise land in the past.

i hate to say it man, but david 'circus' kircus no longer plays for the lions. i believe you can only have a player on your practice squad for two years and then he must be released. he got picked up by steve's denver broncos (so obviously they don't need t.o anymore).

i don't think the lions should move up, i think they should move down. perhaps trade the pick to someone like miami who would want cutler and the lions would move down and take winston justice with our first round pick. then stack up more picks from miami in later rounds and pick up brodie croyle. probably just because his name is brodie.

If you're Martz, do you come in thinking "gee, all I have to do it turn around this nightmare to a winning program in a couple years and I can get a large contract elsewhere"? OR do you come in thinking "this could very plausibly be the last time I get any money from anyone in the NFL, so I'm getting as big a contract as possible and talking up just how unlikely this all is so that when it inevitably fails and the Lions continue to be, well, the Lions, I've already got it on record that I never claimed I could turn this mess around so I at least have an outside chance of duping Al Davis into hiring me someday"?

Where are Brett Perriman, Herman Moore, and Willie Green "Touchdown Machine" when you need them? They should have brought back Mouse Davis.

We really need "Touchdown" Tommy Vardell back. All the man did was score touchdowns.

D'Brickashaw, that right just say it, it is fun. Nate I agree you, we need D'Brickashaw.

ah...wille green "touchdown machine," "touchdown" tommy vardell, mel gray...wayne fontes...the glory days.

I have to say that "david 'circus' kircus" is possibly the worse nickname/attempt at a bermanism I have ever seen. Any of the following would have been acceptable. David "Pyscho" Kircus, David "Three-Ring" Kircus, and lastly David "Put a tent on that" Kircus.

hey man, i didn't make it up. 'circus' orignally came from the announcers at grand valley when he was playing there. i agree all your names are much better.

Give me Bode Miller experiment

I still don't agree with your #1 nateman. I do think Joey "come blowy the honolulu showy" Scarrington has some skills - but feel free to remind me what they are during a game. But as I said in a post before, look into that boy's eyes. There will be no Superbowl with that cat at the helm - ever. Yea yea, he might get surrounded with enough talent for a wildcard one in 4 years, but he is not a guy that can run a team. He must be run (preferrably out of Motown). Even by your own stance, Martz must re-align the kid's mental state. If 3 years isn't enough time to evaluate a kid's ability to handle pressure (kinda what the NFL is all about), then when will it be? Joey can only aspire to be a Don Strock. Give him a clipboard, some headphones, and let him be our reminder of times gone (we hope)...a statue of indecision, money blown, Andre Wares everywhere, and the apostle of why we can't get to see the greatest football player who ever played (that's barry sanders) - ala ford/millen. Joey is all that, our trophy of motown management, and it would give Lions' fans a warm fuzzy seeing him standing on the sideline with his glazed over "can't bother me with boos" schoolgirl beard.

I don't buy it. Joey is backup....period. Screw skills....look at montana. slow as dirt, weak arm. if you ain't got the mental stability to last a whole game, let alone a string of games, the MMs and M&Ms and the RMs and SMs and the rest of the M's ain't gonna change it, or make you go, "mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm good." Another wasted Heisman. Another wasted QB pick. Can we please quit cleaning this kid's diapers and move on? I don't care if this guy has the best arm in the world...that don't mean victories. You can't coach what this kid needs. Mike Martz and Rod Marinelli MUST get a cute lil carpet square for Joey to sip milk with the mascot on. If you really want KJ getting the ball 20+ times a game, then you need someone to stretch the field and keep a defense honest. I'd double Roy and run blitz all day on the kittens with Joey back there...easy as pie. Martz has to throw the ball. The QB needs to be able to read and react to what is given - Joey can't do this under diress. Hell, if the Steelers can make Peyton look average by blitzing him, what is your Harrington gonna look like in a title game? The Snake was taught to "control" the game over the last couple years and looked like he was beyond his Harrington years....but, oh, gee, pressure, oh gee, "stay away from those 'footballs.' they really hate anyone with footballs." Sorry, pathetic reference to the Jerk.

When will you go Joey Harrington?
A weary motown throws its Rod on you.
boo boo boo
What's that you say Mister Mill-len?
A stache like that must make it hard to chew...
woo woo woo
God bless us please Dearborn Fordson,
your QB must be as good as thee,
tee hee hee
Don't go away Barry Sanders
Take the ball and we'll run the wing-T
(or Scotty Mitchell please)
geez geez geez


Go Packers!

Dear Anonymous,
Bode is coming soon, SEL is having technical difficulties in the Rocky Mountains. The experiment has been completed and as soon as he can get those issues settled, it will be up. Sorry for the delay.

i think SEL is just a bitch a didn't really do it. the boone's farm got to him.

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