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    Bernie Bytes: Troubled receiver worth a shot

    Bernie Bytes: Troubled receiver worth a shot
    ē BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    Bernie Bytes: Troubled receiver worth a shot : Stltoday

    The Rams claim wide receiver Titus Young on waivers from Detroit. Reaction: Why not? Obviously there are distemper issues with him. Heís been a head case. Heís been disruptive to his team. But Young also has talent, and in particular has displayed an ability to (A) make plays downfield; and (B) get into the end zone.

    The Rams can take a look at Youngís head, and see if heís fixable. At virtually no cost they can give the troubled wideout an opportunity to clean his rep, and get his career on track. If Young isnít smart or stable enough to take advantage of his second chance then heíll go down as a hopeless knucklehead, a loon that threw his career into the toilet after entering the league in prime position in 2011. Young was a second-round pick, chosen 44th overall, and was immediately given the chance to take a lot of snaps opposite Calvin Johnson, which can only be viewed as a good thing for a young wideout.

    Well, Young detonated himself with mad-squirrel behavior, and now itís onto St. Louis, where the Rams need receivers that can make plays. This is an excellent shot for Young.

    I donít understand the talk about the Rams using Young in the slot. Sure, he lined up there some in Detroit, but judging by the data it wasnít his strong suit.

    According to Pro Football Focus, in 2012 Young ran 409 pass routes but only 28 came from the slot, and he was targeted only 10 times in slot routes. He caught six for 30 yards. As a rookie, Young ran 486 routes but only 30 from the slot; he was targeted 8 times and did catch all eight for 49 yards and a touchdown. There isnít much production on display there.

    Young did some damage outside on deep routes. According to Pro Football Focus, during his two Detroit seasons Young was targeted 25 times on deep balls and caught nine for 357 yards and 4 TDs. Thatís nearly 40 yards per catch. Young did drop 5 passes on the deep routes. Thatís bad, but at least he got open to drop them.

    Overall in 2011, Lions quarterbacks had a passer rating of 103.5 when they targeted Young. Thatís good. Even with all of his troubles in 2012, Detroitís passer rating when targeting Young was a respectable 92.2.

    In two seasons, Young has 10 touchdown receptions on 81 catches. Thatís an impressive rate.

    If Jeff Fisher and staff can untangle this kidís headwires, the Rams could have something.

    If the kid is a problem, then heíll move closer to the dump where wasted careers are deposited.


    The Super Bowl File

    Lessons from Super Bowl 47:

    ē Late-season slide? Donít worry about it. Just look at the recent Super Bowl champions. The Baltimore Ravens lost four of their last five regular-season games. Two years ago, the New York Giants went 3-5 down the stretch. The 2010 Green Bay Packers were 2-2 in the final month. The 2007 Giants were 3-3 headed into the playoffs. The 2009 New Orleans Saints and 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers didnít experience a slump, but they were exceptions.

    The Ravens were a No. 4 seed in the AFC, then averaged 31 points per game in winning four in row. This continues an obvious trend. The 2011 Giants (No. 4), the 2010 Packers (No. 6), the 2007 Giants (No. 5) and the 2005 Steelers (No. 6) have each gone all the way after being seeded in the bottom half of the conference bracket.

    ē Better have a hot quarterback. The days of a team like the Ravens riding their defense to a championship appear to be over, at least until thereís a sign of a fundamental and dramatic change in the way NFL football is played.

    It is obviously helpful to have a strong defense, but itís hard to beat a team thatís being elevated by tremendous play from the most important position on the field. I donít think weíll see the likes of Trent Dilfer winning a Super Bowl again, anytime soon.

    The last six Super Bowls have been won by Eli Manning (2007 season), Ben Roethlisberger (2008), Drew Brees (2009), Aaron Rodgers (2010), Eli Manning (2011) and Joe Flacco (2012.)

    I combined their postseason statistics from their title years. This is what the five quarterbacks did during their six postseason runs to the Vince Lombardi Trophy:

    Completion percentage: 63.8 pct.

    Yards per attempt: 7.83

    Touchdowns: 46

    Interceptions: 5

    Passer Rating: 106.1

    Thatís crazy. And keep in mind, not all of these gunslinger quarterbacks played at an elite level during the regular season.

    ē Coaches need to be aware of how the game is being officiated, and adjust accordingly: San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was steaming after the loss to the Ravens over the officialsí failure to call a defensive holding penalty on the *****í fourth-down passing attempt to Michael Crabtree.

    Coach Harbaugh obviously wasnít paying attention to how the game was being policed. It was obvious from the beginning that the officials were going to let the teams play, and ignore much of the ticky-tack or borderline infractions.

    Only seven penalties, total, were called Sunday in Super Bowl 47. And that followed the recent pattern of Super Bowl officiating style.

    Over the last dozen Super Bowls, 10 or fewer penalties have been called in 7 of the 12 games. And 12 or fewer have been called in nine of the 12.

    There have been only 16 penalties called ó total ó in the last two Super Bowls.

    In 2012, officials called an average of 12.6 penalties per regular-season game. The average was 12.8 penalties per contest in 2011.

    The smartest coaches and teams figure this out and their players adjust their aggressiveness accordingly, especially in the area of pass defense.

    Thanks for reading Ö

    ó Bernie

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    Titus Young will still cause trouble, just not for the Lions

    Titus Young will still cause trouble, just not for the Lions


    Titus Young will still cause trouble, just not for the Lions | The Detroit News |

    There is some concern in our community that the Lions blew it again. Some fans worry that the Lions did not do enough to help departed wide receiver Titus Young and that he will come back to haunt them.

    The Lions exhausted every option and there was no way to reel this guy in. The same demons that whacked him in Detroit will eventually become his undoing with the St. Louis Rams, a team that scooped him up within hours of the Lions' release. For some that is a sign that the Rams know something the Lions do not.

    That's not the case. There is always a coach or general manager who believes they can turn a career around. You can bet that Lions coach Jim Schwartz talked to his mentor, Jeff Fisher, and told him Young is worth a gamble.

    The Lions could not bring him back because Young would create an explosive dressing room that would have made last season's 4-12 season look tame. Earlier in the season, I wrote a story about Lions wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson. Receivers loved him because he was an explosive and motivating coach. When guys relaxed, he shocked the system.

    I spoke to Jefferson twice for the story, for a total of 20 minutes. A good chunk of our conversation concerned Young.

    "He is a diamond in the rough but rough around the edges," Jefferson said. "I am trying to reach this guy. I am really trying. We bump heads."

    Young even admitted he could be rough to deal with but said he needed and respected Jefferson's old-school approach.

    I knew something was up when teammates didn't really defend Young. And this was before we learned about the punch of safety Louis Delmas. This was before he committed treason on the field or started tweeting his exit interview out of Detroit.

    Young was a problem from the day he stepped in. Those problems will surface at some point in St. Louis, and the Rams will grow tired of him also.

    Lions can't stop with Young
    Don't worry about Young haunting the Lions. What you need to focus on is the Lions are transitioning and this is good news. They are tearing down a relic of a building. Team captain Kyle Vanden Bosch and right guard Stephen Peterman joined Young on the streets, victims of declining play and escalating contracts. Actually, Young is victimized by declining social skills and elevated evaluation of his talent.

    Young thinks he's as good a player as Calvin Johnson? That's reason enough to ship him. Good luck, St. Louis. You got yourself a dandy.

    The teardown is necessary but the Lions cannot stop there.

    They've got it all wrong and now they have the chance to make it right. If you noticed this tiny little game on Sunday called the Super Bowl, you saw two teams capable of running the football. The San Francisco ***** and Baltimore Ravens were fueled by strong, aggressive lines and powerful running backs.

    Better run blocking crucial
    Although the forward pass sells tickets and prevents teams from being out of games, it is the fundamentals of running the football and stopping the run that win championships. The Lions are built on putting up statistics and winning a few games. They are not built to win a championship.

    Now the process must continue. If it means getting rid of center Dominic Raiola and left tackle Jeff Backus, then so be it. Backus is 36 years old and Raiola is 35. Backus is now injury prone and Raiola is limited in run blocking.

    The Lions offensive line protects quarterback Matthew Stafford just fine. What it fails to do too often is pound the rock on third-and-one.

    They were so pathetic in short-yardage situations they all but gave up during a dreadful 4-12 season.

    Free agents not the way
    Change is painful, but it is necessary. The Lions also are shedding payroll, so put down your wish list of high-priced free agents.

    It's not the right way to build and it's almost impossible to go that route when you have Ndamukong Suh, Calvin Johnson and Stafford earning a king's ransom as beneficiaries of the old rookie salary cap system.

    The Lions must replace the discarded with young and hungry players and hope they develop team chemistry. This team was going nowhere without major change.

    It seems as if coach Jim Schwartz knew that even when he proclaimed "it is business as usual here."

    It cannot be business as usual because that way does not work.

    That's why Young is not here. The Lions need to spit out the bad and come in with the new.
    ***Rams News Now! For More Rams Info, Articles, and Breaking News

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Troubled receiver worth a shot

    Young detonated himself with mad-squirrel behavior
    That's just funny.

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    Re: Titus Young will still cause trouble, just not for the Lions

    Jim Schwartz is the Lions' biggest problem. He is not the disciplinarian or taksmaster the Lions desperately need. They are talented but immature- and nothing will change as long as Schwartz is running the show. Young's departure shows he became unmanageable under the current regime there.

    Fisher, on the other hand, has the cache and track record to command respect and has a history of being able to successfully deal with player issues. Young may indeed turn out to be a bad apple, but it costs the Rams nothing to find out.

    Normally, I am not a fan of bringing in guys with character issues regardless of the upside. But once again, I will trust Fisher's judgment and feel we have enough quality guys to deal with anyone who comes in and doesn't get with the program.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Troubled receiver worth a shot

    Lions can't stop with Young
    Don't worry about Young haunting the Lions. What you need to focus on is the Lions are transitioning and this is good news. They are tearing down a relic of a building. Team captain Kyle Vanden Bosch and right guard Stephen Peterman joined Young on the streets, victims of declining play and escalating contracts. Actually, Young is victimized by declining social skills and elevated evaluation of his talent

    I thought for a second he was going to say they need to clean out the rest of the idiots on the roster. But no he's in denial. The Lions have had so many guys getting in trouble but yet they say it's just a few.

    I think Titus Young is just one of the many Lion players that is out of control. Young was the easiest to cut they are stacked at WR, He is going to be used as the message to the other idiots on the team.

    Lions' Off-Field Problems Continue

    CineSport—Aaron Berry became the fourth Lions player to be arrested in the sixth different incident of the offseason. What's wrong in Detroit? CineSport's Brian Clark asks Sporting News' Clifton Brown.

    Things continue to go from bad to worse for the Detroit Lions. Almost a week after Head Coach Jim Schwartz said to stay safe and out of trouble before training camp began, CB Aaron Berry was arrested for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania.

    This is just the latest instance in a string of mishaps from Lions players. DT Nick Fairley and RB Mikel LeShoure have both been arrested twice and OT Johnny Culbreath once, all for possession of marijuana.

    The Lions are starting to look like the Cincinnati Bengals from the early 2000s. Perhaps it’s a jungle cat issue?

    Not only do the Lions have off-field issues to worry about, last season they had some on-field issues as well. DT Ndamukong Suh stomping on the leg of a Packers player was one. But one of the bigger issues the Lions had was the health of their players.

    RB Jahvid Best was out for the season with his third concussion. RB Jerome Harrison was placed on the reserve/non-injury list after a failed physical that showed a brain tumor. It’s hard to believe that team doctors really didn’t know about Harrison’s brain tumor. That’s kind of a big deal.

    Lions GM Martin Mayhew has been at the helm since 2008, and there seem to be underlying organization-wide issues still in existence that date back to before his tenure. He has to clean up the mess that was left by his predecessor Matt Millen while he tries to build a contender.

    Mayhew has had very respectable drafts, but it seems that the Lions can’t keep these guys on the field and out of trouble.

    Is this the Matt Millen effect? Is all of this his fault? This team made the playoffs in 2011, but certainly had more questions than answers and from an organizational perspective, seems to be in shambles.

    It is safe to say that something has gone awry in the Motor City. The organization as a whole needs to correct past transgressions and not fall back into the traps left by former front office employees, players and medical staffers.

    It has been three seasons since Mayhew took over, and it’s time for him and his staff to put the mistakes of the Matt Millen Era behind them and turn the Lions back into a contender.
    I think it funny how the media or other fans perceive our locker room to be on the verge of imploding. Fisher said this was one of the best teams as far as a group of guys he's every had. If your locker room is a mess, then it shows up on game day and the Rams came to play every week.
    Last edited by Rambos; -02-07-2013 at 11:44 AM.

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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Troubled receiver worth a shot

    Great point Rambos, and the exact one that I want to make about this move as well. You don't need to have a team entirely of upstanding characters. You need to have a team that is talented and puts it all out on the field. To get the most of those guys, you need to have some good guys who will keep the players in line from the inside. We have that in the form of Long, Laurinaitis, Harvey Dahl, Jax(hopefully) and Bradford(up and coming).

    On the outside, we have Jeff Fisher, who, in general, runs a tight ship, though lost some of that due to Bud Adams' love for his playmakers. I don't see that happening with the Rams. Kronke is busy enough with the rest of his empire that he doesn't need to play Jerry Jones. Further, he has the respect of Fisher to let him do what he needs to do.

    Fisher will keep the control of the locker room, either directly, or through his players keeping their own in check. With no bad reports coming from Jenkins or any of our other rookie(save one cerfew incident), I think it's clear that the message has been delivered. It's fine to be rough out on the field(RG3 whining, anyone?), but you play as a team and you win as a team. If Young wants to showboat, that's fine, as long as he's doing it for the team. Once he gets out of line, Fisher won't hesitate to send him packing.
    I believe!

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