It's one thing to be throwing side-armed once in awhile to fit a ball in a weird spot. Favre did that a lot. It's another when your QB is throwing without stepping into his throws half the time, and his arm mechanics even on his good throws now look like a pitcher throwing out of a 3/4 arm slot. Stafford leads the league in balls batted at the line. A bunch of those have turned into picks. Those are very often side-armed throws that allow defenders to get a hand on them. He throws stepping back and to the side rather than having good footwork and stepping into his throws. Those cause throws to be off-target. A lot of those balls that deflect off a Lions' receiver and become an interception are in part due to the fact the mechanics were poor and rather than hit the receiver in the hands or in stride the receiver is reaching back across his body in the middle of the field (a highly congested area) trying to pull in a ball that wasn't well-thrown. A personal observation I have is that I'm seeing more teams running their LB's and DL in zone against our passing attack because they know Stafford is likely to throw low balls across the middle and those become easy picks. Sean Lee killed Stafford when we played Dallas (even though we gutted the win out). Dallas could have had 2-3 more picks than they did in that game.
Personally, I think Schwartz and Mayhew both have to go. I don't get the support for either. Even in this thread there are some Lions fans defending Mayhew, but I don't see it. Mayhew has done okay with some top10 picks, but you're supposed to do well on those. His track record on 2nd-4rd round picks is bad, and if you look at just the 2nd rounders he's atrocious. Mayhew routinely ignores injuries and behavioral flags with players. Then we wonder why they're never on the field. Titus Young, Jahvid Best, etc. It's nice to hit a late round pick once in awhile and have him pan out, but really all Mayhew has done is offset his bad results in the middle rounds. Amari Spivey for example, a guy he drafted to be a CB who ended up not cutting it at CB, moved to safety, and played but lacklusterly for a couple years when he wasn't hurt. That's not a total bust, but you drafted a guy to play CB. I'm worried we're seeing the same thing with this Slay kid now. He was hurt before the draft. Most thought the Lions reached for him, and when he hasn't been hurt he's been pretty poor in coverage when he's been on the field. He's looking like another in a long line of picks who are hurt far too much and only play because we don't have better options when he is healthy.
I'd like to see both Schwartz and Mayhew gone. As a Lions fan I'm just fed up with the thugish behavior, the poor draft picks, the constant stupid penalties, and shooting ourselves in the foot. The "genius" of the Lions isn't that they lose a lot. It's that they give fans hope enough we stick around before they find new and heart-wrenching ways to destroy us year after year. It's that they have talent and find ways to be just good enough we think we can still win for 58 minutes of a game. Then with under 2 minutes to go and a lead they commit two penalties that keep the opponent's drive alive. They rush 4 on 3rd and 15 against an injured QB and give him all day to find an open receiver, and suddenly we lose in the final seconds. The season follows the same path. They win enough they should be in the playoffs, but they find a way to lose a couple games they shouldn't, and we come up a game or two short. I can't imagine what it must like to be a Packers or Steelers fan. Knowing that even if your team has a bad year they're still going to commit few penalties and be pretty well coached. That your front office will draft well and find guys that even if they aren't flashy can contribute. To know that if you lose it will be because you were out-played, not because you committed 9 penalties for over 100 yards.