Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sharp's Point Dull When It Comes To Lions' Monday Night Debacle

First, let me say that I like Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press. I really do. I find him to be, normally, one of the few guys around town who writes with a clear head and even clearer conscience. Most of the time I agree with him, although that's not mandatory for me to enjoy reading someone's work.

But Sharp is missing the boat when it comes to the Lions, the preseason, and above all, their lousy performance Monday night against the Rams.

You can read Sharp's column that appeared this morning in the Freep right here. Basically, he urged Lions fans to "back away from the ledge", maintaining that the debacle on Monday was only an exhibition game, and thus absolutely nothing should be read from it.

Au contraire, mon ami.

The entire first half was starting 11 vs. starting 11. Everyone talked about how the third preseason game is a "dress rehearsal" for the regular season. The Lions themselves spoke brazenly of how they were so eager to show the national TV audience just what they were all about. Coach Steve Mariucci, in his postmortem yesterday, scratched his head because he was convinced the energy and focus was there, in the lockerroom, before the game.

So yes, Drew, there is reason to be concerned about this football team. This wasn't the first exhibition game, after all. This was the third, after several weeks of camp and eight quarters against live opponents. This was on "Monday Night Football". This was supposed to be a showcase, not only for Ford Field, but for the football team that plays on it.

But the Lions were absolutely terrible. They put up one of the feeblest efforts I've seen them put forth in quite some time, and that's saying a lot, considering the Lions are 16-48 since 2001. Does Drew Sharp think the Lions can just "turn it on" when the curtain rises for real, like a faucet? Is he really that naive to think the team is holding their cards close to the vest, not revealing all they have to offer until Green Bay on September 11?

What you saw on Monday is, sadly, pretty much what you'll see this season, unless the Lions get their act together in a hurry. For whatever reason, this is an offense that is being shackled by its line and its coaching staff's lack of creativity. Defensively, there is no pressure on the opposing quarterback, and the secondary is playing far softer than has been advertised.

"I would like to stand here soon and say 'I told you so'," Mariucci said yesterday, trying to convince reporters that his team is better than it has played.

I would like for Drew Sharp to be able to tell me that, too. But I don't think he nor Mariucci will get that opportunity.

Hello, 4-12


dolphinfan said...

If I was a Lions fan I would jump! Of course I'm a Dolphins fan and there is no reason to be disgruntled with that franchise.
I hope you can see the sarcasm in this.

Rupert Moorer said...

Where can I to learn abt it in detail?