Tag Archive | "Detroit Lions"

Heisman Trophy Winner Bradford Considers Having Surgery


OKLAHOMA – ESPN reported that last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Oklahoma Sooners’ quarterback Sam Bradford (AP Photo/Ty Russell)is seriously considering having season-ending surgery on his injured shoulder.

Bradford has missed a majority of the season and when he tried to make a comeback last week, lasted just two series of downs before leaving the field aggravating the injury further.

The Sooners entered the season focused on making a run for a national title but those dreams were shattered in one snap of the ball. The Sooners currently sit at the cellar of the AP Top 25 with a 3-3 record and are struggling to earn a decent bowl bid.

While we watch Bradford’s stock in the NFL 2010 Draft drop like a Wall Street crash, it makes me reminisce about the day Mark Sanchez announced he was leaving the USC Trojans and opting to join the draft.

At the time, USC Coach Pete Carroll showed some displeasure at the press conference and said Sanchez “made a bad choice”.

Since then, Sanchez has been the starting quarterback for the New York Jets, playing under a contract fat enough to support even the family members he has never met ($60 million with $28 million guaranteed).

Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford who went No. 1 overall in last year’s draft is another player who left campus early. Stafford who is currently rehabbing a knee injury suffered this NFL season is the starter for the Detroit Lions and playing with a $72 million contract ($41.7 million guaranteed).

While Bradford contemplates going under the knife with a cloudy future and Sanchez and Stafford cash their checks every week, I would like to now ask Mr. Carroll who he thinks made a “bad choice”.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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NFL Update: Stafford Injured, Titans 0-4, Broncos 4-0


Hottest news this NFL weekend includes the Detroit Lions No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford’s knee injury.

In a 48-24 loss in Chicago, Stafford showed several signs of why he was touted as a No. 1 when he orchestrated Photo: Andre J. Jackson DFP several long scoring drives of over 70 yards against the banged-up Bears defense including one 98 yard drive for a touchdown.

But the show came to an abrupt end late in the game when Stafford took a sack then lay on the grass, clutching his knee in pain. Stafford limped off the field and spent the rest of the game with his knee wrapped in ice while veteran Daunte Culpepper took the remaining snaps.

ESPN reported that Stafford’s injury was a dislocated kneecap that popped back in while he was on the sideline and the injury is expected to sideline him for one or two weeks.

After starting out 3-0, Mark Sanchez, New York Jets quarterback and second slinger taken in last year’s NFL Draft finally had his rookie break-out game throwing three interceptions in a 24-10 road loss in New Orleans. Before the loss, Sanchez’ three straight wins included an upset victory against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  

Darren Sharper returned one of Sanchez’ errant throws 99 yards to the house and that 14-point swing was too much for the young quarterback and his Jets to overcome. The Saints went on to win 24-10.

In other surprising news the Tennessee Titans fell to 0-4 while the Denver Broncos improved to 4-0 with their 17-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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Detroit Lions Get First Win Since 2007!


DETROIT – While considered a normal occurrence in other parts of America like New England, Cleveland, Photo Credit: Detroit Free PressChicago, and even as far away as Al Davis country, a rare phenomenon occurred in Motown today–the Detroit Lions won a football game.

Dump the Gatorade, ride off into the sunset, this event is worthy of a ticker-tape parade and is the first of its kind in Detroit since 2007.

The Lions snapped the second longest losing streak in NFL history on Sunday and embarrassed Jim Zorn and the Washington Redskins 19-14 in front of the smallest crowd to see the guys in Honolulu Blue in 20 years.

All eyes have been on the Lions as they were chasing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ record of 26 losses in a row. ESPN has featured the Lions struggles over the past years on many of their shows that normally included a few Matt Millen jokes and reporters struggling to keep a straight face when referring to the Lions as an NFL team.

Laugh no more, America! The Lions were victorious on Sunday.

This is life-changing for many Americans.

The few remaining auto assembly workers can proudly don their Lions jerseys once again and Matt Millen may saturate NFL talk shows with quotes like, “See, drafting wide receivers every year high in the first round does pay off!”

Across the continent in Los Angeles, Jay Leno’s monologues may have to change. The funny late-night host has been making a living on Lions’ jokes including one of my all-time favorites, “I set my TiVo to record ‘The Biggest Loser’ and I got the Lions game.”

Leno may start the week off sniffing out fresh NFL meat for another source of material. The Lions victory was blacked-out but Jay Leno’s show is not; come Monday Jim Zorn and his ‘Skins may wish it were.

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Convicted Burglar ‘Steals’ Game For Patriots

NFL’s Most Famous Fumble Recovery, “He’s Running the Wrong Way!”

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NFL Week 3 – Match-ups and Upsets


Paula Duffy, Examiner.com sports writer does this week’s NFL preview. Below is her take on this weekend’s games and Redskins Cheerleader potential upsets for NFL Week 3.

Detroit Lions over the Washington Redskins: Like many others I look at this as a way to get Detroit over the 2 year slide and begin the Jim Zorn death watch. While the Redskins’ defense is solid, their offense is putrid. Detroit can score points as we’ve seen, even against Minnesota’s excellent defense.One caveat: if it’s close late in the 4th, momentum shifts to the Redskins. Detroit has no idea how to hold a lead.

Tennessee Titans over the New York Jets: The Titans lost in overtime to the Steelers and in a shoot-out to the Texans, both of which were close. Those games showed they’re vulnerable to the pass but can deal with the run. Sanchez is good but not that good. Don’t discount possible letdown by New York after the big win vs. Patriots.

San Francisco 49’ers over the Minnesota Vikings: Favre is due for an uncontrollable day and Adrian Peterson says he’s good to go but you think he’d admit he wasn’t? The 49’ers are tough, physical and can score in the red zone. When Vernon Davis says he’s a converted “me first” kind of guy you know they want this one for Samurai Mike.
The rest of the schedule:

Green Bay over St. Louis: No reason to think the Rams will turn the page this week.

New Orleans beat the Bills: What have you seen in Buffalo that can equal the league’s best offense? Nothing.

Texans over the Jaguars: I feel for Maurice Jones-Drew but they need an A-list QB or wide receiver to balance that attack

New York Giants over the Tampa Bay Bucs: The Bucs can’t stop good offenses and the Giants have one. But if too many Giants are banged up and can’t play, look for this to be close.

Eagles over the Chiefs: Two back-up QB’s for Philly can’t blow this opportunity can they? If Vick is misused or coughs up the ball, maybe.

Arizona bests Indianapolis: While I think this could be a close shoot-out, Indy’s defense makes this pick a reality.

Baltimore over Cleveland: The Ravens have one of the most balanced teams in the league. Awesome D and an offense that can run and throw. Cleveland’s got…?

Steelers beats the Bengals: I’m not all that sure about this. I’ve got to see more of a running game from the Steelers before I make them a lock each week. Until then, those Bengals should scare them.

Bears over the Seahawks: Seneca Wallace is a good back-up but their running game is iffy. The Bears can run against them if last week’s defensive failure vs. Gore is a measure.

Chargers best the Dolphins: But for bad play calling, the Bolts would have beaten Baltimore last weekend. I think they can take the Dolphins after that.

Denver over Oakland: JaMarcus Russell might be as big a bust as Ryan Leaf. Need I say more?

Dallas bests Carolina: Third week in a row for the Panthers to face a potent offense and the Cowboys are cranky after loss to the Giants.

Tired of the same old sports page? Then check out Paula Duffy’s insightful (and often humorous) take on the sports day at her Examiner.com page! The popular co-host for Sports Journey Radio is also a contributor to the Huffington Post and founder of the sports learning site Incidental Contact. In her spare time, Duffy practices law in Los Angeles. But don’t hold that against her.

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NFL News – Urlacher & McNabb Out; Sanchez and Stafford Debut


All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher, the heart and soul of the Chicago Bears’ defense will miss the remainder of the brian-urlacherseason after dislocating his wrist in the 21-15 loss to the division rival Green Bay Packers Sunday night.

With the injury occurring so early in the season, Chicago is expected to shop around for a replacement to fill the middle linebacker spot. Derrick Brooks is expected to join the team if the two sides can work out a deal. Brooks is familiar with Chicago coach Lovie Smith and Chicago’s defensive schemes.

Mark Sanchez silenced some of the critics including Pete Carroll, his former coach at USC, when the rookie led his New York Jets to a 24-7 win over the Houston Texans.

Earlier in the year and prior to selection day, Carroll had publicly stated that Sanchez “made a bad choice” in joining the NFL draft.

Sanchez finished 18-of-31 for 272 yards and one TD.

In other injury news, joining Urlacher on the sidelines list is Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb who suffered a cracked rib in his team’s 38-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

With McNabb’s status unknown and Michael Vick ineligible for another week, don’t be surprised to see ex-Eagle Jeff Garcia donning green in Philly this weekend when Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints visit the ‘City of Brotherly Love’.

In other rookie news, Matthew Stafford will have to wait for his first victory. Stafford appears to have a much larger chore ahead of him than Sanchez after his Detroit Lions started this season where they left off last year.

The Lions’ defense who were worst in the NFL last year were ripped apart by fantasy football favorite Drew Brees, who tossed six touchdown passes during the 45-27 blowout over the Lions.

Stafford finished 16-of-37 for 205 yards and 3 INTs.

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Will Culpepper Ask to Be Traded?


DETROIT – When Daunte Culpepper decided to come out of retirement and sign with the Detroit Lions in October (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)2008 we covered that story and the first line in our coverage read, “Run Daunte run! In the opposite direction.”

Culpepper, a three-time Pro Bowler, may wish he had heeded that advice as he finds himself relegated to the back-up quarterback position on the worst team in the NFL, riding the bench while Matthew Stafford, an unproven rookie, will be taking snaps Week One in New Orleans.

Prior to signing with the Lions, Culpepper had several meetings and tryouts with other NFL teams and turned down offers to play back-up for two winning teams, Pittsburgh and Green Baybefore deciding to play in Detroit. He was clearly looking for another opportunity to start and his discussion with the Lions is sure to have included that.

Culpepper didn’t speak to reporters after Monday’s practice, there’s an early warning sign he will be wanting out of Motown. If he demands a trade like many of us think he will and should, the pressure on Stafford to succeed multiplies tenfold since there are no veterans on the sidelines to step in if he falters or go to for guidance.

The bench is a strange place to assign a veteran like Culpepper who is a proven NFL quarterback that has thrown for more than 13 miles in his career. Thirteen miles . . . 23,208 yards . . . more than 232 football fields.

Being replaced with a rookie can only add fuel to the fire. Leave it to the Lions to use and hang another veteran out to dry, (Google Tatum Bell).

Culpepper showed great loyalty during his college days at the University of Central Florida.

After running up staggering stats, several top colleges tried to recruit him but he chose to stay in Orlando playing for the only school that offered him an opportunity during the original recruiting process.

Most youngsters his age would have jumped at the chance to play in the SEC but Culpepper stayed loyal to UCF. He went on to set a laundry list of NCAA records before being drafted in the first-round by the Minnesota Vikings.

Since arriving in Motown last fall, Culpepper has shown great commitment to the Lions organization.

He showed up in game shape this summer, dropping 30 pounds in the offseason preparing to lead a 0-16 disaster out of the cellar. The Lions quarterback position was Culpepper’s to lose but he was never given a fair chance to lose it.

Although he showed more poise and confidence and ran stats much more impressive than Stafford during preseason, Stafford connected with wide receiver Calvin Johnson for long gains on several occasions. That is sure to have caught the eye of Lions Coach Jim Schwartz but in all fairness to Culpepper; Johnson sat out with an injury both of Culpepper’s starts.

If anyone thinks Culpepper would have trouble finding a sprinting Johnson down any sideline they didn’t watch Culpepper when he made a living heaving spirals to a guy named Randy Moss. Culpepper’s arm clearly has some life left and he deserved a legitimate chance to reinvent his career and rejuvenate the Lions.

Quarterbacks do it every season. Last year Chad Pennington found his game in Miami and took home the AP Comeback-Player-of-the-Year award, leading the Dolphins to an 11-5 record. A year earlier, Jeff Garcia bounced back and found himself playing into January after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 9-7 division-winning record and playoff spot.

Culpepper must certainly feel burned; shafted. He did nothing that justified losing the starting position this preseason and Stafford didn’t perform well enough in his two starts to earn it.

Curious to see how this latest move by the NFL’s most desperate organization plays out. Snatching an opportunity like this from a veteran like Culpepper can cause bad Karma in your locker room.

Will it lead to trade demands by the 32-year-old quarterback who’s playing years are limited?

Don’t be surprised if it does.

Related Articles:

Starting Stafford Too High a Risk for Lions. 

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Starting Stafford Too Huge a Risk for Lions


DETROIT – After seeing rookie sensations Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco evolve into legitimate starters last year in the Matthew StaffordNFL, the temptation was too much for the Detroit Lions and Coach Jim Schwartz.

With the season opening September 13th with a road game in New Orleans followed by a visit from the Minnesota Vikings, Schwartz ignored the risks and named Matthew Stafford the starter.

Putting the young slinger across from Minnesota’s swarming defensive line just eight days into his NFL career may evolve into a human sacrifice and reinvent the name ‘Purple People Eaters’ for the Vikings.

The Vikings sacked Lions quarterbacks a total of 10 times in the two games last year. That is a risky scenario to place a young rookie quarterback in who is trying to build confidence.

Stafford has an incredible arm, there’s no doubt about that but it’s hard to throw with a 300-lb. lineman’s arms wrapped around you.

We’ve been hearing the Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco theories but those two rookies stood behind proven offensive lines last year and were given plenty of protection throughout their 11-5 seasons. There’s talk about how improved the Lions O line is this year but why not wait a few weeks to verify that.

The league’s best quarterbacks crumble under excessive pressure up front, even Tom Brady as seen in the Super Bowl game when the New York Giants knocked Brady totally off his game upsetting the heavily-favored New England Patriots.

The NFL game is a sprint compared to NCAA and Stafford could have gotten a feel for the pace and speed of the game by watching the first few Sundays from the sidelines.

There would be a lesser argument for handing Stafford a clipboard and headset in New Orleans if this were a ‘Stafford vs. Stanton’ or a ‘Stafford vs. Orlovsky’ debate but the Lions have a proven Pro Bowl quarterback on their roster, Daunte Culpepper who has thrown for 23,208 yards in his career. That’s 13 miles; more than 232 football fields.

Culpepper deserves a legitimate chance to reinvent himself. It happens all the time. John Travolta did it on the screen with Pulp Fiction; Chad Pennington did it on the field with Miami last year.

Culpepper, the three-time Pro Bowl player showed up 30 pounds lighter in game shape before the season started expecting to start. Now that he finds himself out of the starting position he was never given a chance to lose, there may be some bad locker room karma heading the Lions way.

When Daunte joined the Lions in October 2008 we covered that story, “Daunte Should Avoid the Lions”. The Lions have a knack for finishing player’s careers on a sour note (Google Tatum Bell and Marcus Pollard). If Culpepper sits rotting away on the bench while he has some arm left, he could join that group. You have to wonder; Will Daunte ask to be traded?

Culpepper appears committed to again making a mark in the NFL and he cannot do that collecting splinters on the bench.

Playing against former teams brings the best out of athletes as we see ever week when ex-Lions visit Detroit and have career days after being traded or cut. I would have expected the best out of Daunte against his former Vikings team during Week Two at Ford Field.

The logical decision would have been to sit Stafford for at least two weeks then re-evaluate his progress, the O line and the team then go from there. William Clay Ford is always more interested in selling tickets as in the case with hurrying quarterback Joey Harrington, a first-round dud that was never given a fair chance to develop.

The Lions got impatient. This is clearly a rebuilding time, just as the past decade has been so what would a few more weeks of development have mattered?

 This is unlikely to be a playoff season but the Lions are taking a chance of destroying the confidence of their franchise $78 million investment-another reason this team is, and may always be, destined to be a loser.

Voice your opinion by taking our front page poll and vote whether Stafford and Mark Sanchez should be taking snaps NFL Week One.

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More Matthew Stafford Articles:

Get Ready Lions, Stafford Knows How to Party!

Why Stafford and Detroit Lions are a Bad Marriage

Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week – Matthew Stafford

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Get Ready Lions, Stafford Knows How to Party!


DETROIT – Looks like the Detroit Lions multi-million dollar prize, Matthew Stafford knows how to hoop it up. stafford-bump-and-grindPictures of the NFL’s newest millionaire surrounded by half-naked blonds partying it up surfaced on Deadspin this afternoon–I wonder if the photo on the right is a move from Coach Schwartz’ new “bump-and-grind” offense.

While most will find these pics harmless, entertaining and reminiscent of our younger years, they may not be taken too kindly by the Lions old-school owner, William Clay Ford.

But who cares what Ford thinks. The man has proven he doesn’t have a clue how to run an NFL team.

Stafford is exactly what the 0-16 Lions need. A young rambunctious heart full of energy.

Matthew, think you can get some hip-hop blaring through the locker room to awaken the NFL’s most dreadful squad out of their 7-year coma?

Better yet, how about a few of your blond babes replacing the Middle School Cheerleading squads who perform at the Lions games? stafford-finger

Wow, think about it, hip-hop blasting through the halls at Ford Field, hot cheerleaders strutting the sidelines, maybe even throw in a lucky win or two–Stafford may be exactly what the Lions need.

Related Stories:

Stafford’s Agent Bitch-Slaps Lions for a Tune of $78 Million.

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Lions miss out on the draft of the decade


NEW YORK – During this past weekend’s NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions failed to take advantage of stealing several first-round nfldraftprojected players that were staring them right in the face. Snagging these prospects would have patched up several of their holes in their defense and guaranteed them several sure starters for next season.

While many people commented on how ‘genius’ the Lions front office looked by trading their top pick in the 3rd round for three of the N.Y. Jets picks, a former projected first-round pick, 6′ 7″ 260-lb DE Michael Johnson from Georgia Tech was waiting in the wings for a team that would steal him in the third round.

Possibly a Pro-Bowler one day, Johnson’s resume is overflowing with accomplishments that include a record amount of blocked kicks, several forced fumbles, sacks, the tons of awards; the list goes on and on.

If the Lions went into the draft thinking defense, Johnson would have been the fourth pick in what would have clearly been the best draft of any of the NFL teams for 2009 and possible one of the best drafts over the past decade.

Here’s the scenario that was passed up by the Lions.

First overall- LB Aaron Curry and the fans go wild in support.

First round pick #20 – DT Peria Jerry and the fans start believing the Lions new front office knows football. They actually begin to envision a defense on the way to recovery.

First pick in 2nd round (#33 overall) – MLB Rey Maualuga. Fierce hitter, once projected top-ten pick and the steal of the draft. The Lions fans at Ford Field get their chants for “Rey” answered and actually start wanting to inquire about purchasing season tickets.

Third round selection- DE Michael Johnson 6′ 7″ 260 dynamic player; once predicted a top-ten overall pick. Lions fans say, “Who?” but after reading the player’s bio and hearing ESPN analysts start referring to the Lions as being the winner in the draft, their eyes begin to water up, they want to send apologies to Mayhew for all the names they had called him and begin to fantasize about a playoff game within a few years.

All of these players were at some time projected first-round picks and all were available and passed up by the Lions. Adding these four defensive stars would have created a defensive line that included Grady Jackson, Dwayne White, Peria Jerry and Michael Johnson and a linebacker group of Julian Peterson, Ernie Sims and Rey Maualuga.

Overnight the NFL worst defense would find itself with hitters like Sims and Maualuga and could have been one of the more punishing and feared groups in the league while moving way up the ladder against the run.

With Coach Schwartz being a defense specialist, this scenario would have put the Lions as the biggest winners in the draft while filling several of their important needs.

If this upcoming season again features average running backs setting personal-best records every Sunday while running at will against another Lions sieve-filled defense, Lions’ fans can only shake their heads and again say, “Maybe in next year’s draft.”

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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Why Stafford and Lions are a bad marriage


DETROIT – When Matthew Stafford smiles at the camera and explains how he will “do whatever it takes to win in Detroit” I see a naïve Lionsyoung man who is oblivious to the fact he has just been thrown into the Lions’ den.

Stafford’s agent Tom Condon has represented his client well in landing the largest rookie contract in the history of the NFL but is money everything? Isn’t the idea supposed to be to play a game you love and have fun while you make the big bucks? If so, Detroit is the wrong place for Stafford.

In and around Atlanta, many of the UGA fans I have spoken to are quick to say how Stafford’s erratic play has frustrated them over the years. They remember how many quarters he spent overthrowing open targets and how he buckled under pressure in many of the big games. How will that translate to the Detroit Lions and their fans?

Following the organization since the days they played during snow squalls in historic Tiger Stadium, I have to say not very well. Many teams in the NFL have rosters that would support a long-term development case like Stafford but Detroit is not one of them.

Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay is a great example. Rodgers worked the clipboard for years developing his talent while watching one of the all-time greats in Brett Favre before stepping into a starting position years later.

That’s how the transition from college to the NFL normally happens and there lies the problem with this marriage.

The Lions’ fans and the city of Detroit have totally lost their patience with this organization. To the point they have spent the past month saturating blogs around the country with threats of dropping support for the team if they draft Stafford. Groups of fans have gone to the extreme of showing up at press conferences filling the air with “Don’t draft Stafford” chants.

These actions truly are nothing personal toward Stafford but rebounding from the most disastrous run in NFL history under a guy named Millen should not include converting a #1 overall pick into a high-risk player like Stafford when there are guaranteed starters like Aaron Curry and Jason Smith available who are projected to step in game one and play in the league for 8-10 years.

While some may argue that Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco are examples of the contrary to long-term quarterback development, look at the Falcons and Ravens rosters compared to Detroit and realize that Stafford’s situation is not the same scenario, it’s nowhere close.

Ryan and Flacco both stood behind offensive lines with time to pass; Stafford goes to a team who allowed a ridiculous amount of sacks in the NFL over the past few seasons.

Stafford will not have a mentor like Favre, instead he will have an aging quarterback who is clinging to his final few years in the league and unhappy fans and media he will be pressured into trying to please.

Tom Brady looked near-flawless during the Patriots’ record-setting 16-0 season, standing tall and confident in the pocket hitting receivers but when pressure was applied during the Super Bowl game against the N.Y. Giants, even he looked lost and failed.

Yes, Stafford’s contract carries an earth-shattering $41.7 million guarantee and keeps the checks coming in for 6 years but athletes want to win and regardless what they say in front of the lights and cameras, their egos are huge and need to be fed.

Right now the kid may be celebrating what he and his agent have accomplished but when it comes down to playing in Honolulu Blue, reality is going to hit and the fun will be over. How can a kid live up to a $78 million contract in a blue-collar city where unemployment lines wrap around buildings and boarded up foreclosures line the streets?

Stepping in and delivering results immediately like Matt Ryan did in Atlanta when he threw a 60 yard bomb for a TD in his first NFL pass may help a bit. A 60-yard Hail Mary to Calvin Johnson streaking down the sideline may make the fans momentarily forget how stupid of a move the Lions made.

The only problem with that is, that play was against the Lions and there is no other defense in the NFL bad enough to allow that to happen.

That is the reason we heard the supportive “Aaron Curry” chants and degrading “Don’t draft Stafford” chants; the team needs defense and they need it now and they passed up an opportunity to get a guaranteed starter.

Playing quarterback or goalie positions in Detroit takes the thickest of skin and I have never seen a rookie with skin thick enough to withstand the repercussions that comes with that territory, especially if they are not wanted to begin with.

The Lions have seen several past first-round QBs including Andre Ware and Joey Harrington flop and suffer faultering careers after being placed on Lions teams that had better rosters than the current team has. It’s a long process and Stafford is not capable of becoming the overnight savior the fans and organization needs.

Money creates happiness for a certain amount of time but after the enormous homes, extravagant vacations and collections of cars becomes commonplace, it all comes down to how much fun a guy is having playing the game he has grown to love.

After the dust from Stafford’s party settles and he is two years into his journey in a Lions uniform, will the few extra million he received by going #1 as opposed to #3 or #4 be worth it? I think not.

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

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