Hondo answers some of your Lions email and questions!

Hondo S. Carpenter

Hondo
They had better get Orlovsky ready, is his toe still bothering him? JT is not the
answer, Martz has no confidence in him as he did not use the 4 wide receiver set
when JT was in the game. If Dan O is not going to be ready, they better find another
QB, Leftwich is certainly better than JT.

Ted, Louisville, KY

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Hi Ted!
I agree about J.T. O'Harrington. They guy has been in the league a number of years and they have to throw away their best part of the playbook? I didn't mention Dan O because of the toe. He is week to week. I really like him and wish he would have been able to get reps against the Vikes. Martz fell in love with O'Harrington and they made the move to keep him. To my credit, and regular readers know that I am not above ripping myself when wrong, I told you all I wasn't sold on O'Harrington and you see why. For all of those that love him and whined and cried that the line didn't let him do anything this is the NFL. They made the statements and predictions and this is the team that they selected and kept. They have to live with it. There are no excuses. Kitna succeeded with that same line (and I agree that they didn't play well for him either) so must O'Harrington. The days of excuses are done, just win baby! As far as getting Leftwich, the time to pick a backup is not in the season with this offense. I said at the time and still feel the Lions should have kept McCown. They have put all of their eggs in the Kitna basket and that is fine, but to expect him to stay healthy with this OL is not smart and they essentially have no backup plan. I would greatly prefer Dan O.
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Hondo,
I think you do a good job of reporting the Lions... But I think the O-Line (which has
been a total failure in years past) has looked pretty descent. True, we haven't gotten
the run going very much and I agree with you that we have to run the ball to win in the
NFL, but we gave up the most sacks in the NFL last year and it hasn't been nearly that
bad this year. I think Backus has actually been solid for the 1st time since he has
been here. Also, Calhoun had the 17-yard gain in overtime, on the right side behind George Foster (if you were watching) to set up the winning FG. Rod preaches TEAM, and these two guys helped the TEAM WIN. Granted, Calhoun went to Wisconsin, not MSU, and probably ran all over them.Â

When we have been so critical on the team that has been the laughing stock of the entire
sports world for the last 6 years, we are finally 2-0. How bout a little love??
Eric
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WOW! Let me just dissect this piece by piece.
The Lions themselves say this is AT LEAST a ten-win team. I am evaluating them based on what they have said and what my expectations of them are. I expect my 13-year-old daughter to behave better than my 2-year-old son. You should expect better teams to not look for baby steps but progression. To say the line has been decent and we are supposed to have balloons and birthday cake to celebrate is just mind blowing to me. The reason for the sack totals being down is because Martz has Kitna releasing the ball much quicker to accommodate the fact that we can't block and when he is holding the ball longer his life is on the line like you saw Sunday. You acknowledge my friend that can't win in the NFL without a rushing game and we don't have one. To sayBackus has been solid is just absurd. Seeing him make a nice play doesn't give him a pass for the other sixty. The LT is the most important position other than QB in the game of football. He is paid among the elite in the NFL at that position and IF the Lions are a 10+ win team as the players and coaches feel they are, (I predicted 9) he has to play significantly better. You are correct that Calhoun had a 17-yard gain and it was behind Foster. How about the blown assignments and blocks that the each had on other plays? As far as a little love all off-season I was reporting positively about this team and my nine win prediction and was trashed for it. Now that I report reality you want love? How about reason? I love the Lions and I am not ashamed to admit I am a fan. I also am a realist and my job requires me to critique and that is what I do. If one play makes a player solid or looking good, then over a course of a game, essentially every player looks like a star. Look at the body of work. Watch what they do when they don't have the ball or the play is away from them.Â
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Hondo
I have to disagree about the Calhoun comment. He outplayed Tatum against Minny...Tatum hasn't done squat, and I can't wait until 2008 when he is gone...and I used to like him. I will admit to one thing though...I only get to see his touches and cannot concentrate on all of his plays where he may be blowing blocks...I know you have the ability to see more of that, and more knowledge with that...if that is more of what you are talking about. Is there any chance that Orlovsky gets the #2 over JT when his toe is healed? Please tell me yes because JT SUCKS!!!!!
The WR's are a thing of beauty...in fact the first drive of each of the last two games
have been absolutely stunning except for the play that ended both of them!! Beautiful up
til that point. Nice to see Gerald show up big...he is still my favorite new Lion this year.
Guy
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Hi Guy!
To say that Calhoun outplayed Tatum (which he did by the way) is to say that I look better in a thong bikini than Jabba the Hut? Neither looked good. Both did poorly picking up blocks and ran less than stellar routes. Those two are great examples of Martz loving speed but neither had played well. KJ is such a great back for this offense because he has speed and power.
Dan O has to get some reps when he is healthy. He can't be worse than O'Harrington and like Kitna, he has more poise and can make the quicker read. Now we have to see that in live real game situations but as you know, I have not been sold on O'Harrington and I still am not. Gerald has not looked good, he has looked great for a rookie and is a star in the making.
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Hondo
I'm obviously elated with the 2-0 start. Since you love the big uglies, I'm wondering if
you can explain something to me, though. The run game is struggling and whenever they
have short yardage it's especially embarrassing. I just don't understand why. Mulitalo,
Foster, and Woody are huge guys. Raiola is mean and nasty. What is the deal? How can they not seem to ever generate any kind of push? These are guys that have succeeded in the past and Marinelli is a guy that preaches pad level & fundamentals so much, I just don't get how those guys can be so bad at this. Any light you can shed on this would be appreciated.

Greg

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Hi Greg!
Woody and Foster don't have the mean streak or the energy level of Raiola. Big Ed does and although I think he is a poor LT, I think Backus would be fine at the RT. Martz wants a finesse OL rather than a power line. Now the Lions have to put more emphasis on running the ball to be able to hold leads and to win, and the OL is scary. When KJ is back (he is a far superior back to Bell and Calhoun) you will see more success and here is why. KJ has the power to break tackles consistently (neither Calhoun or Bell do) and it shows. OL is a huge issue right now.Â

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Hondo
I don't agree with you on Drew Stanton. I just don't believe with baptism under fire
at the QB position. I think overall, it's better for the QB's to sit a year and learn the
pro system. Would he have been better than JT? I don't think he could have been worse,
but I really wouldn't want him in there and I don't think Martz would put him in there
, Warner, Bulger and Green all sat and learned for at least a year. I would like to see Teddy get in there more on defense. It seems that when Paris makes a tackle, he always loses another 2-3 yards from the guy falling forward. I would hope that Teddy would be an improvement in that area. Â
George

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Hi George.Â
Well you’re the first to disagree and not accuse me of only saying what I did because Drew is a Spartan. My comments have nothing to do with that by the way. I say that when you select a QB that high, and you say he is your guy of the future you can't waste such a high pick. I used to agree with you about sitting a QB and in the Lions position I do with a proven and successful veteran that is playing at a high level. My point (and it has nothing to do with him being from MSU) is that if Kitna goes down the year is over. In that case since they have failed to go out and secure a QB that they can win with, then put the rookie (any rookie that you select that high) and let him play and get reps. They can't because he is on IR, in fact he can't even practice with them so how does that help him?
I agree on the Paris vs. Teddy question. Teddy has much better technique and is a much better tackler.

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