Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Normally I tend to post late at night, because I like to have the chance to calm down after watching a game and give a somewhat rational account/analysis of what I witnessed. However I don't think I'm going to do that with today's Lions game, because if I don't get this all out and written down I fear I may have a stroke and/or massive heart attack.
1. Joey Harrington HAS TO GO. He can not start another game for the Lions. He just doesn't have it, whatever it is, he doesn't have. He was completely outplayed by Kyle Orton today, which is unacceptable. Why, oh why, did Garcia break his leg in the pre-season, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind Garcia would be starting in Week 4 if he had stayed healthy. Now my friend is a Harrington supporter, and maybe the only one outside of Joey's family still left in the world. He says "whose to say the Lions would be any better with Garcia or Orlovsky." This may be true, the Lions might not be any better, but if I'm Mariucci, I say heading into practice this week that the qb position is open. Not that Harrington is the starter or that he's been benched, it's just open, and whoever has the best next two weeks during practice starts against Tampa. I just honestly don't believe that Joey gives the Lions the best chance to win each week, so its not like throwing Orlovsky to the wolves if he proves he is better in practice. And if Joey ends up beating out Orlovsky and Garcia, when he gets back from injury, thats fine too, but if he proves to be our best quarterback its going to be a loooooooooooooooooong season. But he shouldn't automatically be guaranteed the starting job based on draft position or salary. He's in his 4th year now and I know we can now judge him on his actual performance and not just his potential, and what has he ever done to justify continuing to be the starter. Other questions raised by Joeys performance today.
A) Is Joey Harrington the worst quarterback in recent Lions history? I think he's long ago passed Erick Kramer, Rodney Peete, and Charlie Batch, and he's steadily gaining ground on Scott Mitchell, and Andre Ware.
B) Will anyone draft a Oregon quarterback again. Exhibit A. Akili Smith. Exhibit B. Joey Harrington. Exhibit C. A.J. Feeley. The prosecution rests. And we already know about Jeff Tedford holding an unbreakable record, right up there with DiMaggio's hitting streak, for producing overrated college QB's who get drafted in the first round, as we could add Trent Dilfer, Kyle Boller, and in my opinion David Carr to the aforementioned list. Not only this but where will Joey Harrington rank among the all-time first round QB busts? Which jersey will Harrington end up retiring/fading away in? Will it be like David Klingler in a Raiders jersey, Andre Ware with the Vikings, Heath Shuler and the Saints? Personally I think it will be a Chiefs jersey, I think he'll be brought in after Trent Green retires, maybe this year or next, suck in training camp and back up Billy Volek before disappearing into oblivion.
C) Is Joey Harrington regressing? I say yes, absolutely. I think he was a better quarterback four years ago than he is today. Because back then he actually showed flashes of not brilliance, but at least competence. But today he makes so many bad decisions, weak throws, and has the worst set of happy feet in the league. Which leads me too.............
2.) The offensive line. Weren't these guys supposed to be great, a young up and coming line full of 1st round picks and big free agent acquisitions? Wrong. Backus is like a statue on the left side. Woody is about 50 pounds overweight and can never get his guy off the line of scrimmage. Dominic Raiola is too small and absolutely pathetic, and its too early to pass judgment on Kelly Butler and DeMulling but the early returns are not good. This line really only has two problems though, run blocking and pass protection. This line also can not pick up a blitz to save its life, even ones coming straight up the middle from the safeties, nor can it open any holes as evidenced by the 22 yards that Kevin Jones was limited to today, which was amazing considering every time he touched the ball he had to make his first move two yards behind the line. So then I ask, if it can't pass protect or run block what can it do? Whats its purpose? And all of these guys, with the exception of Butler, were early round draft picks or big time free agents. And this list doesn't even include Stockar McDougle, Juan Roque, and Aaron Gibson. And who drafted and singed every member of the current starting offensive line, which has to be among the five worst in the league. Oh yes. Matt Millen, so how about we give him five more years and make sure hes around until 2011. I hope that last sentence turned out alright because my eyes started bleeding midway through typing it.
3.) And this is it because if I continue, I don't know what I'll do to myself or others, but the quote of the game was Pam Oliver talking about her interview with Mooch on the way into the locker room at half time. And I'm paraphrasing here because I don't have the expressed written consent of the Detroit Lions blah blah blah.
Oliver: "I talked to Coach Mariucci heading into the locker room and asked him what he expected in the second half, and he said that he hoped the Lions would maximize their chances on offense. Then I asked him what he was going to tell his team in the locker room and he grunted."
Thats right he grunted. He GRUNTED. This coming from a guy capable of giving ten minute long answers to every quick question Jim Rome asked him on Friday. Why did they not put this on the air? This could have possibly have been the greatest halftime interview in Lions history. Well second best because nothing will ever top Bobby Ross' in the game before he quit when the Lions were getting blown out by Miami at half time and his interview was something like this.
Interviewer: "Coach Ross, what went wrong in the 1st half"
Ross: " Offense.........garblezvchthcth...........Defense........(foaming at the mouth and stammering) gabrbohiofnjs?;sdfo;k...............Special Teams...........(completely unintelligible now) and he closes bywalking away in the opposite direction.
However on the brightside my fantasy team is kicking ass today (Vive Carson Palmer) so I'm not going to let the godd** f***ing Lions ruin my day. C*** S***ers.