Gunther Making Noise

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It is sheer pleasure to see Gunther Cunningham and Jim Schwartz so involved with the media, and in Schwartz's case in particular so articulate and such a strong promoter of the team. Cunningham is a little different, while also a quote machine he doesn't hold much back and isn't afraid to either praise or call a player out, as we witnessed a few days ago with DeAndre Levy.

When Detroit hired Cunningham there were whispers, reported by Pro Football Weekly that he was done. That "The last time he got anything done, Derrick Thomas was coming off the edges ... he's lost his edge as a coordinator." While that report was alarming the story was yet to be written, and so far the story is all good. The players seem to be enthusiastic about his system, and they seem to love d-line coach Bob Karmelowicz's teaching, which is somewhat odd because that was Marinelli's wheelhouse.

Anyhow, this has been a rich week for Gunther articles and quotes. In the Oakland Press blog Matthew Mowery shared this

We're heading down the road on the packages. Jimmy (head coach Jim Schwartz) says the other day, 'Gun, you've got every coverage in football.' And, in some respects ... yeah, we are experimenting with what fits us the best, but we have a multitude of defenses in, both up front, and in the secondary, and we must have 40 blitzes in already.

"We're still not good enough in blitzes," Cunningham said. "I'm not used to guys coming slow. When we send them, they have to get there, and we're going to have to have a little attitude adjustment meeting after this practice. They're going to hear it, loud and clear.

"When you put pads on, you find out the real men. There's lots of frauds around. You know, the coaches are, too. They talk a good game, then you watch them coach, and they don't do it. Players do the same thing. And sometimes, the guys you don't expect to be the real tough guys they show up, and you go, 'My god, was I wrong on this guy.'

There's an intensity and level of demand that wasn't present under Marinelli. With Rod it was 'we'll keep the shovels sharp, we'll keep trying, we'll work more', and while those are nice sentiments they don't compel urgency like Gunther does.

The Oakland Press blog was written on 8/6. On 8/7 Tara Ryan shared another Cunningham quote at

“I think we are starting to get that attitude adjustment; we had a couple of good one-on-ones with the secondary yesterday; Ramzee Robinson hit one guy under the chin, drove him to the sideline and dumped him on his back. I haven’t seen that since I was coaching in the 90’s and I made a big deal about it last night. We are going to be that kind of team; we are going to be aggressive, so we have to practice aggressive.”
Also on Friday John Niyo reported another quote
general manager Martin Mayhew asked him to watch 75 plays of a player the Lions are considering."He asked me, 'How'd you like him?' " Cunningham said. "I said, 'I've seen a lot better, and you wasted a lot of my time.' But that's my job, and you've got to look."
I guess Cunningham doesn't care who it is, he'll say it like it is.

Agree? Disagree? Have something to say about it? Discuss it Here, in The Den