Hello all, this morning I was looking around at Football news and noticed a post over on MLive about the Detroit secondary and how it was coming into its own now and starting to show promise and it reminded me of a Post I had written on here, back in August.
http://www.prideofdetroit.com/2010/8/4/1605576/detroits-secondary-really-not-so At the time we had Berry, Bly and a few others who are no longer on this team. At the time the post was more so in regard to helping shed some light that the secondary wouldn’t be the true weak spot on the defense in the season to come. I thought it would be a great conversation as we go through this week to revisit this thought process as well, especially given the next opponent has a QB who is good at reading Defenses and study’s film well. He was quoted this week as watching film and noticing how the secondary would shift or their movements had gave them away as from watching film they did this a lot in past games when using certain plays. So the Secondary will definitely be a key focus in winning the game next week.
Since writing the original post there have been some changes to the secondary, Berry gone for season, Bly dismissed, Vasher signed, Smith acquired via trade, Spievey shifted to safety a position they feel is more natural to his talent, Randy Phillips brought his game for preseason but seemed to be a no show for the regular season, and Wesley was dismissed and brought back. So there have been quite some changes since the original post. I won’t go into the whole showing of roster for the secondary this time as the positions because it seems pretty set and the previous post was based on final roster cuts.
Wade and Smith are in a battle every week for starting position; however it seems Smith is currently winning that out and Wade still makes a solid nickel back and back up to the starters should something happen. Delmas seems to be coming along w/ that injury and he’s starting to play at that level he was last year, the only question now is on his opposite side and the rotation used has helped out however I would like to see the youth Like Spievey and Phillips (he needs to get off the P.S.) step up their game and take that role over for their self as its wide open and all that needs to be done is someone to lock it down w/ consistency. That would make for a long term solution to Detroit’s secondary w/ a group of very young players in the key positions. A strong front 4 and a solid secondary can be dangerous.
However it’s pretty clear as I stated before the secondary is looking more and more promising as the LB corps seems like it’s the biggest factor. This will play into this week’s upcoming game definitely as they may be a little hesitant to throw towards Smith or Houston who both technically have 3 interceptions a piece (2 by books on Houston) and use a lot of in the middle passes and short routes to abuse Detroit’s weakness at LB or Wades ability to over cover. Actually this will probably be the case from here on out w/ a solid and deep front 4 and secondary that shows promise of being a nightmare if they get rolling.
Speaking of Smith he’s currently 4th in Interceptions (or tied for second if you want to look at it that way) in the league at 3 and 1 away from leading league. If Houston’s would’ve been counted he’d actually be in that tie as well. And even more from the stand point of Interceptions here’s a great stat, Detroit is tied for 5th overall in Interceptions at 7 which is actually a tie with 7 other teams and only 4 other teams have more. Say what Detroit’s in the top half for Interceptions, come again?! The team as a whole is 3rd in tied w/ the Giants w/ 8 in Forced fumbles (8) and tied for 1st in Fumble recovery w/ the Bears at (7). This goes along w/ ranked 6th in sacks. So even though the holes are there, this defense by stats is very promising as a unit. I think the overall ratio for us through 5 games is +3 of defensive takeaways to offensive turnovers.
Detroit has showed promise all season while being plagued by typical Lion curse of shooting self in foot throughout games and after their first win of the season one must not get to overtly excited as there is still 11 games left to the season and a long road ahead but it seems like one that could be very promising for the Lions as a team in terms of development and turning around a very troubled story franchise that has been on the losing end for as long as one can remember. It’s hard to imagine that they could easily be 2-3 right now looking at 1 game out of .500, considering they won the first Bears game, and the Bears wouldn’t actually be tied for lead in the NFC. And something tells me 9-7 could easily be playoff (wild card) this year in the NFC or even win the North Division this year as Chicago will get exposed and GB seems to be having problems of its own this year. Notice I didn’t even mention the Vikings even though Moss has been added to their team they have an issue of their own.
My closing thought is this, it seems like the Offense aside from needing some depth on the Line and at WR is still good enough to compete all season, the defense is looking strong aside from some obvious holes at LB, the secondary is showing improvement and is also beginning to take off. With this being the final week before the trade deadline, can the Lions put together a package to pick up another proven starter to their LB corps now that could help them push the season into a definitive 8-8 season? Maybe from a team that has to write season off already and has some wiggle room, Or can they do it w/ the squad they have now? I’m not going to take away from the Rams but they are not an elite team or a playoff team if they were in a tougher division but it seems like the AFC/NFC west divisions are just not tough divisions this year so lower winning records or fate have it, just winning division usually gets you in. I stated before season started I believed the Lions could go 8-8 / 9-7 however that was based off of winning at least 1 of the first 4 games and walking into the Giants game at no less than 2-3, I do believe it can still be done (8-8) though there are some tough opponents others are struggling that were to be a lot stronger contenders than they have shown so far and the Lions now learned how to win and that just became their most dangerous asset and intangible. But this is a whole different subject entirely.