More positives from the Week One Loss

Monday, September 14, 2009

Matthew Stafford, meet humility

Matthew Stafford is a lot of things. He is talented, composed, charming, and an all-around great guy.

He's not humble.

He doesn't have to be! He's been the No. 1 pick in the NFL since his sophomore year in high school. He has always been the best player on his team, until now.

's biggest vice will always be the trust his has in his arm, his hubris.

That lack of humility is the cause of throws being forced into coverage, the cause for throws way too high or too low because Stafford trusted his arm instead of sound mechanics.

To be frank, Stafford missed horribly on a number of throws. He was, possibly, worse than his numbers suggest. He also seems to have a case of "Kitna-itis", the condition which strikes talented quarterbacks on the most crucial of drives.

The upside, Stafford is down with that sickness (ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah) at the beginning of his career, whereas Kitna was far too old to be taught new tricks.

Stafford, by all accounts, is one of the most coachable quarterbacks ever. Linehan, by many accounts, is a great quarterbacks coach.

This game, however, may have been necessary in the grand scheme of Stafford's career. This game was his Aikman moment. Troy Aikman lost in his first game, also to the Saints, 24-0. Aikman had Herschel Walker at the time.

Eventually, Aikman had to learn that the NFL is not the Pac-10, and he's not always the best player on the field. Stafford now knows that.

How he handles that knowledge over the course of this year is more important than a 45-27 loss to a very good team.

Stan Kwan slept like a baby last night

He had sweet dreams about laughing at all of us who consistently blamed him for all of the Lions' special teams woes.

I'm not making the case that Kwan is the next Frank Gansz, he's not even the next Chuck Priefer. However, maybe he's not as bad as we all thought.

The bottom of the Lions roster is one of the least talented groups in the league. In terms of coverage squads, Kwan doesn't have a lot to work with. In terms of blocking during returns, he has even less.

The purge of talent that took place on this roster after numerous offensive and defensive scheme changes, is why the Lions are where they are.

Yesterday, the Lions contained Reggie Bush and sprung Dennis Northcutt and Aaron Brown on long returns. In addition, Nick Harris and Jason Hanson were both perfect.

Don't start singing the praises of Stan Kwan, but for once, perhaps give him the benefit of the doubt.

Anthony Henry Might Be the Real Deal

If it weren't for Darren Sharper, Henry would have been the best defensive back on the field in New Orleans.

The Saints picked on Eric King all night.

Eric King is who he is. As a nickelback, no one is better against the run. As a nickelback, he is decent against the pass—better in a zone. On the outside, he has some issues. He lacks polish, which may come over time. Right now, this Lions team needs Philip Buchanon.

Henry, on the other hand, locked up Marques Colston for much of the day, which is not an easy task. He had to deal with one jump ball all day and picked it off.

That's not bad for a guy who was judged to be about as good as Jon Kitna.

Not everything was glass-half-full, there were also "teachable moments".

More Over At My Bleacher Report