Weekly sports ramblings - Feb. 26, 2009
• The Detroit Pistons are demonstrating to the rest of the NBA just how important it is to have a true point guard in the NBA. This team has been completely dysfunctional for the past month and is showing no signs of turning it around, which could put us in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in some years. When you think of the fact this team has consistently been one of the top 2 to 3 teams in the Eastern Conference year-in and out, it’s really a shame this season could go in the tank.
I’m sorry but AI just isn’t meshing well at all with the team and it’s making first year coach Michael Curry’s job miserable as he is now taking most of the blame from the wonderful Detroit media. I admit, Curry might not have been on ANYONE else’s list for head coach this year but he knows Joe D and he knows Detroit. He knows how a team should be ran and what he expects from each player on the roster. I’m not saying none of the problem is his fault but looking I do believe if Billups were never traded, this team would be competing with Boston and Cleveland in the win column.
I think the ‘stones will definitely be all right in the long run but as for this year, we could be finishing worse than teams like Atlanta, Charlotte, and Indiana. That doesn’t feel right, does it? What a year for the City of Detroit – Economic collapse; first ever 0-16 NFL team; Wolverines completed their worst season…EVER; the Pistons possibly missing the postseason; and the Tigers significantly underachieved in ’08…not to mention the Red Wings are having trouble selling tickets (Minnesota Wild have more consecutive sellouts)…but at least the Wings are still winning. I think I’d have to go into hibernation if the Wings don’t make the playoffs.
• Free Agency opens Friday for the NFL. Historically, the Lions haven’t been major players in Free Agency but after a season like last year combined with the already overflowing crowd of good players cut in cap-moves, the Lions can’t afford not to seriously consider signing a pricy lineman on both sides of the ball. O-line is our biggest hole from last season. Mayhew has already discussed moving overrated Jeff Backus to LG from LT. I’ve been suggesting that to my TV set for 3 years now. It actually might help Backus become a Pro-bowler (can’t believe I just said that). But aside from Backus, Raiola at center and Cherilus at RT are the only other solid pieces. We need a RG and a LT, which happens to be the most pricy, important lineman you can have (the person who is responsible for protecting the QBs blindside). There have already been numerous players entered into the pool whom are more than capable of filling these positions better than the draft could do but outlook for signing a pricy lineman is probably not good. Mayhew has said the draft is where it has to happen and that Free Agency isn’t the way to build, although I strongly disagree to an extent. If a proven player is out there and is showing no signs of slowing down, why chance more than $50 million dollars (the average going rate for a top ten draft pick) when you could get the proven player for $20? Makes zero sense to me.
Another player I believe could help make strides for the Lions would be Albert Haynesworth. I’m guessing, though, that’s about a 2-percent chance. The difference in having a tremendous player on the D-line compared to just a solid player is astonishing. Just look at the Chiefs with Jared Allen and the Chiefs without Jared Allen; the same with Minnesota before and after. Both defenses were significantly better with Allen than without him – to the tune of top in the league with and bottom without; not just a couple spots difference.
Weekly sports ramblings are a sports column by John Fischer regarding the latest in Michigan sports on a college and professional level. The views expressed in the column are solely his own views and do not express the thoughts of the Arenac Independent.