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Here's what is still a red flag to me about the Lions under Holmes


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Posted (edited)

This 'football character' thing still bothers me and I'll tell you why.

I no longer have true hope and optimism for the Lions, as I explained back in the past, my feeling is that the Lions are not a football organization, they do not exist to succeed at football. Their reason for existence is to provide prestige for the Ford family and PR/business opportunities for the Ford Motor Company.

I still follow the team looking for signs that has changed, or that the Fords in charge of the team are putting an honest effort into succeeding at football. Only once that has happened, can we hope for the team to succeed at the highest level.

The emphasis on 'football character' worries me for two reasons.

First, it shows that they may still be concerned about getting good guys over getting the best talent to win, meaning PR and community relations are more important to them than wins. That's been a problem with them for many years.

Now you might say, oh, but they're not talking about just nice guys, they want football character, guys who really love the game and work hard at it. But that's almost a bigger problem.

See, when I hear the Lions say, "we want guys with football character," what I hear is, "we have a longstanding problem with guys dogging it on our team, not playing to their talent level because they don't want to be here and don't care enough."

But drafting guys who were captains on their college team doesn't solve that. Getting a whole bunch of guys who really love football doesn't solve it. On the contrary, guys with high character might be even quicker to become disillusioned and lethargic once they see that they're playing for an organization that doesn't really care about winning.

It might solve the Lions' problem quicker if they take risks on the guys with the most talent, and maybe the most swag and attitude too. Maybe that's when the majority of NFL players see, this is a team that's going all out to win ASAP. That is what gets NFL players to give their best, not kumbaya let's all do leadership exercises.

Now, they took the risk with Jamo so that's a good sign.  But I have to be honest, the emphasis they showed this draft on 'football character' makes me uneasy that they still just don't get it.

Edited by Superduperman
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I feel like this post made sense two years ago, but if you don't think the organization has made changes to win at football, you are just ignoring things just so you can still be angry. 

The Lions completely restructured their organization last year.  They added some positions between Wood and the GM (Spielman) so that Wood could focus on the business side since he doesnt know the football side.  They added an additional role to allow them to bring in Dorsey who has had success in drafting.  They add additional positions under the GM to oversee non-football activities so the GM could focus on football related things.  SHF has been involved and present unlike the previous Fords. I am not saying these were all the correct moves, but they showed promise last year and at least were efforts to re-focus on winning.  They could have easily just replaced the GM again and tried again but they realized it wasn't working and made significant moves. 

As for football character guys, I see no issue with not wanting lazy guys or guys who don't love the game.  Everyone at this level is talented, but having the drive and motivation to work hard all the time is what makes you great.  I am also ok not having a bunch of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other legal issues on this team as I don't particularly like rooting for guys like that.  Its why I wasn't a big fan of having AP here. 

Regarding guys quitting, that may have been an issue in the past.  This team had no fight under Patricia.  However if you watched last year, they always battled, even when down a lot and even late in the year when winning seemed bleak.  Yes the organization has had issues in the past, but the guys here seem to have bought in.  And the ones who don't, you don't hear about like you did under Patricia.  They dont get traded away for speaking their minds.  We drafted good football players.  There wasn't a focus on being captains, but they happened to be the best players on their teams and were good leaders, so what is the issue there? 

If you chose to be pessimistic, thats your choice.  But given the changes the organization has made and the way this team seems to love playing for DC and this staff and improved throughout the year is what has given me some real hope for the first time in a long time. 

 

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I feel like they're building the foundation/frame work of the organization culturally. You want guys who are bought in, that will work hard and compete. We did see the culture change first hand on the field last year in how competitive they were game in, game out in most games. It feels like you need to have that culture as an organization and you can then take fliers on guys who may have some character concerns and then mold them into guys that can fit into that culture because the foundations are already in place.

Braylon Edwards was talking about this on his radio show. His dad came from a really tough school (and sounds like not one of the better areas), went to Michigan and then bought into the culture on campus and became "a Michigan man" as opposed to already being one of those guys before he got there. You need leadership within a locker room and it's not always going to be coming from your best guys. Hutchinson absolutely feels like a guy that will be a vocal leader moving forward while Jameson seems more like a guy that will lead by his play on the field. 

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18 minutes ago, Superduperman said:

I'm not saying there are no positive signs. You mentioned a few things that make me think they are changing their ways, but I'm mentioning a thing that makes me think maybe they aren't.

I guess I just dont see what you are mentioning as being negative signs.  They drafted BPA last year in getting Sewell when he fell to us.  They drafted Levi who was pretty intense on the field, I know it hasnt worked out instantly.  Same thing this year, they drafted guys that were either the best player in the draft on most boards and guys who were BPA.  I don't think they passed anyone specifically because of character, they just added talent.  And got value according to most analysts.  I get being skeptical, we have all been bamboozled in the past.  I have drank the koolaid to have it blow up in my face.  But this leadership group and staff have done absolutely nothing to make me think they are not going in the right direction, which is very much the opposite of how I felt after the first training camp under Patricia.  I was ready to fire Patricia then and start over.  I was ready to quit the Lions when the Fords let Sheila run things.  but the moves they have made since are positive and finding the negatives is just being lionized IMO. 

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Nah, thinking of possible negatives is being realistic and balanced. I don't assume that everything they do will fail "because they're the Lions," as many do, nor do I just assume that every new regime is going to be different and better. I look for signs and try to interpret them. I explained pretty thoroughly why I interpret this sign the way I do, if you don't agree, then that's cool.

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Also, I dont get the feeling that this current regime is focused on character like the Marinelli crew.  That focus on character is probably why some hate that term being used but DC seems to mean high motor, intense, smart but a little crazy on the field as being "football character".  I don't think they are trying to bring in a group of angels, they just dont want pricks and guys who dont want to work hard. 

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30 minutes ago, Superduperman said:

I'm not saying there are no positive signs. You mentioned a few things that make me think they are changing their ways, but I'm mentioning a thing that makes me think maybe they aren't.

You said the organization hasn't done anything to change the money/status over winning.  The fact that they have changed is a fact, not an opinion.  Adding multiple paid positions to focus on winning football is not a sign that money and owner prestige is good enough for Sheila. 

You mentioned their focus on character, but there is no evidence that character has led them to not draft a guy or cut someone or whatever.  Its a manufactured argument with no real support other than DC saying he likes guys who want to be here. 

You said they should take risks on talent.  They traded up to grab what many thought was the best WR in the draft, who has a lot of talent.  They drafted the top player int his class on 90% of the boards this year and he was #2 or 3 on all of the others.  Thats adding talent.  The rest of the draft they also seemed to add talent according to a lot of big boards.  So again, I am not sure what you are hoping for.  Maybe you wanted Kayvon over Hutch because he had a higher ceiling to you, but you cant act like Hutch was a bad pick at this point when rated so close. You want to add talent and every draft grade is an A or A+, which means people think we added talent. 

 

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I am skeptical that Goff will be able to do it.  I am skeptical that our LBs are weak.  I am skeptical that our S group could use another player.  I am skeptical at all of the short term deals in that if these guys work out, they will be expensive or gone next year so continuity could be an issue. But given the turnover in the league each year, and how bare we were for talent, we have added a lot in a short period of time.  I am not at all skeptical of this leadership group or coaching staff wanting to win and wanting to bring in talented players. 

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50 minutes ago, Sllim Pickens said:

I am skeptical that Goff will be able to do it.  I am skeptical that our LBs are weak.  I am skeptical that our S group could use another player.  I am skeptical at all of the short term deals in that if these guys work out, they will be expensive or gone next year so continuity could be an issue. But given the turnover in the league each year, and how bare we were for talent, we have added a lot in a short period of time.  I am not at all skeptical of this leadership group or coaching staff wanting to win and wanting to bring in talented players. 

I really like your talent base after last two years of adding talent.  And you still have 2 firsts next year.  

You still have to find hardest position - QB, but it looks like if you go rookie QB in 2023 you will be handing him a Ferrari to drive.  

I think you should have given Chark a 2 year deal or 3 that is actually 2.  I think it was worth gamble.    But you have filled a lot of hard to fill positions with high end young talent.  

Your Oline is shaping up nicely.  Soooo many teams are struggling with that.   You just added an edge rusher with a huge floor and good bloodlines and perhaps most talented WR in the draft.   

Off ball LBs are probably least valuable position on field relatively speaking.  Still important, but least important.   Easiest to find.   The best off ball LB in draft fell way down due to injuries.  

DL makes LBs look good. 

QB makes WRs more so than WRs make QBs.

OL makes RBs.

 OL and QB make each other.

 

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Posted (edited)

I can't say I really agree with the original post.  The Lions were doormats the two previous years and would not be described by anyone as mentally tough/resilient.  Their issues with resilience were evident even with Jim Caldwell.  The Lions didn't have a lot of talent on their roster last year.  They had some games where they were simply out-matched.  However, they were also competitive in games with some good teams and didn't back down. 

One example:  Penei Sewell getting in Aaron Donald's face when Aaron Donald took his trash talk too far.  For a rookie to go face mask-facemask with Aaron Donald takes some serious backbone.  Another example:  Amon Ra St Brown's performance in the second half of the season.  He had nothing to play for.  The Lions were headed for a 3-win season.  He could have coasted.  He could have played not to get injured.  However, he kept working, he kept grinding and played better than any 4th round rookie that I can recall.  What they did was provide good leadership and set the kind of tone that has been absent from the Lions locker room for years.  

Having two tone-setters isn't enough.  Building strong leadership now means that in a year or two, we can bring in really talented players with maturity issues and coach them in a way that lets their physical skills shine while tamping down their maturity issues.  A team like the Lions couldn't develop someone like DK Metcalf  but the strong locker room in Seattle helped put him in a position to be successful.  

Edited by Just Want A Title
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I would be upset with the "football character" picks IF the Lions weren't also drafting super athletic players. They had one of the most athletic classes in the draft by the numbers. If they were taking subpar athletes with high character and bypassing the athletic freaks that would be more of an issue. 

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22 minutes ago, Lions017 said:

I would be upset with the "football character" picks IF the Lions weren't also drafting super athletic players. They had one of the most athletic classes in the draft by the numbers. If they were taking subpar athletes with high character and bypassing the athletic freaks that would be more of an issue. 

We were top 5 in both athleticism and production. Probably up there as well in terms of leadership. 

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Drafting for football character worked for the Rams. I've always been a fan of drafting guys who are heady players. Athleticism matters too, but I saw way too many athletes who couldn't grasp the game fail under Jeff Fisher. McVay has always put a premium on football intelligence. 

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On 5/4/2022 at 10:32 AM, Karnage84 said:

We were top 5 in both athleticism and production. Probably up there as well in terms of leadership. 

yeah but like 3 of the guys didnt even test....out of what 7? 

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