Detroit Lions

NFC North

2014 Schedule

  • Week 1

    NYG @ DET

    09/08/14

    7:15 pm

  • Week 2

    DET @ CAR

    09/14/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 3

    GB @ DET

    09/21/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 4

    DET @ NYJ

    09/28/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 5

    BUF @ DET

    10/05/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 6

    DET @ MIN

    10/12/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 7

    NO @ DET

    10/19/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 8

    DET @ ATL

    10/26/14

    9:30 am

  • Week 9

    bye

  • Week 10

    MIA @ DET

    11/09/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 11

    DET @ ARI

    11/16/14

    4:30 pm

  • Week 12

    DET @ NE

    11/23/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 13

    CHI @ DET

    11/27/14

    12:30 pm

  • Week 14

    TB @ DET

    12/07/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 15

    MIN @ DET

    12/14/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 16

    DET @ CHI

    12/21/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 17

    DET @ GB

    12/28/14

    1:00 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Detroit Lions - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview

calvin and matthew for the detroit lions


 


 


 


Detroit Lions - 2014 Preseason #FF Preview


 


 


If you were drafting in an early Rock n’ Roll fantasy league, there is no town that breeds the picks like Motown. Houdini has been reminding us of this as of late with some of his soulful tunes. Wilson Pickett’s song “Cole, Cook, and Redding” schools you on some of those early rhythm and blues greats.


 


 


 







 


 


 


And for some of his more moving Motown goo, you gotsta to check out his Wilson Pickett’s rendition of “In the Midnight Hour”.


 


 


 







 


 


 


Look for “Wolfman” Houdini, the host with the most, to keep those classics spinning at you on the latest episode of the Pyro Fantasy Football Fire Podcast.


 


 


 


Wolfman


 


 


Listen to us on Buzzsprout: http://pyromaniac.buzzsprout.com/


Listen to us on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/pyroman1ac 




 


 


Not only does Detroit demonstrate iconic figures in the world of Rock n’ Roll and Rhythm and Blues; they have some fantasy mainstays that are outta sight as well. Look no further than the fantasy wide receiver consistently on the top of the charts, Megatron.


 


 


Megatron


 


 


 


 


If you end up picking towards the end of your fantasy draft and Jimmy Graham has already gone, then go for Calvin Johnson. This plan is just one of many you can learn by reading Dawgmatica’s  Draft Strategy. In fact, all of the guys walk you through different ins and outs when it comes to draft day. Their strategies are including in version 3 of the draft kit, available now.


 


 


 pyro draft kit graphic v3




Pick up our Draft Kit today... you won't regret it!


http://www.pyromaniac.com/op_eds/2014-pyro-fantasy-football-draft-kit-v3


 


 


Calvin’s numbers speak for themselves. In 2013, he caught 84 balls on 156 targets. And, would you believe 1,492 yards are his lowest since 2010? Two years ago, he ended just shy of breaking 2,000 yards. In 2013, he crossed the goal line 12 times. That makes four times in six years he has managed  to rack up at least 12 scores with 16 being his highest.  One thing to look for in fantasy is consistency. There are plenty of pass catcher who will bust out one monster game that skews their season totals. Calvin gets it done week in and week out. In 2014, he averaged 15.66 points per game (2nd highest total of his career). In fact, Johnson has averaged at least 12 fantasy points per game since 2008. He has broken 1,000 yards in five of six as well. The one down year (besides his rookie season) he missed it by 14 yards. In many respects, he keeps getting better. Last year he averaged a career high 17.8 yards per catch. Oh, did I mention this? Detroit has the 2nd best fantasy playoff schedule for wide receivers.


 




Yet another thing going for Megatron is the talent that now surrounds him. By bringing in play makers like Golden Tate to line up as the other wide receiver, defenses will not be able to double down on Calvin as often.  This is something Johnson himself recently noted: “Golden’s going to get a lot of one-on-one coverage. With all the weapons we have, those one-on-ones will go full circle and I might get some more myself”.  An ex-Notre Dame player, Tate seems to be quick grasping Joe Lombardi’s offense.  This will be Tate’s 5th year in the league. Last year, he caught 64 passes for 898 yards, 5 touchdowns and averaged 7.38 fantasy points per game. Statistically, since he has been in the league, he has improved in almost every single category annually. In Seattle, from one year to the next, he saw improvements in targets, receptions, yardage, and fantasy points per game. Fantasy is all about trend spotting, and I don’t mean the Ewan McGregor flick.


 


 







 


 


 


To succeed in fantasy, you need to construct your players based on how you think they will perform this year. The pitfall that claims so many, people tend to draft on the numbers from the previous year. If you draft the right way, if you look at trends, then Golden Tate is definitely a receiver to keep on your radar. More and more teams are having success with a two headed receiving core. With the addition of Tate, Detroit is looking more appealing.


 




Other names to note, Ryan Broyles and Kevin Ogletree seem to be fighting for the possible slot position, although neither has shown all that well in camp. The talk of the town has concerned Riddick, but more on him in a moment. The Lions remaining receivers are Kris Durham, T.J. Jones, and a few other names that will be fighting for roster spots. They did recently pick up Jon Baldwin from the 49ers. While Baldwin has the body type, and showed amazing skills at the combine once upon a time, he has never put it together in the NFL. If you are a deep dynasty league, you may want to watch this battle play out,  although I doubt there will be enough opportunity that far down the depth chart.


 




The Lions did add another pass catcher, but at the tight end position. Eric Ebron was taken with the 10th pick overall in this year’s draft. While rookie tight ends are notorious for a lack of production, he is certainly one to watch. In fact, he should get a crack at seeing some decent playing time his first year. If that is the case, he could be a steal. The Lions have the BEST schedule for a tight end this year.  Ebron is 6’4” and weighs 250 pounds. He ran a 4.6 at the combine with a 32” vertical. At North Carolina, Ebron had 62 receptions, gained 973 yards, and scored 3 touchdowns. He turned out some impressive performances including a 199 yard game against Miami. He should have no problem holding down a starting role ahead of Brandon Pettigrew, a guy who seemed to be brought down by a stiff breeze last year. If you don’t get a top tier tight end, play the waiting game. I think a nice strategy would be to take a Charles Clay and pair him with Ebron, whom, according to early August ADP’s is going in the 11th round for 12 team leagues. With the schedule the Lions have, Ebron will certainly see some fantastic matchups. If both guys start to go off, then you have terrific trade bait.


 


 


As you must have noticed by now, in fantasy football, the one thing that is a safe bet, is inconsistent rankings. Depending on which site you are consulting, what you see can vary wildly from another source. This is certainly true when it comes to offensive line rankings. However, Detroit is consistently being pegged as a top 5 team when it comes to their 2014 offensive line. Last year, their pass blocking was the best it has been in years. In fact, only one other team allowed fewer sacks (Omaha! Omaha!) You guessed it, Denver. But even in the run game, they had great success on short yardage, power plays. With 2 yards or less to go, they converted on 3rd/4th down 76% of the time.  The Lions offensive linemen should open up and sustain holes for a plethora of backs this coming season.


 




The first back on the depth chart is Reggie Bush. It must be said, last year they ran a committee with Bush and Bell. So far this year, there has been quite a bit of chatter about Theo Riddick, another Notre Dame player to join the Lions.  Before we get to the two main dogs, it is speculated that Riddick might be plugged into multiple places in Joe Lombardi’s offense. Lombardi was most recently the Saints OC. Riddick played both running back and receiver in college. He could be utilized similar to how the Saints used Darren Sproles. This notion was recently reiterated by backup QB Dan Orlovsky: “I’m telling you, if he doesn’t have 50 catches this year, I’ll be surprised because he is going to have opportunities and he’s very talented at it… I think he’s going to play the Sproles role for sure.” But he might be utilized in other ways as well. There has been a buzz from camp stating Riddick could see time in the slot. Again, playing both running back and receiver comes natural to him. This is one reason Pyro has him pegged as a deep sleeper candidate. This hidden gem is worth a late round pick. As of early August though, he is not even showing up on ADPs. My guess, after people get a look at him in preseason, the secret will be out. 


 


 


AMAZING (excellent quality) Rushing highlights for Riddick = 


 


 







 


 


Receiving highlights for Riddick = 


 


 







 


 


 


“Pan Down! Pan Down…We’ve got Bush”


 


 







 


 


 


Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are the two big dogs on the porch. First, let’s just look at them in a strictly running capacity. Last year, Bush got more attempts, 223 to Bell’s 166. Bush had more yards, 1,006 to Bell’s 650.  He averaged 4.5 yards to Bell’s 3.9. Bush appears the better runner. But you know what they say about appearances, they can be deceiving.


 




If the Lion’s played on grass, they seem to lean towards Bell. Bush had 158 carries on turf and only 65 on grass. Bell seems to have what it takes when they get in close, bell scored 8 touchdowns, all of which came inside the red zone. Another thing, Bush need carries to get going.  Bush only scored 4 rushing touchdowns in 2014. In every instance, he needed at least 17 carries to score. In games when he carried it at least 17 times, he averaged 4.6 per rush. In games where he carried 13 times or less, his average is 2.9. So let me amend my statement. Bush is the better runner as long as he is given the opportunities. With the Lombardi offense this season, I expect there to be more of a split. Bush will not get the opportunities he did last year. Statistically, his performance is tied to the amount of looks he gets in the run game. Pyro is picking Bush as a bust candidate in 2014.


 




Now let’s compare the two coming out of the backfield for receptions.  At first glance, they seem fairly even. Bush caught 54 passes and Bell caught 53. But upon closer inspection, Bell wins hands down. Bell had 547 receiving yards. Bush had 506. So, Bell had 41 more yards on 1 less catch. Here is the one that takes the cake.  Bush caught the ball 68.4% of the time. Bell caught the ball 76.8% of the time. Not only that, Bell was targeted farther down field than Bush. Bell’s position in relation to the line of scrimmage was 7.93 yards down field when he was targeted. Bush’s average target was 6.41 yards downfield. To put it another way, Bell had a higher catch rate and was actually a yard and a half further down field than Bush. So, not only is Bell a better pass catcher, he does so farther down field. One last thing, Bell averaged more yards per catch as well, 10.3 to Bush’s 9.4.


 




To recap, Bush is probably the better runner if given enough opportunity. Lombardi often employed a three back system in New Orleans. With the likes of Bell, and Riddick, Bush will not get the rushing attempts he needs to perform. As far as receiving, Bell is flat out statistically better. As of early August, ADP’s for 12 team leagues have Bush going in the 3rd round and Bell going in the 5th. Obviously, both are worth a bit more in PPR formats. Overall, Bell is the better bargain.


 




Finally, we come to the general on the field, Matthew “Second Half” Staff. There are many reasons to love Stafford…


 


 


 


MattStafford


 


 


 


Just look at how serious he takes his skin care, proper eye wear, use of a hat, stays in the shade, all top moves as far as I am concerned. Bravo my man!


 




Okay, there are also plenty of reasons to love him on the field as well. Stafford is a tier II QB for most of the Pyro boys. This year, he faces the 6th best passing schedule and the 2nd best during the fantasy playoffs. He has more weapons offensively than he has ever had as a pro. The new Lombardi system should keep opposing defenses on their heels, especially early in the season. This could work out if you end up drafting 2 QBs, not that I would with a Stafford caliber guy. But if you have a Tannehill staring you in the face later in the draft, I might grab him if he is the best talent available. If Stafford gets things rolling with a quickness, that might be appealing for trade bait, especially when quarterbacks start to go down with injuries. There was a time when his toughness was called into question, but the guy has not missed a game in the last three years.  In that same time frame, he has passed for 14,655 yards and 90 TDs. With the talent he now has, I think it is realistic that he throws for over 30 touchdowns easy. That would put him in between last year’s total (29) and that of his 2011 season (41). Yardage wise, I think he is closer to 5,000 than 4,500. Plus, he should be good for 2 or 3 rushing TDs as well. For Stafford to have an elite year, he will have to minimize his interceptions. Last year, out of the top 10 fantasy QBs, Stafford lost 38 points to INTs, second highest only to Dalton who lost 40 points. With the talent he has this year, chances are Stafford will not feel as much pressure to put it all on his shoulders. If that happens, his negative points will be minimized. All in all, Stafford could end up ranked in the top 5 fantasy QBs this year.


 


 


By Mo 





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Barry Sansders and Bobby Ross

When Barry Sanders retired following the 1998 season, the NFL was in shock. Sanders was just 31 years old, coming off a season where he rushed for 1,491 yards, and was only 1,457 yards away from breaking Walter Payton’s all-time rushing record. The question was, how could he leave the game? The answer to that question lies with Barry Sanders, but there are many who believe that it was due to a strained relationship between Barry Sanders and head coach Bobby Ross, and Barry’s father William will be the first to tell you that side of the story.

Before I get to the nastiness of this situation, let’s visit with Barry Sanders on the high road. Here is what Barry said publicly after announcing his retirement.

"The reason I am retiring is very simple, my desire to exit the game is greater than my desire to remain in it…I have enjoyed playing for two great head coaches, Wayne Fontes and Bobby Ross, who are good coaches and leaders," Sanders said in his statement. "I am not involved in a salary dispute of any kind. If I had played this season, I would have earned a more than satisfactory salary. . . . I have searched my heart through and through and feel comfortable with this decision."

There was a lot of speculation the reason Sanders decided not to come back was due to a rift with Bobby Ross and management. The thought was that Barry was not happy with the front office for not surrounding him with good enough talent to help him compete, and that he was unhappy with Ross and his offensive scheme. When Bobby Ross was questioned about why Sanders had left the game, he had this to say.

"My personal feeling is that we're looking at a situation where the man got tired of playing the game," Ross said at a news conference in Detroit. "Do I feel that Barry left because of me? No, I don't feel that."

How this came to the forefront, most likely, came from Barry’s father William. William and his son had an on again off again relationship, and while Barry is a very soft spoken person the same cannot be said for his father. Barry attended Oklahoma State, yet his father continued to be a vigilant supporter of Oklahoma…nice. William Sanders didn’t stop there. When asked who was the greatest running back, he would respond, “Jim Brown, followed by me, and Barry third”. When Barry retired, it was his father who let loose every conspiracy theory, but he really had it out for Bobby Ross.

In 2004 William Sanders was interviewed by Lansing radio station WQTX. The interview was just over 17 minutes in length, with most of the conversation centering on Barry and his upbringing, as well as general football talk. However, just over 13 minutes into the interview, the conversation turned to the topic of why William Sanders personally, had a problem with Bobby Ross.

Heuman: "What about him (Bobby Ross) didn’t you care for?
Sanders: "I didn’t like his attitude."
Heuman: "Bobby Ross’s?"
Sanders: "Yeah."
Heuman: "In what way, William?"
Sanders: "When Detroit signed Barry, one of the first things coach told Barry was that he wanted to meet his father."
Heuman: "Wayne Fontes?" (Wayne Fontes was Barry’s original Lions coach)
Sanders: "Yeah. Not to kiss my butt. (Pause) But to have a courtesy, out of respect."
Heuman: "And Bobby Ross never did that?"
Sanders: (In agreement) "And Bobby Ross never did that."
Heuman: "Why do you suppose he didn’t want to meet you? I’d a bought you dinner and buttered you up and bought you a condo to keep that guy (Barry) in the game."
Sanders: "Because Bobby Ross came out of Georgia and I think Bobby Ross got a mindset about black people and their place."
Heuman: "You think it was a racist thing?"
Sanders: (In agreement) "I think it was a racist thing. He never spoke to me. He never wanted to meet me. If he did, he didn’t."
Heuman: "Wait a minute now. You think Bobby Ross, with his southern background, his aversion to you and possibly Barry was based on race?"
Sanders: "I think so. (Pause) And I’ll debate him."
Heuman: (Pausing in contemplation) "Hmm."
Sanders: "Yeah."
Heuman: "Have you ever said that? I haven’t heard that."
Sanders: "Well, nobody’s really ever asked me."
Heuman: "Well I am now, and you’re saying that you think he was a racist?"
Sanders: "Yeah, I do. (Pause)Yeah. (Long pause) Because he never (Pause) Why would he not want to meet Barry’s father?"
Heuman: "I can’t answer that, but in fairness William Sanders, most of the players on Bobby Ross’s team were black."
Sanders: "That might be true too."
Heuman: "So how could you be a football coach in the NFL and be a racist? (William Laughs)You’d be out of work."
Sanders: "He’s out of work too isn’t he?"
Heuman: "Well, he’s got a job now. He’s coaching Army."
Sanders: "Yeah, well that’s probably the best place for him."
Heuman: (Laughs) "I see you don’t feel strongly about Bobby Ross?"
Sanders: "No I don’t because . . ."
Heuman: (Interrupting Sanders) "You never had a conversation with him?"
Sanders: "I walked the sideline many a day, and the man never said anything to me and I never said anything to him."
Heuman: "Did you ever think of walking up and saying ‘Hi, I’m Barry’s dad’?"
Sanders: "I thought about it, but then I did not want to intrude on his space. ‘Cause if he wanted to meet me (Pause) he was the head of the team. He could’ve did that easily."
Heuman: "He knew where to find you?"
Sanders: (In Agreement) "He knew where to find me."
Heuman: "And you insist that part of his problem with you (Pause) and maybe Barry was that he (Barry) was black?"
Sanders: "Yes. (Pause) Yes. (Long Pause-Then Voice Trailing Off) Yes."
Heuman: (With Emphasis and Amazement) "Wow."
Sanders: "Yeah."

Barry Sanders would never substantiate this account. While Barry wanted nothing to do with the spotlight, it seems his father could not stand being in the shadows. Therefore, William Sanders felt it necessary to continue to perpetuate this belief that Bobby Ross was a racist. Bobby Ross may not have been the best match as a coach for Barry Sanders, but the simple statements made by Barry explaining why he retired still make the most sense. Meanwhile, the overblown reactions of his father made awesome theater.


By Houdini

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Dick "Night Train" Lane

Richard "Dick" Lane (April 16, 1927 – January 29, 2002)  was born in Austin, Texas and was raised by Ella Lane, who found him abandoned as an infant. This didn't hamper his progress growing up, as he graduated high school, went to one year of junior college and then enlisted in the United States Army for four years.



In 1952, Lane visited Los Angeles Rams training camp looking for a job. He was given a look at wide receiver, but the Rams thought it would be best for him to play defensive back. Los Angeles already were stacked at wide receiver with future Hall of Fame players Tom Fears and Elroy Hirsch. Coach Joe Stydahar made the correct decision as Dick Lane was a star at the position. Dick stood at 6'2 and weighed 210 pounds. He was agile, had exceptional speed, and quick reflexes, he was also driven to succeed, which showed in his tackling skills. Lane was great in the open-field, and would take chances to make plays happen.



In Lane's rookie year, he had 14 interceptions, a record that stood for over 60 years, even though he played in 12 games, and in this era of football, the NFL teams passed the ball at a low frequency in compared to today's playbook. Dick Lane played with a ferocious style, and was nicknamed "Night Train" due to his locker room teammate Tom Fears love of the song entitled "Night Train." The nickname took some getting used to, but when he used his arms to the throat or head of a offensive player to bring him down, the term Night Train Neck Tie developed quickly. The NFL eventually had to outlaw this action, due to injuries of players being "head-hunted." He played as a member of the Los Angeles Rams for two years before being traded to the Chicago Cardinals (1954-59).
Dick Lane then moved on to play for the Detroit Lions, and finished his career there. He played from 1960-1965. With the Lions he recorded 21 interceptions for 272 yards and one touchdown. He was All-NFL four times (1960-63) and named to the Pro Bowl three times (1961-63). This was added to the two other times he was an All-NFL, and the four other times he was a Pro-Bowl player.
In 1969, Lane was named the best cornerback of the first fifty-years of pro football, then was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1974. He recorded 68 interceptions, 1,207 returned yards, five touchdowns, 11 fumble recoveries, eight receptions for 253 yards and one touchdown. He was ranked number 19 in the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, and number one of all defensive backs. Dick is also a member of the Cardinals' Ring of Honor at University Phoenix Stadium.



Dick Lane was married three times, one of which was jazz singer Dinah Washington. Lane passed away in 2002 from complications of a heart attack, and also suffered from diabetes and bad knees. He is survived by his three sons and one grand-daughter.



Lane's Career Lions' Stats



By Vaaal-Verde

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Lane_(American_football)
http://www.cmgww.com/football/lane/ http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PLAYER_ID=120#sthash.T2wGds4Z.dpuf
http://www.detroitlions.com/team/history/gridiron-heroes/dicknightrainlane.html

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Herman Moore

Herman Joseph Moore (born October 20, 1969) grew up in Danville, Virginia where he attended George Washington High School. Upon graduation, Moore went to Virginia University. Herman had great size and speed. He stood 6'4 and 218 pounds, which made match-up problems for defenses.



Herman Moore was a two-sport athlete at Virginia, and ranks second all-time in receptions, and holds the school record in the high jump. He was able to finish second in career yards with 2,504. He ranks first in receiving yards in a season with 1,190 yards on 54 receptions including 13 touchdowns in 1990. In the 1989 season, he had 36 receptions for 848 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. His career college numbers were incredible. He finished with 114 receptions for 2,504 yards and 27 touchdowns in just three seasons. This led him to be a first round choice, 10th overall, in 1991, by the Detroit Lions.



In his rookie year, he did not start any games, but finished the season with 11 receptions for 135 yards. In the 1992 and 1993 seasons, he expanded his role for the team, as he made 27 starts and had 112 receptions 1900 yards and 10 touchdowns. The next five seasons were Herman Moore's best. He started all but one game, and had 487 receptions for 6,431 yards and 47 touchdowns. From 1999-2001, he didn't do much, as he only caught 60 passes for 707 yards and five touchdowns. In 2002, he moved on to the Giants, but did not produce any stats.



He is possibly the best wide receiver the Lions have had prior to Calvin Johnson. He played in 145 games in 11 seasons and was a four time Pro-Bowler. He is the career receptions holder with 670, and his career 62 touchdowns was broken by Johnson this year, and Calvin also broke his career receiving yards of 9,174. In December of 1995 against the Bears he totaled 14 receptions for 183 yards, fifth best in Detroit history.



Moore was part of six playoff appearances, and two division winners. His playoff statistics include 27 receptions for 474 yards and two touchdowns. This included a 1995 game where he had seven receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles. Herman also had three 100 reception seasons.



Herman Moore is now joining a new team. The "Game on Cancer" has him trying to raise money for cancer research. He lost his father to it, and he and the Lions are trying to raise $15 million in three years, and in the process is making commercials to help raise awareness. He has teamed with the Henry Ford Health Systems.



By Vaaal-Verde



http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000264920/article/herman-moore-has-reason-to-get-behind-lions-game-on-cancer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Moore
http://www.detroitlions.com/team/history/gridiron-heroes/hermanmoore.html

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Jack Christiansen was a game changer

Jack Christiansen was one of the finest defensive players to play in the NFL, and his skills helped to revolutionize the game. At this point you may be asking yourself, who is Jack Christiansen? Jack was a star for the Detroit Lions during the 1950’s, and was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame. Christiansen is one of those players that would still thrive in today’s game.

Christiansen was not the prototypical football player of the time; in fact he was quite undersized. Standing at 6’1”, but only weighing 162 pounds, Jack did not try out for the football team at Colorado A&M, now Colorado State University, and instead ran track. It was in his sophomore season that he was convinced to play football and he became an instant star. Christiansen was used a kick returner, defensive back and running back.  Jack continued to run track during this time. In 1949 Christiansen set the school’s record in the 440-yard dash at 47.6 seconds, a record that stood for over 20 years. In 1950 he ran the 100-yard dash in 9.8 seconds, and the 200 in 21.8 seconds, he was a bona fide speedster. The current track at CSU is named for Jack Christiansen, and he remains the only CSU athlete ever named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Being as undersized as he was, there were many teams in the NFL that passed on Christiansen, but the Lions drafted him in the 6th round of the 1951 draft. That would end up being a steal of a pick. Jack made his first impact on the league by using his speed in the kick and punt return game. The speedster had 18 punt returns for 343 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another 270 yards on 11 kick returns. The four touchdowns that he scored on punts went for 47, 69, 71, and 89 yards. Christiansen had made his mark as a big play threat, and the league took notice.

When teams faced the Lions they started to employ a new strategy when punting to Jack. Teams began using a spread formation on punts, in order to try and contain Christiansen. That would prove to be a difficult thing to do. In his second season Jack had 15 punt returns for 322 yards with two more scores. He also added 409 yards on 16 kick returns. During his eight year career Jack had 59 kick returns for 1,329 yards, and 85 punt returns for 1,084 yards and eight scores. Christiansen was the first dynamic kick return specialist in the game, but he was known for his defensive, and so were the Lions during his eight years.

While the bulk of Christiansen’s damage in the return game was done in his first two seasons, starting in his third year is when his defensive skills really emerged. In 1953 Jack had 12 interceptions, and returned one of them 92 yards for a touchdown. Between 1953-1957 Christiansen had 41 interceptions, three of which he returned for scores. He would lead the league in interceptions in 1953 and 1957. He was also the unquestioned leader of the Lions defensive backfield.

The Lions players, as well as their fans referred to the team’s defensive backfield as “Chris’ Crew”, for Christiansen’s awesome play and stellar leadership. Just as Jack forced the league’s defensives to adapt their formations to deal with his return abilities, he forced offensives to alter their game plans when throwing the ball. In the modern NFL we are well aware of the necessity of having a shut down corner, but before Christiansen nobody had seen such a player. When teams faced the Lions, the new mantra was don’t throw in Christiansen’s area, and, oh yeah, don’t punt to him either. Jack was that rare breed who was just an amazing athlete, and was able to excel in many areas.

Christiansen was named to five consecutive Pro Bowls between 1954-1958, and was named All-Pro between 1952-1957.  Jack helped lead the Lions to NFL Championships in 1952, 1953 and 1957, and was named to 1950’s All Decade Team. Christiansen was also named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. This is the kind of player that I wish I could see compete in today’s NFL, and many of the players from Devin Hester to Richard Sherman owe their ability to earn a big paycheck to Christiansen and his groundbreaking abilities.


By Houdini

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Moving On

Tim Twentyman, beat writer for the Detroit Lions has stated that "Caldwell said they plan to use both Reggie Bush and Theo Riddick moving forward."

Pyro's take: Dont know what this does to the roles of Joique Bell, Reggie Bush, or Theo Riddick. George Winn is the most likely the odd-man-out. If your not in a PPR league, I would avoid all three until the dust clears.

10/28/14, 07:07 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Back at it

According to Tim Twentyman, beat reporter for the Detroit Lions, has stated via his twitter: "Reggie Bush didn’t practice, but RB Theo Riddick was a full participant after being limited Wed."

Pyro's take: Looks like the combination of Theo Riddick and Joique Bell this week, as Reggie Bush most likely will be out, since next week is a bye for the Lions.

10/23/14, 01:12 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Not Playing

Tim Twentyman has stated via his twitter that Matt Stafford will be going into London without Megatron and the rest of his normal injured crew. "No Calvin Johnson, Ansah, Waddle, Ebron, Pettigrew or Fauria at #Lions practice. Riddick was back."

Pyro's take: Not surprising considering the Lions have a bye-week next Sunday. Look for Megatron to return in week 10, and be his normal explosive self.

10/23/14, 10:26 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Bush Free On Sunday

Reggie Bush is making the flight to London, and looking to play. "I'm fine," Bush said Tuesday before a community event at the University of Surrey, located about an hour from Central London. "I mean, I'm not 100 percent. But I haven't been 100 percent since high school. "Got rolled up on a few times and injured in the (Saints) game. But I felt fine after the game, though. Didn't have any setbacks, and that's the most important thing. Looking to just continue to progress every week. I'll be on the field Sunday."


Pyro's take: Reggie Bush is vital to the play of the Detroit Lions, and will be significant if Calvin Johnson is still out. Look for a solid game against Atlanta in London.

10/21/14, 08:48 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.mlive.com

Bush Free On Sunday

Reggie Bush is making the flight to London, and looking to play. "I'm fine," Bush said Tuesday before a community event at the University of Surrey, located about an hour from Central London. "I mean, I'm not 100 percent. But I haven't been 100 percent since high school. "Got rolled up on a few times and injured in the (Saints) game. But I felt fine after the game, though. Didn't have any setbacks, and that's the most important thing. Looking to just continue to progress every week. I'll be on the field Sunday."


Pyro's take: Reggie Bush is vital to the play of the Detroit Lions, and will be significant if Calvin Johnson is still out. Look for a solid game against Atlanta in London.

10/21/14, 08:48 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.mlive.com

Petti-grew Invisible

Brandon Pettigrew has become invisible, even though he signed a four-year, $16-million deal this off-season. "Next question," Pettigrew said today when asked about his diminishing role.

Now the Lions have no choice but to get Pettigrew more involved. Joseph Fauria is still out with injury, and Eric Ebron has hamstring issues.

Due to Joe Lomabardi's offense, he has been regulated to blocking duties more than pass-catching, but thats why they drafted Ebron, and held on to Fauria. "I think he's more than capable," Caldwell said. "And I think if that does indeed happen (more passes to him), I think he would relish the opportunity to kind of show what he can do in that area as well.

"He's a guy that's big and he's got some speed. He's a hard worker that's been performing extremely well for us, so that would just add maybe a little bit more to his plate."

Pettigrew mentioned that "I'm still playing tight end," Pettigrew said. "I'm accepting of it. We've got two more exceptional tight ends, guys that would probably start anywhere in the league, all three of us. It's great. We can all get out there and we can produce together. We're winning right now and there's really nothing (else that matters)."


Pyro's take: Brandon Pettigrew has never really lived up to expectations, and that is why the Lions drafted Ebron and brought in Fauria as an undrafted free-agent. Pettigrew in his sixth season has only 16 touchdowns, and 289 receptions, numbers not representing the first round pick the Lions made him out of Oklahoma State.

With the injuries to everyone else the Lions are dealing with, Pettigrew will be relied on, quite a bit. This makes him an interesting waiver wire decision, as he will see many targets.

10/18/14, 01:10 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.freep.com

Megatron in Mega Situation

Calvin Johnson could possibly be out until week 10. This would give him a month of recovery time for his ankle sprain. Head coach Jim Caldwell spoke on the situation: "The fact of the matter is I leave it up to the doctors," Caldwell said. "Those are the professionals. They know exactly what it takes, what can be done.

"Them, in conjunction with Calvin and how he feels, they treat not only symptoms and the situation but also the patient as well, in terms of what he feels. So they'll let us know what's the best avenue to take."

Pyro's take: Calvin Johnson is a much needed cog for Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. Stafford has played well just once in the last five games since Megatron has been hobbling or out.

At this point both Stafford and Johnson are worthy benching if you have a solid back-up, because until Johnson comes back, Stafford will not put up worthy numbers.

10/15/14, 04:43 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.freep.com

Giants Signing

Kevin Ogletree has been signed by the New York Giants, as a replacement for Victor Cruz. "Ogletree has played in 62 career games for the Cowboys, Bucs and Lions. He's caught 78 passes for 999 yards and six touchdowns."

Pyro's take: Ogletree should not be on your fantasy roster. He does have some talent, as he stayed in the league for a reason. If somehow he clicks with Eli Manning he will become a commodity.

10/15/14, 12:51 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.nj.com

Johnson in His Bush and Out

Looks more and more like Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush will be out on Sunday. Neither have practiced through Friday, and both need the rest to get back into health mode before their injuries cause a longer problem than expected.

Jim Caldwell still has not tipped his hat, on the situation "You never know," Caldwell said. "There's a possibility. A couple weeks ago, I really didn't think that he'd be available, but the fact of the matter is he came out and, after doctors looked at him, and said, 'Hey, you know what? He can go.' So anything's possible."

Pyro's take: Caldwell is not going to give up information on his key players until the very last moment, but it is probably a 95% chance that neither Bush or Johnson will play. Make changes where needed.

10/10/14, 12:30 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.freep.com

Bush, Megatron, Not at Practice Among Others

Dave Birkett, Lions beat writer, has stated on his twitter that there was no "Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Travis Lewis, Joe Fauria at Lions practice today. Joique Bell and Theo Riddick were back."

Update: The mentioned did not practice on Thursday either. Looking more and more like Bush and Johnson will either be game time decisions or out.

Pyro's take: The Lions are certainly breaking down, as key pieces such as Megatron, Bush, and Fauria were not practicing. It looks as though Calvin Johnson will be out, and perhaps Bush.

Keep in mind how this will effect Matthew Stafford if some or all these players are missing. Have Plan-B in mind as their definate statuses are unknown at this time.

10/08/14, 11:17 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Prater Plates Lions

Matt Prater was signed by the Detroit Lions according to Adam Schefter and his twitter @AdamSchefter. It is a one year deal. This makes common sense as the Lions needed a steady kicker who didn't miss and Prater was looking for a home.

Pyro's take: Matt Prater instantly upgrades the kicking game for the Lions and your fantasy team. The Lions is a great place for Prater as he going to get many opportunities. If he is available via waivers, and you need a place kicker, he is perfect. Congrats to those that kept with him, as he will reward you nicely for your patience.

10/08/14, 12:38 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

bad dog

Joseph Fauria was missed last week due to an injury he sustained while chasing his down his little puppy. The reason he was chasing "Lil' Rufio" was that the dog was about to urinate on the carpet. In the race to keep this from happening Fauria chased the pup down stairs and ended up hurting his ankle in the process.

Pyro's take: Joseph Fauria is a Cris Carter clone, all he does is catch touchdowns. He caught seven last season, and even though he has a goose egg for this season, Im sure that will change, and at the very least, this should get Fauria to spread out some puppy pads.

With Fauria out, Eric Ebron was able to get into the end zone, and allow him to get more experience on the field. Ebron hasnt really shown much this season, but the increased playing time, may help him find a groove.

09/30/14, 01:45 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.nydailynews.com

Bring out the limp

Calvin Johnson was seen limping to the team bus after the 24-17 victory over the New York Jets. He was limited to only 37 snaps, or 57% offensive plays, compared to the 80% of plays in the first three games. "Things (have) gotten better all week," Johnson said after the game. "It was a struggle at first, and as the week progressed, it's gotten better and better. Expect the same thing this week."

Calvin Johnson faced double-coverage at the start, but it didnt take long for the Jets to realize single-coverage was good enough.

Pyro's take: He should continue to heal, but by how much? If it is not enough to double-cover him, maybe its time to add another week of lay-off to avoid further damage.

Keep an eye out, if he can bring more than 50% of play production, it should make him at least a low wide receiver two, but

09/30/14, 01:03 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.freep.com

Golden

Golden Tate has been a steady producer for the Detroit Lions this year, giving them a second option at the wide receiver spot, something they havent had in a long time. Last week he caught five of seven targets for 51 yards. This makes the third straight game he has five receptions or more.

Pyro's take: Tate hasnt scored yet, but that should come soon enough. He is a high-end number three on your fantasy squad, and could make an excellent play at the flex in PPR leagues. The Lions face-off against the Jets this Sunday.

09/25/14, 02:23 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: archive.detroitnews.com

Mega trouble

Calvin Johnson injured himself last weekend against the Packers in the fourth quarter of last week's game. He continued to play through, but has been limited in practice this week. "No, I'm not concerned about it," Johnson said. "When those things happen, you get in here and you just work and work and work and work until those things get right."

Calvin Johnson went on to talk about the importance of practice "It's big," he said. "For one, the timing. That's the biggest thing. Getting out here, doing things full speed, so Matt (Stafford) can get a good feel for it and you get a good feel for it, as well. It just builds your confidence."

Pyro's take: Johnson should play, and therefore be in your line-up. He is already having a monster season, even though he struggled against the Packers. This season he has caught 19 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns, and as for injuries he has only missed six games playing in 109 of 115.

09/25/14, 02:01 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.mlive.com

Ebron he gone

Eric Ebron was drafted by the Lions to be the natural pass catcher he is. Unfortunately, that just hasnt come to fruition yet. He has three receptions in just as many games and they have gone for a total of 38 yards. All against the Panters in week two. Ebron was drafted with the 10th overall selection.

Pyro's take: At this point there are a variety of reasons why Ebron may not be performing. The NFL has not been an easy path for rookie tight ends in its history, he plays for an offensive juggernaut that has an abundance of receivers, still learning the offense, or maybe he is just a first round bust. Only time will tell, but at this point he should be either a waiver wire fixture, or a bench player.

09/24/14, 07:18 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.cbssports.com

Bush and space

Head coach Jim Caldwell wants to get the football to Reggie Bush "with a little more space," according to the Detroit Lions home website.

Bush has not been his typical self in the last two games, as he has a Bush has just 15 carries and eight catches through two games. He is averaging 2.7 yards per carry and 6.9 yards per reception. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 9.4 yards per catch in 2013.



Pyro's take: It is imperative that Bush is used in the correct way, what is concerning is that his large drop in yards per carry, as 2.7 gets someone benched quickly. Theo Riddick and Joique Bell could easily take over, but that is still ways away. Look for the Lions to get Bush the ball in more advantageous ways as they take on the Packers this Sunday.

09/16/14, 03:29 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: fantasynews.cbssports.com

Nimble Matt

Matt Stafford showed off some feet skills on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants. Several times throughout the game he moved to the outside to give players time to run their routes. He hit Megatron on a long pass for a touchdown, by bringing in the defense. He also ran for a score.

Calvin Johnson mentioned that Stafford has been working on his footwork, and the quarterback agreed, “I guess it’s paying off,” Stafford said of the footwork drills. “I think you guys think I’m Cam Newton out here. “I’m buying a couple extra seconds. It’s nothing to write home about.”

Pyro's take: The Detroit Lions have plenty of weapons, but if Stafford continues to move around the pocket and run for touchdowns/first downs, this will bring in the defense, and get those skilled players more room to roam. This offense can be extra scary this year, time will tell.

09/10/14, 01:49 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.detroitnews.com

Megatron mega stats

Calvin Johnson was phenomenal in the win against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Megatron has gotten to the point that every week its some kind of record ready to fall. On Monday, Calvin Johnson matched the all-time Detroit Lions receiving record for consecutive games with a catch (107), tying him with Herman Moore.

Johnson is only 29 but he has 579 receptions for 9,492 yards, yet, with all these numbers, Monday was his best opening game yet. How did he do it? "First, he did it while playing a lower percentage of snaps than was customary in years past. He took off more plays -- 13 of 67 -- which is part of Caldwell's efforts to keep Johnson healthy for the 17-week marathon." Second, Golden Tate is finally a player that can take pressure off of Megatron, Tate had six receptions for 93 yards.

Pyro's take: Nothing more to say than start Megatron every week. He wont bring in these great numbers every week, but he should be a top 10 guy each week.

I also like how they are keeping him protected, this is much easier to do when your blowing-out a team, but it is probably the Detroit Lions goal each week.

09/09/14, 12:15 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.mlive.com

Leshoure released

The Detroit Lions felt it best to release Mikel Leshoure after three seasons with the team. He hardly got to see the field last season, getting only two attempts. With Joique Bell and Reggie Bush it was a difficult place for Leshoure to be in. He doesn't play special teams, and Bell, Bush, and Theo Riddick get all the carries. In three seasons, he has 217 carries for 807 yards (3.71 YPC) with nine touchdowns and 34 catches for 214 yards.

Leshoure’s rocky tenure in Detroit also included two arrests in the spring of 2012 for marijuana possession and a two-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Pyro's take: Mikel Leshoure should land somewhere. He has solid talent and could be a multi-purpose back for a team needing assistance in the passing game. Leshoure just unfortunately got caught in they grey area, therefore watch where he lands, and decide if he will have the opportunity to produce, before making him part of your fantasy roster.

08/30/14, 12:56 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.freep.com

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