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 Killer's Korner 
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Stafford was practicing today without any wraps on his hand, so he's good to go.


August 27th, 2012, 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
njroar wrote:
Stafford was practicing today without any wraps on his hand, so he's good to go.


So long as he doesn't have to play with KVB's gloves on again...

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August 27th, 2012, 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Freep wrote:
Lions LT Jeff Backus eyes present, not future

Eleven years ago, Jeff Backus was a rookie and the future of the Lions.

But after a franchise-record 176 straight starts, Backus is no longer the future. And he knows it.

That mantle belongs to Riley Reiff, the team's top draft pick this year and the heir apparent to Backus at left tackle.

But even at 34, Backus remains the Lions' present, even if he knows at some point he will be history.

"I knew this time in my career was going to happen, especially after they drafted Riley, that the Lions would be planning for the future," said Backus, who signed a two-year, incentive-laden deal this year. "But I'm not going to sit here with a poor attitude about it.

"I'll do what I can to help this team, and that's get myself ready to play, help Riley and all the other young tackles get ready to play, including the rest of the offensive line, control my effort and control my attitude and that's to be positive."

Backus staved off a challenge from Reiff, as well as from fellow tackles Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox.

"I don't get too caught up with what everybody else is doing," Backus said. "I just kind of focus on what I'm doing and how I need to get better and worry about myself. And that's all I can control is my effort and my attitude."

Worry. It's a tricky word and that sometimes can become a semantic sinkhole when it occurs in conversations about Backus, who is reserved and private by nature.

"I don't know why people say he worries too much," right guard Stephen Peterman said. "He's just thorough.

"He's a guy that when he's looking at a defense or if he's watching film and he sees a look we haven't gone over, he's going to ask questions and say, 'Hey, if this comes up in the game.' I'd say more he's just being a pro and preparing for it more than he's worrying about anything."

Left guard Rob Sims had a different take.

"Worrier? Yeah, I could see that," Sims said. "I'm a worrier, too. I'm not so much worried about who they're bringing in; more worried about what I need to do. It's all about Jeff, which it should be, in camp.

"It should be about yourself and getting yourself better and putting the best film you can out there. None of that other stuff really matters."

Like any good left guard and left tackle combo, Sims and Backus were on the same wavelength about the tunnel vision required to hone their craft.

"I come out with the same mind-set every day and that's to come out and try to get better every day and prove myself every day regardless of what else is going on," Backus said. "I've always had the same mind-set. I think I've always been the guy that's gotten on the practice field with a sense of urgency.

"Riley's going to play a lot of football here and I'm more than willing to do what I can to help his transition from college football to pro football. I think it's a good thing if I'm able to be here to be able to help him out."

Past, present and future. Competition and camaraderie. Backus and Reiff are bound by these terms. It could be enough to disorient or dishearten some players, but Sims said Backus has become a "master" of minding only matters that are under his control, such as playing through a litany of injuries.

"I remember when he messed his thumb up," Sims said. "He was like, 'Huh.' People don't do that. People run off. Every injury I've seen the guy with, he's just kind of, 'It is what is. I'm going to play.'

"He may not always be the guy that everybody thinks is the best or rah-rah. But he's been doing it consistently for so long. People don't do that. You don't see that anymore in today's game."

Not at the present time, at least.

Contact Carlos Monarrez: 313-222-6697 or cmonarrez@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120829/S ... 1049/rss14

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August 29th, 2012, 11:59 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Apparently WR Kris Durham in on his way to Detroit. Don't know if he's a practice squad guy or active roster. 4th round pick by Seattle last year, spent almost the entire season on IR, and didn't make their roster this year.

http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawksblog/2019040971_seahawks_to_rel.html

Edit: Dave Birkett reported via Twitter that Durham is going to the practice squad.

The Lions have now filled 6 spots on the practice squad, 2 spots remaining. I'm guessing that one of those spots will be filled by whomever is cut to make room for Drayton Florence, assuming that player clears waivers. Jonte Green seems a likely candidate, or maybe Kellen Moore.

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September 2nd, 2012, 11:45 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
mwill2 wrote:
Apparently WR Kris Durham in on his way to Detroit. Don't know if he's a practice squad guy or active roster. 4th round pick by Seattle last year, spent almost the entire season on IR, and didn't make their roster this year.

http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawksblog/2019040971_seahawks_to_rel.html

Edit: Dave Birkett reported via Twitter that Durham is going to the practice squad.

The Lions have now filled 6 spots on the practice squad, 2 spots remaining. I'm guessing that one of those spots will be filled by whomever is cut to make room for Drayton Florence, assuming that player clears waivers. Jonte Green seems a likely candidate, or maybe Kellen Moore.


Try Ricardo Silva...

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September 3rd, 2012, 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Apparently the Lions are over the cap!

http://www.whosay.com/AdamSchefter/content/385827?wsref=tw&code=OvK45Tv

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September 3, 2012Houston, Detroit and N.Y. Giants are all roughly $700,000 over NFL's salary cap, according to league source. Houston can take their cap exception from the Redskins and Cowboys and get under the cap, but the Giants and Lions will have to make a move or restructure contracts to get under cap. They have until Wednesday to do it.


Where do the Lions go to create the needed cap space? Will the space come from a short-term strategy, like a few simple re-structures? That seems likely, but at some point they'll need to think about getting Stafford signed to a new long-term deal. Since they only have 48 hours to get under the cap, I'm guessing it will be some simple re-structures like we saw last year...but I'm guessing a new deal for Stafford will happen within the next few months.

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September 3rd, 2012, 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
mwill2 wrote:
Apparently the Lions are over the cap!

http://www.whosay.com/AdamSchefter/content/385827?wsref=tw&code=OvK45Tv

Quote:
September 3, 2012Houston, Detroit and N.Y. Giants are all roughly $700,000 over NFL's salary cap, according to league source. Houston can take their cap exception from the Redskins and Cowboys and get under the cap, but the Giants and Lions will have to make a move or restructure contracts to get under cap. They have until Wednesday to do it.


Where do the Lions go to create the needed cap space? Will the space come from a short-term strategy, like a few simple re-structures? That seems likely, but at some point they'll need to think about getting Stafford signed to a new long-term deal. Since they only have 48 hours to get under the cap, I'm guessing it will be some simple re-structures like we saw last year...but I'm guessing a new deal for Stafford will happen within the next few months.


i dunno about that, stafford signed a 6 yr deal and is currently starting the 4th year. they dont have to make that move until sometime bw the end of his 5th and 6th yr. i guess you could say that they could save cap space but i think he ll get a payraise as well which would make it difficult to accomplish both (paying more and counting against cap less)


September 4th, 2012, 4:27 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
The Lions already restructured Staffs contract back in March (along with Suh and Burleson).

I'm thinking the Lions are a little under $700K from being under the cap but they need to create additional room for roster moves that will need to be made this season (think injury replacements, etc.)

Two choices here, and both involve Vets - restructure a number of deals or cut another veteran. I'm not sure how all the numbers will crunch out but this will have to get done in the next 24 hours or so before kickoff...

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September 4th, 2012, 4:58 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
We could extend Houston 3 more years and lower this years cap charge. We will have to resign him this coming off season. Just do it sooner.


September 4th, 2012, 11:53 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
BillySims wrote:
We could extend Houston 3 more years and lower this years cap charge. We will have to resign him this coming off season. Just do it sooner.



That'd be a good move. Then we wouldn't have to cut anyone.


September 5th, 2012, 7:55 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
I read KVB restructured to get the Lions under the cap.

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September 5th, 2012, 8:05 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
Hystrix wrote:
BillySims wrote:
We could extend Houston 3 more years and lower this years cap charge. We will have to resign him this coming off season. Just do it sooner.



That'd be a good move. Then we wouldn't have to cut anyone.


Just speculating here, but it seems like Houston thinks he can be the next Brandon Carr/Courtland Finnegan. He's going to want more than we can pay him. Otherwise, he probably would've agreed to an extension long ago.

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September 5th, 2012, 9:32 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
thelomasbrowns wrote:
Hystrix wrote:
BillySims wrote:
We could extend Houston 3 more years and lower this years cap charge. We will have to resign him this coming off season. Just do it sooner.



That'd be a good move. Then we wouldn't have to cut anyone.


Just speculating here, but it seems like Houston thinks he can be the next Brandon Carr/Courtland Finnegan. He's going to want more than we can pay him. Otherwise, he probably would've agreed to an extension long ago.


Didn't Houston try the free agent waters a couple years ago and he found that teams weren't that impressed by him? He's still viewed as a second corner, and won't get top end money.

Of course, the deal Eric Wright got from TB didn't help the Lions stance when the time comes.

I'd have no issue with the Lions extending Houston to save some cap space. I would hope that the Lions could also consider reworking Corey Williams' deal to get some money freed up.

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September 5th, 2012, 10:34 am
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
m2karateman wrote:
mwill2 wrote:
Apparently WR Kris Durham in on his way to Detroit. Don't know if he's a practice squad guy or active roster. 4th round pick by Seattle last year, spent almost the entire season on IR, and didn't make their roster this year.

http://seattletimes.com/html/seahawksblog/2019040971_seahawks_to_rel.html

Edit: Dave Birkett reported via Twitter that Durham is going to the practice squad.

The Lions have now filled 6 spots on the practice squad, 2 spots remaining. I'm guessing that one of those spots will be filled by whomever is cut to make room for Drayton Florence, assuming that player clears waivers. Jonte Green seems a likely candidate, or maybe Kellen Moore.


Try Ricardo Silva...


FYI - Silva was signed to the PS today (Ross Weaver/MSU was cut)

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September 5th, 2012, 12:38 pm
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Post Re: Killer's Korner
The Lions are now the blueprint plus a Stan Kwan sighting...

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/bills ... 040434.ece

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Lions provide blueprint for Bills

DETROIT - Before the Buffalo Bills held sole possession of the longest active streak of missing the playoffs in the NFL, they shared that unwanted distinction with the Detroit Lions.

Eleven consecutive years of futility, however, ended last year after a 10-6 season that earned the Lions a trip to the wild-card round (they were beaten by New Orleans, 45-28).

"I think it was a huge relief. I wouldn't say we got to where we wanted to get, but you have to sit and kind of say we did some of it," said Lions center Dominic Raiola, who's been with the team since 2001. "Everybody else in the city was winning. We were kind of the laughingstock of the town."

Indeed, the Lions were the poster children for ineptitude during those 11 seasons. They had a .273 winning percentage (48-128 record), including the worst NFL season in history, an 0-16 campaign in 2008.

So, yes, a wild-card playoff berth matters.

"It was huge. We didn't have to be embarrassed to go anywhere," Raiola said. "It was hard to travel; it was hard to go around town, because the simple fact is we sucked. That was the bottom line, we sucked. We didn't have enough talent, we didn't have anything. We weren't that good."

That made motivation a problem.

"Everyone's paid to play all the way through the season, but if you do that enough times in a row, it's really hard to stay motivated," said kicker Jason Hanson, who's spent his entire 21-year career with the team. "Without that carrot of being competitive and getting a chance to go to the postseason out there, it's tough, so it was a big breakthrough for us. It was just a level of excitement. It makes the work that you put in seem worth it."

While the Bills' valleys have never sunk as low as they did in Detroit - Buffalo had a 70-106 record (.398 winning percentage) over the same 11-year stretch - the playoff drought has become a black cloud hanging over the franchise.

"Their fan base is very similar to Buffalo in terms of, it's very blue collar. The people work hard for their money. ... They live for Sundays. They live for the Lions," said Bills assistant special teams coach Stan Kwan, who previously spent 10 years working for Detroit, most recently six seasons from 2004-09. "During that stretch when we weren't successful, I know it was tough on us, because we're part of that community and we wanted to show well for them. It's their team. Hockey and football are kings over there."

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

In rebuilding their franchise, four key components were mentioned by players. There are some notable similarities - and a few differences - to the rebuilding effort taking place here.

New faces

"I think the starting point is the players in the locker room. I say that humbly as the kicker," Hanson said. "But I just know that we're more talented now than we were in the past. We have some key players."

That list starts with quarterback Matthew Stafford (first overall pick in 2009) and receiver Calvin Johnson (second overall pick in 2007). Those two - along with the second overall pick in 2010, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh - helped put an end to a horrific stretch of wasted high draft picks. Among the whiffs: quarterback Joey Harrington (third overall, 2002) and three straight first-round receivers (Carlos Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams), none of whom achieved more than fleeting success with the Lions.

"That's kind of the blueprint of how everything started. Every year, the drafts got better," Raiola said. "There's no better way to build a franchise than around a guy like Matthew Stafford. He's a hard-working, smart, talented guy."

The Bills haven't drafted any higher than third during their drought, but similarly missed on some picks early in the last decade, including their own Mike Williams (fourth overall, '02) and Aaron Maybin (11th overall, '09) and made several other questionable personnel decisions in regards to how their first-round picks were used.

There is hope, however, for the Bills' last three first-round picks - the ones made since Buddy Nix has been general manager. Rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore ('12), defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (third overall, '11) and running back C.J. Spiller ('10) all will play big roles this season.

The Lions also made an important free-agent signing before the 2010 season when they brought in defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch from the Tennessee Titans. He's made 12 sacks over the last two seasons, but just as importantly brought an exemplary work ethic into the locker room.

"He really kick-started them last year, and hopefully Mario Williams will be the same way for us," Kwan said. "It's that type of a player that both organizations needed."

Stability

Martin Mayhew started his professional playing career when the Buffalo Bills drafted him in the 10th round in 1988. He never played in a game for the Bills, however, before going to the Washington Redskins. Mayhew later started at cornerback for the Redskins in their Super Bowl XXVI victory - over the Bills.

Mayhew took over the Lions at their lowest possible point, following that 0-16 season. While he had worked in the team's front office since 2001, he had never been a general manager before. It was a risky move, but one that's paid big dividends. Mayhew's fingerprints are all over the Lions' biggest moves, including the hiring of coach Jim Schwartz.

"I think it starts at the top. It starts with management and our head coach," Raiola said. "He brought a different energy in. It was a clean start."

The Lions had six different head coaches during their playoff drought, including those with interim tags.

"The stability of keeping coaches and systems throughout the year and letting it grow is huge," Hanson said. "Quarterbacks get comfortable in their systems, defenses start playing instead of thinking. All that just grows on itself to make you a competitive team."

The Bills have had similar stability since Nix was hired as general manager on New Year's Eve 2009. He hired Gailey 20 days after taking over, giving the organization the leadership structure it has today.

Momentum

The Lions' run to the postseason was actually sparked at the end of the 2010 season. They went 6-10 that year, but ended on a four-game winning streak.

"That was kind of like, 'all right, now we're going into the next season with some extra incentive,' " Raiola said. "What'd we start, 5-0 last year? I think a lot of that was carrying that momentum from the 4-0 finish to the 5-0 start."

That got the Lions' long-suffering fans on board, similar to how the buzz was around Western New York after the Bills beat the Patriots.

"[Fans] can tell the difference between a garbage team and a competitive team," Hanson said. "We always had great fans even through the lean years when we weren't winning games. Last year was different at Ford Field. The fans knew and they were behind us and they were ready to explode.

"They were just waiting for us to do our part. We started to come through last year and it was special. It was fun. It's what the NFL can be. You get 60,000 people in a stadium that are just rocking and you're playing well, that kind of stuff really can feed on itself during a season."

The Bills and Lions were the talk of the league after their 3-0 starts. But they took different paths from that point.

The Lions won their next two games to get to 5-0, then went through a rocky 2-5 stretch over the next seven weeks. They were able to stop that streak, however, by winning three of four to end the season.

This is where the similarities between the Bills and Lions differ. Buffalo's 1-8 finish to the 2011 season is certainly nothing to build on.

Team chemistry

One thing that never seemed to waver during that poor stretch for the Bills, however, is the cohesiveness in the locker room.

Chemistry alone might not win games, but it doesn't hurt.

"That's a key component to keeping it going, because there have also been talented teams that fall apart because the locker room ... they're not together," Hanson said. "If there's not that vibe in the locker room of everyone's in this for each other and working hard for the same goals, at some point it's going to disintegrate and short circuit what you're trying to do."

"I can speak for our offense because I'm around them all the time. We actually hang out," Raiola said. "We get along. Every one of these guys I can sit and hang out with.

"You're talking about the best player in the league over there [pointing to Calvin Johnson] with no ego, no nothing."

That's the blueprint laid out by Detroit. Now the Bills must follow it.

"It's our job as an organization to find that way to do it. It looks like the Lions have found that," Kwan said.

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September 5th, 2012, 1:04 pm
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