Lions Morning Intel: April 14, 2016

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A Dose of Detroit Lions Morning Intel to Start Your Day

I don’t know about you but I have a Calculus Final on Saturday, the implication is that I don’t have time for witty preambles right now, there are things to be done. Hopefully the Lions front office are working toward the draft with the same fervor with which I am attacking a series of complicated optimization problems. Quick and dirty (heavy on the dirty) that being said here is your Detroit Lions Morning Intel:

Jim Caldwell is really talking up Jim Bob Cooter. Considering that his continued employment is likely tied to the young offensive coordinator’s success in Detroit, it is not surprising that he is confident that the “best name in football” will build on his success in the second half of last season. Some are quick to write off the Lions second half success as a result of diminished competition, but the improvement in Stafford‘s play exceeded what could have been reasonably expected. His QB rating exceeded the average rating allowed by his opponent in the overwhelming majority of the games he played last season; by almost ten points on average in the second half. Yes the opponents were worse than in the first half, but Stafford exceeded the statistical jump that would be expected from playing weaker opponents. That’s really all Morning Intel needs to know about Jim Bob Cooter’s effect on Matthew Stafford.

The Schedule is coming out at 8PM tonight. We already know the opponents, home vs: Bears, Packers, Vikings, Eagles, Jaguars, Titans, Rams and Washington. On the Road vs:  Bears, Packers, Vikings, Cowboys, Giants, Texans, Colts and Saints. All we’re really learning tomorrow is whether the difficult opponents are stacked together or spread, and whether we see the (every damn season) late game in Lambeau happening yet again. In the North, road division games are not something we really want to see. My Ideal order would be Packers(R),Eagles (H), Vikings (R), Titans (H), Bears (R), Giants (R), Vikings (H), Texans (R), Saints (R), Rams (H),Bye, Packers (Thanksgiving H), Washington (H), Colts (R), Bears (H), Cowboys (R), Jaguars (H), but that’s just me.

Jim Caldwell is not concerned that his New tight end coach has never been a tight end coach because he’s been a head coach. I’m not sure I love the logic there. Having been a CEO does not make someone a good candidate for every job within the organization, while he is still coaching, the daily focus is completely different. Having a greater understanding of the context within which one is working, knowing how their cog fits in to the machine, is great as long as it doesn’t cause them to lose focus on that cog.  That’s not just morning intel, that’s the facts, Jack.

The Lions had not been able to include non-natives of Detroit who went to Michigan or Eastern Michigan as “local” prospects prior to this season. That’s just stupid, I’m glad someone complained and got that fixed. Hooray for the Quinn regime.

The Lions are using analytics more, apparently. I am torn on the idea, playing the averages is fine when you’ve got 162 games, but the baseball mentality doesn’t really fit as well in a real team sport. Baseball is a series of one on one competitions, with brief spurts of team activity, and a hitter or pitcher’s abilities are rarely short-circuited by their teammates’ less than half of one error per game, whereas in football, there are many simultaneous one on one battles on each play, making the particulars more difficult to determine, and significant sample sizes difficult to obtain. Never drafting a receiver with worse than a 4.5 second forty yard dash isn’t really some kind of newfangled number crunching, that’s Al Davis from day one of his run with the Raiders telling anyone who would listen that speed kills. It seems to me that a lot of the things people are calling analytics in football are just old school scouting with a fake mustache and a fancy title. Is not drafting a quarterback under six feet analytics? A receiver with small hands? If we’re talking Moneyball, which is really the jump off point for most analytics conversations, analytics are supposed to be something that goes beyond the blatantly obvious information and finds trends that can help the team find unconventional wins. It’s hard to catch a football with small hands doesn’t seem to fit the definition. That’s baloneyball.

There you have it, the day in Detroit summed up. @a5hcrack on twitter, /u/a5hcrack on /r/detroitlions. See you in the tubes.

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About the Author

Ash Thompson
Ash Thompson is a fanatical football fan, and less fanatical hockey fan despite his Canadian heritage. He is sorry aboot that. His spirit animal is a beaver with a shark's head. He enjoys maple syrup and tacos, but never at the same time.