According to the Detnews Rod Parker: "Lions owner William Clay Ford instructed the coaching staff this past week to throw more to Johnson, a source told The Detroit News. Lions officials Thursday would not confirm or deny that the coaches were asked to get the ball to Johnson, the second overall pick in April's NFL draft, though it was clear he was more involved than he had been in any other game this season." http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071123/OPINION03/711230386/1343/OPINION0307
Should this be true, what does it mean? Well, for one thing it means that Martz is gone. There is no way an arrogant man like Martz will stand for that kind of interference. The fact that he still wants a job in the league is probably the main reason that he didn't resign on the spot. I wonder how long word has been leaking down from the throne of WCF to Martz before a directive was issued? Could explain some of the rumors that the Lions aren't happy with Martz and his stalled air show.
It would also help explain the weird draft. Picking Johnson was a no-brainer, but what of Drew Staton? I recall reading of how the first thing they did was to change the way Drew threw. Now we know Martz can take an Arena league grocery bagger and turn him into a good QB, so why would he ever take a QB high in a draft? Methinks he didn't. I think that pick was another WCF directive. Draft the local kid that people will all love because, well, because he's local. And could have the rest of the draft, all those reaches...er...projects been a directive as well. Something along the lines of "We spent big bucks on Calvin, Redding, and White now you fill out your draft with players who will sign inexpensive contracts.
It also means that Rod will be disingenuous or blindly naive when he is asked about it and denies any influence from WCF. Worse yet he will be puppetized should he acknowledge that it happened.
It also means the Lions FO, and WCf are very thin skinned. All the press the last couple games has gone on about the lack of commitment to the run game and that we don't use CJ2. So what happens? We run a lot and pass to CJ2 alot. As long as the focus is on what the public opinion is instead of what we can do to improve the Lions will continue to losingly stumble through a league that has never been so devoid of quality teams. The playoffs are there to be had and the Lions FO is concerned with the press. Bad seed, bad flower.
I loved this quote from the ultimate company shill, Kitna: "Kitna said there hasn't been a philosophy change in the Lions' offense.
"We liked our matchup with him on their second or third corner," Kitna said. "But their second and third corner played good. They made plays and we just didn't."
Ah, I see. As opposed to all the first CB coverage CJ2 had been getting all season?
Lions Liars, Liars Lions
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was