Dalton: Will DeAndre Levy ever see the field as a Lion again?
Tim: In order to give a good answer, I did a little research on DeAndre Levy. What I learned is injuries really, really suck.
The last year Levy played a full season, 2014, he had 151 total tackles (this had to lead the team, right?), 2.5 sacks and a pick. One year before that, he had 119 combined tackles and six interceptions. Six!
DeAndre’s 29 now, which is younger than me. I’m in the best shape of my life. However, I have never played in the NFL - shocking, I know. I’ve been trying to do a yoga headstand as part of a year-long project I’m doing, and stacking up on my head, arms and neck has given me an odd, dull pain in my ribs and chest. Chances are, if I were 29 and suffered the injuries Levy has with the additional accumulated football wear and tear, I wouldn’t ever play another game.
His contract ends in 2019. I think it’s entirely possible he might retire before then. If not, I think he plays about eight or nine more games for the Lions over the remaining years of his contract. That’s too bad, because as I pointed out above, he was really good.
Dalton: Is Stafford actually good?
Tim: This frickin’ guy, man.
I’ve said before that Stafford is the best Lions QB of my lifetime, but sadly, I don’t think it’s good enough to take us to the promised land.
Is he good? Most of the time. He threw for more than 4,000 yards five years in a row, with one of those eclipsing 5,000 (another one missing it by less than 50 yards).
When he’s not, though, oh boy.
Talent-wise, Stafford has always had it. But he’s never stopped throwing those stupid sidearm throws that ALWAYS get picked off. I’m getting mad just thinking about it.
The Lions coaching carousel, whether it’s a new head coach or OC every few years, has definitely not done him any favors, either. I just wish one of them would’ve made his stop throwing like Pat Neshek. Speaking of coaches...
Dalton: What does Caldwell need to do to keep his job?
Tim: Be alive at the end of the season? I don’t know. I didn’t want him to begin with.
I’m so sick of the whole “calming influence” BS. It was crap when they hired him and it’s crap now. The pundits acted like he was going to turn Ndamukong Suh from a petulant crotch-stomper to a model of sportsmanship, because he seems perpetually moments away from a bout of narcolepsy.
Give me Jim Harbaugh’s milk-chugging antics. Give me Mike Tomlin’s sideline interference. Who was the old coach who punched a player from the other team? (Just kidding I know it’s your homeboy Woody).
I don’t actually care what a coach’s demeanor is. I just want to win. If Caldwell gets to the playoffs, fine. I guess I’ll be OK with him staying (yet will continue to call for his job at the slightest sign of poor performance by the Lions). I’m sure Martha will keep him if the Lions manage to salvage an 8-8 season.
I have some questions, too.
Tim: The Lions offense has been stagnant the last two weeks, is the honeymoon over for Cooter?
Dalton: JBC was a change that was much needed last year. Lombardi was absolute garbage. When comparing Cooter’s offense vs Lombardi’s, the honeymoon isn't over. But if you compare the first four games of this season this year vs the last six games of last year then there is cause for concern. I’m not going to bail on JBC quite yet though. The offensive line is still very bad, the receiving corps have been below average (sans Marvin Jones), and I think the coaching problems start with Caldwell. What JBC has gotten away from was his simplicity in the passing game. At the end of last year, the offense was a lot of quick and simple reads for Stafford. This allowed the offense to gain small chunks of yardage and have long, fruitful drives. This year, I haven't seen the simplicity, the quick hitting routes, or the zone blocking schemes that made the offense move just months before. So to make a long answer short, the honeymoon phase is over but, when push comes to shove, I think JBC is still an NFL level coordinator.
Tim: Is Theo Riddick a good running back or just a competent receiving threat?
Dalton: Last year Riddick eclipsed 80 receptions and avoided would-be tacklers. This year he is on pace for another 80 reception season and is still shakin’-n-bakin’. He’s more than competent out of the backfield as a receiving threat. Between the tackles is where the biggest gains of offseason workouts can be seen. Last year, Riddick was only a receiving threat. This year he has gotten good enough to become a back that I can confidently say would play a major role on any team in the NFL. I don't know the last time the Lions have had a back like that, maybe Reggie Bush for a half a season? I will award the title of “good” to Theo for now and, hell, I'll even say he has the potential to be a great running back in this league (he won't be unless he gets traded away from this God forsaken team).
Tim: How good will Carson Wentz look against us Sunday?
Dalton: Easy question, short answer. Very. The rookie has been absolutely sensational for the Birds this year. 5 TDs and 0 INTs. That doesn’t fare well for a Lions defense that only has one take-away to their name. There isn’t a whole lot to question here unless the pass rush of Detroit can finally show up for a game. Expect Wentz to find a new favorite target this week and his name is Zach Ertz. The big TE is coming back from injury and the Lions can't cover a tight end (anybody) to save their lives. Wentz would be an A+ start for any fantasy league or DFS line-up this week. There is your free big money tip of the weekend. Prediction for Wentz: 350 Yards, 4 TD, 1 Int.