Jeremy Reisman took over at Pride of Detroit earlier this year, and has done an excellent job of stepping up and taking that website to new heights-- the content they produce over there is top-notch, and I've always enjoyed working with them on cross-blog content. There are some really good folks over at POD, despite the history that a handful of our members have with a handful of theirs.
Recently, Reisman and I spent some time sipping scotch and smoking cigars, and discussed the upcoming Chicago Bears versus Detroit Lions contest... He provided some excellent insight as to what's going on with their team, from top to bottom. Big thanks to Reisman for chatting with us.
You can see their version of this post HERE.
1- Many people are saying that Detroit isn't as bad as their record. Would you agree with that? How do you see the 2015 season shaking out for you guys?
Reisman: Well, that depends how you look at things. Do I think the Lions are a better than any of the five teams they have faced so far? No, I don't. Do I think they are truly the worst team in the NFL. No. But this team hasn't played a full game this season in which I've felt like they should have won, even including the batted-ball controversy. This is a very flawed team that has earned each of their five losses.
This isn't a team that will be in danger of going winless, but they'll likely contend for a top five pick in the draft.
2- The head coach of the Lions changed when Jim Caldwell replaced Jim Schwartz, but the front office not so much. The Ford family owns the team, and Martin Mayhew is still the GM. How are Lions fans feeling about the front office in Detroit?
Reisman: Well Lions fans have had a storied history of wanting the Fords to give up ownership of the team. This season has only strengthened their resolve. When it comes to the other members of the front office, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi has come under the most fire. The offense was expected to make a significant leap forward this season, and instead it has taken a huge step back. Almost every single Lions fan -- myself included -- want to see Lombardi go sooner rather than later.
3- There was an article recently that said not only was the Lions offensive system flawed, but that Matthew Stafford is flawed. He is seemingly locked in as the franchise's quarterback for the next few years, but what is your take on all of this?
Reisman: My take is that we are currently witnessing darkest-timeline Stafford. This is Stafford at his absolute worst. He has no pass protection, he has no running game. He has had to force plays and he has looked terrible in the process of doing that.
That is not true Stafford. Matthew isn't the guy that is going to make everyone around him better, but we already knew that. He's a guy that can look great at times and frustrate the hell out of you, too. Overall, I think Stafford can continue to be the Lions' franchise quarterback, but not with this current combination of scheme and offensive line.
4- Looking back at 2015's draft picks, how is the rookie class doing? What about the 2nd and 3rd year players?
Reisman: The Lions haven't had much production from their 2015 draft class. First round pick, Laken Tomlinson, has been forced into the starting lineup due to injury, and it's clear he's not ready. Ameer Abdullah looks like he has potential, but the dismal offensive line in front of him has stunted any sort of production.
The Lions 2014 draft class isn't much better. Eric Ebron is due to break out, but he's been struggling with injuries so far this season. Second-round pick Kyle Van Noy was a healthy scratch last week, and Travis Swanson has not looked good as Detroit's new center. The Lions' best draft pick over the past three years is Ezekiel Ansah, who is the current NFL leader in sacks.
5- The Lions opened up 3 point favorites over Chicago-- what does Detroit need to do to win this game?
Reisman: Detroit needs to get their offense going, and the quickest way to do that is through a running game. It looks like the Lions will have guard Larry Warford and running back Joique Bell back this week, so there's some hope there. But Detroit has been the worst team in the league at running the ball by a large margin. If they can get something going on the ground, the game will open up for Stafford and the offense has a chance of actually putting an entire game together.
Bonus: Make your prediction.
Reisman: I'm pretty down on this team right now, and I don't see things turning around this week. 20-10 Bears.