With new tools at his disposal, we asked the fans in The Den message board who they believe will assist Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford the most.
The results ...
No. 5 (1 Percent of Fan Vote): Fans might be surprised by the impact veteran Nate Burleson has on the passing game, in particular, WR Calvin Johnson.
No. 4 (10 Percent of Fan Vote): Rob Sims was acquired via trade with Seattle in April, patching a glaring hole at the team's left guard position. The veteran should help keep Stafford off his back.
No. 3 (27 Percent of Fan Vote): TE Tony Scheffler quickly made a name for himself with strong off-season performances, and should open up the field for Stafford to be more effective in 2010.
No. 2 (30 Percent of Fan Vote): Ndamukong Suh and Detroit's defense looks vastly improved from '09. But can they give Stafford more opportunities?
No. 1 (32 Percent of Fan Vote): It's difficult to contain Jahvid Best, or the excitement surrounding his running abilities. Best's ability to take it to the house should only be an asset to Stafford.
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MotorCityManiac wrote ...
I picked Best because a running game is a QB's best friend especially one that is a threat to take it to the house every play.. I would have picked all of the above if that was a option because I feel that all of them is going to help Stafford take the next step in his progression..
DrCabernet wrote ...
I voted for Best. Stafford was able to be effective with play action last year, this year he should REALLY be able to sell it. Best is going to be a nightmare for opposing D's, especially with screens.
It wasn't an easy choice for me, because we are going to be upgraded with all the choices and they were/are all important.
toph27er wrote ... I picked Scheffler because Pettigrew although has the potential to be great...isnt there yet...and without him we dont really have a pass catching threat at TE until Scheffler was acquired.
TE's are a release valve for young QB's. Sure...they might have a few plays drawn up for mismatches...but in the red zone...and under pressure...young QB's look for their large target TE's and just try to get the ball moving in positive chunks.
I think Best has the capability to be good...but like most rookies he will struggle to learn the playbook and will only be affective in say...20-25% of the snaps on offense this year. Scheffler will be on the field and productive on every snap whether it be blocking or route running or catching the ball.
Very nice pickup by Mayhew and company.
jimmm wrote ...
I picked the D. It has been as historically bad as any team ever. If the Offense isn't behind by double-digits in the second quarter of virtually every game, things should be a little more wide open, in terms of available strategies.
QuirnusObsidian wrote ...
I vote defensive upgrades because with a strong defense, we will not be playing from behind as much, that way we can control the game with a managed pass offense and good running game. We won't have to take as many unnecessary risks with constantly throwing the ball.
SamHayne wrote ...
I picked Sims because if the O-line still sucks like it has for the last decade, it won't matter who is running routes & taking the hand off. For 10 years we have read on this board how a running back is a QB's best friend or how a strong passing game will help the running game.
The reality is, if the O-line can't keep guys out of Stafford's face & if they can't open any holes for the running back, you are going to see more running backs & Stafford get hurt, just like Stafford was last year & just like Kevin Jones & Kevin Smith
were both hurt.