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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4/21/10

The Trading of Ernie Sims

In case you have not heard yet, the Detroit Lions traded away OLB - Ernie Sims in a three way trade. On Monday, the Lions sent Ernie Sims to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles sent a 5th round draft pick to the Denver Broncos, and to complete the triangle, the Broncos sent TE - Tony Scheffler and a 7th round pick to the Lions.

At first glance this is a confusing trade, and not because it is a three way deal. It is confusing because the Lions seemed set with their linebacker unit in place and did not seem to need a tight end with Brandon Pettigrew healing on pace. Now the Lions have two star potential tight ends and a glaring hole at the outside linebacker position.

First of all, the addition of Scheffler should help the Lions offense considerably. With two very good tight ends, they should not be using the two tight end set far more often. With either tight end able to go out for the ball, defenses will have a hard time figuring out which one to cover. This in itself will cause defenses to worry about them and not be able to double and triple cover Calvin Johnson so readily. In the running game this will help because the tight ends will help with the blocking schemes to open holes for the running backs. Another reason defenses will have to stay more honest.

So the addition of Scheffler makes sense. The problem lies with the loss of Ernie Sims. There is a difference in opinion on Ernie Sims as many fans did not think he was very good and some liked him. I am of the latter's opinions.

In his first three seasons, Sims had 371 tackles. Some fans do not like that he has rarely had a sack but that fault may not be his. He was out most of last season with an injury and before last season it was a rare thing for the Lions to blitz. When they did blitz, it was easy for offenses to pick the blitz up because the Lions defensive line never drew double teams. So it would not be expected for a linebacker to get many sacks when they are rarely sent in on the blitz and more understandable when the D-line is as bad as it has been in Detroit. So I cannot help but to wonder if the Lions might have sent away a much better linebacker than the stats appeared.

The replacement for Sims however may already be on the team. Gunther Cunningham has already said he will give Zach Follett, a rookie in 2009 a shot at the starting position and expects him to be able to handle the job. Follett, start 2009 on the practice squad even though he was a fan favorite from the day he was drafted. His highlight reel with the shots of knocking the helmets off of players had the fans excited. As the season continued however, Follett fought his way onto the Lions roster and by the end of the season he was seeing a lot more playing time.

Follett is a hard hitting linebacker with decent speed. He shows no fear and loves to lay the wood on players. He is very good in run coverage but there are some fears by fans that he may not be ready to handle the starting job. I hope he is!

So if Follett can handle the starting Job, the Lions will have added a good tight end who will give the Lions offense a lot of help and gave up a player who is already replaced by a player on the roster.

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