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Brenden Stai file: be afraid


Atlanta Skins Fan

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Couldn't resist this.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50484-2002Aug22.html

The Redskins were trying to trade a mid-round selection to the Lions for Stai, who likely would become one of the team's starting guards if the deal is completed.

Let's review some quick facts. We should have signed Ray Brown, a 2001 Pro Bowl guard who wanted to sign for the Redskins. We didn't. He signed with Detroit for the minimum; cap hit = $450K.

Brown will likely *replace* Brenden Stai at right guard. (See below for evidence.)

We are now considering trading a "mid-round" pick for the guy who the "free" Ray Brown beat out.

Oh, sure, Stai is younger (but is still an 8-year vet). But read the stuff below. He seems like a once good guard who has fallen into decline, possibly due to injury. When he signed with the Lions in 2001, it was his 4th team in less than a year. Teams can't get rid of him fast enough.

One spring 2002 analysis notes: "Stai was a disappointment [in 2001] when it came to replacing Jeff Hartings at right guard. But that wasn't a surprise to anybody except the Lions."

The 2-14 Lions gave up 66 sacks in 2001. That can't be blamed on Stai (alone), but it does seem the Lions have some theories about how to improve their line. By losing Stai.

Sure, Stai might work out for the Redskins. Anything's possible. But the evidence says that Stai *shouldn't* work out, and that a trade of a mid-round pick for him is stupid. Especially since we could have had Ray Brown (Stai's replacement) for free.

Even if this trade doesn't happen, it's a brutal insight into the stupidity happening around our OL. Read the WP quote again: "The Redskins were trying to trade a mid-round selection to the Lions for Stai, who likely would become one of the team's starting guards if the deal is completed."

The team is *trying* to get Stai for a mid-round pick. Stai is expected to be a starter. The front office doesn't decide who will be a starter -- Kim Helton does.

That's right: Kim "The Untouchable" Helton.

Oh, I forgot: I can't criticize Helton.

Back to the woodwork.

THE BRENDEN STAI FILE

http://www.detroitfreepress.com/sports/lions/lions21_20020821.htm

August 21, 2002

"[Ray Brown] certainly makes us stronger inside," [Coach] Mornhinweg said after watching Brown's first practice. "As we know he was in the Pro Bowl last year. Tony (Semple) is playing through a little bit of an injury, as is Brenden Stai.

"So it gives us some terrific experience -- a top-flight football player -- and it simply adds strength to our inside three."

Although Brown went to the Pro Bowl last season as a left guard, Mornhinweg said Brown is capable of playing on the right side. And it appears he is still good enough to compete for a starting job.

http://mlive.com/lions/stories/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/sports-0/1029838212312750.xml

8/20/02

Prior to the Lions' second preseason game against Cleveland last Saturday, team sources say Mornhinweg was strongly leaning toward replacing some, if not all, of his interior linemen. Center Eric Beverly and guards Tony Semple and Brenden Stai did not play well in the first preseason game against Baltimore, but bounced back with strong efforts against the Browns.

http://thehuddlereport.com/2002DRAFT/teamneeds/lions.html

Spring 2002

Stai was a disappointment [in 2001] when it came to replacing Jeff Hartings at right guard. But that wasn't a surprise to anybody except the Lions. Semple has not been special at left guard.

http://detnews.com/2001/lions/0103/16/f02-198934.htm

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Stai hopes he has found home as Lion

By Mike O'Hara / The Detroit News

PONTIAC -- Brenden Stai and the Lions have a common goal. They're looking for stability up front.

Stai, who agreed to terms on a five-year contract last week, signed the deal Monday after taking a physical. Immediately afterward, he worked out in the weight room at the Silverdome.

Stai will be the Lions' new right guard, replacing Jeff Hartings, who signed with Pittsburgh last week. The Lions are looking to solidify their blocking unit. Stai wants stability, period.

The Lions became his fourth NFL team in 363 days. It is an unusually hectic journey for a player who has been a dependable, full-time starter for most of his five pro seasons.

Stai was released by the Steelers on March 14 of last year. He signed with Kansas City on May 4 and was traded to Jacksonville in August. He was one of 10 players released by the Jaguars on March 1 to get under the salary cap of $67.4 million for this season.

"It's been a whirlwind for me this past year," Stai said Monday.

He has never played in the West Coast offense, which the Lions will use this year. At least he'll be on the same footing as his new teammates. It's new to them, too.

"I haven't been introduced to it, but I know a sampling of it," Stai said. "Kansas City did have a little bit of a mix in there. As far as the terminology goes, that's something a lot of guys look at as to whether they'll be able to adjust.

"What I went through, I have no problem with anything. I know they like to utilize some speed at the guard position. That's my forte. I like to run around and get on guys on the outside -- run and pull and all that good stuff."

Stai, 28, agreed to terms with the Lions on Thursday night. He had a visit planned with the Giants but canceled it when his agent, Paul Sheehy, told him about the Lions' offer.

"The market is so diluted because there are so many guards," Stai said. "I wanted to do it (sign) now and get it over with."

Stai, a 6-foot-4, 310-pounder, was drafted by the Steelers in the third round out of Nebraska in 1995. He has started 75 games and has not missed a start in three years.

The Lions got a salary-cap savings with Stai. Hartings signed a six-year, $24.3-million deal with the Steelers. It included a signing bonus of $5.75 million. Stai's total contract is a little less than $9 million.

Brenden Stai:

College Nebraska

NFL Experience 8

Height 6-4

Weight 318

Birthdate March 30, 1972

All-America and All-Big Eight selection as a senior in 1994, when Nebraska won the national championship after defeating Miami (Fla.) in the Orange Bowl.

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I almost want to see us sign Stai just to see you lose your mind!

Yeah, if we trade for a guy who is being replaced by a guy we could have had for nothing... well, that isn't great manuvering by the front office.

On a side note, the Vikings could be a team to look at. Their WR's are not deep, and they could use a Kevin Lockett. They do have some solid center/guards on the bench, though. Tice did a good job of preparing quality NFL lineman.

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Well, our main man Lenny seems to disagree...

"The deal to ship Rosenfels to Miami wasn't the only trade Skins officials devoted significant time to the past few days. The team is close to a trade with the Detroit Lions for eighth-year veteran guard Brenden Stai, a tough in-line blocker who certainly would represent an upgrade."

Here is the link... http://espn.go.com/nfl/columns/pasquarelli_len/1421612.html

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On a side note, the Vikings could be a team to look at. Their WR's are not deep, and they could use a Kevin Lockett. They do have some solid center/guards on the bench, though. Tice did a good job of preparing quality NFL lineman.

Oh Great. Maybe we will only have to trade half the freekin team to get one decent guard...

ASF has been right about this issue from the start. What amazes me is that fans of a team who once proudly cheered for the hogs just cant see it.

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I like Stai a LOT better than Semple, who is a guy we were thinking about during free agency. Stai has been a starter in every game for the last four years. He's a TRUE right guard with good ability run blocking as a generic statement. Semple, to me, is more a left guard with pass blocking as his strength. Stai is younger by a couple of years too.

Atlanta, do you know that Stai won the "Eric Andolsek" award on the team which is awarded to the top lineman from last year? I do not think he's a top player. I do wonder why we didn't move stronger for Brown if we were going for a guy they were replacing him with, though, Stai is not a good fit for the WCO in my view, and that's something the Lions are now.

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Oh this keeps getting better and better...:shootinth

Stai is under contract through 2005 and the Redskins apparently would assume his current deal. It includes base salaries of $750,000 (for 2002), $1.2 million (2003), $1.5 million (2004) and $1.82 million (2005).
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ASF,

Since you used "The Huddle" as a source, I can use this :).

http://www.ffmastermind.com/2002/offseason/reports/eye168.shtml

RG-Brenden Stai. Stai came in as a free agent last year and had a solid year. He’s a durable, dependable veteran who should perform at a consistent level again this season.

Interesting, also, he's started 62 consecutive games as a pro. Teams often do this, don't they? Start guys over and over who simply can't play?

http://www.detroitlions.com/team/player_bio.cfm?player_id=4601

I wish we paid more attention to Lions football though :). DAMMIT :).

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Here's where I have a concern with Stai. He's not a left guard. He IS a right guard. This would put Tucker in reserve. I'd like a guy with a bit more versatility, or one who is CLEARLY a left guard to solidify that side completely allowing slide help to Tucker.

I think Stai's reputation as an immensely strong player who is good in the running game is great. But, how does that fit here any better than Ben Coleman perhaps? What are his pass blocking skills? I now resolve to never miss ANY team in the NFL and to watch at least something from everyone so I'm never left without having seen a guy recently again. :)

I remember liking him a lot for the Steelers a couple of years ago though.

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I have the same questions as you do Art, as well as the same overall positive impression of Stai.

Another thought that occurs to me is that while Spurrier's offense certainly isn't the WCO, the line blocking assignments and certainly the style of run blocking would be similar, e.g. emphasis on draws and traps. If he didn't fit into Detroit's WCO as a guard, there's still a question as to whether he'd fit with us I think.

I continue to like the Ben Coleman option.

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I'm really not sure whether or not Stai represents an upgrade for us, but it really does bother me to see this organization's lack of emphasis it places on its O-line. Our success during the glory days under Gibbs was based on the strength of our offensive line. Now it seems to be an afterthought. We knew going into the draft that our O-line was our weakest link. WHY DID WE IGNORE IT IN THE DRAFT? The best QBs, RBs or WRs in the league would look like practice squad players without a solid O-line.

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It's possible that just about anybody would be an upgrade for us at guard. I really couldn't say. I haven't payed much attention, but it sounds bad from everybody (even the OL coach).

Still, Ray Brown appears to be a better player than Stai. If we let Brown go to the Lions, and then sign a man who would be Brown's backup, that would be poor work. ASF's head would explode like a cartoon character.

On the other hand, ASF, I don't think you can throw a blanket of blame on Helton. This could have to do with Spurrier, Snyder, Mendes, or the ghost of JKC.

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Art:

RG-Brenden Stai. Stai came in as a free agent last year and had a solid year. He's a durable, dependable veteran who should perform at a consistent level again this season.
I wish we paid more attention to Lions football though . DAMMIT .

I was FIRST a Redskins fan. Then, due to life's quirks and circumstances, became a Lions/UM as well. I make no apologies and am quite happy with the situation.

This should be a fun/learning season for US Redskins fans.

IMHO, Lions fans are due for a lotta pain as long as the current coach is @ the helm. Jury is still out on Millen. The Ford family has spent a TON of money and want to do the same thing as Danny for it's franchise. "The Danny" was @ the right place, @ the right time. Timing is the MOST important factor @ any endeavor! IMHO!

Jesh, don't you wish you had the power and moxie to go out on the proverbial limb & hire a GM for your favorite sports team??????

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Originally posted by Joey T

Jesh, don't you wish you had the power and moxie to go out on the proverbial limb & hire a GM for your favorite sports team??????

I totally agree. I've been concerned since February about the decision by Snyder not to have a GM, and to instead take a committee approach with himself, Mendes and Cerrato (with Snyder's vote being the tie breaker of course). Of those three, Mendes is the only one I really trust on personnel matters, but he may be the one with the worst relationship with Spurrier. Anyway, that front office situation is to me the one area of criticism with the way that this offseason has gone.
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Originally posted by Art

Here's where I have a concern with Stai. He's not a left guard. He IS a right guard. This would put Tucker in reserve. I'd like a guy with a bit more versatility, or one who is CLEARLY a left guard to solidify that side completely allowing slide help to Tucker.

And this is a bad thing? I was under the impression that we NEEDED a RG, and that was the position that we were trying to solidify, and have Jones at LG? Someone clue me in, if I'm wrong here.

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For the most part, I think Oline players are all capable of playing just about any position on the line somewhat equally (perhaps with the exception of center). Seeing how much the players are forced to move around in college and the pros, it does not surprise me. I don't know anything about the guy, but if Helton is truly as scared of the oline situation as he seems (which I concur), any experienced starting offensive lineman is probably a good one.

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