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Preseason
May 01, 2016
 

Detroit Lions

NFC North

2016 Schedule

  • Week 1

    DET @ IND

    09/11/16

    4:30 pm

  • Week 2

    TEN @ DET

    09/18/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 3

    DET @ GB

    09/25/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 4

    DET @ CHI

    10/02/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 5

    PHI @ DET

    10/09/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 6

    LAR @ DET

    10/16/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 7

    WAS @ DET

    10/23/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 8

    DET @ HOU

    10/30/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 9

    DET @ MIN

    11/06/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 10

    bye

  • Week 11

    JAC @ DET

    11/20/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 11

    MIN @ DET

    11/24/16

    12:30 pm

  • Week 11

    MIN @ DET

    11/24/16

    12:30 pm

  • Week 13

    DET @ NO

    12/04/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 14

    CHI @ DET

    12/11/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 15

    DET @ NYG

    12/18/16

    1:00 pm

  • Week 16

    DET @ DAL

    12/26/16

    8:30 pm

  • Week 17

    GB @ DET

    01/01/17

    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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Lions GM doesnt have an interest in trading Matt Stafford

MS

Pyro's take: According to General Manager Bob Quinn he stated " I have no interest in trading Matthew Stafford."

This is a strange question to ask since it is highly doubtful that Stafford would go anywhere as he is still a top starting quarterback, which a lot of teams just don't have.

Matthew Stafford has not been the best quarterback for fantasy teams as he is barely hanging on to the bottom starting qb rung,

After throwing for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011, he has only broken the 30 touchdown mark once (2015) in the last four seasons. He has also bottomed out in passing yards, throwing for 4257 and 4262 the last two years. With Megatron gone its only going to get tougher.

04/21/16, 05:49 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

RB Stevan Ridley believes his "best years" are ahead of him.

SR

Pyro's take: Stevan Ridley will be the new Joique Bell in the backfield for the Detroit Lions this season. Ridley also hasnt been someone who has carried the ball much. In fact, he has had only two seasons where he has carried the ball more than 100 times.

He hasnt done much since his 2012 campaign where he rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns, as he has had fumble problems along with teammate Ameer Abdullah.

He should be used in goal line situations this year, but will have to battle Zach Zenner for the "big boy" role

04/07/16, 10:45 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.freep.com

Lions released RB Joique Bell.

JB

Pyro's take: Lions, who move forward with Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner at running back. Releasing Bell creates $2.5 million in cap space. Going on 30, Bell seemed out of gas in 2015, battling injury and averaging an anemic 3.45 yards per carry. Bell boasts a sub-par 3.98 YPC for his career. Abdullah should get the first crack on early downs, but Zenner could also get a shot. Bell's phone should be silent through the early weeks (months?) of free agency.--Rotoworld

02/16/16, 10:11 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.rotoworld.com

Ian Rapoport reports the Lions' "goal" is to retain Calvin Johnson with a Larry Fitzgerald-esque extension.

CJ

Pyro's take: Goal for #Lions coaches & staff: Find a way to bring Calvin Johnson back. It wouldn't be at his current salary, but with Fitz-like extension

02/03/16, 01:16 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Calvin Johnson told Lions coach Jim Caldwell that he plans to retire.

CJ

Pyro's take: Calvin Johnson told head coach Jim Caldwell the day after the regular season ended that 2015 would be his final NFL year.

Johnson turned 30 years old in September. He has the entire offseason to reconsider -- with a $16 million salary he is owed for 2016. Even so, there is no question Megatron is serious about retirement.

01/31/16, 05:44 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

The Lions could move on from TE Brandon Pettigrew this offseason.

BP

Pyro's take: Pettigrew had December ACL surgery and is due $3.65M next year. He’s unlikely to be back given Detroit’s cap situation. Releasing Pettigrew would create more snaps for Eric Ebron.--Rotoworld

01/19/16, 11:04 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.mlive.com

Zach Zenner has been cleared to resume all football activities.

ZZ

Pyro's take: Tim Twentyman reported on the progress of Zach Zenner

Zenner was a feel-good story for the Lions at the beginning of the year. After rushing for 2,000 yards in three straight seasons for the Jackrabbits, he was passed over in the draft and eventually signed as a free agent in Detroit.

“I’m really still purposely taking a break from training just to continue to give myself a rest knowing how long the season is and how much time until the season starts in September,” Zenner said during locker clean-out day last week.

“I’m confident in my workout that I’ll be able to come back just as strong, if not stronger, because I’m going to start from a base and work my way up,” he said.

01/19/16, 10:47 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.detroitlions.com

GM Bob Quinn acknowledges that he's yet to decide coach Jim Caldwell's fate.

MS

Pyro's take: Tim Twentyman via Twitter "Quinn said he met Caldwell this morning and has not made a determination on his future just yet."

Quinn didn't endorse Caldwell at his introductory presser speaks as though Caldwell will be terminated soon enough.

01/11/16, 11:26 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Marvin Jones (hamstring) has been removed from the injury report.

MJ

Pyro's take: Marvin Jones is healthy enough to be removed from any injury report is a good sign. He will be the number three target behind A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert.

01/06/16, 11:52 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

The Lions can save $11 million in cap space by releasing Calvin Johnson.

CJ

Pyro's take: Johnson's future has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, though most of it has revolved around his contract.

Johnson has two years left on a contract that pays him nearly $16 million next season, a salary that far outpaces his play, and his bloated cap number of $24.008 million is one of the highest in the league.

The Lions could approach Johnson, who has two years left on his contract, about a pay cut this off-season, or release him and save about $11 million in cap room. If Johnson retires, the Lions could seek repayment of as much as $9.7 million in bonus money, according to a person who has reviewed Johnson's complicated contract and works with NFL deals. The person requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic.--Dave Birkett

01/06/16, 11:29 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.freep.com

Calvin Johnson pondering retirement

CJ

Pyro's take: Ed Werder "Source says Calvin Johnson told his mother he wasn't sure wanted to play any more; cleaned out his #Lions locker unlike other vet players"

01/06/16, 11:23 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Jeremy Kerley likely to be a cap casualty

JK

Pyro's take: Jeremy Kerley ($3.1 million), whose small role doesn't match his salary. He's only an average punt returner and he wouldn't be among the top four wide receivers in 2016, maybe not among the top five. They'd save $1.3 million by cutting him. Frankly, I think he'd welcome a change of scenery. This has been a frustrating year for Kerley, who still has the skills to play in the right situation.--Rich Cimini

01/03/16, 02:22 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: espn.go.com

Kyle Meinke believes the "likeliest outcome" is Calvin Johnson remains with the Lions next season.

CJ

Pyro's take: was Sunday's 32-17 win against San Francisco really the last time we see Calvin Johnson in a Lions uniform at Ford Field? It's possible. Not likely, at the end of the day. But possible. Something that occurred to even him in Sunday's win against San Francisco.--Kyle Meinke

"You can't help but think about it because everyone's talking about it," Johnson said. "But it wasn't anything I was thinking about going into the game."

12/28/15, 04:14 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.mlive.com

Calvin Johnson named to the Pro Bowl

CJ

Pyro's take: Calvin Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl among seven other receivers

12/23/15, 12:19 AM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: probowl.fantasy.nfl.com

Lance Moore (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 15.

LM

Pyro's take: Lance Moore will be the number three wide receiver behind Megatron and Golden "Tater" Tots

12/19/15, 04:33 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.pyromaniac.com

Calvin Johnson (ankle) did not practice Saturday.

CJ

Pyro's take: No beat reporter we've seen has expressed concern, and the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett said, "He'll play." Johnson will likely be listed as questionable on the final injury report, but there should be no real drama about his availability. He is a great WR1 play in a dream matchup.--Rotoworld

12/19/15, 03:14 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.rotoworld.com

Eric Ebron (illness) did not practice Saturday.

EE

Pyro's take: Michael Rothstein via ESPN "Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron not participating in the open portion of Lions practice Saturday. Both should still be able to go against the Saints. Injury designations come out later today."

12/19/15, 03:10 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: espn.go.com

The Lions Duo Could be a Fruitful Stack in GPP Tournamanets in Week 15

d

Pyro's take: The Lions face the Saints. Vegas has this tied for the highest over under of the week. The Lions are 3.5 under dogs. So, game script should call for Stafford to put the ball in the air, and who better than Calvin Johnson to bring those tosses home safe. The Saints will attempt to contain him with Brandon Browner. According to Pro Football Focus, out of 116 CBs ranked, Double B is the absolute worst in coverage. There are plenty of attractive qualities pointing to a potentially lethal stack play in GPP.

12/19/15, 12:36 PM CST by M O
Source:

Jim Caldwell confirmed TE Brandon Pettigrew is done for the year with a torn ACL in his left knee.

BP

Pyro's take: Mike Rothstein via Twitter "#Lions coach Jim Caldwell announces Brandon Pettigrew tore his ACL. Season over."

12/14/15, 08:13 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: twitter.com

Eric Ebron will have an "expanded role" with Brandon Pettigrew facing a season-ending knee injury.

EE

Pyro's take: His role was slashed the past couple weeks, due in part to his drops, and he didn't even start against the Rams. But then Brandon Pettigrew suffered a potentially serious injury to his surgically repaired left knee. Pettigrew is expected to undergo an MRI on Monday. That means Ebron probably is headed for an expanded role. With Tim Wright -- inactive for the past month -- the only other tight end on the roster. Ebron could use the work, too. He finished with three catches for just 27 yards against St. Louis, and hasn't eclipsed 30 yards since Oct. 25. He has just one touchdown in that time.--Kyle Meinke

12/14/15, 07:07 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.mlive.com

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