Detroit Lions 2014-2015 Season Preview

Lions Jersey

The Detroit Lions are always an enigma. Looking at the roster on paper, you would think that the playoffs are guaranteed. But after watching them in the preseason, I’m less encouraged. Sure, it’s just the preseason but the secondary looked like complete garbage, and the offensive execution was less than ideal; even if Calvin Johnson wasn’t playing much. I’m not a fan of Jim Caldwell, but I think that the new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi is going to do a good job when they don’t have a vanilla game plan. I also enjoyed how aggressive the front seven of the defense was during the preseason with Teryl Austin’s playcalling, but the starting corners make me extremely worried. Blake Bortles went 70 yards with no timeouts in less than two minutes like he was back in college playing Akron or Temple.

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Michigan Football 2014-2015 Season Preview

I had this post all ready to go but Brady Hoke insisted on changing his mind about who is starting and I’m sure I’ll have to end up updating this post this week. Anyways, I hate to say it, but this is probably the least optimistic I’ve been for a Michigan football season in a while. Yes, that includes Rich Rodriguez’s tenure because his first year doesn’t count. It’s impossible to be optimistic when you know you’ve got Stephen Threet and Nick Sheridan running a mostly option spread attack on the offensive side of the ball.

To be perfectly honest, the lack of optimism is only due to the offensive line. I think the defense has a chance to be an elite defense, especially because of the massive amount of talent in the front seven. The defensive line and linebacking group are two of the deepest/most talented groups in the Big Ten. They very well could put together a season like Michigan State did last year, where the defense leads the way and the offense puts up enough points to come away with some wins.

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The Detroit Red Wings’ Offseason Whiff(s)

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The Monthly Traub is out and in full force right now. There’s just not much to write about at the moment, and I’ve been spending a lot of time writing over at Diehard Sport. Make sure you’re checking out diehardsport.com for the latest stuff and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to make your life a whole lot better. This post turned into a bit of a disorganized rant/mess, so bear with me.

The Detroit Red Wings went into this offseason and I was highly optimistic. A lot of cap room, a bunch of terrible players coming off the payroll and supposedly not coming back. That last Freep link was killed for a reason, not sure why, but they wanted to remove any sort of information that said that they were letting all of their UFA’s walk. Anyways, I figured there was no way they would bring Kyle Quincey and Daniel Cleary back and they certainly wouldn’t give the two of them a raise to bring them back. Whoops. The Kyle Quincey signing I hate, but I can at least understand. They whiffed on their big free agent targets and panicked and went with someone they knew. The pay raise and two-year deal is what really makes me mad. When Kyle Quincey is making more money than Kevin Shattenkirk, Slava Voynov, Victor Hedman and Niklas Hjalmarsson, something is wrong. Hockey and quality of play is certainly not based purely on statistics, there is far more that goes into it, but this stat line (82 games played, 13 points, -4, 88 PIMs) is not worth anything close to $4.25 million a year. Why not give a guy like Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet or Alexey Marchenko a shot? You know what Quincey has to offer, and he’s not exactly going to take the defensive corps and put it over the top and turn the Red Wings into a serious Cup contender again. On a bit of a different note, if you’re a restricted free agent like Danny DeKeyser is, how do you not demand more money than what Quincey is getting? You’re clearly better than him and have a brighter future, why should you make half as much?

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The Detroit Red Wings Offseason Plan: Pre-Draft Edition

Rings on Rings on Rings on Rings

With the 2014 Stanley Cup Final over and the compliance buyout period starting, it’s time to turn our attention to the NHL Draft and Free Agency. The Detroit Red Wings have a very intriguing offseason coming up, one that I’m particularly excited about. They have a lot of bad contracts expiring and should have somewhere in the range of $12-14 million in cap room once they re-sign their key restricted free agents (Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser) and deal with the $3.2 million bonus overages from last year’s contracts.

The Salary Cap is rumored to be around $70-71 million because of the new TV contract with Rogers and the league revenue. The Red Wings have a payroll of $50.9 million for next season, for 18 players under contract. They’ll have 21 under contract as soon as they sign their restricted free agents, so what does this mean for their offseason plans?  This would give them two free roster spots, three if they send Tomas Jurco down to Grand Rapids to start the season. I’m assuming one spot is reserved for Daniel Alfredsson and then another for a right-handed top 4 defenseman. This means that they would have either the last spot for Jurco or another free agent forward to try and bolster their top 6.

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2014 NFL Draft Losers

Picking “losers” this year was pretty tough, especially because I liked some picks that the team’s made in these drafts quite a bit. Teams seem to be getting better and better at drafting because of the amount of information that is available to them. You might recognize some of these teams from last year, but it was still tough to put together Top 5. In my mind, if you don’t have a 1st round pick you’re automatically on this list. So without further adieu here is my Top 5 in alphabetical order.

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2014 NFL Draft Winners

When it comes to the NFL Draft, there are some organizations that just straight up get it. The team that sticks out in my mind and easily had the best draft is the San Francisco 49ers. Before we get too much into that, let’s be clear, I don’t like grading drafts. You don’t know how good players will actually be and you should really wait until three years after a draft to grade it. I mean hell, look at my evaluation from 7th grade on the Lions 2003 draft, talk about jumping the gun…

Ah to be young and ignorant again…that’s why I just like to pick some knee-jerk reaction winners and losers. No grades, just teams that did a very good job of identifying needs and picking very good players. Obviously this has serious faults as well, but it’s not as bad. I think this year, more than normal because of the depth, a lot of teams did a very good job. It was the hardest time I’ve ever had cutting down the list and finding “losers”. I included six winners, as well as six honorable mention, so you might as well just call it a “Top 12 List”. You might recognize some of these teams from last year too.

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Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Recap/Analysis

Over the past week while I’ve been in Washington D.C./Arlington, VA I’ve managed to put this together. The overall winners and losers posts of the NFL Draft will come later this week, so keep an eye out for those. Overall, I thought the draft was a solid draft, a lot like last year to be honest where I liked their 2nd and 3rd round picks quite a bit and didn’t love the first round pick.

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