Zac Snyder of SideLion Report helps us catch up with the Motor City Kitties…
TVA: Ndamukong Suh is out for this week because of his suspension plus he has that weird car accident thing hanging over his head. Do you worry that this kind of stuff could derail his career, or do you think he’ll outgrow this nonsense?
SLR: “Weird” is probably the perfect word to describe this season for Ndamukong Suh. The weirdest part of it all is that it seems out of character to those of us that have had the pleasure of meeting him in person. He’s a pretty quiet guy and has an obvious awareness of his public image so it is strange to see him wrapped up in all this stuff that would tarnish his reputation. I really think he’ll outgrow it or the lightbulb will click on or something. There are a lot of NFL players that do idiotic things because they’re really idiots, Ndamukong Suh is not an idiot.
TVA: The Lions started hot but have kind of cooled off. What’s the reason for the cooling?
SLR: Playing good teams. The Lions haven’t lost to a team that isn’t currently sitting in playoff position. While it would have been nice to pick up a couple wins against those good teams, none of them can really be considered “bad” losses. In the midst of this “cooling” period they still managed to spank the Broncos and pull away from the Panthers. They’re beating the teams they should but just coming up short against equal or better teams.
TVA: Jim Schwartz seems like a pretty fiery guy and he’s obviously helped create a new attitude in Detroit. What do you think of him as a coach?
SLR: The stupid penalties are really starting to bother me but I still really like Jim Schwartz. The biggest thing to me is that he and the rest of the organization have a plan for what they want the team to be and they are executing it. We’ve seen plenty of rebuilding in Detroit but never with any sort of a plan. I’ve never gotten the feeling that the Lions don’t respect their coach so I don’t believe the discipline problem is something they can’t correct.
TVA: Given the high expectations for the Lions, would a 9-7 non-playoff season – still better than they’ve done in recent years – be considered a success or a failure?
SLR: Success. Most preseason predictions (including mine) checked in at 8-8 or 9-7 with no guarantee of a playoff spot. If you’re telling me the Lions can hit that and secure a playoff spot then the season has to be regarded as nothing but a success.
TVA: How many yards does Calvin Johnson get against the Vikings’ non-existent secondary? I’m predicting 275. That might be low.
SLR: I’d be fine with that. It is somewhat difficult to predict because we don’t know exactly how the Vikings will play him. The Saints blanketed him with two and three guys most of the night so there really wasn’t many opportunities to get him the ball. The key is that Stafford was still able to light up the Saints secondary by finding his other receviers. Asking how many yards he’ll throw for is probably a better question.