I AM BACK!!!!!

In the past, I tried to do too much with this site with way too little time. Yet, I have been feeling a need to write about the Lions lately. So I have decided to change the Detroit Lions Observer to a few basic things. Writing articles when I feel a need to, keeping track of their wins and losses, and I am still deciding if I will go through and update Ndamukong Suh's Sack List.
Ndamukong Suh's Sack List
Keep track of which quarterbacks Suh has faced and which ones he has taken down.

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7/7/09

Improved Detroit Lions Defense Gets No Respect

Will the Detroit Lions Defense be much improved in 2009? Many of the experts from fantasy football sites don't believe so.

I have my own Fantasy Football blog called NFL Fantasy Guide. I was looking at defenses today to put out my Fantasy Defense Rankings. I was comparing what other sites ranked the defenses and I noticed something glaring. Of the three sites I looked at, the best ranking the Detroit Lions defense got was 29th. Are they truly going to be that bad again this year?

I am sorry, but I think this is a case of the experts not looking close enough. They have no respect for the Lions and rightfully so I suppose, so they just tend to rank them near the bottom. Yet if you truly look at it all, do you really place them that low?

The Detroit Lions have added a new Safety, two new starting cornerbacks, two new starting linebackers, and a good defensive tackle. That is over half of the starting defense that is new and for the most part, much improved.

With the additions of Larry Foote and Julian Peterson, to team up with Ernie Simms, the Lions linebacker crew went from one of the worst in the NFL to one of the best. That alone makes them better than a jump from 32nd to 29th only. Adding Grady Jackson in the middle of the defensive line will help them immensely when it comes to stopping the run. Though he has yet to play a down in the NFL, I do believe Louis Delmas will be a great improvement at Safety. The strength training the coaches have implemented will help as well. Every bit of improvement in the offense will help sustain more drives and keep the defense rested. That will help the defense's ranking.

Please don't get me wrong here. I have no false perception that the Lions defense will be a top defense in the NFL in 2009. I do not believe they will even be a top-15 defense. But looking at the improvements they have made, shouldn't they still be better than 29th? Don't forget, that 29 rank was the best of the three. The other two were 31st and 32nd. Seriously?

Larry Foote was the starting middle linebacker for the Superbowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers last season. They didn't just let him go... he left Pittsburgh and signed with Detroit for less money than he was offered from other teams, just because he is from the area and actually wants to play for Detroit. There is nobody who does not think Peterson will still be a very good linebacker. Grady Jackson will only play about half the downs. That is half a season more with a very good defensive tackle than the Lions had last year. Delmas has done nothing but draw rave reviews from everyone in the off-season workouts. In fact, in his first practice, he told Stafford he would be the first to pick off one of Stafford's passes. He made good on that promise.

For logical purposes and trying to keep my head grounded, I ended up ranking the Lions defense 25th overall. To be honest, I would not be surprised in the least if they ended the season ranked 20th overall, but I would at least expect 25th.

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