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 Killer's Korner 
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Post Re: Gosder Cherilus says...
LionFan57 wrote:
I don't get it. There is very little to be excited about with this O-line IMO. They're weak, undersized, overly penalized, Backus & Raiola are old, lethargic, lack depth, abysmal at run blocking. On their very best days they are average! The Lions O-line is the worst unit on the offense!

Cherilus might be the dumbest lineman in the history of the game. I'm happy that he's positive and excited but I'm perplexed as to why he feels this way. The fact that they've been playing together is nice but it would be more helpful if there was some real talent. With the exception of bringing in Rob Simms a few years ago this has largely been an overlooked unit. As far as I'm concerned this unit needs a ton of work just to become satisfactory.


I just wish he'd shut his yap. The Lions offensive line hasn't impressed anyone, and to openly say that they are confident in their abilities doesn't cause anyone to change their minds. Continuity in the personnel and scheme does have its merits in the overall performance of the unit, but not so much that lack of talent and strength can be overcome entirely.

I agree that this is an area that needs a tremendous injection of youth and talent. Everyone knows this, except for the front office in Allen Park, apparently.

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April 10th, 2012, 10:21 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
PFT wrote:
Schwartz thinks offseason will be critical for second-year players
Posted by Mike Florio on April 13, 2012, 8:56 AM EDT

Last year, incoming players had no offseason program. That’s because no one had an offseason program, thanks to the lockout.

Though some first-year players, like Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, had an immediate and significant impact, plenty of players struggled when the regular season began after a truncated training camp.

That’s why Lions coach Jim Schwartz believes the 2012 offseason program will be critical for second-year players who’ll be exposed to the offseason for the first time.

“Last year we didn’t get a chance to really do a whole lot,” Schwartz said, per Anwar Richardson of MLive.com. “They came into training camp . . . it was incredibly difficult for rookies last year. You just look at a guy like Titus Young. Titus had zero catches in the first game last year and then when it came time at the end of the year he was a big playmaker for us. That was a work that developed through 16 games and then the playoff game.

“Mainly because we didn’t have a chance to. First of all, he didn’t have any offseason. Second of all, he didn’t have any training camp. His training camp was week three and week four and week five, things like that.”

Schwartz also suggested that the sudden start to training camp may have contributed to injuries suffered by his top two draft picks in 2011. “[Nick] Fairley got hurt the second day of training camp,” Schwartz said. “[Mikel] Leshoure got hurt first week of training camp. They didn’t really get a chance. And even a guy like Doug Hogue, we were busy training a couple new linebackers last year. Not really training them, but getting them indoctrinated, Justin Durant and Stephen Tulloch. You don’t have time to do every single one.”

It mirrors a sentiment that Schwartz supposedly expressed to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in March 2011, as Harbaugh was seeing his effort to prepare for his rookie season as a head coach delayed by the work stoppage.

“We were having dinner the other night and Jim Schwartz told [Jim Harbaugh] basically there’s no way you’re going to be able to get it done [if the lockout lasts into the summer],” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “[Schwartz] told him there’s no way you’re going to be able to accomplish what you need to accomplish in two weeks if this thing lasts a while. Jim [Harbaugh] just kind of bit his tongue, which is what you’ve got to do in this situation. Because there’s nothing you can do about it.”

All three teams made the playoffs, with both Harbaughs getting to the final four. Though Schwartz’s comments don’t come off as an excuse for not getting farther than the wild-card round, the point is that he’s expecting a lot from his second-year players, which means that Lions fans now will, too.

Either way, the offseason program can’t start soon enough. Left to their own devices, Fairley and Leshoure have had off-field incidents during the offseason program. Once they’re back in Detroit and back at work, Schwartz will likely sleep a little more soundly.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... r-players/

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April 13th, 2012, 11:54 am
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Post NFC North 'is up for anybody who wants it'
ESPN.com wrote:
NFC North 'is up for anybody who wants it'

April, 13, 2012 / 12:15 / PM ET
By Kevin Seifert



I typically put my best virtual stiff arm on all attempts to project the division finish until at least after the draft, if not once after training camp. It's a fun debate whenever we have it, but I figure we should at least have a strong sense of the makeup of each roster before diving in.

So consider this post a preview to that inevitable discussion, spurred by an interesting analogy from Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson during an appearance this week on the NFL Network. (Video here.)

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Burleson

Burleson was asked if the Lions are ready to win the division. His full response:

"I think so. I don't want to sit here and tell you what we're going to do. Obviously I'm confident in the team. We lost a couple close games to Green Bay, split with Chicago, and had a good showing against Minnesota last year.

"But from an outside perspective, I think everybody looks at it like this: Green Bay is driving the car. Up front in the passenger seat is Chicago. In the back, you've got the Vikings and you've got the Lions. We're sitting there begging them, asking them, 'Are we there yet, are we there yet?'

"It's time for us to get out of the car and see who wants to drive. The division is up for anybody who wants it. We've got a tough division, and I like it."


Why are the Bears in the front seat and why are the Lions still in the restless kids' area? Perhaps Burleson was recognizing -- fairly, I think -- that the Bears had a step on the Lions last season until quarterback Jay Cutler's fractured thumb changed the outlook. Would the Lions have been a playoff team if Cutler stayed healthy? Fair question.

The Packers, who won the Super Bowl in 2010 and were 15-1 last season, will get the benefit of the doubt in most national discussions. But if the point of Burleson's response was to suggest this is a three-team race (sorry, Vikings), then I'm on board. The Lions did enough last season to be rightfully included in the discussion with the Packers and Bears. Let's see if anyone's draft changes the parameters of this debate.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... o-wants-it

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April 14th, 2012, 8:38 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Det News wrote:
Lions season tickets are a hot commodity

Detroit— Lions officials won't confirm it, but season-ticket sales appear brisk after the franchise's 10-win season in 2011 and first playoff appearance in 12 years.

Fans who called the Ford Field box office Wednesday afternoon to reserve a season ticket with a $200 deposit had to wait at least five minutes to speak with a representative, and individual game tickets for the eight regular-season home games were being sold online by third-party brokers such as Ticketmaster's TicketExchange and StubHub for up to $1,176 per seat.

"There's a lot of interest in this team, and it's not just ticket sales," said Matt Barnhart, a team spokesman who declined to reveal sales figures.

Barnhart said Lions officials are exploring more ways to capitalize on interest in the team.

That includes a look into more fan-friendly opportunities to watch practices during training camp in Allen Park in July.

Lions officials also may hold more draft-related events. The draft is April 26-28.

"We're always seeking opportunities for fans' engagement," Barnhart said.

Barnhart said single-game tickets go on sale in "late summer." Tickets for previous seasons typically went on sale in mid-August.

Lions season tickets follow a pricing plan created last February that, according to team officials, is on pace to be one of the lowest in the NFL.

The average season-ticket price for 2012 is $72.04, compared to $66.71 in 2011, the lowest of any team that reached the playoffs.

"The best thing we can deliver to our fans is a top quality team," Barnhart said. "They're investing in the mid- to low-end (pricing-wise compared to other franchises), but getting a high-end team."

Local looks

The Lions closed their pre-draft visitation period with a flurry Wednesday, hosting a group of local prospects, most of whom were not invited to the combine.

Running backs Edwin Baker of Michigan State and Jonas Gray of Notre Dame were among the players to participate in the combine-style workout, detroitlions.com reported.

Teams are allowed 30 pre-draft visits, but according to the Lions website, they can host additional local prospects.

Local players for the Lions are defined as players from Detroit high schools or colleges or those who still have legal guardians who live in the Detroit area.

The players who attended the workout, according to detroitlions.com:

Wide receivers Troy Burrell (Wayne State, Port Huron) and Justin Siller (Purdue, Orchard Lake St. Mary's);

Tight ends David Blackburn (Central Michigan, Warren DeLaSalle) and Tyrone Crawford (Boise State, Windsor);

Tight end/long snapper Danny Enright (Oberlin College, Novi);

Guards Cordell Bell (Minnesota State, Melvindale) and Deon'Tae Pannell (Penn State, Birmingham Groves);

Center Ben Bojicic (Bowling Green, Farmington Hills Harrison);

Tackle Joe Long (Wayne State, Lapeer East);

Cornerback Chris Greenwood (Albion, Detroit King);

Safeties Joshua Howard (Ball State, Inkster) and Jeremy Jones (Wayne State, Rockford);

Wide receiver/kick returner Keshawn Martin (Michigan State, Westland John Glenn).

Single game

On sale this summer at detroitlions.com, the Ford Field ticket office (10 a.m.-6 p.m., Gate G) or at (313) 262-2008
Available at ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com and stubhub.com (as of Wednesday, prices for two exhibitions and eight regular-season home games ranged from $52-$1,176 per ticket)

Season tickets

On sale at detroitlions.com, the Ford Field ticket office (10 a.m.-6 p.m.,) or at (313) 262-2008 ($200 per seat deposit guarantees a season ticket for this season; eight regular season home games range from $280-$1,600).

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2012 ... z1sV1xuM6k

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April 19th, 2012, 11:28 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
You know, I have often wondered why teams with domed stadiums don't sell tickets and have fans come to the stadium during the draft. Not only would they make money on tickets and parking, but, the concession stands would make a killing selling food and drink for 5 hours/day.

Either Mayhew or Scwhartz or Lewand could come out and address the crowd after every pick and give a detailed scouting report on every pick.

They could have NFL Network playing on the Jumbotron while having other NFL Experience type events stationed around the stadium.

I dare say the Lions could make $10Million over the 3 days of the draft.


April 19th, 2012, 12:02 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
BillySims wrote:
You know, I have often wondered why teams with domed stadiums don't sell tickets and have fans come to the stadium during the draft. Not only would they make money on tickets and parking, but, the concession stands would make a killing selling food and drink for 5 hours/day.

Either Mayhew or Scwhartz or Lewand could come out and address the crowd after every pick and give a detailed scouting report on every pick.

They could have NFL Network playing on the Jumbotron while having other NFL Experience type events stationed around the stadium.

I dare say the Lions could make $10Million over the 3 days of the draft.


Send them an e-mail Billy! That sounds awesome and something I would attend if I lived in state.

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April 19th, 2012, 1:36 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
BillySims wrote:
You know, I have often wondered why teams with domed stadiums don't sell tickets and have fans come to the stadium during the draft. Not only would they make money on tickets and parking, but, the concession stands would make a killing selling food and drink for 5 hours/day.

Either Mayhew or Scwhartz or Lewand could come out and address the crowd after every pick and give a detailed scouting report on every pick.

They could have NFL Network playing on the Jumbotron while having other NFL Experience type events stationed around the stadium.

I dare say the Lions could make $10Million over the 3 days of the draft.


I thought the Lions have had draft parties at Ford Field, at least for the first day? I doubt they would do it for anything other than the first day, since interest falls way off on the following rounds for everyone except the most ardent of fans (like me).

As for making $10M, that's a VERY inflated figure. If the Lions opened up the Field for the first day of the draft, they might get about 10,000 to show. If they charged $5 per person to get in, that's 50k. A typical concession stand at FF during the season makes about 20k for the entire game. Figuring the first round lasts about 3 hours, that's about the same time as a game. With only 20% of the people in the stands, that means concession sales will be reduced by at least that much. They might take in about 100k in concessions. They'd get nothing from parking, since the Lions don't control that.

So, figure they make about $200k max on the first day. The numbers after that for the next two days would dwindle down to nothing. They might make $300k for the entire three day event. And that's not taking into account the cost of opening the stadium, paying personnell, etc.

It'd barely be worth their while.

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April 19th, 2012, 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
freep wrote:
Lions' Tom Lewand: Sammie Hill signs, 'Madden curse' not real

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand said in a web chat for season-ticket holders today that defensive tackle Sammie Hill signed his restricted free-agent tender this morning.

Hill has been taking part in the Lions' off-season workout program since Monday.

The fourth-year defensive tackle started three games and made 24 tackles last year. He's expected to be a big part of the team's interior rotation, behind starters Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams, this fall.

The Lions gave Hill an original-round tender worth $1.26 million before the start of free agency.

On Monday, restricted free agents DeAndre Levy and Corey Hilliard signed their one-year tender offers. All three players will be unrestricted free agents next year.

More highlights from Lewand's chat:

• On whether the Lions will wear throwback uniforms this year: “The team will not wear the throwbacks this year. We are in conversations with Nike about the third uniform program going forward. Expect to see our core uniforms for all games this year.”

• On how the trade market has been this spring: “It has been about the same as most years. There are a lot of calls made in the days leading up to the draft. Most are exploratory, but we look at all options to improve the team.”

• On defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s health: “Nick is healthy and in good shape. He is here working hard. We expect him to have a big impact on the D-line this year. The limited snaps he got last year were very productive, and he should be even better this year.”

• On running backs Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure: “Both Jahvid and Mikel are here working out. We are expecting both of them to be significant contributors this year.”

• On the team’s main priority in the draft: “The draft provides one of the best opportunities to improve the team across the board with young players who can be a part of the organization for several years. We focus on building the talent of the team regardless of position, knowing that you can never have enough good players.”

• On whether he believes in the "Madden" video game curse: “I was glad to see Calvin beat Aaron Rodgers in the semifinals. I would rather see him beat Aaron Rodgers twice this season on the field. The exposure this contest gets Calvin and the Lions is great for our fans. Thankfully, none of us are very superstitious and don't believe in the curse.”

• On whether the Lions will discipline players involved in off-field incidents this off-season: “Any disciplinary proceedings under the personal-conduct policy or the drug policies are handled by the commissioner's office.”

• On getting just one primetime home game this year and playing three on the road: “The league indicated to us that both ESPN and NBC wanted to have additional games at Ford Field, largely because of our fans. Unfortunately, the schedule didn't work that way. The schedule process is incredibly complex and has over 250,000 possibilities. Hopefully, we will get more primetime games at home in 2013.”

• On tackle Jeff Backus’ health: “Jeff has been here every day since the season ended and is rehabbing very well. We expect him to have a full recovery and to be an active participant in minicamps and OTAs this spring. He should be full-go by training camp.”

• On where contract talks stand with Cliff Avril: “Continue to have dialogue with Cliff and his agent. We have made him some very significant multiyear offers. We look forward to having him this year, at least on the franchise tag, and hopefully, beyond.”

• On what happened to the Lions' defense at the end of last season: “It has been one of the main areas of focus for both our coaches and players in their season review of 2011. Injuries are never an excuse, but we did suffer from the lack of several starters in the secondary during the last month of the season. It emphasizes, for us, the importance of building depth in as many positions as possible.”

• On whom he expects to make big strides this year: “I think our 2011 draft class can make a lot of progress with the benefit of a full off-season and injury-free training camp. Nick, Titus, Mikel, Doug and other young players will make great strides by being a part of the program for a full off-season. In addition, many of our three- and four-year players will be hitting their strides, and I would expect guys like Matthew (Stafford) and Calvin to continue to get better.”

• On the status of an 18-game regular season: “Those discussions are not active right now. There are tremendous complex considerations. We clearly want to bring more value to the preseason but need to make sure that issues like player safety are paramount when considering an extension of the regular season.”

• On what the Lions will consider a successful season: “Our ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. There are 31 teams that do not have successful seasons every year, by that definition. We can't look too far ahead in trying to meet that goal and instead focus on getting better in all areas of the organization every day as we try to win our first Super Bowl.”

• On whether there’s a preference to draft offense or defense in the first round: “We try to balance need with talent and fit with our systems. Your assumption that the talent pool is equal is rarely realized. There are differences in talent and fit with almost every player on the board at a given pick. We try to select the one that is best combination of fit and talent for us.”

• On whether recent off-field events will factor into drafting players this year: “The issues that have arisen this off-season with our players are disappointing. We have taken significant steps with them to ensure that they do not become a distraction to what we are trying to accomplish on the field. We are confident that we have strong leadership throughout our organization, including the locker room, and that the recent headlines won't provide a negative impact going into the season.”

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April 19th, 2012, 2:03 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
There were times last year where Lions guard Rob Sims would do just about anything to try and keep his weight up.

“I’d be eating whoppers and stuff on my way in (to practice) so I would weight around 305," he said Thursday. "But in actuality, I was under 300 and that’s just too light to go against Kevin Williams (Vikings) and Justin Smith (49ers) and all those guys.

“The last couple years I’ve been playing really light, a lot lighter than I’ve been used to playing. I felt like there were some parts of my game that were affected by that."

Sims believes he hasn’t been nearly as effective as a run blocker at a lighter weight and feels like he lost some “pop” playing under 300 pounds. Therefore, Sims reported to the offseason training program this year approximately 20 pounds heavier and is currently around 315 pounds, which he thinks is a much better playing weight than the 295 he played at times last year.

“I wouldn't do it if I didn’t see that there was a problem there,” Sims said. “The good thing around here is I think they trusted me enough when I said, ‘hey, I want to try something a little bit different.’ “I think I’ve proven to them that I’m not just playing around. This is my profession and I take it serious and this is something that I think will make me better, which will make this team better.”

Sims didn’t become a regular at Burger King to gain the weight, either. He says he’s been making sure he’s eating the right kinds of food and has stayed on top of his supplements and vitamins. He's also been attacking the weight room more than he ever has since arriving via trade in 2010.

“I think the way we are doing it is going to be right on target,” he said. “You guys see me right now, I’m not a sloppy 20 (pounds heavier). I didn’t come here breathing hard or anything.”/p>

That’s a very important part of this process to Sims because he lost his father, Mickey Sims, a former guard with the Browns, to heart disease in 2006.

“It’s something that’s very serious to me as far as my eating and my cholesterol and where I am with all that kind of stuff,” he said. “But this is the next step for me in my career and I took the step knowing that it’s something that’s easily reversible if I need to reverse it.”

The biggest obstacles for Sims keeping on the weight was a lingering shoulder injury that prevented him from doing the heavy weight training he was used to, as well as the rigorous training program.

“When I came to Detroit I wasn’t ready to be honest with all the stuff they demand of you here and how we practice and all that kind of stuff. This is the hardest I’ve ever worked,” he said of his last two seasons with the Lions. “It’s an old-school mentality and going into it and working through it I couldn’t keep (the weight). I wasn’t doing what I normally was when I was in Seattle. Coach Schwartz demands a lot of you and your weight shows.”

It was during a one-on-one sit-down with offensive line coach George Yarno and assistant offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn following last season that really prompted Sims to gain the weight.

“They were like, ‘you’re a good guard in this league. How do we get you to be a great one?’” Sims said of those meetings. “Small things we needed to change, like for instance; (playing) a 3-4 (defense) and I have to block the end, there were times I wasn’t happy with that. So those were some things I need to go back and do and the weight gain will help.”

Sims signed a four-year extension with the Lions during the middle of the 2010 season and is under contract through 2014. He’s hoping the added power associated with the weight gain helps transform him from a good guard to a great one.

“I’m in shape and I think this something that’s going to take me to the next level,” he said. “Blocking Albert Haynesworth and Justin Smith at 295 (pounds), I can’t do that anymore. I faked it for two years and got through it, but I can’t do it anymore.”

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May 17th, 2012, 7:56 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Allen Park— Following a stellar season for the Lions passing game last season, the team's focus for the draft seemed to shift to defense, a unit victimized late in the regular season and during the playoffs.

But while the Lions selected six defensive players in the draft, they also picked up offensive tackle Riley Reiff in the first round and receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round.

So with free agency, the Lions focused on defense, right?

Well …

One of Lions general manager Martin Mayhew's first calls was to University of Houston receiver Patrick Edwards.

"I thought this was my best opportunity to come in and make a good impression on the team and make the team, so I took the opportunity," Edwards said.

As with Broyles, the Lions were impressed with Edwards' production in college and his versatility on special teams. In Houston's pass-happy offense, Edwards had 89 reception for 1,752 yards and 20 touchdowns, including 10 receptions for 228 yards in a victory over Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl.

"He had about a million catches last year," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "He's not real tall and he had some injury things early in his career. He's a smaller guy but when you look at production, we talked about Broyles that way and how much production he had."

With Broyles sidelined with an ACL injury, Edwards took center stage at rookie minicamp last weekend and showed why he was a post-draft priority for the Lions. The knock on Edwards was that he was from a smaller college program in Conference USA and didn't play against top-tier competition.

But Schwartz said Edwards' numbers speak for themselves — his 20 touchdowns led the nation and his 1,752 yards were second.

"We thought a lot of Patrick and honestly we were very surprised he didn't get drafted," Schwartz said. "As soon as you get less than six points for a touchdown, let me know because it doesn't matter how you got them — I don't care who you score them against — 20 touchdowns deserves to be respected."

But the minicamp showed making the jump from college to the pros will be difficult for Edwards, who's fighting for a roster spot rather than a starting spot — similar to his experience as a walk-on at Houston.

"Over the whole camp, they threw a lot of plays at us that we had to learn to get our reps down as far as the concepts for every play," Edwards said. "As the days went on, I got better and everything showed that I learned, got in my right reps and made plays and scoring and working on finishing upfield and doing everything right technique-wise."

On one play, Edwards made a good read on the defense and caught a long pass, to the delight of receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, who sprinted down the field to congratulate him.

"It's very encouraging when the coaches believe in you and you're making plays and get self-confidence," Edwards said. "It gives me more confidence as OTAs roll around and into training camp."

It's a long road ahead for Edwards, whose skills could fit in a multi-receiver offense that already includes Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Broyles and a bevy of talented tight ends. As Edwards picks up the offense, he's looking to learn from the veterans and put up numbers like he did in college.

"We're throwing it like (at Houston), but there's more concepts in this offense and you have to learn a little bit more and everything is timing," he said. "You have to make sure you come out of your breaks fast because the ball is going to be right on you instead of in college (where) you have to wait on it a little bit."

rod.beard@detnews.com

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Getting to know … Patrick Edwards
Position: Receiver
Ht./Wt.: 5-9/175
Age: 23
College: Houston
Hometown: Hearne, Texas
Career totals: 282 receptions, 4,471 yards, 43 touchdowns

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May 17th, 2012, 8:01 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
He’s a quarterback, so of course Matthew Stafford would endorse taking a left tackle and wide receiver with the first two picks of the draft.

But after seeing Riley Reiff and Ryan Broyles up close for the first time at off-season workouts this week, Stafford couldn’t help but gush about his new Lions teammates during a pep assembly today at Warner Upper Elementary school in Farmington Hills.

“(Broyles is) a very talented kid,” Stafford said. “He’s limited in what he can do right now because of his injury that he’s rehabbing from, but I think if you look at the tape, he’s an explosive receiver that can make plays and, hopefully, helps in the return game as well.”

And Reiff?

“He’s a big guy,” Stafford said. “He’s a very typical offensive lineman, doesn’t say too much, but he goes in there and works hard. I think he’ll fit right in with the guys.”

Rather than address a defense that gave up 90 points in final two games last year -- losses to the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints -- the Lions took Reiff, a left tackle from Iowa, in the first round, and Broyles, a receiver from Oklahoma, in the second.

Both players are more long-term investments than immediate hole fillers. Reiff could push for time at left or right tackle as a rookie, but the Lions return all five starters on their offensive line. Broyles, the NCAA leader in career receptions, tore his ACL in November and might not be ready for the start of training camp.

Still, Stafford, who appeared as part of a Blue Cross Blue Shield initiative to promote physical activity and healthy eating, said the Lions are a better team than they were when their season ended four months ago, in part because of those draft picks.

“We have the same coordinators the last three years and a lot of the same players, so from that standpoint, we don’t have to put in the base offense or base defense. We’re just tweaking and adding on right now,” he said. “And then obviously, I think we’re better because of the draft picks we got. Every year, you add talent as a team through free agency and the draft, and we were able to do that again this year.”

Stafford is coming off a season in which he started all 16 games for the first time in his career and became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards. He said his goals for this year have nothing to do with individual stats, and the only objective is “to win more games.”

“Everyone’s goal at the start of the season is to win the Super Bowl,” he said. “We made a step in the right direction last year, going to the playoffs. Obviously, lost the game. That was disappointing, because you get so close, and you understand all the effort that you put into it to get to that point, and it doesn’t work out for you. But hopefully, we can just build on last season and move in the right direction.”

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May 17th, 2012, 8:04 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
ESPN.com wrote:
Pressure point: Lions

May, 16, 2012 /12:30 PM ET
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com



Examining who faces the most challenging season for the Detroit Lions and why.

Mikel Leshoure has one week of NFL practice to his name. He hasn't played in a single preseason game, let alone in the regular season, and is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in August.

But if the Lions are to achieve more offensive balance in 2012, Leshoure will have to play a primary role. That's why he was drafted in 2011, to serve as a big between-the-tackles runner, and it's what the Lions sorely lacked after his injury.

The presumed recovery of fellow running back Jahvid Best (concussion) is really a parallel issue. Best gives the Lions a playmaker in the passing game but is best suited for a modest role as a runner. Leshoure's full-strength return would allow the Lions to use Best the way he should be while imposing a new power threat on defenses as well.

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May 20th, 2012, 7:30 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
ESPN wrote:
Shifting Suh-mania back to the field
May, 22, 2012
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com

We reached the height of Suh-mania in early February, when a Forbes magazine poll revealed Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was one of America's most disliked athletes. Two of the three men ranked ahead of him -- Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress -- are felons. The third, well, was Tiger Woods.

During a quiet moment at the NFL scouting combine, a few reporters were speaking with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. How did it come to this? Schwartz laughed, shook his head and suggested that Suh had spawned the "first armchair defensive linemen" in the history of NFL observation.

"We've all heard of armchair quarterbacks," Schwartz said, "and everybody has a thought on game strategy and what a coach should do. Everyone sees if a quarterback is having success or not. But Ndamukong is probably the first [lineman] that has that kind of scrutiny, that has Forbes magazine looking at him. … The fact that they're talking about a guy like Ndamukong Suh shows you how different he is and the scrutiny that he does get."

Three months later, an amazing thing has happened. The Suh-as-a-monster theme has been eclipsed by the New Orleans Saints' bounty story, among other offseason discussions about the NFL's violent nature. Ndamukong Suh stomped a player? Well, Gregg Williams ordered his players to take aim at opponents' heads and knees. Checkmate!

Even in a team context, Suh suddenly seems the least of the Lions' problems after an offseason in which three members of their 2011 draft class have been cited for marijuana incidents and a fourth -- receiver Titus Young -- sucker punched teammate Louis Delmas during a confrontation last week.

From this vantage point, it appears Suh has been handed an extraordinary opportunity if he cares about it. (And based on his carefully orchestrated offseason, which included an in-depth personality profile with ESPN's Hannah Storm and an upcoming appearance on a reality dating show, I'm guessing he does.) Public crusaders have abandoned their camp outside Suh's locker to chase new offenders, leaving Suh to redirect discussion back to where he and the Lions want it: to his on-field performance.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Suh said 2012 is "a very important year" in terms of restoring and/or enhancing his reputation as one of the NFL's most formidable defensive tackles.

"Every year I want to outdo the previous year," he said. "My rookie year was good. Last year was indifferent. This year we have an opportunity to have an outstanding year."

By "indifferent," I assume Suh meant he doesn't have a strong opinion about a 2011 season that saw his sacks drop from 10 to four and his tackles from 66 to 36. He was a Pro Bowl alternate after being voted a starter, as well as a first-team All-Pro, as a rookie in 2010.

To me, the question is if Suh's performance really dropped by the same percentage as his tackles and sacks. Was he half the player in 2011 he was in 2010? And will he need to be twice the player in 2012 to match his original promise?

The answer, based both on the Lions' assessment and that of independent observers, is no. Suh did not make the same kind of statistical impact and didn't have an elite season in 2011. But it's only fair to point out the flaws in relying purely on sacks and tackles to evaluate a defensive lineman.

Earlier this winter, Schwartz went back and watched every play of Suh's season. Afterward, he said, "I had more appreciation for what he did."

Schwartz added: "There are a lot of guys that are judged on a lot of different things. Defensive players, the only thing you get judged on are tackles, sacks and interceptions. There's not a whole lot that goes into it. Offensive linemen, it's tough to quantify those positions. …

"There's a couple plays in there, had a great pass rush, quarterback threw the ball before he wanted to. He's free to the quarterback, the quarterback gets rid of the ball, throws an interception. No stat at all for a defensive lineman. No sack, anything that people in the media or fans can look at, but obviously that’s an impact play."

Indeed, Pro Football Focus credited Suh with more quarterback pressures -- 27 -- than any NFL defensive tackle last season.

To be clear, I'm not rationalizing what was a less impactful second season for Suh. I just think it's fair to note he wasn't rendered completely ineffective and point out he doesn't have to make a huge jump to return to elite status. It might be difficult to judge him based purely on sack totals, as the charts suggest, but mostly I think we should all take advantage of a moment in time when Suh's football exploits are the only points of relevance in our discussions about him. Armchair away!

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_ ... -the-field

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May 22nd, 2012, 4:00 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Quote:
Indeed, Pro Football Focus credited Suh with more quarterback pressures -- 27 -- than any NFL defensive tackle last season.


Evidence that it's not all about stats. But that's a nice stat to know. I didn't realize he had that many QB pressures.....but it doesn't surprise me.

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May 22nd, 2012, 5:22 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... vande.html

Quote:
Is Detroit Lions DE Kyle Vanden Bosch losing a step? Not a chance says teammate Willie Young

ALLEN PARK -- As part of the Detroit Lions' practice routine, the players open up with a series of stretches and sprints.

Since he signed with the organization in 2010, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch has been the first player to cross the finish line during sprints, often leaving his teammates in the dust.

At least that was the case until Monday's OTA practice, when quarterback Matthew Stafford zoomed past Vanden Bosch, following it up with a little dancing taunt.

"He caught me sleeping," Vanden Bosch said. "I beat him today, so we're evened up."

Jokingly, I asked Vanden Bosch if he was losing a step. Teammate Willie Young, jumped in to field the question.

"Did you say losing a step?" Young repeated incredulously. "I tell you what. You come in at five in the morning, and let me see you keep up with this guy. C'mon, this is my third year ... I'm still trying to catch up."


Gotta luv this part

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Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford playfully taunts teammate Kyle Vanden Bosch after beating the defensive end during a sprint at a recent OTA practice.

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May 25th, 2012, 1:33 pm
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