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How do you spell ugly? L-I-O-N-S

December 21, 2008 - Steve Murch
Remember when Wayne Fontes included himself as one of the great coaches in the NFL? Oh for the good old days. As difficult as it might be for Lions fans, we might have to think of the Fontes regime as the golden era of Detroit Lions football.

Today’s game was Awful with a capital A. The defense either didn’t have a game plan or just plain didn’t want to be there. Either way, next week’s finale against the Packers doesn’t look very good. The Pack doesn’t have anything to play for either, with the exception of trying to avoid being the Lions lone win, so the game could be the ugly game of the year in the NFL.

It’s obvious that Rod Marinelli’s tenure is nearing its completion and a new coach will inherit this woeful bunch. Who the GM is will dictate the direction of the team. As for the roster, there are only a few players who should be on the roster to start the offseason (though in realistic terms, you have to have players so many still will be there).

Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith are givens. Ernie Sims is the best player on the defense. After that, Gosder Cherilus should be kept simply by being the most recent No. 1 pick, though he really has shown too many mental lapses. Andre Fluellen is another rookie and has shown some flashes, and Cliff Avril has an upside, though he might be better as a rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense since he’s on light side for a defensive end. Jason Hanson and Nick Harris have been good, so keep them (Hanson, though is getting long in the tooth and you’d hate to see him break down all at once). After that, no one should feel safe on the roster.

The offseason will be one of intrigue. At least Matt Millen isn’t around to handle the draft or free agent signings.


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