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 In short appearance, Lions' offense needs good drive 
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In short appearance, Lions' offense needs good drive
Friday, September 2, 2005
By Tom Kowalski
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Monday Night Massacre has changed the landscape for the Detroit Lions.

Normally, the final preseason game is used for nothing more than giving the starting units a chance to break a sweat. Let them play a series, get them out healthy, beat it out of town and get ready for the real thing. But after Detroit's team-wide 37-13 meltdown against the St. Louis Rams on Monday, the strategy has changed.

The Lions are still going to play their starters for only a series or two, but the goal has been ratcheted up. The Lions' starters actually have to get something done during their brief appearance -- even if some key players like quarterback Joey Harrington (groin), running back Kevin Jones (ankle) and wide receiver Charles Rogers (ankle) don't play.


"I think it's paramount (that the Lions show something positive), I think it's right up there with winning the Super Bowl," said Lions tight end Marcus Pollard. "Because of the way we performed Monday night, we need a good drive. As long as we move the ball, complete some passes and make the right checks, I think it's very important for our confidence going into the season.

"We need a good taste in our mouth because right now it's pretty bitter. That (opening) drive would get us going in the right direction."

The offensive line had the majority of breakdowns against the Rams and the linemen are eager to get back on the field.

"As an offense, we want to put together a solid drive and then get out of there. We want to get this offense back moving," said center Dominic Raiola.

Said right guard Damien Woody: "I think it's important, I think it's really important (to have a good drive). Every snap you have, you want to make it a quality snap. We don't want to go through the motions of wasting any snaps. We're trying to get better with every play, with every possession. We have a lot of work to do in every phase of the game."

While Woody wouldn't downplay Detroit's terrible outing against St. Louis, he does point out that it didn't cost them anything in the regular-season loss column.

"The good thing is that it's still preseason and none of the games mean anything right now and things are correctable," he said. "At the same time, we need to show improvement and the most important thing is that every guy has to step up and do his job better. If we do that as a team, we'll get everything we want to get out of this thing."

While the offense wants to put together a sustained drive, the defense wants to hold Buffalo to a couple of three-and-outs before they take a seat for the rest of the night.

Middle linebacker Earl Holmes wants the defense to duplicate what it did in their final series against the Rams. After getting torched in the first half, the Lions forced a turnover when cornerback Dre Bly knocked the ball away from Rams receiver Issac Bruce and cornerback Fernando Bryant recovered.

"We played some outstanding football (during that series)," Holmes said. "We made some plays and if we can start off (against the Bills) like that, we'll be OK. We put together some good plays and that's the whole thing about preseason, putting together back-to-back plays. After this game, they all count."

For some players, this game counts, too. The Lions have 71 players on the roster and will have to cut 18 players by Saturday evening. Some cuts will be easy to make, but others will be much more difficult.

"The guys who are on the bubble, many of them will play quite a bit in this game," Lions head coach Steve Mariucci said. "This is a real opportunity for them to show what they've got."

Still, like his players, Mariucci is more interested in how the starters perform.

"I'm looking for more precision, solid communication, alignment and assignment and fly around and be productive and come off the field feeling like we played well together as a unit," Mariucci said. "Even though it's going to be for a short period of time, we need to be more precise."

September 2nd, 2005, 9:23 am
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Play by Play Announcer - Al Michaels

Joined: April 27th, 2005, 3:26 pm
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I agree with pretty much everything in this article. Me personally, I would like to see minimal penalties, if any, when the starters are in the game. I would like for the defense to get off the field on 3rd downs. They also mentioned Mike Williams getting a lot of playing time. That is good. Gives me a reason to watch at least the 1st half of the game. Let's hope are defensive line can get some sustained pressure and our O-line can block this game.

Just one more week until the regular season! Hope they give us something to look forward too.




September 2nd, 2005, 3:15 pm
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Joined: January 27th, 2005, 9:12 pm
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Is it just me our is antbody else thinking that BMW could be our TE of the future?

We definately need a MLB and to put Teddy back in the starting lineup.

While Redding has had a good preseason we still need a speed rusher from the outside.

I worry about our Oline for one reason, DeMulling has played like crap but we have not heard a thing from him as far as a veteran presense.

It may be time for Backus to find a new place to call home. With all the tackles available it may be time to draft a franchise lineman. 2006 may well be the year of the tackle. Is it a place of need?

Coaching staff---is that a place of need? Hell yes! Dick willnot be the one to turn our D around. He had a couple of great years in Chicago and then was let go. He has done nothing since he has been here

I've seen girl scout troops with more fire and aggression than the Lions have. They just act like they don't care. Maybe some veteran losing their job would wake some of these folks up.

I've ranted enough for tonight, please take this as a fit from a desperate Lions fan. I may be wrong, I maybe right, Let's see what the real season brings.

P.S. This might not be the right place for this rant but was where I was when the feeling hit me.

September 2nd, 2005, 3:55 pm
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jomo269 wrote:
2006 may well be the year of the tackle. Is it a place of need?

NEED isnt in Matt Millens Vocabulary

September 2nd, 2005, 4:53 pm
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