So things aren’t looking so good at the moment, but we’re going to be optimistic and look at what could possibly happen over the next few years that could reshape and transform Detroit sports.
We’ll start with the obvious, not winning a playoff game since 1991. Now, we’ve made 8 playoff appearances, but have only won the division once (1993). What needs to change? What can we do better? Here are notable things the Lions can do to improve their future outlook:
Support the Quinn Regime:
Before you tell me “We aren’t the Patriots”, Bob Quinn has shown he can be a very good GM in the NFL. Let’s look at his draft record and notable picks:
- First Round – Taylor Decker (OL), TJ Hockenson (TE) and Jeff Okudah (CB)
- Second Round – A’Shawn Robinson (DL), Kerryon Johnson (RB), Jahlani Tavai (LB) and D’Andre Swift (RB)
- Third Round – Kenny Golladay (WR), Tracy Walker (S)
Having said that, he still has a lot to improve on. He isn’t aggressive in trading up in the draft. His Free Agency performance has been below average, and this narrative that he allows to run out in the media that he is copying that Patriots model and can’t think for himself is a bit frustrating. He’s signed 13 ex-patriots since he took over. Let’s not mention that Quinn fired Jim Caldwell for going 9-7, and his reasoning was an absolute joke. All he had to do was tell the truth, say you wanted to go in another direction and wanted your guy Matt Patricia in. None the less, he has shown enough to get our support. If he can build a solid culture and foundation, continue to draft well and improve on his flaws, he can be really good.
2020 Matt or Break:
I didn’t forget about our boy Matt Patricia.
One word to sum up Patricia’s coaching in his first two seasons, horrendous. The roster is pretty talented, Quinn has given you plenty of options on the defensive side of the ball. Do your damn job, get the defense to be somewhat respectable. The Lions are capable of being a Top-12 Defense, and it wouldn’t surprise me that the team is able to compete for the division. If not, get him out.
Since we aren’t playing in the NBA bubble, let’s take this time to sit back and objectively analyze what went wrong. With Troy Weaver being announced as the GM, we now can hope he makes aggressive moves that will help rebuild the franchise. So what can be done you ask? Notable things the Pistons can do to improve their future outlook:
Start Hitting in the Draft:
Do I really have to talk about our first round pick record over the last 25 years? Darko, I’ll leave it there. Great, so better drafting is immensely important, especially in the NBA considering you really only need one star player to turn around the franchises fortunes, i.e Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson.
Now, as much as I hate tanking, ownership and the front office needs to decide what we are. Either we’re all in and actually contending (getting swept in the first round isn’t contending) or we’re actually rebuilding. Playing development players, finishing in the bottom of the conference and actually drafting well.
We’ve done a good job so far by getting rid of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson (who’s contract we’re still paying for but will expire at the end of the season). Now this is what I mean by identifying what we are. Blake Griffin is not going to carry this team to the Second Round, let alone the Conference Finals. If we’re serious about a rebuild project, we should trade him for future picks and accept that we will need to pay part of his salary over the next three years. Which really shouldn’t matter considering we’re rebuilding, playing younger talents and won’t be signing any notable free agents.
Let’s start with the positives, Steve Yzerman is our GM. Steve has a very successful track record of drafting prospects after the first round, notably Nikita Kucherov, one of the games best players. He understands what kind of culture he wants to build and I believe will get the Red Wings back into the playoffs contending in 5 years. What else can be done? Notable things the Red Wings can do to improve their future outlook:
See Development from the Youth:
This rebuild heavily depends on the improvement of the Red Wings core youth. Which includes current team forwards Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Zadina and defenseman Filip Hronek. We also have many first-round picks in the system. Moritz Seider, Dennis Cholowski, Michael Rasmussen, Joe Veleno and Winger Evgeny Svechnikov. Detroit also has 10 draft picks for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.
Address the Coaching Situation:
This really is up for debate, I’m 50-50 on Jeff Blashill. We brought him up from the system after Babcock was let go, and he did well to get us into the playoffs his first year. Since then, he’s boasted a miserable 35% win percentage in almost 4 full seasons. Granted, the roster isn’t the most talented, but the potential of it does have a high ceiling. Now, is he the right man to develop the team? When the team is developed, is he the one who can take them to the next level? We’ll have the answers eventually, but we can be positive knowing Steve Yzerman will be in control of these decisions.
With the season under way, and the Detroit Tigers boasting an early 5-3 record. Is this an indication of success to come? No, but we will see improvement in many aspects of the team. It’s technically impossible to lose more than we did last year considering the 60 game season. How can the Tigers develop into future contenders?
Ultimately, our farm system rankings don’t matter; the development does. The Tigers will need to get the most out of their current prospects, and hit on future acquisitions. After drafting Spencer Torkelson, the Tigers rebuild looks on the up and up. Eventually, we’ll see plenty of young arms & bats begin to take their place on Detroit’s major league roster in the next couple years.
Moneyball Part 2:
I don’t see a time in the next 5-8 years where the Detroit Tigers are hyper aggressive in the market, similar to how they were during our contending years. Most of the attractive players are already signed to long-term deals, and it’s difficult to predict where players like Vlad Jr, Fernando Tatis Jr etc…will end up 8 years from now. Al Avila will need to give the prospects their chance, sign quality veterans and eventually the team could be divisional contenders if things pan out years from now.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Leave your feedback or thoughts in the comment section below.