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Gunther Cunningham Needs to Put Up or Shut Up

Gunther Cunningham, the Detroit Lions defensive coordinator said something interesting recently. He said that they tried blitzing in week-1 and it wasn't working so they decided to keep the ball in front of them.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows very well I am extremely pro-blitz. If I ran a team, there would be two rules I would implement. One is that almost every run play would be some form of a play-action. I believe that in doing this, the defenses can never be sure if it is a pass or a run. It makes them pay much closer attention and opens up the defense for more mistakes. Second, I would blitz almost every down. It might come from any one of the linebackers, cornerbacks or even safeties, but it will be coming and the QB will be worried about where it will be coming from. Hell, I might even blitz with the popcorn vendor once in a while.

Anyways, being such a pro-blitzing fan, I have always wanted the Lions to use the blitz much much more than they have. So when the coaches this off-season talked about how they would blitz 40% of the time, you can bet I was paying attention. In the first half, I saw one blitz.

So from what I am gathering from what Gunther said, is that after only one blitz in the first half, and it didn't work, he decided to keep the ball in front of him. So three touchdowns later, when it was obvious playing it safe would not work, instead of giving the blitz more chances, he stuck with the prevent for another three touchdowns!

As much as I hate to say it, I see "lie" all over his excuse. Now he says he plans on being more aggressive against Brett Favre. Should we believe him?

In years gone by, when Brett Favre used to come play in the Silverdome, the Lions actually won some games. In every game the Lions beat Brett Favre, they played aggressive defense and were in his face constantly. Yet, every time the Lions went to Green Bay, they would play passively and be destroyed by Favre. History has proven to me that Favre, like any other quarterback, will make mistakes and become less accurate when he is pressured a lot. So the question now is, will the Lions play aggressive or will the play prevent?

Through the last decade or more, the Lions have been through several defensive coordinators. Every time the Lions get someone new, I hear from others that he is an aggressive coordinator. Yet every one of them have played passive football. In the off-season when Schwartz brought in Gunther, I heard it again. I was told how aggressive Schwartz was and how much Gunther liked to blitz. I wasn't going to believe it. It was a story I have heard too many times and I was tiring of that rerun. Then the off-season came about and I actually began seeing the blitz. Then a few days before the first game against New Orleans, Schwartz said that they had only showed a very vanilla defense and planned to throw the whole book at Drew Brees. He said they were going to go after Brees. As I have already mentioned, they went after him with one blitz in the first half.

Now there is no reason the Lions should not blitz a lot against Minnesota. We have seen what happens when they don't blitz and it was ugly. Both coaches are supposed to favor aggressive schemes. Gunther has said he will be more aggressive against Favre. Now they need to come out of the gates aggressive or they will lose all credibility. If they come out and play the same old prevent defense yet again, there will be no doubt in my mind that it is Old man Ford who runs the team and not the coaches. This many coaches don't go to the same team with aggressive reputations and then play prevent football.

If the Lions do not blitz at least into the double digits, I will personally start the "Fire Ford" campaign. Yes I know he cant be fired, but it will get the point across and link him to Millen at the same time.

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