Last night, team reporter Dannie Rogers posted a clip to her Twitter account from the newest episode of Lions Game Plan. The episode, which as of this writing has not yet been posted to the Bally Sports Detroit YouTube account (it usually goes up each Friday), has a brief exchange about takeaways from the Philadelphia Eagles game film with head coach Dan Campbell.
Certainly, the film was awful from the Lions’ most recent loss, but Campbell explains it was so bad that defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn (“AG” in the video) and his crew “went outside and literally buried it under the ground.” Rogers checks to be sure she understands it right by asking if “they took some shovels out there? Today?” The answer from Campbell: “Yeah, got it done.”
Is this really a thing? It turns out yes, football teams in the past have performed this ritual to get past horrible games. In September 2015, the captains of the Penn State football team buried tape of a loss against Temple under their practice field. At the time, Penn State had not lost a game to Temple since 1941. That’s the college ranks, though. Surely no professional football coach has done this before?
According to former NFL quarterback Matt Cassel, the season before he and Mike Vrabel were traded by New England to Kansas City in 2009, they did the same thing. After losing to Miami 38-13, at the direction of head coach Bill Belichick, the team buried the game film:
But that following Tuesday, he didn’t come in and rip us.
Instead, we literally went out to the practice field, dug a hole, and buried the game film.
Seriously: It might still be there. Somebody might have to take a metal detector and go find that thing.
But I’m glad it got buried, because it sent a message to the team: “Look, you guys can sit here and dwell on this bad loss and beat yourself up over it, but after this moment right now, we’re burying it and we’re moving on. It’s in the past.”
Whether such a move is an effective motivation technique is hard to know, but who are we to argue against the Lord of the Rings? Let’s just hope it works in Detroit. Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Rogers also sat down this week with Katherine Hopkins, Lions’ Director of Performance Nutrition in the latest edition of their Women in Football series
- We here at Pride of Detroit are obsessed with the kicking game, and we’re not sorry about it.
Lions K Ryan Santoso in San Diego for the bye week working with former Chargers kicker Nick Novak pic.twitter.com/VOAvypaEn6— (@HamzaPOD) November 4, 2021
- Tim Twentyman at the official team site has somehow managed to be impressed with five players “despite the 0-8 start.”
- A former Lions quarterback is having a good season:
The quarterback who generated the most pass EPA has won MVP in every season in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 4, 2021
This season, Matthew Stafford has generated almost twice as much pass EPA (+114.3) than the next closest QB (Dak Prescott: +62.2).#RamsHouse pic.twitter.com/7hESbiI2vp
- The Detroit Lions Podcast is running a charity telethon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It began at 9 a.m. this morning and will last 24 hours.
- I know I voted for D’Andre Swift as the offensive MVP so far this season, but this is really ugly:
So I have a metric I call block-adjusted rushing – a model that predicts the rush yards on every run based on run block wins/rate, defenders in the box, down and distance and yards to end zone.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 5, 2021
This comet plot is diff between predicted/actual yards per carry by RB! pic.twitter.com/J1GQKl9M3w
To clarify because I got a question: the tail of the comet is a player's predicted YPC and the ball is their actual.— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) November 5, 2021
So if a player has a tail at 4 and a ball at 3.5, that means they underperformed by 0.5 YPC.
- Not specifically Lions-related, but a really good thing to check out because of how it is written: Conor McQuiston talks about “Bear front” defenses and what the data says about how good they are at actually stopping zone runs.