Atticus: Delmas, Pettigrew Could Be Great

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We love sharing the insightful opinion from knowledgeable fans, and it typically doesn't get any better than The Den user Atticus, who shared the importance of Detroit Lions rookie safety Louis Delmas and tight end Brandon Pettigrew in what has become a hot topic on the message board.

First -- let's talk ... baseball.


There are some rare commodities in baseball -- used to be even more rare -- but still pretty rare.

I'll list 2.

A shortstop who is a notably good fielder AND a notably good hitter with good power. A catcher who is a notably good fielder AND a notably good hitter with good power.

It's just such a plus for a team to have such a Shortstop or Catcher. You don't have to put up with mediocrity in one area to have the other area. A good hitting catcher who's crap in throwing out runners or calling the game. Or a great fielding catcher who barely hits his weight and who has warning track power. Same for SS. Pettigrew. There are perhaps 15 notably productive TEs in terms of receiving numbers. So getting a TE who can give you that -- is itself not that easy to find. The number of TEs who are notably good in both blocking AND receiving production?

Count them on one hand. I'll list Witten as my example guy. He helps Dallas in so very many ways. He's a very rare guy to have on your team.

That's what Pettigrew hopes to become, I think. A really good all-around TE -- similar to Witten. I think most folks think he'll do exactly that. Perhaps not get quite the receiving numbers -- though Witten's not really all that fast and wasn't a guy with big numbers in college either.

Pettigrew is a version of Alex or Pudge Rodriguez. Rare talent. Great value to his team (leaving aside Alex's problems in the post-season of course).

Delmas. He's a safety who we believe has the tackling/run-help ability of some of the better safeties AND he has cover abilities that rival many of the better safeties. So -- using the above analysis -- he's got it all as well (we think). And it's fairly rare. Thus -- Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Bob Sanders are extremely valuable to their teams.

And that's what we've seen in the NFL -- the emergence of Safeties as bigtime values to their teams -- the really good safeties. There aren't that many of them. The Lions have floundered at safety (along with lots of other positions) for years and years. Certainly throughout the Millen era. And I'd actually go back to Blades in the early 90s.

In today's NFL, safeties can be a great and valuable asset to a team and defense. The all-around guys will fit any system. The main problem with such guys is that a team is likely to take them for granted. Then pay a huge price if the guy goes down to injury. The drop-off will be glaring -- that's how rare they are -- and how valuable they can ultimately be to their teams.

Is Delmas in the class of Polamalu, BobS and Ed Reed? Again -- I think the brass think so ... and a lot of draft sites agree.

I grump around about the DT situation and CB2 -- but that's more a failing overall of the draft and free agency efforts (and the inability to deal with every need in one year -- an understandable situation). I have NO issue at all with Pettigrew or Delmas. BPA's at the time? Certainly among the BPAs IMO. NEED? Yes. I think clearly they also help us in areas where we clearly needed help.

Rare talents -- and we got them at 20 and 33. In the same year. I think we got Spielman and Blades at 29 and 3 in 1988. I think these guys -- Pettigrew and Delmas -- will prove to be just as great as Lions in the NFL. Toss in that guy we took at #1OA ... and the 2009 draft of Mayhew/Schwartz may well prove to be the best in Lion history. But only time will tell.