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 Killer's Korner 
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
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Shaun Hill rates as one of NFL's best backups

Shaun Hill is widely considered one of the best NFL backup quarterbacks, if not the best.

After the Detroit Lions survived (sometimes barely) with one quarterback controversy after another for season after season after season, Hill simplifies the Lions’ quarterback situation as the backup to Matthew Stafford.

“Well obviously I know I’m Matthew’s backup, I have to prepare every week as if I’m going to play and most of that in my role is mental reps, I don’t get a lot f the physical reps during the week. So training camp is really important to me to get my reps in in our offense during that time and in the preseason games and things like that,’’ Hill said.

“You always have to be ready but I know on game day and throughout the week I’m trying to help Matt as much as possible,’’ Hill said.

It’s not an easy task.

On game days, if you watch Hill on the sidelines it may look like he’s trying to separate himself from everyone else. Actually he’s trying to get a good look at the action on the field.

“I try to look kind of from either the back of the defense or the back of the offense, so I can get either a safety’s point of view or a quarterback’s point of view on the field,’’ Hill said. “I try to watch it from either one of those ways.

He talks to Stafford and the coaches to let them know what he sees.

“Sometimes I’m looking at the pocket, sometimes I’m looking at the routes, always watching the defense first trying to see as much as I can out there,’’ Hill said.

He keeps his helmet on so he can hear the calls through the headphones. He can’t talk to the coaches through the radio which he said is probably a good thing.

“I get the play, I know what the play is, I look at the defense to see what they’re going to be in. That helps me if I have to go into a game without having a week’s worth of practice,’’ Hill said. “Really it’s more just the mental reps. I’m able to see how they’re defending us.’’

Hill is entering his 11th NFL season and his third with the Lions. During Stafford’s rookie season he competed for the starting job in camp with Daunte Culpepper and won. Culpepper wasn’t too happy. It seemed awkward.

So after that 2-14 season was mercifully over, the Lions passed on Culpepper and traded the 49ers for Hill.

He had a smile on his face from Day One at the practice facility.

“I put it like this, I accept my role but it doesn’t mean I’m relaxing in my role. I’m still trying to improve everyday. I’m accepting where I’m at and I think you have to be that way,’’ Hill said. “There’s a lot of guys in this league that weren’t able to fall into the slot and they’ve had shorter careers because of it.

“Guys who feel like they have stuff left and things to offer but they just couldn’t accept that role. I’ve always kind of looked at those guys from the outside in and promised myself never to be like that,’’ Hill added.

Hill’s easy-going personality has a role in making this situation work. He and Stafford have become good friends. Other teams may have toxicity floating around the quarterbacks meeting room, not the Lions.

“I’ve been in about every situation you can be in — competed with good friends to be the starter or backup, competed to be on teams for years and years and never have I ever made it a toxic situation,’’ Hill said.

“The team is much bigger than any one player and I certainly don’t want to bring any kind of negative aspect to the team that’s for sure. I kind of see my role as the other way — making sure that I help keep the negativity out and bring some levity when it’s needed, but I’m always working hard.’’

Coach Jim Schwartz knows that if Stafford goes down, Hill will be ready to go in.

“He can go in cold and heat up our offense. He has very good understanding of everything we do,’’ Schwartz said. “He’s very supportive of Matt off the field and during practice; he gives him a good sounding board. Everything that you want in a backup quarterback Shaun provides.’’

Even on the steamy hot days of training camp Hill always looks like he’s having fun. One reason is that he’s happy to be here.

“I really like this organization from the top down and I like the direction we’re going,’’ Hill said. “It’s absolutely something I want to be a part of and I could tell that from the first day I got here. So I’ve been very fortunate that they’ve felt the same way about me.’’

In March he signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract extension.

“Well there’s a reason that we acquired him a couple years ago and there’s a reason that we worked hard to get him back under contract. He was a priority for us,’’ Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.

Hill is a huge Stafford fan and supported him through his up-and-down second season when injuries kept Stafford sidelined for 13 games.

“I told him countless times I’ve probably had more injuries than he has, they come in cycles sometimes they just do,’’ Hill said. “There’s guys who will play 10 years in a row and never have a single one and then all of a sudden they’re out a couple years. Some happen early in their career and then they’re fine.’’

Hill started 10 games in 2010, sitting out two with a broken bone in his forearm. In 2011 when Stafford remained healthy, Hill saw mop-up action in two games.

When Hill was informed that during a preseason game, Brian Billick called him the NFL’s best backup quarterback, he had just one question.

“Was my mom the broadcaster?’’ Hill asked. “That’s very nice of them to say. I don’t know how you measure that, but I try to be the best at my job as I can and I’m obviously very pleased that they see it that way.’’

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September 6th, 2012, 11:43 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
LionsFan4Life wrote:
I read KVB restructured to get the Lions under the cap.


He did, moved all of his salary ($5M except the vet min $9.25K). Detroit added two more years (he had two left) to spread out the $4.75M out more. Those two years are voidable.

I'd be interested to see what our cap situation is going to look like next year, I'm thinking it is going to be pretty ugly.

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September 6th, 2012, 3:22 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Pablo wrote:
LionsFan4Life wrote:
I'd be interested to see what our cap situation is going to look like next year, I'm thinking it is going to be pretty ugly.


Just another reason Avril has to go. We could use $10 million on MUCH more important things. Oh, and Willie Young will be good enough to replace him, and may even be better for a much cheaper price.

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September 6th, 2012, 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Pablo wrote:
LionsFan4Life wrote:
I read KVB restructured to get the Lions under the cap.


He did, moved all of his salary ($5M except the vet min $9.25K). Detroit added two more years (he had two left) to spread out the $4.75M out more. Those two years are voidable.

I'd be interested to see what our cap situation is going to look like next year, I'm thinking it is going to be pretty ugly.



I dunno....we should free up a ton of money just from Backus. and if we let Avril walk we could be sitting VERY pretty. gain like 18 Mil give or take just on those 2 guys?

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September 6th, 2012, 3:47 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Shotty wrote:
Pablo wrote:
LionsFan4Life wrote:
I'd be interested to see what our cap situation is going to look like next year, I'm thinking it is going to be pretty ugly.


Just another reason Avril has to go. We could use $10 million on MUCH more important things. Oh, and Willie Young will be good enough to replace him, and may even be better for a much cheaper price.


Avril's not going anywhere, so it's time to give that argument a rest. He signed his tender, the deal is done.

And don't think for a second that if Willie Young replaces him and does really well (10 sacks or more) he won't be holding out for more cash. He'll be a RFA next year, and even if the Lions were to give him a first round tender (which they likely will), he'd probably be told by his agent to not sign it and demand a long term deal for big money.

I don't like the Avril situation any more than the rest of you, but it is what it is. Either the Lions will get him to agree to a financially acceptable deal next year, or he won't be a Lion any longer. Either way, you'll get your wish soon enough.

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September 6th, 2012, 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
regularjoe12 wrote:
Pablo wrote:
LionsFan4Life wrote:
I read KVB restructured to get the Lions under the cap.


He did, moved all of his salary ($5M except the vet min $9.25K). Detroit added two more years (he had two left) to spread out the $4.75M out more. Those two years are voidable.

I'd be interested to see what our cap situation is going to look like next year, I'm thinking it is going to be pretty ugly.



I dunno....we should free up a ton of money just from Backus. and if we let Avril walk we could be sitting VERY pretty. gain like 18 Mil give or take just on those 2 guys?


Exactly. Hell, if it was that important we could get a replacement for one of them in FA, but we could literally go crazy in FA with that money and fill every single hole in the team, and both players will be easily replaceable (by RR and WY). The ONLY possible way I'd be happy with Avril getting a new long-term contract next season from us is if he totals 15+ sacks and 7+ forced fumbles.

M2 - Mayhew clearly thought this through. A huge benefit of resigning Cliff to a franchise tag was that it makes it so he'll definitely start, but that is a good thing because WY won't be able to showcase his potential as a backup. The Lions know that once he becomes a bit more consistent he'll easily be better or just as good as Avril, but WY can't demand some huge contract if he hasn't proven himself yet. His agent can tell him anything, but I'm sure no team will offer him some huge contract. I expect a 3-5 year deal worth $3-5 million a year. That's $5-7 million more in cap space, and Backus is due $8 million, so releasing him would mean we could get a guard and a tackle both better than Peterman/Cherilus in FA (since RR can replace both) and shop one or both of them. Lots of options with all that money, and I wouldn't trust any GM more than Mayhew to be the most productive and make the best decisions with it.

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September 6th, 2012, 4:05 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
just a heads up though Shotty..while those two should free up some money we have a pretty large amount of guys who we need to re sign this year. I dont think we can go CRAZY, but we should be able to add a new piece or 2 while replacing both of those guys with at least marghinal tallent.


Off the top of my head I know that contracts are up for:

Backus
Avril
houston
Hanson


ok guys help me out here I KNOW there are bout 4-5 more impact guys too

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September 6th, 2012, 4:21 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
regularjoe12 wrote:
just a heads up though Shotty..while those two should free up some money we have a pretty large amount of guys who we need to re sign this year. I dont think we can go CRAZY, but we should be able to add a new piece or 2 while replacing both of those guys with at least marghinal tallent.


Off the top of my head I know that contracts are up for:

Backus
Avril
houston
Hanson


ok guys help me out here I KNOW there are bout 4-5 more impact guys too


Here's the complete list of those not under contract beyond this year.... Mayhew is gonna earn his paycheck this year and this offseason.

Cliff Avril UFA
Kevin Barnes UFA
Joique Bell RFA
Don Carey UFA
Gosder Cherilus UFA
Erik Coleman UFA
Louis Delmas UFA
Justin Durant UFA
Jason Fox RFA
Dylan Gandy UFA
Ben Graham UFA
Jason Hanson UFA
Will Heller UFA
Sammie Lee Hill UFA
Corey Hilliard UFA
Chris Houston UFA
Lawrence Jackson UFA
Jacob Lacey UFA
DeAndre Levy UFA
Stefan Logan UFA
Don Muhlbach UFA
Kassim Osgood UFA
Ashlee Palmer UFA
Kevin Smith UFA
Amari Spievey RFA
Corey Williams UFA
Keiland Williams RFA
Willie Young RFA


September 6th, 2012, 5:08 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
You Rule NJ thank you...I estimate about 10 starters on that list....dayum! gonna be a different team next year!

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September 6th, 2012, 5:10 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
regularjoe12 wrote:
You Rule NJ thank you...I estimate about 10 starters on that list....dayum! gonna be a different team next year!


Not necessarily. All that cap space is removed as well, so we can let players like Levy go if Lewis steps up. And other teams are in the same boat every year. My biggest question mark is about the DL. Avril, Young, Jackson, Hill and Williams are all up, so it'll be interesting to see how that shapes up. We have Suh, Fairley and KVB locked up, but that's our entire depth except Ronnel Lewis, which is why I was sure they'd keep him on the 53, so he can get more practice time. Hill's play suggests he can take over for Cwill, then we need someone behind him. Should be a fun and interesting offseason. :)

But we won't be returning 21/22 starters next year unless they really want to be here.


September 6th, 2012, 5:40 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
njroar wrote:
regularjoe12 wrote:
just a heads up though Shotty..while those two should free up some money we have a pretty large amount of guys who we need to re sign this year. I dont think we can go CRAZY, but we should be able to add a new piece or 2 while replacing both of those guys with at least marghinal tallent.


Off the top of my head I know that contracts are up for:

Backus
Avril
houston
Hanson


ok guys help me out here I KNOW there are bout 4-5 more impact guys too


Here's the complete list of those not under contract beyond this year.... Mayhew is gonna earn his paycheck this year and this offseason.

Cliff Avril UFA
Kevin Barnes UFA
Joique Bell RFA
Don Carey UFA
Gosder Cherilus UFA
Erik Coleman UFA
Louis Delmas UFA
Justin Durant UFA
Jason Fox RFA
Dylan Gandy UFA
Ben Graham UFA
Jason Hanson UFA
Will Heller UFA
Sammie Lee Hill UFA
Corey Hilliard UFA
Chris Houston UFA
Lawrence Jackson UFA
Jacob Lacey UFA
DeAndre Levy UFA
Stefan Logan UFA
Don Muhlbach UFA
Kassim Osgood UFA
Ashlee Palmer UFA
Kevin Smith UFA
Amari Spievey RFA
Corey Williams UFA
Keiland Williams RFA
Willie Young RFA


great post, shows how important it is for draft picks to develop. if they dont they you have to pay much more in FA to keep guys. they really need 1 maybe 2 starters to emerge among hogue, lewis, whitehead. they need amari spievey to step up and at least give us a decent season during his RFA year. if one of bentley, green, greenwood doesnt become a starter than they may have to give houston an eric wright like contract. at some of the positions they dont even have potential young, cheap replacements in place. i suppose at RT they have Fox or Reiff but signing Hilliard as an UFA will be cheaper than Cherilus so this is probably his last season here


September 6th, 2012, 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
SLH needs to be resigned immediately...but it's too bad he will likely leave for a starting gig. The guy is one of the most underrated players in the game.

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September 6th, 2012, 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Shotty wrote:
M2 - Mayhew clearly thought this through. A huge benefit of resigning Cliff to a franchise tag was that it makes it so he'll definitely start, but that is a good thing because WY won't be able to showcase his potential as a backup. The Lions know that once he becomes a bit more consistent he'll easily be better or just as good as Avril, but WY can't demand some huge contract if he hasn't proven himself yet. His agent can tell him anything, but I'm sure no team will offer him some huge contract. I expect a 3-5 year deal worth $3-5 million a year. That's $5-7 million more in cap space, and Backus is due $8 million, so releasing him would mean we could get a guard and a tackle both better than Peterman/Cherilus in FA (since RR can replace both) and shop one or both of them. Lots of options with all that money, and I wouldn't trust any GM more than Mayhew to be the most productive and make the best decisions with it.


Shotty, if you don't think other teams have taken notice of the development of Willie Young, you haven't been paying attention. If the media notices it, then you can be sure other teams scouting departments are all over it. Will he get a premium deal worth $8M - $10M per season offered to him? No, of course not. But I could see a team that needs an accomplished pass rusher offering Young around $5M -$7M per season on a three or four year deal. BUT, since he's an RFA, that team would have to give up a first round pick (the likely tender he'll get), and that may be something they'll balk at. Usually teams only offer something like that up for a player who has already reached elite status, or a QB that they think can start for them. Willie is neither.

One of the points that wjb (and I) had brought up about the Avril situation is that the Lions should have tried to deal him. I don't know if they did or not, but it doesn't seem like they tried. We could have gotten something in return for him. Now, he plays another year on an inflated contract that is hurting the team, and next season he will leave and the Lions will have nothing to show for it. In that regard, I agree with wjb that Mayhew didn't handle this situation all that well. If you think that WY not playing as a starter this season is going to squash his value, you may be partially right. But he will get his fair share of playing time, because he's the main backup to KVB. And KVB has an injury issue and just isn't the impact player he once was. I wouldn't be surprised to see WY get somewhere around six or seven sacks this season. And if he gets that as a part timer, believe me, his agent and other teams will take notice and he's going to want more than what he'd get on an RFA offer, especially with Avril having made so much after only one good season.

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September 7th, 2012, 9:23 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Cliff Avril UFA - GONE
Kevin Barnes UFA - GONE
Joique Bell RFA - KEEP
Don Carey UFA - GONE ALREADY
Gosder Cherilus UFA - KEEP
Erik Coleman UFA - KEEP
Louis Delmas UFA - KEEP
Justin Durant UFA - KEEP
Jason Fox RFA - TBD (if he stays healthy, keep him)
Dylan Gandy UFA - TBD (depends on what his cost would be)
Ben Graham UFA - WHO CARES
Jason Hanson UFA - CUT THE CORD
Will Heller UFA - KEEP
Sammie Lee Hill UFA - KEEP
Corey Hilliard UFA - KEEP
Chris Houston UFA - KEEP, BUT AT THE RIGHT PRICE
Lawrence Jackson UFA - KEEP
Jacob Lacey UFA - DON'T CARE
DeAndre Levy UFA - BYE BYE
Stefan Logan UFA - BYE BYE
Don Muhlbach UFA - KEEP
Kassim Osgood UFA - TBD (will he play ST well this year)
Ashlee Palmer UFA - WHO CARES
Kevin Smith UFA - BYE BYE
Amari Spievey RFA - CUT HIM NOW PLEASE
Corey Williams UFA - BYE BYE (unless he plays for vet minimum)
Keiland Williams RFA - BYE BYE
Willie Young RFA - KEEP

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September 7th, 2012, 9:32 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
conversion02 wrote:
SLH needs to be resigned immediately...but it's too bad he will likely leave for a starting gig. The guy is one of the most underrated players in the game.


Agreed. His value to a team running a 3-4 is even moreso. Id swear the only reason he doesnt get more PT is because (1) we have drafted some high level talent at his position and (2) hes more of a run Stuffer than a Penetrating DT and our style is more penetration.

Hopefully we can bring him back for fair value and let him step right in to C Williams Role, and bring in a UDFA or UFA to be #4 who can be groomed just like he was. Id feel confident with Suh and SLH Starting with Fairley to spell both.


September 7th, 2012, 11:04 am
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