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Saturday, April 18, 2009

NFL Draft: Matt Stafford, Avoid The Detroit Lions


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A Message to Georgia QB Matt Stafford regarding the NFL Draft. 

Matt, one week from today you're going to be in New York for the NFL Draft as player and I as media .  Many people expect The Detroit Lions, holding the first pick in the player selection event, to make you the number one pick. I've got some advice for you:

Don't let 'em.

Matt Stafford (photo from Google Images)

Matt, the Detroit Lions are an organization of rich tradition, but a history of failure. The Lions have never reached the Super Bowl and playoff appearances have been few and far between.  And the ownership has focused more on hiring personalities than building a winning organization. You won't win there. 


Take a look at the NFL coaches who have won.  All have one thing in common: they're known for systems.

Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers was known for one play, the Power Sweep, which the Packers ran to perfection winning Super Bowl's I and II. 

Chuck Noll was the four-time Super Bowl winning coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers who's system consisted of a trap-based running game and aggressive pass-blocking on offense and on defense the "4-3 Stack Overset" alignment. That was the basis for the Tampa Defense that was created by Coach Tony Dungy, who was a Steelers assistant.

Coach Dungy took that Tampa Defense to the Indianapolis Colts where he was reunited with his old college coach and now offensive coordinator Tom Moore, who installed a unique spread offense, and that team set NFL records for wins and playoff appearances, and won a Super Bowl. 

I could go on, and on.  Tom Landry was the father of the 4-3 Defense and "zone" pass coverage with the New York Giants in the 50s, then refined the concept, creating the "Flex Defense" as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys where he won two Super Bowls.

Coach Bill Walsh is the father of the West Coast Offense and won three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers (and indirectly two more, as his system was still used after he left), and for good measure A Pac 10-Championship at Stanford. 

You getting the picture, Matt? 

Jim Schwartz as Lions' head coach and Scott Linehan as its offensive coordinator are not known for a system that works.  Name an NFL Quarterback that Linehan developed into a Super Bowl winner? 


While Linehan is known as a coach who's pass-patterns Urban Meyer used for his spread offenses at Utah and Florida, it's Meyer who won with a new total offense he created, and not Linehan. 

Coach Linehan recently said they find the players and then make the plays for them, which means he's got no idea what he's going to do. 

Don't go to Detroit, Matt.  You won't win there.

So where should you go? 

Denver, where Head Coach Josh McDaniels has a proven, modern offensive system. And New England, where Bill Belichick has the best situational offense in the NFL.  You can learn of Tom Brady.  But if you go to Detroit, don't say I didn't warn you.  But if Linehan reveals his system as a result of this little attack of mine, maybe things will change. 

We'll see.

Good luck.

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