Monday, September 15, 2008

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: The aftermath

Sorry for the delay in wrapping up the debacle of the week, as I had a few personal things to tend to today. But I digress...

Let's, as Rod Marinelli is overly fond of saying, look at the (figurative) tape.

Both WDFN and WXYT were overwhelmed with a firestorm of calls from pissed off fans wanting someone's head to roll. Be it Shitna Pickna Kitna, Millen and especially Rod Marinelli, the rumbles to offer a sacrifice to the NFL Gods are quickly growing louder. The natives are restless. 51 years of suck tends to do that to a fanbase...

At 0-2, and his team playing like they've fully earned the "worst team in the NFL"  tag, Rod Marinelli is in a pressure cooker...mostly of his own making.

Jamie Samuelson takes Marinelli to task for his press conference mantra of "it's on me."

I hear time and time again that a lot of people think that Marinelli is a good coach. And he might be. But when he was first hired here in Detroit, he made it clear that he believed in video tape. What someone says was irrelevant, said Rod, what matter is what shows up on the tape. So by using his very own standard, I have seen nothing to indicate to me that Marinelli is a good coach.

I have to say, I totally agree. Marinelli's record speaks for itself. So do the failed personnel moves, the stubborn refusal to consider another QB and the scapegoating of coordinators/players/anyone but himself.

Fans quickly bought into Marinelli's tough guy shtick when he was hired, despite the fact he had never been a coordinator or head coach at any level. After the total confusion of Marty Moronwhig, and the oily slickness of Steve Mariucci, his straightforward "I'm a football coach" demeanor was exactly what the fanbase wanted to hear. Not many of those converts are left. They've been "watching the tape" too.

The Detroit Lions Weblog thinks Marinelli is living on borrowed time, much in thanks to his clinging to what got him the Lions' job in the first place, the Tampa Too defense.

The most damning critique of this coaching staff, and it’s choice of defensive scheme, is that the Lions clear personnel strength is on offense. They spent the whole off-season hoping to bolster it with a better rushing attack.The performance of the defense has severely damaged the Lions offense for two season’s now. The Lions have had to become one-dimensional on offense, as a result. The refusal to adjust and adapt, will surely mark Rod Marinelli’s failed tenure, and eventual termination, as Lions head coach.

I see no way in Hell Marinelli abandons the Tampa Too. He has an unshakable, and possibly misguided, faith in that scheme. It's what Marinelli knows best, it's what his coaching staff knows best, it's supposedly the defense his personnel is best suited for, so he's going to either go down in flames or...well, there is no other result at this point. Marinelli is going down in flames.

Eno, always the most level headed blogger around, doesn't think Marinelli is on the hot seat...yet. Why?

But what's unacceptable to the rest of the NFL isn't necessarily what's unacceptable in Detroit -- clearly.
Bingo! As long as Matt Millen remains in the Fords' good graces, and Marinelli remains in Millen's, why expect anything more than the status quo? If ownership is fine with the situation, and we've heard nothing to the contrary, why expect anything to change? That's how William Clay Ford runs his team. Totally hands off, and without much of a clue.

The God Warrior, Jon Shitna Pickna Kitna, isn't getting the love, either. If there is a change to be made, it's going to be at QB, according to the semi-retired Mike O'Hara.

Marinelli has been wedded to Kitna as his quarterback. Kitna has responded as a Marinelli loyalist and team leader. Those are good traits, but the season is slipping away.

If Marinelli makes a change, it will be either to Dan Orlovsky, seldom used as a backup in four seasons with the Lions, or Drew Stanton, the second-round draft pick from Michigan State who showed promise in the exhibition season.

Does Marinelli make a change? And if so, when?

Changing quarterbacks isn't necessarily panicking, any more than changing cornerbacks is panicking. It's part of coaching.

Panicking? No. Realizing what the inevitable result will be if something doesn't change soon, and the easiest thing to change is the quarterback? Yes.

The logical jumping off point for a new Lions QB, as O'Hara mentions, is after the Niners game, as Detroit has a bye week once Mike Martz takes revenge on his former team. Be it Dan Orlovsky or Drew Stanton, I'm not going to venture a guess (But if I HAD to guess? Orlovsky). Both have more cons than pros at this point of their careers, but their biggest pro is an overwhelming one. They aren't Jon Shitna Pickna Kitna.

Bob Wojnowski thinks there won't be a change under center because of the backup situation. The Lions honestly don't know what they have behind Shitna Pickna Kitna.

Kitna is the quarterback by default now. That's sad to say, but it's the truth. Because Matt Millen has butchered the roster so badly, Rod Marinelli has no suitable option in unproven backups Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton.

At the end of this one, Kitna was the problem. He isn't the whole problem -- did you see that defense get shredded again? -- but he's the most visible, directing an offense that's erratic, at best. The Lions don't have many good players and Kitna simply isn't good enough to compensate.

Marinelli would disagree about his hand picked QB not being good enough. He said as much during today's presser, when pressured on making a change.

In his 12-year career, Kitna has now thrown 153 touchdown passes and 150 interceptions. Marinelli was asked if Kitna's penchant for turnovers could be corrected.

"It's got to be correctable. It's about concentration and it's not just one guy,'' Marinelli said.

Sure it can be corrected. There's also a Santa Claus, NFL wide receivers aren't divas, "Hole in the Wall" is Emmy worthy TV, "Brownie" really did do a heck of a job during Hurricane Katrina and I'm going to win a Pulitzer Prize.

A Tiger can't change his stripes and this particular 36 year old Lion QB cannot stop treating the ball like it's radioactive hot potato, to be disposed of in any way possible. If Shitna Pickna Kitna's propensity to cough the ball up could have been corrected, he'd still be QB of the Bengals or Seahawks, both of whom thought they could find better, and did.

Loyalty is one thing. Loyalty to the point of being unable to see the blatantly obvious is another. Marinelli has crossed the line, from being loyal, to utterly fucking clueless. His misguided faith in Shitna Pickna Kitna may ultimately be his undoing.

Long-time commenter and longer-time Lions fan BrianDTW sums up the whole damn mess in the comments with one line.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 51 times...

...makes you a Detroit Lions fan. May God have mercy on your soul.


  1. Two thoughts: First, I was talking to a friend today, and he's predicting that Martz will run it up against the Puddys. And to add insult to injury, it'll be O'Sullivan that'll do it. Jesus, he can't be that good. He just can't...

    Secondly, I think Orlovsky will get his chance, as you say, after the Bye. And if he doesn't do anything, then it'll be Stanton- by that point, what does the team have to lose?

    The saddest thing is, there's nothing they can do about the QB situation. They need Shitna around, as he actually has played in the NFL. If they let Orlovsky go and try to replace him with an experienced guy, he'll wind up with another team. And if history proves anything, it's that he'll have a Superbowl ring in about 2 years.

    Of course, if they were to even try and put Stanton on the practice squad in order to sign a veteran, he'd be gone in 15 seconds.

    So they're stuck. Again. Remind me why they brought in Henson instead of Culpepper?

    Oh, and bonus thought: Anybody still think Roy will stick around after this season?

  2. You know Martz has been counting the days. I would not be surprised if he's throwing the ball late in the 4th with a big lead, running up the score, just because.

    If this continues, and it likely will, Marinelli is bound to get desperate enough to try something at QB. As good as he was in the exhibitions, Kitna's been AWFUL once the hitting started for real. I still believe Stanton is at least a season away, so Orlovsky will get his shot. It's about time the Lions FINALLY see if he has "it." Or at least, something.

    The comments from Roy today, calling himself a "role player" all but sealed the deal. As Hawk Harrelson so annoyingly says, when it comes to Roy, "He gone."

  3. I wonder if Ron Wolf could be lured out of retirement.

    You know what? Listening to the game on the radio over here in Milwaukee, I found myself hoping the Lions would lose. That shocked me, it really did. I WANTED THEM TO LOSE. Madness. They scrambled back for that brief lead and I'm thinking "oh sure this is what they do, tease for awhile to make me think they're just barely adequate". They didn't disappoint.

  4. shitna, pickna, quitna, limpna, wimpna, gimpna, zitna, kINTna, and several others all fit that selfish never-was-and-never-will be qb. like big gay al said [sorry al, had to do it ;)], loyalty and ego to the point of not being able to see the obvious [lions suck] is beyond madness. wonder if millen and marinelli will ever realize that this team is a lost cause....on second thought, no i don't cuz their egos will never let them accept it.