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Lions Notes: Sanders Has No Regrets About Retiring

  • Folks, you may want to sit down for this one. The Detroit News' Rob Parker actually did some real reporting for a change. Usually Parker is a lazy journalist and just puts out B.S. rumors that come true about 1% of the time. But this time around, he talked with running back Kevin Jones and got some good quotes out of the discussion.
    "Am I happy?" said Jones about Martz's dismissal. "Yeah.

    "I'm happy because they have Jim Colletto in there now. I know he's going to run the ball and give the running backs an opportunity to get in the game and play the way it's supposed to be played."

    Jones and all the running backs on the roster are obviously relieved as Detroit went from one of the teams least likely to run the ball to one that will probably end up running the ball more than passing it. The passing game will still be there, but since the Lions seemed so focused on establishing the run, I bet Jones and the other backs get quite a few carries next season.
  • The Dallas Morning News' Rick Gosselin re-graded the 2007 NFL Draft and dropped the Lions from the "A" they got in April to a "C" after looking back on things. I would agree that the draft certainly doesn't look as good now as it did back then, but what I don't get is the reasoning for the drop to a "C" grade. Or should I say lack of reasoning.
    The Lions expected WR Calvin Johnson to be an impact player, and he was. The second overall pick of the draft caught 48 passes. But S Gerald Alexander in the second round was a bonus. He started all 16 games, collecting 81 tackles and two interceptions.
    So Gosselin praises the Lions but drops them down two letters for his new grades. I don't get it. (HT: Highlight Reel)
  • Barry Sanders is in Arizona for the Super Bowl and has been in the media quite a bit lately. One of the things he's been asked about for obvious reasons is his early retirement from the Lions, and Sanders says he has "no regrets."
    Sanders, who won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma State in 1988 and was named to the Pro Bowl all 10 seasons he spent with the Detroit Lions, left the game for a few reasons not related to health.

    The Lions weren't playing winning football, the losses had started adding up, and he wasn't crazy about the direction ownership and management were taking. He was also hearing it from the fans.

    "I have no regrets," he said, shortly after dining with Campbell and some friends during the Gridiron Greats event. "It was just my own personal reasons, timing, and it was good for me."

    Like most who have played the game, Sanders doesn't expect to see a steady stream of players leaving the NFL early. The money is too good. The medical attention is far better.

    "It's a dangerous game, but it's still a great game," Sanders said. "When I left, I just decided it was time. "

    He may not have any regrets, but all I can say is I wish he would've stuck around for a few more seasons. Either way, I can see why he left the league when he did. The quote mentions he didn't like the direction ownership and management was headed in, and boy was that ever right. After Sanders left, Matt Millen came in and combined with the forces of William Clay Ford completely ran this franchise into the ground.
  • Bill Belichick is about to coach in the Super Bowl yet again, but he isn't forgetting his time in Detroit when he was a young assistant in the NFL.