Tuesday, July 26, 2005


The boys were standing around debating another sports topic. This time it involved the Lions and typically it revolved around Lions quarterback Joey Harrington.
Here is the question.
Who has the most pressure on them? Is it Lions head coach Steve Mariucci or Harrington?
It is a no brainer to me. It is Harrington in a romp. Surprisingly many of my debaters said Mooch faces the most heat.
I disagree.
Harrington's replacement stands about 12 inches to his right. Jeff Garcia is the hand-picked choice by Mariucci to save the day if Harrington flops. You rarely hear Mariucci say a kind word about Harrington.
He must also win over his dressing room because a number of players felt Harrington hung them out to dry last season with errant passes.
And who are you going to boo first? Will it be Harrington after his first interception or Mariucci after his first conservative play call? My guess is Harrington. Remember this is a town that puts more blame on the Red Wings goalie and Lions quarterback than any other sports job.
Finally, who owns the team? There is little or no pressure coming from the Ford family. Mariucci came here to become a savior and the Fords still believe him to be that. The Lions can go through three quarterbacks in a season. It takes them a half century to go through head coaches, no matter now bad they are.
Mariucci is safe and secure in the Ford's eyes. The only way he could lose his gig if he pulls a Darryl Rogers and screams "What's a guy got to do to get fired around here?"
They are already looking for excuses to fire Joey.


Anonymous sportsfromA2 said...

I don't know, but I tihnk Mooch has more pressure-

It looks like to me Joey's #1 Fan is Matt Millen- which would then put the most pressure on Mooch.

Also, For all we know if Mooch falters we may have our interim/maybe permanent head coach in dick Jauron ready to take over. It's an interesting situation.

Also, based on the playcaling, it seems like the QB coach (greg olsen?) really knows Joey H well, and when he called the plays joey succeeded.

Plus, I don't think Jeff Garcia is that much of a better QB than Joey H- So if Joey H falters in the first two games, gets replaced by Mooch's man (Garcia), and th eLions STILL don't make the playoffs, guess who should be fired- Mooch, because he still couldn't win even with his dream QB.

7:29 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Clerical Issue Can anyone tell me why fox sports net are not carrying all the games ?

Terry your making one assumption that I feel is false. I dont think alot of lion fans were in Awe of Mooch. I remember your media brethren not saying YOU all on his nut sack. Speaking for me I have always questioned Mooch's ability. I wanted Dennis Green and this season I think I will proven right. I do agree with you that Joey will have more pressure because of the fans obsession with the QB ( Most cities do obsess over the QB ) I think the pressure should fall on Mooch and you guys in the media really need to do your jobs. Now Sports Inferno I tip my hat off to you guys cuz I remember you guys calling out Mooch last season so continue on.

8:14 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

Harrington without a doubt.
With regard to those that will be pulling the trigger, quarterbacks are evaluated on Sunday, or in this day and age, Sunday, or Monday, or Thursday.

Coaches are evaluated Monday through Sunday. I think the average fan has no idea as to Mooch's true capability. Has his play calling been conservative...yes. Has he made some mistakes...yes. But has he developed a new atmosphere and level of confidence...I think yes.

I still remember press conferences where Lion after Lion were dejected. Luther Ellis, Herman Moore the list goes on and on.

These guys now think they can win when they take the field, that attitude comes from the coach.

Mooch should be under scrutiny until he gets over the hump, but the average Joe that expected overnight success is out to lunch.

Bottomline, the difference is evaluating talent -vs- team improvement i.e. Can Harrington play at this level, is he improving, and if not ready today will he ever be? versus answer the question,
Is Mooch making this team better?

I think Mooch has made this team better.

8:34 AM

Blogger the sports dude said...

I am going to go with Joey, whom for the record I think makes it three games and then is the teams holder for the rest of the year. And in holder I mean not only on kicks but also clipboards and towels and gatorade!

There are no excuses now for him. He has three talented receivers, although they are all young, I can not think of any three receivers in the league with more upside than what the Lions have. Kevin Jones is a VERY dependable back, capable of 1300-1500 yards a season. Marcus Pollard is a great upgrade at tight end and the line is as solid as it has been in years. Where are the excuses now Joey? I don't want to hear the words "drops" or "wind blown passes" even cross your lips this year.

Lastly, don't give me that crap about Mooch and his conservative ways. Yes, he has always been somewhat "conservative" in a sense, but that is what this "West Coast Offense" is. Short, quick passes, outs, slants, etc... the "downfield" stuff doesn't really exist in a true West Coast Offense. He had it working in San Fran when he was there, what is the difference between then and now? In S.F. he has QB's he could trust and something tells me he just doesn't trust Joey.

By the way, can you blame him?

11:08 AM

Anonymous sportsfroma2 said...

If you aren't listening to the show, or if you want to know what they're talking about:


"Coincidentally, one week after Brown and the Pistons parted ways, Brown's former club offered Darko Milicic to the Atlanta Hawks for Al Harrington. Brown's reluctance to play the unproven second-year forward caused a rift between the coach and Detroit president Joe Dumars. Now it appears the Pistons are willing to trade the second overall pick of the 2003 draft. "

Darko for Al Harrington????? I LOVE it!

11:40 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

Sports dude come on now at the end of the day it is all about championships and what has Mooch done nothing and ziltch. And isn;t the goal of any organization worth it's salt is the superbowl. You said what the west coast is all about but the lions personel is designed for down the field let the offense fly type deal. I still put it on Mooch moreso than Joey. Part of a good coach is being able to put the players in the best situation possible. We all know Joey is not a dink and dunk kind of guy. Bring In Softy Garcia and the lions will truly suck. West coast garbage makes no sense on an indoor dome which is why I feel Atlanta is in trouble as well although they do run the ball with efficiency

12:09 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

Darko for Harrington, Atlanta can't be that stupid!

The only thing that would drive that is salary cap. With that said, the Piston turn it down... OH MY GOD. Both organizations are STUPID. One for offering to take Darko, and the other for not letting him go.

The Pistons organization have their heads up their asses.

12:53 PM

Anonymous Steve-oh said...

It'll be Harrington, but Mooch's play calling last year was severely under-blamed. His play-calling was horrendous, way too conservative, and I believe incredibly detrimental to Harrington's performance.

Another thing to keep in mind - everyone seems to think Garcia is some kind of savior. Last time I checked, there are strong concerns he's got a dead arm.

1:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Real Right Way, if you're such an objective realist why do you automatically take that report as fact? Do the math. Harrington (not Joey) makes so much more than Darko as to render such a trade impossible. It is patently false -- just another incident in the Reign of Error that has been New York journalism this summer.

5:03 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Not impossible teams have been known to dump salary by moving players. Just look at the Hardaway Marbury trade. Phoenix got nothing but they dump some big contracts.

So to say it is impossible is not quite accurate. Furthermore, read the first sentence of my post.

"Atlanta can't be that stupid." I was right!!!

And based on the Pistons response, "we are not shopping Darko," I was also right with my last sentence, "The Pistons organization have their heads up their asses."

These idiots better shop him and see if they can get anything, and I mean anything for this piece of dead weight.

5:31 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Back to your post on Gene Upshaw needing to move on, here is a classic example:

On Edge
James unhappy with Colts and how NFL RBs are paid

In my opinion this mentality will ruin the league. The "use and disgard mentality" of the NFL makes me cheer for guys like T.O. and Edgrin James.

7:03 PM

Blogger Ian C. said...

This is a cop-out answer, but is it possible Joey will catch $#!+ from Lions fans, while Mooch is criticized by the national press (for instance, the ESPN 'NFL Live' guys)? I could see that happening, especially since Salisbury and Jaws often seem to side with the QBs.

9:00 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...


Interesting thought, I think the opposite might be true. Outside of this market, Mooch's reputation is still good, he is well liked, and has some proven credentials.

Joey on the other hand is unproven. Therefore, I think the national media would be much quicker to jump on Joey before Mooch.

At least by what has been posted, I don't get the sense that the Lions fans appreciated Mooch. Hard to believe after the last 3 Lions coachs. But anyway, I think the Lion fans might ask for Mooch's head before the national media turns on him.

I think that would be a bad mistake. Mooch is good, I haven't lost faith. But like Larry Brown, if the Lions axe him, there will be other teams lined up to bring him in.

9:26 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

I guess my point is this. It does not matter how loudly we scream, The Fords are not going to budge. Look at their history. And fans get on the quarterback way more than the head coach -- unless of course that coach is Wayne Fontes.

3:09 AM

Anonymous Chris said...

Harrington (Joey, that is) is in a situation where he can only hope to ruin Mooch's best laid plans and succeed.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mooch has the bye week circled as his D-Day. If the Lions are 1-2 or 0-3, I have to believe that there will be a QB change.

Onto Darko, nobody has even come close to confirming that story. So far (I could be wrong on this) I haven't read anything giving validity to this 'offer' other than John Hammonds telling Rob Otto on WDFN that it was ridiculous and that they get alot of offers.

And, I could be out in left field on this, but I say they keep the kid unless they get a 'perfect fit' type player in return. The kid has played less than 10 games with legitimate players in a normal offense (garbage time is often a free for all and guard happyfest). In those 10 games, he has played fairly well (granted, not to lottery pick level).

So, while I understand that the kid needs to EARN his minutes, there is a part of me that thinks he would be better if they would just dedicate 7-8 games and play him two 4 minute stretches- one in the second quarter and one at the end of the third.

Let's not forget that Larry Brown did the same thing to Samuel Dalembert when he was in Philadelphia. Dalembert looked lost, picked up silly fouls, and was just very raw.

Now, he's a solid big man and shows some potential to be a great defender, good rebounder, and appears to have the ability to score 12-13 ppg.

I have seen people dissect people's confidence and how changes in it effect players' performances. Larry Brown is a drama queen (and a great coach). Darko is a bratty teenager who doesn't get it.

Who was the adult in that entire saga? Darko would lash out, and Larry would continue to play petulent games with him.

I just would like to see them build him back up and inspire some confidence in the kid before they dump the kid.

2006-2007 is the last year of his contract. If things are bad, you have $5M in cap room when you're done. You're not wrecked by giving a max contract.

And, 7-footers with the raw athletic talent of Darko don't grow on trees.

Sometimes it's not merely about drafting studs vs. duds. Maybe there's more to this developing of players.

Maybe it's not so much that the San Antonio Spurs, Oakland Athletics, Detroit Red Wings and New England Patriots find these 'diamonds in the rough'... maybe it's more that they know how to unlock their talents and put them in positions to succeed.

Just a thought...

And, about Al Harrington, the guy is looking to be a starter and getting paid. That's why he was asking for trades out of Indiana to basketball purgatory (Atlanta). I don't think he'll accept 15 minutes and 6 shots off the bench. That's just me.

1:45 PM


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