2005 Game Recaps and Commentary
Sep. 11: Green Bay (03) at Detroit (17)
Sep. 18: Detroit (06) at Chicago (38)
Oct. 2: Detroit (13) at Tampa Bay (17)
Oct. 9: Baltimore (17) at Detroit (35)
Oct. 16: Carolina (21) at Detroit (20)
Oct. 23: Detroit (13) at Clevleland (10)
Oct. 30: Chicago (19) at Detroit (13)
Nov. 6: Detroit (14) at Minnesota (27)
Nov. 13: Arizona (21) at Detroit (29)
Nov. 20: Detroit (07) at Dallas (20)
Nov. 24: Atlanta (27) at Detroit (07)
Dec. 4: Minnesota (21) at Detroit (16)
Dec. 11: Detroit (13) at Green Bay (16)
Dec. 18: Cincinnati (41) at Detroit (17)
Dec. 24: Detroit (13) at New Orleans (12)
Jan. 1: Detroit (21) at Pittsburgh (35)
2005 Season Commentry
The Lions played hard in their last game against a good team but in the end finishd with another loss which left them at 5-11. At the beginning of the year, I thought at worse this was a .500 team. Who would have thought how poorly the Offense would be and all the injures that would creep up on the Defense. Steve Mariucci lost control of the locker room which led to his dismissal and what transpired was the campaign to get rid of Millen. Unfortunately, Millen is going to be around another year and has a huge decision to make on who will be the next Lions head coach. There will be several teams with coaching vacancies to fill so Millen better have an idea who he wants to bring in. I'm also very curious to see what will happen with Charles Rogers and Joey Harrington. They both are big under achievers who might be better off with a change of scenery. The Lions should get a top ten pick in the upcoming draft and better not waste it like they have the past several years. Drafting an offensive lineman would be their safest bet. Knowing Millen, he will find some way to mess it up. Next month, my website celebrates its ten year anniversary. It it hard to belive how fast these ten years have flown by. The last few years have been a challenge since there has not been much of anything good to write about. Thank you for visiting my site and I will continue to share my two cents for years to come. Be sure to check back during the off season as I will update the website whenever the Lions make big off season moves.
There's too much talent around him. There are too many reasons for him to succeed. In short, there are no more excuses to explain his struggles. I admit to being one of Harrington's defenders, because, like a lot of young quarterbacks, he deserves time to grow up. I've wanted to know what he could do with a supporting cast of playmakers around him. Now, in year four of his tenure with the Lions, we're about to find out. The critics who bash Harrington the most tend to overlook the problems Detroit has had with its passing game since his arrival. He didn't have any receivers as a rookie, unless you want to mistakenly classify Az-Zahir Hakim and Bill Schroeder as reliable targets. Injuries have limited Rogers, the second pick in the '03 draft, to only six games over his first two seasons (which is another reason to have Mike Williams in the fold). And Roy Williams limped through most of his rookie season after exciting fans with his potential. Regardless of Harrington's deficiencies, this isn't the way to find out what kind of quarterback the Lions have.
If Rogers and Roy Williams stay healthy and Mike Williams can avoid the struggles that typically plague rookie receivers, the Lions' fortunes will change instantly. Of the top six receivers to come out of the last three drafts, they boast half on their roster. When you add second-year running back Kevin Jones, who ran for 1,133 yards as a rookie, Detroit has the most impressive collection of young skill players in the league. Now all they need is for Harrington to do what good quarterbacks are supposed to do -- get them to follow him.
These are where the questions will arise in Detroit. Has Harrington done enough to convince his teammates that he's the man to keep guiding them? If he hasn't, he had better start making up ground fast. If Harrington can't get it done early with this much skill around him, I wouldn't be surprised to see Lions head coach Steve Mariucci quickly turn to back-up Jeff Garcia. No matter what the Lions say, they didn't bring in Garcia to mentor. He's insurance, plain and simple.
That's a good thing, by the way. Maybe Harrington got complacent because he knew his former backup, Mike McMahon, couldn't beat him out of his job. If that was the case, then there's nothing wrong with the Lions motivating Harrington with a little competition. It worked for Drew Brees in San Diego. Like Harrington, he finished his third season with few people impressed by his play. By the end of last year, Brees was a Pro Bowler. Why? Because Brees decided he wasn't going to let rookie Phillip Rivers take his job.
I'm not saying Harrington will be playing in Hawaii next February but it is plausible for him to improve dramatically. The common wisdom in the NFL is that most quarterbacks don't really develop until they've played four seasons, unless they have names like Vick or Manning. By that point, the successful ones stop trying to prove why they were high picks and just start playing. That's exactly what Harrington needs to do. The Lions simply can't afford to let another year go by without pushing for a playoff spot. That's what the Mike Williams pick was really about. Though Detroit could've taken Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson with the 10th selection, they couldn't pass on a receiver who could bolster their offense. Let's face it: If Detroit is going to compete for a playoff spot this season, it's going to be because they scored a lot of points. They have an offensive-minded head coach. They've used their last six first-round picks on offensive players. They're going to ride their offense as far as it will take them. Harrington knows this as well as anybody.
He can utilize the guidance of Mariucci, who molded Brett Favre and helped turn Garcia into a Pro Bowl quarterback in San Francisco. He can stay motivated by the notion that Garcia won't be holding a clipboard long if the offense doesn't improve. And he can pray that Williams, Williams and Rogers make it through a full season together while the offensive line keeps opening holes for Jones.
Harrington needs to do all that and more because nobody will defend him if he falters this year. And if he can't win with the people around him, we won't be hearing any questions about the Lions' draft strategy next April. We'll know exactly what they should be searching for -- another quarterback.
My Commentary: 9/2/05
Commentary 7/26/05: Time certainly does fly by. A little more than six weeks to go until the opener against the Packers. I was caught off guard hearing WR Mike Williams name being called for the Lions, but i'm with the majority of people who think this was the right pick. The last few years, at least one WR has been out or injured for most of the season. If Roy Williams and Charles Rogers can stay healthy most of the season, the Lions could have the best receiving core. Free agent Kevin Johnson will definitely help out if the two Williams or Rogers get hurt. Signing TE Marcus Pollard was another great move by Millen and company. With Kevin Jones entering his second season, the Lions offense has the chance to be one of the best in the NFL. Only one problem: Joey Harrington. As I have said since the Lions drafted Harrington, he will not lead them to the promise land. I can only hope that Joey proves myself and the majority of Lions fans wrong. It would be great to see the Drew Brees in him this year or else Jeff Garcia will be ready to take over the helm. Looking on the other side of the ball, the Lions have done a great job patching up a bend but don't break defense from last year. The additions of Kenoy Kennedy, R.W. McQuarters and 2nd round pick Shaun Cody should definitely give the Defense a boost. That is not to mention that Boss Bailey, who missed all of the 2004 season, is expected to be the dominant linebacker he was as a rookie. With Matt Millen entering his fifth season, it is time for the Lions to contend for the NFC North and at the very worst make it into the playoffs. Given how much they have improved in the offseason and through the draft, I cannot see the Lions finishing worse than 9-7. If the Lions can stay away from the injury bug and live up to what their potential is, they will finish 10-6 and win the NFC North for the first time in several years!
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