So I got bored during the bye week and decided that I wanted to make my all-time Lions team. I think many of you on this site are an 80's child like myself and so I wanted to post this and see what sort of feedback you all have. I was born in 1984 and can remember games as far back as 1989(what a coicidence huh?) so I decided that's the perfect cut off year. The rules are simple, all players from 1989 to this year are eligible as long as they started at least three years or as long as their name is Ndamakong Suh(this list would be dumb without him). Tell me what you think:
Special Teams- We will start here because its the easiest.
K1- Jason Hanson: In other news the shade of blue the Lions wear is Honolulu blue.
K2- Eddie Murray: Really good career pre 1989. Still wouldn't be enough to unseat Hanson
P1- Jim Arnold: Most of his best years were pre 1989 but he was still solid through 1993 and we haven't had much better since.
P2- Nick Harris: This is not really a good thing as Harris is not bad but held the position for a long time for someone who is not much of a difference maker.
KR1- Mel Gray: Many of us remember him being almost as exciting as Barry. Single handedly won us a few games in 1994.
PR1- Desmond Howard: Mel is probably the correct answer here too but I wanted to spread the love and Desmond had some Heisman worthy moments for us.
Defense- We will go here next because there are not very many good things to say and its depressing.
RDE1- Robert Porcher: Lions all-time sack leader(technically speaking) was a great leader on and off the field and helped us make the playoffs five times.
LDE1- Tracy Scroggins: Better than many of us remember accumulating 60.5 career sacks playing opposite Porcher
RDE2- James Hall: Marinelli(who is supposed to be a Dline genius) cut him in one of the moves that lead to our winless season. Still playing well for the Rams. Screw you Marinelli.
LDE2- Cliff Avril: Hopefully will be number 1 on this list soon because he definitely has the talent. Did you know that he has already forced 11 fumbles in his career?
DT1- Ndamakong Suh: We lost 37 out of 40 before we drafted him. We are 12-12 since. Might be the franchises most talented defensive lineman ever.
DT1- Jerry Ball: Dominant Nose Tackle when we played the 3-4. Best player on defense in 91'.
DT2- Shaun Rogers: Probably as good as Suh and Ball if he wanted to be. He didn't.
DT2- Luther Elliss: Played end as well but was at best anchoring defense during 99' and 00' from DT.
Honorable Mention- Kelvin Pritchett: I always liked him.
Corey Williams: Needs another year to be eligible and probably another 2-3
ones to pass Elliss. Won't get because of Fairley.
OLB1- Michael Cofer: Dominant pass rusher when we played 3-4. Honestly only above average outside linebacker we have had for a long period of time.
OLB1- Allen Aldridge: That can't be right. Checking for someone better....hmmm....well at least we won games when Aldridge was on the team.
OLB2- George Jamison: Another 3-4 linebacker but is on this list more because of longevity and winning games than individual impact.
OLB2- Ernie Claiborne: I mean Chris Sims: Sorry couldn't help myself to poke fun at our last two 1st round linebackers both guys who showed flashes but never got it done.
Extremely Honorable Mention- REGGIE BROWN: History would have been very different if he didn't get hurt. Hell maybe the 98 team is actually good and Barry doesn't retire. He was a good one and we were all robbed of a great linebacking career.
MLB1- Chris Spielman: The best defensive Lion of my lifetime(for now). One of my favorites to watch.
MLB2- Stephen Boyd: We were always better in the middle than on the outside and thats because of smart, gritty players like Boyd.
CB1- Dre Bly: We didn't really win a lot of games while he was on the team but he made a lot of big plays and had more individual impact than any other CB we had.
CB1- Ray Crockett: Gets extra credit for being on the 91' team. Bad news is that he would not be the second or even fifth best corner in a twenty year period for a good team.
CB2- Bryant Westbrook: A high draft pick who stuggles for a few years and then finally becomes a Pro Bowler only to blow out his ACL, MCL, and PCL. Detroit Lions baby!
CB2- Corey Raymond: Gets the nod over Terry Fair because Terry Fair is Terry Fair. Seriously though had a great 93' season with six picks helping us make the playoffs.
FS1- Bennie Blades: Began and finished as SS for us but made a bigger impact at FS. Have you ever met a Lions fan that didn't like Bennie. Me neither.
SS1- William White: Wait so he signed for more money with Atlanta in 93' and was a bust for THEM? That is so backwards.
FS2- Louis Delmas: I gave the nod to him over Mark Carrier only because I hope one day we will all know he is better than Mark Carrier.
SS2- Ron Rice: Had a much better(or at least longer) career than I remembered. Although I think I blocked out a lot of the years he played for my own health.
*Almost wanted to list Corwin Brown for the time he knocked Keyshawn Johnson's head off in Tampa. Shout out if you remember that.
Offense- This was the most fun and infuriating part of this process.
QB1- Charlie Batch: Let me explain. No seriously I can explain. Maybe. I couldn't give this to Staff yet because he still has less than 20 starts and I don't want to jinx him. I feel like Batch added some value to the teams he was on and our number 2 QB on this list was a detriment to his team. Don't forget that in Batch's last year on the team Larry Foster was a starting receiver.
QB2- Scott Mitchell: Look at those teams he had. He had weapons like Aaron Rodgers has now and I know he cost us 2-5 games a year.
QB3- Matt Stafford: Easily our most talented QB in 30 years or more. If he stays healthy we will all be a much happier bunch.
Dis-honorable mention: Erik Kramer: I was gonna list him but then I saw he never broke camp as a starter with us. Not once.
Joey Harrington: Look he obviosly wasn't one of the guys and he could have done a lot more to help himself but look at our starting WR's in his career; Az Hakim(a 3rd world countries Nate Burleson), Bill Schroeder, a young Roy Williams, Scottie Vines(WTF?), and Tai Streets after we all knew he was a bust.
RB1- Barry Sanders: I wish I had more to say here. He is my favorite athlete ever and yet I still can't be completely happy when I think of his career. We should have won more and he should have more yards the Emmitt Smith. F@%$!
RB2- James Stewart: Little Train actually had a pretty good run for us and unfortunately he is the best we have had since Barry left.
RB3- Kevin Jones: Had two really good seasons and two pretty bad ones. Kevin Smith had one ok season so Jones wins this by a suprisingly wide margin.
FB1- Cory Schlesinger: That is all.
WR1- Herman Moore: The most underated Lion ever and one of the most underated WR's ever. I loved watching him play and he spoiled a few really crappy QB's
WR2- Calvin Johnson: As long as we re-sign him to another contract the number 1 spot on this list will be his. He just needs to get some more longevity with us.
WR3- Brett Perriman: This was a close one with our number 4 guys but I always felt that Perriman made a lot of tough catches in big spots. I could be romanticizing his career but he was a good one.
WR4- Johnnie Morton: Had some good years but couldn't really carry a team when he was the number 1 guy. Had more longevity than Brett and better counting stats but still a lesser impact I think.
WR5- Roy Williams: The picks we got for him will always mean more than his actual career with us will.
TE1- Brandon Pettigrew: If he drops the drops he will be elite and that would be our first one since C. Sanders.
TE2- David Sloan: More of a longevity pick than anything else.
LT1- Lomas Brown: Pro Bowl player protecting the frontside of lefty QB Scott Mitchell. Actually more important than blindside considering Mitchell would flinch and tummy tuck the ball if he saw pressure coming.
LG1- Mike Compton: Good player and a fairly long career with us.
C1- Kevin Glover: You almost never heard his name. No penalties, No getting beat bad. Just solid play year after year.
RG1- Jeff Hartings: Had a better career after he left us. You have heard this before.
RT1- Umm...umm...I would rather not say....look at our RT's over the years. I'll wait. Yep you are seeing what I'm seeing and that is the answer to this would be Gosder or Stockar....I'm leaving it blank.
LT2- Jeff Backus: Underrated player who has been our second best lineman(behind Lomas and ahead of Glover) according to advanced metrics.
LG2- Rob Sims: I like him.
C2- Dominic Raiola: You almost always hear his name called. And not always in a good way.
RG2- Damien Woody: Better before he got with us AND after he left us. You have heard this before.
RT2- See above. Or don't. Just slam your head into a wall instead.
Coach- This one wasn't so fun either.
1. Jim Schwartz: I projecting here but he is the first coach we have had in my life who I feel can out X/0 and out gameplan other coaches.
2. Bobby Ross: Would be number 1 if he didn't contribute to Barry retiring.
3. Wayne Fontes: Players "wait Wayne is on the hotseat? We should play better." Fans "Really? Are you sure you want to save him AGAIN?"
So what did we learn? Receiver is generally our best position(except when Harrington was our QB) and we are good at drafting Defensive Lineman. We also have had a hole on the right side of our offensive line for about 22 years. We drafted 39 of the 50 players on this list. Free agent evaluation has not really been our thing. Hope you enjoyed thinking about some lesser talked about guys and hope you enjoy the read. Let me know what you guys all think.