As I was scrolling through my RSS feeds, I ran into the following headline at Scout.com's Lions site, Roar Report.
Analysis: Johnson Coming to Detroit to Start
As everything at Scout is pay to read, and I'm a cheap ass bastard who believes the internet should be free to all, not subscription based ($7.95 a month? You gotta be kiddin' me! I think I'm a well enough informed Lions fan without having to pay for Scout's regurgitated info), I couldn't read why they came to this conclusion. All I know is the preview lede...
Lions fans, forget what you've seen from Kevin Smith. Rudi Johnson didn't cancel his appointments across the league on Monday so that he could sit behind a rookie running back.
It's not much, but it's more than enough to raise a red flag.
Think about that for a second. Really think about it. I bet you came to the same conclusion as I did. It makes no fucking sense.
In 2007 Johnson was a productive as Notre Dame's Rudy than the Bengals' Rudi who ran for 1400 yards a season from '04-'07. But as we are talking about the Lions, run by a head coach who has an outright fetish for veteran players, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.
The Matt Millen era in a nutshell
It also means the Lions' top 3 draft picks would be backups. On most any other team in the NFL, the top 2 or 3 draft picks should be expected to start. It's especially true when those players were drafted at positions the Lions have little or no depth, on a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2000.
Gosder Cherilus is backing up George "What's The Snap Count?" Foster. Thanks to the Kool-Aid and cornbread coming from the coaching staff, and the MSM taking it as gospel, supposedly the Lions' dumbed down offense has cured Foster of his nasty habit of jumping the snap count faster than John McCain vetted Sarah Palin. Too bad dumbing down the offense hasn't given Foster the ability to actually block someone.
Jordon Dizon, whom we were told was the model Tampa Two (or as I'm seeing the Lions D called, Tampa Too) middle linebacker. Instead, he spent most of camp as the number 3 MLB, and is backing up the below average Paris Lenon. The next time Lenon makes a big time play, it'll be the first. He is what he is, a journeyman. But Lenon is a veteran, which makes him golden in the eyes of Marinelli.
As for my opinion of Rudi Johnson over Kevin Smith, just see the post below. But it bears repeating, the Bengals let go of Johnson in order to make the immortal (and former Wolverine) Chris Perry their starter. Yet Scout believes the Lions signed him to start? God, I hope the Lions aren't that damn stupid.
So here we are on the verge of a new NFL season, and if what Scout.com says is true, the Lions' draft netted them not one single solitary starting player. Even if they're wrong, and Smith is the starting RB Sunday, the draft only gave the Lions one top of the depth chart guy. That may change, but as of today, for a team lacking quality players at several positions, the Lions were unable to find them via the draft.
The Lions needed more than just a bunch of depth guys. They needed to find a few impact players, whcih we've yet to see. When you go by that metric, you have to consider the Lions' 2008 draft to be an epic fail.