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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12/15/09

Kevin Smith Injury Could Be Blessing in Disguise

The Detroit Lions placed Running Back, Kevin Smith and Tight End, Casey Fitzsimmons on IR. Many are talking like this is a bad thing for the Lions. I believe it may turn out a blessing in disguise.

To understand my point of view, first you need to acknowledge one fact. The Lions season is over! They cannot make the play-offs. To win a game now will only harm their draft position. It will do no real good except to make the players feel good about themselves for one week. Since the Lions really have nothing good to play for, this is the time to find out what they have in younger players.

Jim Schwartz said in a conference recently that he does not consider playing a player to see what they have. He said he will play the players who gives him the best chance of a win and to do otherwise would be detrimental to the team and its players. I say to not look at younger players and develop those younger players is detrimental to the teams future.

Casey Fitzsimmons has been on the Lions for seven seasons now. It is obvious that he will never be a star Tight End. In two seasons with the Lions, Kevin Smith has proven himself to be an adequate running back but nothing to get excited about. He runs hard but is not a true power runner who can drag defenders with him. He is too slow to be a home run threat and reach the edges with room to run. Neither of these players are anything more than average in their positions. To play them now would not help the Lions prepare for their future and yet, if they were healthy, Schwartz would keep on playing them rather than see what the young guys can do.

Now both players are injured and the Lions hands are forced.... to a point. The Lions went out and signed free agent Tight end Michael Matthews and promoted Running back Cedric Peerman from the practice squad.

Now I do not expect Matthews to step up and be a great tight end that nobody saw in him. The odds of that are extremely slim. But just because the odds are so slim does not mean it is impossible. We know that Fitzsimmons was not a star tight end. That we do know! So the Lions essentially have nothing to lose by using Matthews. Michael Matthews is like finding a mega millions ticket on the road for an upcoming drawing. The chances of it winning are very unlikely but hey, you just never know. One thing for sure, you don't throw that ticket away before you check to see if it wins.

With Kevin Smith going down it is a different story. Unfortunately for the Lions fans, Jim Schwartz hands are not entirely tied. What would be the best for the Lions future would be to play rookie Aaron Brown and see what he can do with his speed if given any real work load. Again, they have nothing to lose in seeing what he can do. Sadly however, Schwartz is far more likely to turn to Maurice Morris to start now, and that does not help the Lions future. This is Morris' 8th season in the NFL. If he had an upside to reach, he would have reached it by now. Morris is nothing more than another average running back who is just one step under what Kevin Smith was. It would be so much more beneficial for the Lions future to see what Brown can do, but Schwartz doesn't look at the Lions future. He has eyes for the upcoming game only. Since he has some small faith in Morris and because Aaron Brown seems to be in the dog house, it is likely we will see Morris carry the workload.

The Lions should play to win. I do not doubt that analogy. There is never an excuse for any pro team, player or coach to not try and win each and every game. But it is also the time to look at the future of this franchise. It is time to give the younger players some time. Other teams do it every year. Once their season is over, they often will try playing younger quarterbacks to get them some time on the field. Why not with running back?

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