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» Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Five different teams from last year's DVOA top eight rank in the bottom half of the league through four weeks of 2014. What can we learn from other teams with similar starts in the past?

01 May 2009

The Month In Quotes: April 2009

compiled by Mark Zajack

YOU UNDERESTIMATE MY ABILITY TO SAY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I MEAN

"Plaxico's contribution to our championship season in 2007 can never be underestimated or undervalued."

-- Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, underestimating Plaxico in his farewell to the troubled wide receiver. (Big Blue Interactive)

GO AHEAD, TRY TO ARGUE WITH THAT LOGIC

"I really don't get what's the hard decision up there. My choice would be Brady Quinn. I don't know if he is the better quarterback, I am just saying I think he is the guy for the future. That is all I am saying. Derek Anderson is a great quarterback. Don't get me wrong. He's a Pro Bowler. I just think the quarterback of the future is Brady Quinn."

-- Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow, prior to the draft, solving the quarterback controversy in Cleveland. (Hamilton Journal-News)

CAN I GET AN AMEN?

"You take all the offensive linemen and put them in a burlap bag, and then you take a baseball bat and beat on the bag. You're sacking them, you're bagging them. And that's what you're doing with a quarterback."

-- Former Rams defensive lineman Deacon Jones, explaining how he coined the term, "sack."

"The headslap was not my invention, but Rembrandt, of course, did not invent painting."

-- Jones, on his signature move to get to the quarterback.

"The quickness of my hands and the length of my arms, it was perfect for me. It was the greatest thing I ever did, and when I left the game, they outlawed it. I couldn't be more proud."
-- Jones, on the headslap.

"There has never been a better football player than Deacon Jones."
-- Former teammate Merlin Olsen.

"Asinine."

-- Jones, on the fact that the Rams have not retired his No. 75 jersey. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

JUST A LARGE HUMAN AFTER ALL

"I was thinking about it sometimes. If you get beat on a play and you think about your contract ... It doesn't affect me that much. I thought about it some early in the year, but later on in the year it wasn't a big deal."

-- Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters, on whether his contract situation with the Bills affected his play last year.

"That's the first time I've heard that stat. I don't recall giving up that many. If they charged me with that many, so what? I'm an Eagle now. If I give up 11 and a half sacks, I'm only human."

-- Peters, reacting to the unofficial sacks allowed figure floating around the press room. (ESPN.com)

PLEASE, I JUST NEED ONE MORE BOWL, JUST A LITTLE TOASTY GOODNESS TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF

"There's a potential downside to anything. It's like too many Cheerios. Eat too many Cheerios, it's going to be bad for you. For me, we're in a relationship business. Who we kidding? I don't think I can go wrong having relationships with people."

-- Bucs head coach Raheem Morris, on whether his close relationship with players can go too far. (SI.com)

NEW FROM NFLSHOP.COM: BELTS BY MASTERLOCK

"The biggest thing I learned my first year was that at halftime, you have to be a little more careful with the things you do, that you're not always by yourself."

-- 49ers head coach Mike Singletary, on the trou-dropping incident of 2008. (SI.com)

YET ANOTHER THING ELTON JOHN AND JULIUS PEPPERS HAVE IN COMMON, BESIDES TONY DANZA INFATUATION

"I don't get into salaries. I don't know what Elton John makes or Bono makes. I'm sure they make pretty good numbers too."

-- Panthers head coach John Fox, refusing to bite on a question about Julius Peppers' $16.6 million franchise-tender cap number for this season. (SI.com)

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK ... CUZ' IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN

"First off, this is a pretty lame question. I did everything that the Eagles asked of me and after all, I can't throw the ball to myself. ... lol ... The NFL doesn't just rely on speed, but I can still put down a 4.4. Mile."

-- Former NFL wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, answering a question on his blog (yup) about the realism of his comeback given the NFL's emphasis on speed. (Freddie Mitchell's Blog)

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK II: ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR BOOGALOO

"I've been trying to figure out how to get back in, and it just amazes me that I'm not on somebody's roster. I've been throwing two or three times a week, and every time I go out there to throw, I can't believe I'm not a backup somewhere. I know it's a young man's game, but you can't tell me I'm not better than some of the quarterbacks that are out there."

-- Former NFL quarterback Jeff George is ready for his tryout.

"If I was in Minnesota, I guarantee I'd be wearing a ring right now. I just can't get over why somebody like [coach] Brad Childress wouldn't take a look at me and have me as the third guy on their roster. Put me in and I'll pick up right where I left off in '99, but this time with Adrian Peterson, so I wouldn't have to throw it nearly as much."

-- George, beginning to talk me into it. Chilly are you listening?

"I can honestly say that if it doesn't work out for me, I have exhausted every avenue. Guys like [ex-Broncos coach] Mike Shanahan, I used to wear him out. I'd bug him just about every week, and he was the nicest guy -- he always returned my calls. But I wore him out."

-- George.

"I can probably chuck it 78 yards, compared to when I was coming out [of college] and could throw it 85."

-- George. (Yahoo.com)

WHO NEEDS AN AGENT? I'VE GOT A CELL PHONE

"I've actually been able to exchange text messages with Mr. Mayhew himself, just discussing the whole situation. He gave me some birthday wishes on my birthday and we talked about just how things would be if me, (and Lions linebackers) Ernie Sims and Julian Peterson were together in one room, just to be able to go out there and wreak havoc."

-- NFL draft prospect Aaron Curry, on his willingness to accept a deal from the Lions for less than the $30 million received by last year's top pick, Jake Long. (USA Today)

THE BEAUTY OF THE POST-MILLEN ERA

"If the Lions win one game this year, I'm a hero."

-- Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, reading the Top Ten List on The Late Show with David Letterman. (CBS.com)

MIGHT NOT SELL AS MANY JERSEYS AS No. 4 DID, BUT I CAN THINK OF SOME OTHER PROMOTIONAL ITEMS

"Consistent with our normal approach of performing our due diligence, we contacted Drew Rosenhaus several days ago, prior to the draft, to inquire about Plaxico's pending legal situation."

-- Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, on covering all the bases. (USA Today)

FROM MAN-GENIUS TO MAN-GINA IN A FEW SHORT YEARS

"Not nice."

-- A Cleveland Browns team source, describing Michael Crabtree on his visit to the club facility. His "diva attitude" did not impress the delicate constitution of head coach Eric Mangini. (Tony Grossi's Blog, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

CLEVELAND NON-DIVAS, THE GAUNTLET HAS BEEN THROWN

"I'm happy for Stephen McGee. The Dallas Cowboys like him more than his coaches at A&M did."

-- Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, sharing his thoughts on the NFL draft. Texas A&M tight end Stephen McGee, selected by the Cowboys in the fourth round, was benched for much of his senior season.

"The truth of the matter is that the NFL drafts quarterbacks notoriously bad. That's indisputable."

-- Leach, on his quarterback, Graham Harrell, not being drafted at all.

"Michael Crabtree has been more successful as a receiver than that guy as a coach at this point. Part of the reason is [Crabtree's] too shy to be like that."

-- Leach, on reports that Browns head coach Eric Mangini didn't like wide receiver Michael Crabtree's "diva" attitude when he visited the team prior to the draft.

"My definition of a diva is someone who's loud and self-absorbed. Michael Crabtree is the furthest thing from loud that I've seen ... Let's see how all those non-divas do up in Cleveland this year."

-- Leach, doing nothing to alleviate my man-crush on him. (ESPN.com)

WHAT THE HEYWARD-BEY ARE YOU DOING?

"We do things here in a certain way. I think there's a lot of fact to that. Whether you want to call it the Al Davis way, the Oakland Raider way, it's our way."

-- Raiders head coach Tom Cable, stating the obvious.

"When you look at the draft, the characteristics of the player -- size, speed, all that -- certainly those are Raider numbers, Al Davis numbers."

-- Cable, making sure we don't underestimate the myopia that is the "Raider Way." (San Francisco Chronicle)

YUP, HE SOUNDS JUST LIKE WHITNEY HOUSTON, MINUS THE PROFUSE SWEATING

"I still feel like I'm the top receiver. I don't really pay attention to what everybody else does. He's a good receiver, the person who went ahead of me. I choose not to worry about that."

-- 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, referring to the Raiders drafting Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey at No. 7 overall.

"It's their loss."

-- Michael Crabtree, Sr.,, father of the receiver, on the Raiders passing on his son.

"It was the same way with Adrian Peterson. He proved them wrong. It's Michael's time to prove them wrong."

-- Crabtree, Sr., comparing the situation to the Vikings running back who fell to No. 7 in the 2007 draft.

"The speed is obviously a question for a lot of different people. Obviously, not for us."

-- 49ers head coach Mike Singletary, on Crabtree.

"I don't know how fast he is. I just know when he catches the ball, there's separation there. I know he's a physical guy. He does the things that he has to do. If it's a block, he can do that."

-- Singletary.

"We had no idea he would be there at 10. It was one of the last scenarios we thought we'd end up with."

-- Singletary.

"Like I said, I feel I'm in a situation where someone wants me and needs me. And I can't wait to put this red, black and gold on."

-- Crabtree, the diva. (USA Today)

IMPORTANT ADVICE FROM ONE OF THE LEADING MINDS OF OUR TIME

"Unless you are a janitor you should not have 50 keys on your keychain. Try to limit the amount of keys you put on your keychain. That way if you want to get in a door you don't have to fumble threw a ton of keys while the killer is closing in on you."

-- Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett, on his new blog, on how to avoid a "Scary Movie" type incident.

"Pace yourself! I've never seen a killer run after anyone they only power walk which is what my grandma does so they should never catch you."

-- Marty B, with more of the same.

"Witten and I are working on becoming the best TE tandem possible and that is going well. Be on the look out for Beans and Rice. (lmao.) I'm beans and he's rice. Has nothing to do with us personally but it does sound good."

-- Marty B, with a tandem nickname far less inappropriate than the Chris Cooley & Visanthe Shiancoe inspired "Franks and Beans" combo.

"I guess women have to let go at times too but it just doesn't seem right, but if they do then it shouldn't smell or make a sound. I mean come on if you were on a date with Angelina Jolie a lunch date eating spaghetti and pancakes or whatever it is people eat in Hollywood and as she's feeding you she farts. Do you let her slide because of her beauty or call her out?"

-- Marty B, with a question that will be pondered by philosophers for decades. (Cowboys Insider Blog, Dallas Morning News)

Posted by: Mark Zajack on 01 May 2009

46 comments, Last at 07 May 2009, 3:23am by Xeynon

Comments

1
by Insancipitory :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 2:21pm

It's going to be a good year for quotes.

2
by Dunbar (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 2:27pm

Marty B's "Pace yourself!" quote came within three seconds of making me snort Gatorade. Thankfully, I had just put the glass down, so my keyboard and monitor are still dry.

6
by Insancipitory :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 3:12pm

The thing about that is is that the power-walking villians (looks like a job for Speed Walker) inevitably take a more direct route and cut the victim off. Often at an opportune point where the runner has to turn around and ends up fleeing to a dead-end, so to speak. That's some serious Sun-Tzu right there.

No, I think the best way to avoid a scary movie-like situation is to 1. Keep your clothes on. and 2. Just stay in the back, out of focus or out of frame, and don't say anything or emote at all. That he doesn't appear to grasp this goes along way to explaining why the pithy African american athelets get killed off so quick in the standard horror movies.

25
by masoch (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:44pm

I doubt anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest is going to get that Speed Walker reference, Insancipitory! So, for their benefit, here's a link:

Heel, Toe, Heel, Toe!

27
by Insancipitory :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 9:00pm

Almost Live! was nationally syndicated on early Comedy Central one summer (1993?). Bill Nye sure blew up (HA!). But alas the great tragedy of entertainment is that Billy Quan did not.

35
by masoch (not verified) :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 5:44pm

Really? That's amazing, given that the majority of the jokes were VERY region-centric. I imagine someone from say, NYC, might miss a lot of the finer nuances of the Kent jokes and 1980's Seattle political satire.

And yeah, Billy Quan was pure genius!

Remember kids, be like Billy! Behave yourself!

36
by Insancipitory :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 7:02pm

Yeah, they cut out most the regional stuff (Tacoma stinks, leave your blinker on driving through Ballard). But they have plenty of skits, and reoccuring characters. High Five'ing White guys, Metalheads on current events. It was pretty dope, if you got tickets they'd shoot shows 3 at a time. With where the studios are located, you could make quite the day of it.

26
by masoch (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:46pm

Oh, and you forgot:

3) For gawdsake, DO NOT RUN UPSTAIRS!

and

4) Watch out for that branch/root/rock!

3
by c_f (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 2:32pm

Great selection, Mark!

Jeff George comes off as more pathetic than anything else. Has he ever considered the Arena League or CFL (though his lack of mobility might be too much for the latter)? Perhaps his non-appearance in those leagues shows that even they don't want him. He has a fair point about the preseason, though.

Tom Cable does not sound very enthusiastic about the Al Davis way.

Martellus Bennett has twitter: http://twitter.com/MartyBTV but it's not as good as his blog.

Not to be a "diva," but I think you and Leach are referring to Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee, who suffered from switching systems during his college career.

15
by Eddo :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 5:42pm

Jeff George = Uncle Rico?

17
by manderson (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:07pm

On Jeff George, he sounds alot like Daunte Culpepper last season, although that doesn't really make it less pathetic. Maybe the Lions are interested in him?

4
by MCS :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 2:45pm

That Marty B fart quote gets me every time. Spaghetti or Pancakes for lunch. Whatever they eat in Hollywood.

Priceless.

13
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 5:18pm

Agreed. That throwaway line is by far the funniest thing Marty B has written.

I imagine that Marty thought, "If I could eat absolutely anything I wanted for lunch, what would I eat?" And the answer he came up with was spaghetti or pancakes. How great is that?

(Formerly "The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly")

18
by anon (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:17pm

What really makes this an amazing quote is the and. Not spaghetti or pancakes but both!

"eating spaghetti and pancakes or whatever"

28
by Lou :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 12:34am

i completely agree

5
by Or (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 3:03pm

Just a note: Stephen McGee is a QB, not a Tight end.

7
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 3:24pm

The whole Aaron Curry situation just really underscores the fact that while NFL teams might "talk" about how rookies are paid too much, they're full of it. Detroit still went after the guy they wanted more, even though it cost them more.

Rookie salaries are just not that big of an issue to a team, financially. Stafford's probably going to count something like $3-4M against the team's cap this year. Sure, in 5 years, he'll probably cost $15-20M against the cap, but that's five years down the road: if he sucks then, the $15M against the cap isn't the problem. It's the fact that Detroit spent a #1 overall pick on a guy that sucks. Scarcity of talent is far more a problem than scarcity of cap dollars.

It seems like every year people are saying "oh, who wants the #1 overall pick?" "why doesn't team X just pass on the pick", etc. and it's completely silly. If you pick first, and you actually do get the best player in the entire draft, you'll help your team a ton. The cost is just not that big a deal.

9
by Cincysucker :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 3:50pm

It's not just the CAP hit that a team will take, when a team signs a a player to a contract with guarantees in it they have to send that money into the league office to be kept in a trust for the player. So for Detroit to pass taking Curry and sign Stafford they have to send the total amount actually guaranteed (not roster or signing bonuses) to the league office NOW to cover the contract. I would think that that does represent a big issue to a team from a cash flow stand point.

29
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 1:40am

Nah, you can put tricks in the contract to make money "virtually guaranteed": the 'option bonus which if not exercised guarantees future salaries of equal amount.'

Again, if it really was an issue, the Lions would've taken Curry. They didn't.

11
by Hummingbird Cyborg :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 4:36pm

The Browns in their multi-step trade down seem to have shown that they value the top picks less.

The truth is that if you really valued drafting first or top five less, then you'd be willing to trade down even if it is at what would be a loss according to the draft value chart.

Personally, I think that if my team was picking top five, I'd be very favorable to trading down like that.

To be fair to the Lions, QB is the most valuable position.

Maybe they considered taking Curry, but decided that Stafford as the top player available at the most valuable position was worth the extra money.

If Sanchez made the same offer as Curry, I wonder if that might have swayed them.

14
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 5:42pm

To be fair to the Lions, QB is the most valuable position.
Eh. The queen is the most powerful chess piece, but ask any chessplayer worth his salt and she's the one piece that gets brought out last. Why? Because she's the most valuable piece. You don't want her running around and getting mauled while you could be developing your offensive line other pieces to provide some ground support.

21
by BlueStarDude :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:56pm

A queen in a chess game is a lot easier to come by than a franchise QB.

22
by Eddo :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:27pm

Plus, it's not like you have to move the queen every turn, whereas a QB has to handle the ball every snap. And if a QB gets tackled, he's not eliminated from the game entirely. The chess analogy does not work at all.

37
by Noah of Arkadia :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 9:07pm

Actually, it was a beautiful analogy, but you have to be into chess to get it.

40
by Eddo :: Sun, 05/03/2009 - 12:41pm

No, it's not, for the exact reasons I stated. Once your QB is hit, he's not out forever like a queen is. Additionally, in chess, you and your opponent have exactly equal strength in players; your queen can't be better than his queen or vice versa.

I mean, with the chess analogy, the Vikings are the most well-built team around; they still haven't brought out their queen!

41
by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Sun, 05/03/2009 - 1:44pm

Once your QB is hit, he's not out forever like a queen is.
Depends how hard you hit him.

Besides, the queen doesn't have to be captured to be attacked, just like a quarterback doesn't have to be sacked for his effectiveness to be brought down by the lack of an offensive line.

your queen can't be better than his queen or vice versa
Sure it can. That's what positional value means.

I mean, with the chess analogy, the Vikings are the most well-built team around; they still haven't brought out their queen!
No, they're playing with a queen behind. Very different thing.

42
by Eddo :: Sun, 05/03/2009 - 2:25pm

What I meant by "your queen can't be better than his queen or vice versa" is that, when the game starts, neither queen is stronger.

Look, I'm not a chess player, so there's probably a lot I don't get, but using chess to say that a team shouldn't draft a QB, the most important position and the one it takes the longest to develop, before having a good team in place is a bit disingenuous. If the Lions truly believed Stafford was the best player in this draft (I don't agree, but whatever), then they made the right decision in drafting him.

43
by Noah of Arkadia :: Sun, 05/03/2009 - 6:34pm

Like the guy said, the analogy is to show that it's better to build your offensive line first, so your QB doesn't get killed or traumatized into bustdoom, rather than the other way around, just like in chess it's better to develop all your pieces first so the most valuable piece, the queen, doesn't get killed right away. Simple.

Now, not all people feel the same way (about QBs). Some feel it's better to get the QB first because those guys develop more slowly, like you point out. But sure enough, it's hard to develop fast when your lying flat on the ground after each play.

In the end, in football, it doesn't matter. Take the guys in the order that you can get them. But it's a fine analogy, anyhow, since the queen by itself, even if it's not captured, can't do much by itself without the help of the other pieces.

30
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 1:43am

The Lions don't have to start Stafford this year. There's no need to risk him, if you think your OL sucks that bad.

8
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 3:43pm

Does anyone actually think that Tom Coughlin didn't know exactly what he was saying about Plaxico?

Yeah, it should be a great year for quotes. Even without Herm.

32
by taxistan :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 5:43am

Herm works for ESPN and has alrready made a couple of beauties!!!

39
by Chip :: Sun, 05/03/2009 - 9:39am

THIS WEEK IN HERM (I don't know how this one didn't make the cut)

Herm on Percy Harvin:
“This guy is one of those guys, whether he’s driving a Ferrari, a Cadillac, a Volkswagen, if he even goes to Disneyland and drives the little cars that run on the rail, he’s going to have a wreck,” Edwards said. “So, you better have a good body and fender man. . . . There’s going to be some things you have to deal with, and you know that.”

45
by justanothersteve :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 9:23pm

That's just awesome. Should be great now that Herm has the entire league to comment on.

10
by DomM (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 4:03pm

Marty B has almost made me forget Herm...

12
by Fargo (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 5:16pm

Crabtree is apparently going to be disappointed in the amount of black appearing in our uniforms this year. Still love the pick though (although the fact that the only guy I would rather have had, Raji, fell tantalisingly close to us still smarts).

The Cable quotes are interesting, I would have loved to see his exact facial expression and body language when he was delivering them. Seems to me like he's putting as much distance between himself and this impending trainwreck of a draft class as possible.

16
by bubqr :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 5:44pm

Thought that Britton would be in it...

True that Martellus has every reason to be this year TWIQ MVP.

RIP Herm.

19
by Lefty Driesell (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:26pm

'What does Martellus Bennett look like?'

'What?'

20
by Insancipitory :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:47pm

I don't know where this is going, but along the way someone may or may not get a foot massage and someone else is getting tossed out a window.

23
by boing (not verified) :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:29pm

as a 49ers fan i hope we've found someone who can come close to replacing the production we lost with the exodus of jerry rice (i'm not going to go into TO). martellus bennett is hilarious!

24
by Harris :: Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:41pm

Deacon Jones as a color commentator on MNF would be the greatest thing to happen to teevee since pay-per-view smut.

The "Raider Way" is also known as "incompetent."

Hail Hydra!

31
by Key19 :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 2:40am

I actually am a little disappointed by MartyB's blog. I mean it's alright, but it's nothing like his best stuff. I really think he needs to be seen and heard for his jokes to reach their full potential (for me at least). Just the way he speaks and his facial expressions makes everything better. I really can't wait for Training Camp and stuff where people are interviewing him everyday. It's gonna be great.

33
by Wait, what? (not verified) :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 2:03pm

I was hoping the quote from Herm about Percy Harvin at the draft would make it in here, but since it didn't, I had to find it on Google:

"This guy is one of those guys, whether he's driving a Ferrari, a Cadillac, a Volkswagen- if he even goes to Disneyland and drives the little cars that run on the rail- he's going to have a wreck. So you better have a good body and fender man. ... There's going to be some things you have to deal with, and you know that."

You'd think we'd get sick of Herm at some point, but it just never seems to happen.

34
by plaznos (not verified) :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 3:45pm

Tom Cable's statement, "I think there's a lot of fact to that." ...I both love and hate the mangling of grammar and meaning going on there.

38
by Noah of Arkadia :: Sat, 05/02/2009 - 9:09pm

Bennet's quotes were very good, but my favorites were Leach's. Awesome, especially coming from a coach!

44
by Theo :: Mon, 05/04/2009 - 5:05am

Mike Leach always says true things.

46
by Xeynon (not verified) :: Thu, 05/07/2009 - 3:23am

The Lions don't have to start Stafford this year. There's no need to risk him, if you think your OL sucks that bad.

If they think their OL sucks, they should have taken Monroe or Smith rather than Stafford. Franchise LTs are almost as hard to find as franchise QBs, and they have a lower "bust" rate as well, perhaps because they don't get singled out, blamed for the failures of inferior teammates, and traumatized into bustdom if the team still sucks when they take the field. Given that this year's crop was considered a strong one for OTs and a weak one for QBs, whereas next year's looks to be just the opposite, and the Lions are so talent-deficient they're likely to be drafting high again next year, the decision to draft Stafford seems even less sound from a team-building perspective. The fans prefer to see skill position, face-of-the-franchise type players put in place first, but that doesn't make it the best way to build a winning football team.