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Lions looking for a few good closers

Golden Tate AP

When a team is talking about looking for closers, the natural inclination is to assume that we’re talking about baseball.

This year’s draft will feature one team looking for football versions of Mariano Rivera, however. The Lions lost six of their final seven games last season and they held a fourth-quarter lead in all six of those losses, which is leading vice president of pro personnel Sheldon White to look for players who can help them finish out a lead in free agency and the draft this offseason.

“You saw six games out of seven where we did not finish. So we’re going to be looking for closers,” White said, via Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. “Look for them in free agency — guys who have been there, guys like our coaching staff that have been there, guys that will not quit. We have some now, but we need some additional players that have that same kind of mind-set. That’s what we’ve done so far, and we still have a lot of work to do.”

Wide receiver Golden Tate and safety James Ihedigbo were both brought in via free agency and they each won Super Bowl rings in the last two years, which is likely the kind of closing kick the Lions would like to see from their team in the future.

The inability to finish what his team started helped seal former coach Jim Schwartz’s fate. Should 2014 feature more of the same, his won’t be the last head to roll in Detroit as they try to build a team that can go the distance.

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26 Responses to “Lions looking for a few good closers”
  1. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Apr 20, 2014 1:29 PM

    Can’t wait for all the stupid comments that are sure to follow this post.
    I will say one thing for sure though: If your team is unfortunate enough to have to play the Lions this year there’s a pretty good chance they’re going to lose. We will be 11-5 or better and be in the playoffs for sure.

  2. dtownsportslions says: Apr 20, 2014 1:30 PM

    Tigers need one too

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 20, 2014 1:42 PM

    They always have more work to do. Sheldon has been with this team for 17 years and since 2009 he has been VP of Pro Personnel as part of a Front Office team that has done a pitiful job of managing the roster and finding the quality value talent. We’ve waited long enough for them to deliver a winner and that’s all we keep doing every year. This team needs to find smart people that know how to make the right decisions and get the job done before a season starts rather than explaining every offseason how we are so close and just need more time.

  4. detdominance says: Apr 20, 2014 1:42 PM

    Scott Linehan’s poor situational play calling and the defense’s inability to force turnovers and get timely stops should be fixed with Linehan’s release and Austin’s hiring. 12-4 and a Super Bowl win! GO LIONS!!!!

  5. xinellum says: Apr 20, 2014 1:44 PM

    Ihedigbo is a career-long special teamer, much like Corey Graham, who when given the chance to play, succeeded in the Ravens defensive scheme. The downside is that players from that scheme, Adelius Thomas (who floundered with NE), Ed Reed (who floundered with Houston), Dannelle Ellerbe (floundering with Miami), Paul Kruger (floundering with the Browns), Bart Scott (limited success with Jets) etc… don’t typically succeed with the next team. It just seems like the next team can’t get out of those players what the Ravens were able to get. Pollard and Redding have had better success, but were successes prior to coming to Baltimore for a brief stint.

  6. ninthwardfriend says: Apr 20, 2014 1:44 PM

    They will not diss appoint, Lions 7-9 or 9-7 at best.

  7. dino2997 says: Apr 20, 2014 1:44 PM

    What excuse will Lions fans use this year now that Schwartz is gone?

  8. thevikesarebest says: Apr 20, 2014 1:56 PM

    The lowly lolions will always dissappoint.6-10.watch as the vikings smoke the regular season and the division with our eyes set on the Super Bowl.mike zimmer will be sleeping with your wives by the end of the season.SKOL

  9. vincelombardisghost says: Apr 20, 2014 1:58 PM

    “Coffee is for closers! We’re going to have a contest. First place is a new Cadillac. Second place is a set of steak knives. Third place? You’re fired!!”

  10. jjb0811 says: Apr 20, 2014 2:18 PM

    The Lions are bloated (salary wise) at QB, WR & DT. Until they get their structure back in order & draft DB’s, they’ll continue to hover around .500.

    They’d be wise to go after a top 15 pick for Suh.

  11. Wineshard says: Apr 20, 2014 2:20 PM

    Maybe you could close out games if you stopped throwing 50+ passes a game?

  12. rosmith51 says: Apr 20, 2014 2:36 PM

    I love the fact that the player personnel guy is blatantly admitting “we have too many players who quit late in games”

  13. bennyb82 says: Apr 20, 2014 2:46 PM

    Closing is a mentality, not a person.

  14. seanx40 says: Apr 20, 2014 3:05 PM

    It’s the Lions. What does it matter? They aren’t going to be good. They haven’t been good in 60 years. They aren’t going to be good in the future. The Lions ownership doesn’t care. And have never cared. Ford Field is mostly filled every game. The Ford’s make their money. And laugh while doing it.

  15. mazenblue says: Apr 20, 2014 3:39 PM

    How can a vikes fan talk crap about anything in life. Is it still snowing up there still?

  16. buzzardpointlookout says: Apr 20, 2014 4:08 PM

    dtownsportslions says:
    Apr 20, 2014 1:30 PM
    Tigers need one too
    —————————————————–

    ^this. Who knew Joe Nathan was 145 years old?

    I hope my leos get some better playcalling on both sides of the ball this year. The old Scott Linehan Special (“run it up the center’s butt”) does not need to make return visit to the D.

  17. whatjusthapped says: Apr 20, 2014 4:12 PM

    The Lions chances of finishing above 8-8 went out the window the day they hired Jim Caldwell.

  18. luz56 says: Apr 20, 2014 5:19 PM

    It starts with talent evaluators and the lions have failed..yes even a blind squirrel finds the odd nut but until there us a major overhaul and it isn’t the old boys network your doomed… Eye in the sky don’t lie!!!

  19. mylionsroaring says: Apr 20, 2014 5:58 PM

    I don’t know what to expect this year. We have a new coaching staff, new system, and a quarterback that is full of potential but always seems to fall back. We have a lot of talent, and have hit on some late round guys and undrafted guys. If this new staff can put it all together, and get Stafford to play as good as he should be able to play, while getting a balance to the offense we could win a lot of games.

    Defense needs to play consistent!! They play great in spurts, but they don’t seem to be able to do it all the time. Maybe that is coaching, or maybe that is players I don’t know either way it needs to be fixed or we will always be a .500 team

  20. purpleguy says: Apr 20, 2014 8:03 PM

    Believe it or not, this Viking fan is sitting on his deck in 75 degree weather this afternoon (with full knowledge my team is average at best) — reading another set of posts from Lions fans promising an 11 win season. Hey wait, are those pigs flying by my deck in this 75 degree weather?

  21. khmer379 says: Apr 20, 2014 8:26 PM

    get to a Superbowl first before talking about winning one don’t get to ahead of yourself now last time I check defense win championship and the lion doesn’t have it #Facts

  22. usdcoyotesfan says: Apr 20, 2014 10:19 PM

    Golden Tate pushed off and didn’t catch the ball in the Packers-Seahawks game.

  23. stevekilla420 says: Apr 21, 2014 1:50 AM

    Lol @ the vikes fan sayin they gonna have eyes ona SB lol yeah ur whole organization will have the same chance most have and that is to buy a sb ticket n watch 2 other teams battle for the lombardi

  24. rockinron2 says: Apr 21, 2014 1:24 PM

    Wow. They must be finally looking to get rid of Stafford. Losing 6 of the 7 games they were leading in the 4th quarter. 8 TD/8 INT 67 rating when the Lions are winning (and trying to close out the game). 17 TD/9 INT 94 rating when behind.

    He was even worse last year, 2 TD/ 7 INT 55 rating when leading, 16 TD / 8 INT 88 rating when behind.

    I think I could stand back there and throw a jump ball to Calvin every down and have better numbers than that. It is almost like he is purposely throwing the ball to the other team with the lead.

    Most QBs have better numbers when leading because the defense is stacked against the run and play action can fool them. The only time Stafford has done better with a lead was 2011, when he had 12 TD / 0 INT and 115 rating. That is also the only year Lions made the playoffs.

    And Lions’ fans still don’t want to admit Stafford is part of the problem, a very large part. He is definitely not a closer.

  25. semperspartans says: Apr 21, 2014 4:43 PM

    I don’t have a crystal ball, but I will say this. If you lose 6 of your last 7 games, and you are winning in the 4th quarter of EVERY one of those games, then you are VERY close. Hold on to those leads and win those games and you’re talking 13-3, that’s how close this team is.

    I hope they can do it, but as a fan of this team, I’m not going to hold my breath. Every week I wait for that one Lion-esque play that loses the game for them. I’ve never seen a team lose in so many differing and unusual ways.

    But, if we can close out games, I think we’re a strong team and in the playoffs. Once you get there, anything can happen.

  26. bornahawker says: Apr 22, 2014 1:42 AM

    Tate is a ME FIRST player, that’s why he lives in wonderful Detroit now. So long sucker! Go hawks!

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