Jamie: Case against Lions coach Jim Caldwell keeping job gets stronger

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It’s only logical to wonder whether Jim Caldwell will go next.Caldwell is fully under the microscope after the Lions’ ugly 28-19 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. The Lions are now 1-6 on the season and 12-12 in Caldwell’s one and a half years on the job (including the postseason). In 2014 he was the calming, forceful leader who pushed all the right buttons in leading a talented roster into the playoffs. This year, the team looks disorganized, undisciplined and overmatched. What changed from an 11-5 year to a 1-6 year?Clearly, there is a talent drop-off. The offensive line hasn’t adjusted to the departures of Dominic Raiola and Rob Sims and the injuries to Larry Warford and LaAdrian Waddle. The defense misses Ndamukong Suh and DeAndre Levy (I’d argue that they miss Levy more than Suh). Rashean Mathis and James Ihedigbo both look a year older and about five years slower. Golden Tate and Joique Bell had strong years in 2014. They’re not having those years in 2015.

Source: Jamie: Case against Lions coach Jim Caldwell keeping job gets stronger

Well if there is a drop-off in talent, that falls at the feet of GM Martin Mayhew. This is the team that he has built. The talent on the field is the result of his job to secure personnel. Clearly, if you would give his job a grade now it would be an “F”.  This weeks’ game in London against the Chiefs is pivotal for the Lions in determining the direction to go. If the Lions lose to the Chiefs, look for action by the ownership (the Fords). The bye week follows the game Sunday, so that will be the time to evaluate. If Caldwell gets a bus ticket out of town, Mayhew should be in the seat next to him.

JAYSHAFT-BANNER2

 

So Far, So Good!

The #Detroit Pistons with a re-tooled roster from a year ago, have their long starving fans something to get excited about for this season.

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Just one night after a rousing opening night victory at Atlanta, the #Pistons are 2-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Even though it’s only two games into the season, it is clear that this year’s team will be more entertaining and competitive that the previous versions.

Source: Detroit 92, Utah 87: Pistons hold on in home opener, improve to 2-0

The last time the Detroit Pistons were two games over .500 was March 13, 2009 — when an overtime victory at Toronto gave them a 33-31 record.That was the also the day that owner Bill Davidson died.It speaks to how far this three-time NBA champion has fallen in the last six years. It also speaks to how important a 2-0 start could be psychologically for a franchise desperate to reconnect with a basketball audience that basically has treated #Auburn Hills as though it were NBA Siberia.

Source: Signs of life? After six bad seasons, Pistons enjoying great start

 

Awards in the Big 10

Five weeks remain in the season, which is plenty of time for players to make a push for individual awards. The regular-season is two-thirds done for some candidates, but what one does in November with a championship on the line will have a big impact on voters.

For now, we have clear front-runners for both the offensive and defensive player of the year races. Can anyone catch them? And who has been the top offensive lineman so far? Glad you asked.

Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott keeps finding the openings for the top-ranked Buckeyes, who are off this week.

Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year

1. Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott (5 first-place votes): Elliott just keeps chugging right along, already eclipsing 1,000 yards for the season and gaining more than 100 yards every time out (and in 13 straight contests overall). He’s been the most consistent offensive star for the No. 1 Buckeyes.

2. Michigan State QB Connor Cook (1): Cook is the top challenger to Elliott at the moment, especially after his huge day against Indiana and the way he played at Michigan. Cook has thrown 17 touchdown passes and just two interceptions this season.

3. Iowa QB C.J. BeathardThe Hawkeyes were off last week, but Beathard’s consistent play is a major reason why Iowa is off to a 7-0 start and a Top 10 ranking this season.

4. Indiana QB Nate SudfeldHe leads the Big Ten in both passing yards per game (292.7) and pass efficiency while putting together the best season of his career. We would like to see him and the Hoosiers finish games better, however.

5. Michigan State WR Aaron Burbridge: Cook’s No. 1 target and the most consistent receiver in the Big Ten this year. (Rutgers’ explosive Leonte Carroo has missed too much time.) Burbridge’s 830 receiving yards are 130 more than the next best league wideout.

Also receiving votes: Illinois WR Geronimo Allison, Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett

The Big 10 race  is winding down into the month of November with three unbeaten teams (Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa). Some critical games are coming up with Michigan State facing Ohio State and Michigan facing Ohio State. Those games should decide the East, with Iowa the clear cut favorite to win the West.

Opening night

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The Detroit Pistons currently are listed as number 17 in the power rankings of NBA teams. It’s anyone’s guess as to how the season will unfold for them. They could be on the verge of making the playoffs after seven straight losing seasons. An infusion of new blood gives Piston fans hope for an exciting season.

The Detroit Pistons like the potential of rookie Stanley Johnson, however when the regular season tips off, head coach Stan Van Gundy will bring him off the bench. From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press: “Van Gundy cited veteran presence and size as part of his reasoning for going with the 6-10 Ersan Ilyasova and 6-9 Marcus Morris. ‘I just think that’s our best lineup right now,’ Van Gundy said. ‘It gives a little bit more size, a little more experience. That’s where my comfort level is right now, but we’ll see how it goes early in the year, or even these (last) two preseason games.’ … Johnson, 19, was the eighth overall NBA draft pick out of Arizona and has excelled through summer league, training camp and part of the preseason. He is third in the NBA in preseason scoring (13.8 points per game) and is shooting an encouraging 44% from three-point range.”The rest of the starting lineup to begin the regular season include Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the backcourt and Andre Drummond at center.

Source: Report: Johnson likely to start as a reserve