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2011 NFL Draft – Detroit Lions Prospects Round One

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on February 8, 2011

Obviously the Lions can go with any position at any point on draft day. We’ve watched some surprise picks over the years, Pettigrew, Delmas, Levy, Spievey, and Best are all solid examples. When you consider that list comprises 5 out of the 8 picks the Lions have had in the first three rounds under Martin Mayhew, I think it’s fair to make that assumption. I think the other fair assumption is that talent has been valued over perceived need.

Currently by my last count the Lions have picks in every round but the 6th. The 7th round it isn’t sure whether it’s an original pick or the Jet’s pick. That’s pretty much a non-factor though.

Let’s look at some of the players that may be available and options in each round. Guys to be mindful of for draft followers. I think it’s safe to say a QB is highly unlikely so I won’t be looking at any QB prospects. Every other position is fair game.

First Round:

The first round all depends on what happens before your pick. The Lions will take the best player they can get within reason.

Von Miller and Akeem Ayers are the most likely linebacker prospects at this point but Ayers is high risk and may fall. Miller may not be around when the Lions pick.

Nate Solder is a real possibility to take over as a future franchise left tackle. He has bust concerns but is physically impressive. His draft position is somewhat unpredictable. I say he ends up in the top 10 because of the position he plays. I just expect a team to fall for him, so to speak. It is almost Valentine’s Day.

The corner class is impressive this year and there are 5 first round candidates in my opinion. Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara headline the class but Aaron Williams, Jimmy Smith, and Brandon Harris are all first round prospects. One or two of them could fall into the second round thanks to the need for Quarterbacks and the strength of the defensive line prospects.  If any one of those 5 guys were available in the second round I would consider them to be the best available for the Lions most likely. The thing about corners is that they are highly unpredictable and without looking up the numbers, I would guess the bust rate to be high. The draft stock of a corner is greatly influenced by raw combine numbers so many of  these guys could rise or fall and a few other  second round guys could fly up the board like a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

I don’t see a center or interior lineman worthy of a top 15 pick. Yes, that includes guys like Pouncey. He is a second round prospect that is being buoyed somewhat by his big brother. He may be a really good guard or center but has a way to go, most likely. I don’t see defensive lineman being a consideration unless an elite talent like Bowers is still there for some crazy reason. I would hope to trade down if that was the case.

There are 2 high level wide receivers and 1 high level running back in Mark Ingram. I see several other wide outs and backs being mocked in the first but I think many of them are overrated including the Virginia Tech running backs, Torrey Smith from Maryland, and Mikel Leshoure from Illinois. Good players but second to fourth round guys in my opinion.

Ingram is a possibility. He is underrated in my opinion. Ingram is a great running back prospect who could be a real, every down running back. I think he will be in the hunt for rookie of the year if he gets on the right team.

A.J. Green would be a steal outside of the top ten and is one of the top 5 prospects in the entire draft. Julio Jones is a solid talent, I don’t know that I would spend a top 15 pick on him in Detroit but they could do worse.

All in all this year has some perceived strengths and weaknesses but as evaluations occur the true first round guys will emerge. I think there are several players that are still somewhat unknown and will move significantly. Nate Solder and Cameron Jordan have already begun the process. Jimmy Smith, Robert Quinn, Ryan Mallett, and Adrian Clayborne are all on my watch list to move around a lot.

I’ll look into some of the guys I see in the second round next. Thank you for reading and for your feedback.

Dave

Posted in 2011 NFL Draft, Detroit, Detroit Lions, Michigan, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Identifying Cougar Tracks in Michigan

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 31, 2011

The stories have been around for longer than I’ve been around about Michigan’s cougar population. It seems like a myth until you find some concrete evidence. Tracks in the mud and snow are the most common sign that people find. Unfortunately, they are also the least reliable forms of identification. Well outside of sounds they are the least reliable.

The DNR posted a link to this chart on their Facebook page showing the differences between dogs, bobcats, coyotes, and cougars.

The chart is very useful if you think you’ve found something. Look at the differences, they should be obvious if you have a good track sample.That way, if you think you may have something, try setting up a trail cam if the tracks are common to an area or trail.

I used to question the existence myself until I saw trail cam photos of a cougar. The only reason the camera caught it was because it was slowed by the deer it was dragging off to hide and eat. It was incredible to see real photo evidence. Other reports of deer being spotted in the branches of a tree also make you think twice. Usually the rope gives it away but when they are that high up and the only evidence is claw marks and a bloody neck, my money is on it being a cougar.

The other dead give away is when it’s a young buck that is being picked up. Definite sign of a cougar.

Posted in Hunting, Michigan, Outdoor Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Response to Zack Follett Calling Matt Stafford a China Doll

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 26, 2011

I normally would view this as a non-story in most situations. This story has taken on a life of its own though, probably due to the lack of NFL news out there right now but I thought it would be worth sharing my take after reading up on it and listening to Zack’s response.

I have watched several of Zack’s videos over on Vimeo. You can get to his response to the whole thing here. I have at least an idea of the type of person Zack is. He has a dynamic personality but I have not seen a true malicious side to him. That doesn’t mean that he’s innocent or that he is always right. It simply lends to me leaning towards giving him the benefit of the doubt.

That said, I do think that things are getting blown out of proportion. The phrase he used was a poor decision. That’s all there is to it. He could have phrased it better. If that’s not making a mountain out a mole hill then I don’t know what is. It was obvious to me that he thinks Matt is very gifted and talented. I got this message from Zack’s initial interview: Matt Stafford has some real potential, he has the ability to be great, he has shown it in practice, and he needs to find a way to stay on the field. That’s what I heard. Matt has taken some odd injuries and seemingly has had bad luck. It is what it is.

If I was Stafford I would take this somewhat personally, not that Zack was attacking me, but that it is up to me to get my body built up so I can be there for my team and so I can prove myself to the world. Matt has the ability to be a top 5 quarterback. I wanted him to be drafted. I saw it, the Lions saw it, most fans have seen it at times. It’s there, Matt could propel this team to be a legitimate contender but he HAS to do whatever it takes to be there on Sundays.

Zack’s response and some of the comments surrounding were more interesting to me. Reading comments in response to his video and on some local news sites it’s amazing to me how so many people are attacking him. On the radio this morning, WDFN 1130 AM, one of the morning show guys made some comments that were really off base. He stated that Zack was a guy who is essentially a media whore and bashed him for bringing God into it. The other host was simply upset that he didn’t back up his comments. Tom Kowalski, who I think is a respectable reporter overall, wrote this article in response to being mentioned in Zack’s response. I think Tom’s initial impression of things is pretty close to reality. It’s true that everything you say has consequences, intended or not. The only media issue I see with this story is the countless opinions that want to make his comments something other than what they were.

A lot is made about context, what question was asked, what was the setting, etc. Not enough is made about ‘context’ with regards to who is making the statement. If you view the comments from a perspective where Zack is a good guy that typically means well and likes Matt, then you get one perception. If you just read them without any context of who Zack is than it’s easy to try and paint a picture that isn’t reality.

I believe he made a poor choice of words and he admitted as much. I think he did owe Matt an apology and an explanation, which he said he has done. To me, it’s over there.

The next twist is where people are bashing him for bringing God and satan into the mix. Stating he’s calling people satan and not taking any responsibility. Again, I think that is people hearing what they want to hear. Another popular radio personality in Detroit, Mike Valenti over on 97.1 the ticket, has made this statement many times. “Perception is reality.” I whole heartedly disagree with that statement and having listened to Mike for years now, I am confident he understands the difference between the two. Perception isn’t actually reality, but it is our version of reality. The perception by some is that Zack is hiding behind the Bible. Although the first thing he did in the video is admit he was wrong and that he had to apologize.

My point is, there is reality and then there is your version of reality. Perception is your version of reality but it is almost never true reality. That is precisely why it amazes me how so many will pass a judgment on Zack for so many things without understanding who he is, his relationship to Matt, what he really meant by his statement, etc. It also amazes me that we are so willing to forget that he is human and he will make mistakes. Those statements apply to many other situations. It’s too common to judge something based on our perception without understanding the true reality of the situation.

As far as the God and bible bumping that Zack is being ripped for. Again, that’s who Zack is. Zack views the world through the gospel. I don’t know what specific version of Christianity he follows but I do know that his entire world revolves around his faith. To expect anything different is simply ignorance of reality. We all view the world according to the things we believe to be true. We can’t explain or prove most of our believes but we believe them and live by them none the less.

Taking it a step further, how much has been made of President Obama’s religious affiliations? While the individuals he allows to influence his life may tell you something about the man, it doesn’t define him. You can’t make assumptions from it. Ultimately he is his own person, with his own beliefs, and his own version of reality just like the rest of us. I have read things where people want to say there is a plot to destroy the country because he’s an evil muslim. The problem is that the people making the comments don’t know the man. They don’t even know if he is a muslim.

My whole point is that we are too quick to judge people based on our perceptions and not willing to give people the chance to be themselves or make mistakes. We don’t value people for who they are, rather than who we think they are.

Zack is a Christian that believes that God and Jesus and the Bible are all very real and very relevant. He didn’t call anyone satan in any comment I heard. He was simply discussing how he believed that satan used things to try to attack us, simple things like a poor choice of words or a comment that you make. What I got out of that rant is that it is incredibly important to be above reproach. Meaning, don’t just have good intentions, guard your actions as much as possible so that it’s almost impossible for anyone to perceive them wrong. There’s that word again, perceive. Zack was getting at a point that although perception isn’t reality, understanding that others perception matters means that you have to try to be a person that they are forced to perceive as honorable or good. You may be that in your own mind, but if you want to impact the world like Zack says he does, then you have to be a person that is perceived as a ‘light’ as he calls it.

I guess I’m curious what your perceptions of Zack or the media are. My perception is that Zack meant no harm but should have been more careful about the words he spoke. My perception is that some people get that this is somewhat of a non-issue but others want to make this a hot button issue. My perception is that too many people are willing to decide what Zack meant and what his motivations are, while not allowing him to decide that. Only Zack knows what he meant and what his motivation was. I choose to take him at his word personally. I haven’t seen anything yet that would make me be skeptical of his explanations.

What’s you perception of things?

Posted in Detroit, Detroit Lions, Michigan, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michigan’s Early Spring Fishing May be Tougher Than Usual This Year

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 19, 2011

The early cold snap that covered much of Michigan with snow has helped to bring about one of the colder winters I can remember. My dreams of Detroit becoming a fresh water Cancun by the time I’m ready to retire are slowly dwindling. Global warming, get your act together will ya!

The additional ice and frozen ground moisture is likely to create a lot of run off this spring. I’m not writing a forecast but the basic idea is more snow and ice equals more water that will need to find its way out to bigger waters. The other concern is timing. The ice out and snow melt will likely last longer than normal. I think this spring will be marked by a later start to many of the spring fishing opportunities and many rivers will be muddier than in years past.

The next part of the chain reaction will be to the lake temperatures. Colder water inflow will result in delayed spring runs of many common sport species. On the flip side, fishing spots like the Detroit and St. Clair rivers may be great spots to go in late spring and early summer. A few weeks of delay can mean you get to fish in 60 degree weather instead of 50 degree weather. It’s a small plus. I’d also expect walleye to remain in the west side of Lake Erie a bit longer which is nice for those of you making long runs to go after them.

It’s far from a perfect science, just my opinion on something to watch out for. If your planning trips to rivers like the Maumee you may want to delay just a bit or take some extra time to check out the conditions.

Posted in Detroit, Fishing, Michigan, Outdoor Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brady Hoke Surprises Many and Hires Defensive Coordinator from Baltimore Ravens

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 19, 2011

Michigan fans rejoice!

Now come back down to earth.

This really is a solid hiring and a big win for the University. Hoke received mixed reactions but Mattison is about as good as you could have imagined the new defensive coordinator to be.

Greg Mattison has only been a defensive coordinator in the NFL for two years, his main experience has been in the Big Ten and with Notre Dame and Florida. Three items that jump out about his history for Michigan fans are that he has coached in Florida and has seen the SEC and all the speed and talent everyone claims to be superior there. Second, he knows what Big Ten football is all about. He has significant mid west ties and significant Big Ten and Michigan roots. Lastly, he understands what it takes to play the game at the very highest levels. I’ve seen some people point out that the Baltimore D isn’t what it once (Buckeye fans perhaps?) was but they were still the No. 5 rushing defense in the NFL this year and were a playoff contender. He still has worked with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs.

To me this hiring has one major impact above all else right now. It changes recruitment. If you are a defensive prospect and a guy looks you in the face and says I coached Ed and Ray and Haloti and I believe I can get you to that level. It’s hard to not believe him.

We all know that the defense will change dramatically this year and if there is any decent progress look out for next year’s recruiting class at Michigan.

Posted in Michigan, Michigan Football, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Keeping it Simple – Michigan’s New Football Coach Brady Hoke

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 13, 2011

I’ll be honest, I started writing a huge post about Hoke and Michigan and all the different points I wanted to make but it’s really this simple:

Hoke wants to be at Michigan and he has the passion and desire that you want. He seems to know the game well and understands what Michigan is.He also has broad support from former players. On the down side his experience is very questionable.

Harbaugh has a better record thanks to his success at Stanford and would have had everything else that Hoke had.

Les Miles is the same as Harbaugh.

The only difference between Hoke and Miles or Harbaugh is perceived experience and recruit respectability. The truth is that all Hoke needs to do is win and be competitive in his losses. That will gain the recruit respectability. If he can find a way to do that then he will be fine. He has to revitalize Michigan’s winning tradition, even if he’s 7-5 or 8-4 but plays teams tough, that’s all that’s needed. The team was 7-5 this year with a horrid defense and questionable offense. I don’t see that as out of reach. If he can find a way to get to 7 wins and then goes and wins a bowl game I think everything else falls in place.

I equate this move to drafting the underclassmen or small school kid that is a little raw but full of potential. If it works than you make out big time. It’s like getting a Tom Brady in the 6th round. He’s likely to develop here and will be a lifer if given the chance. Hopefully he realizes the potential that Michigan sees in him and leaves a legacy of excellence like the University expects.

Best of luck Michigan fans. I’d love to see Michigan and Michigan State fighting for the Big Ten championship year in and year out.

Posted in Michigan, Michigan Football, Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michigan Turkey Hunting Application Reminder

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 13, 2011

Just a reminder to all the Michigan hunters. If you want to get in on the spring turkey hunt now is the time to get your application. The application deadline is February 1, 2011.

You can go to the Michigan DNR site to see a listing of all limited access hunting seasons, juts click the link.

Posted in Hunting, Michigan, Outdoor Sports, Turkey Hunting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

What does the Michigan DNR and DEQ split mean?

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 5, 2011

Michigan’s new Governor, Rick Snyder, has split the DEQ and DNR back into two separate divisions. Simply put, the DNR focuses primarily on resource issues, land, water, wildlife, and recreation regarding them. The DEQ is geared towards the environment as it relates to pollution and chiefly is there to protect the environment.

The DEQ is an important part of the business climate in Michigan. The DEQ is a regulatory division of government so the decisions it makes as far as laws and regulations and their enforcement can have significant effects on the community and business. I see the separation as an important step because they serve very different purposes. I am hopeful that the separation allows the DEQ to focus on keeping our air, soil, and waterways clean and pristine while allowing for businesses to develop or expand. It’s a difficult balance and is a small and important piece to the Michigan economy puzzle.

For the outdoor enthusiasts this simply narrows the focus of the DNR back to where it was. I don’t think we’ll see any immediate impacts from the DNR’s end.  Michigan’s DNR has made some curious decisions in recent history but I believe we have, if not the best, one of the top  Natural Resource agencies right here in Michigan and this helps to keep the DNR focused and effective. I think it’s a win-win.

I’ve seen concern over paying additional department heads but I think that the effective management of these two divisions is far more important than the extra salary. From a percentages stand pint, the extra salary is a rather small part of the equation. How much they are paid may be a different issue to look at.

Hopefully this small and simple explanation gives you the basics you need.

Happy new Year everyone.

 

David

Posted in Economy, Fishing, government, Hunting, Michigan, Outdoor Sports | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michigan Record Book Trout Brings Up Hot Debate

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on September 13, 2009

Whenever someone achieves something special outdoors, it is inevitable that a back lash of criticism and questions will occur.

Michigan’s new record has faired no better fate.

It may not be Rompola gate, but people have never-the-less found a reason to be upset, a reason to bring something negative to the table.

“Why did he keep it?”

I don’t know how many angry comments I’ve seen about him keeping the fish. Is nothing okay anymore? Should we just settle on the fact that it’s never okay to do anything good, it’s never okay to get lucky, because there is always going to be someone who has a problem with it?

We live in a society that is filled with people that think it’s ethical to have their dog killed when it gets old, but scoff at those who kill an old fish. Some of them think it should be okay to off mom and dad for that matter.

I read one particularly hilarious comment. A guy was all bent out of shape because the record fish was no longer reproducing and spreading his seed. Let’s think about this a little deeper. The fish grew to sizes that we didn’t know was possible, which takes a few years. Just a guess, but I’d say he probably wasn’t a good little virgin fishy all his life. Who knows, I may be off my rocker, but I think there may just be a few World Record Jr’s swimming around in the Manistee.

Maybe it is just jealousy but it is a real shame we can’t enjoy this for what it is. One of the greatest fishing accomplishments we may see for some time in Michigan. State Records are special, World Records are remembered.

With Michigan’s long and rich tradition in fishing, it’s fitting a new World Record would come to Michigan. I don’t think it’s the last one I’ll see in my life time and I can only hope that one day I will be ridiculed and scoffed at by ignorant, elitist fishermen, who take offense to such success when it is not them who achieves it.

The truth is that if he didn’t keep it no one would have believed him. The evidence would have been ignored. He would go down in many peoples minds as a fraud and a con. It’s sad, the greatest fishing event in recent history would be reduced to a scam. Not because it was, but because people refuse to believe that luck and success happen, that records are meant to be broken, and that you or I, on any given fishing trip, could be just that lucky.

So what’s more important, a legacy, a record book achievement, a boost to the Manistee River fishery, or the loss of one of millions of Brown trout in the state of Michigan?

What makes this trout so much more special than the Gold Fish at the local pet shop? I’ll tell you what, people and there silly mind sets.

If you were forced to choose between the death of an elderly person or a young child, which would you choose? I think the vast majority would say the elderly person, they’ve had a long life, have less potential, and whatever other excuses you can come up with. The truth is we value youth, puppy’s are better than dogs, kittens more adorable than cats, children more important than adults (supposedly anyways).

When it comes to fish though, the opposite holds true? I think something fishy is going on, sounds to me like selfishness.

I think it’s about time we spent more effort appreciating a special event and a special fish. Maybe we could spend a little less time trying to ruin something special while we’re at it.

Just my two cents.

Posted in Fishing, Michigan | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

New World Record Brown Trout Caught in Michigan’s Manistee River

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on September 11, 2009

Reported through multiple media outlets, it appears the Manistee River has produced a likely World Record Brown Trout.

You can click the link to read the story.

The over 40 pound trout looks more like a Salmon, which are running heavy this time of year in the Manistee, than a Brown Trout.

With the abundance of fishing waters, it’s no surprise to see a world record come home to Michigan. Hopefully, with quality management, we see more records ahead.

-Dave

Posted in Fishing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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