Detroit Lions 2024 TC
The 2023 season was one of ups and downs for the Detroit Lions and in particular their anemic offense that ranked almost dead last in the Red Zone League. The record also left a lot to be desired and the Head Coach Jeff Fisher was shown the door in a move that really didn't surprise anyone in league circles. However, GM Jason Arnold has consistently pointed out that despite their shortcomings and falling short of expectations, there is a lot of reason to be excited for this team and the direction of the team. As he has pointed out, the team is very, very young and loaded with raw talent that will only get better over the coming years.
The main positive is the defenses ability to be top notch and ranked near the very front of the league, despite no or very little support from the offense. The defense finished top 5 in most major statistical categories and featured two dominant defensive backs in Tre'Von Howard and Gabriel Arnold. Tre'Von Howard and Gabriel Arnold both figure to be amongst the top vote getters in the Defensive Back of the Year award that's handed out annually.
The offense on the other hand, didn't have as much to rave about at all. The only thing GM Jason Arnold could really point to as a positive was HB Louis Forman who is only a rookie, but exceeded most expectations as a late first round player. He took over as the starting HB and never looked back making a claim for Offensive Rookie of the Year along with Arizona QB Jeff Reed and Wide Receiver Lawrence Ellis.
The season ended with HB Louis Forman coming runner-up Offensive Rookie of the Year which is something the Lions take seriously as they moved a future first round draft pick to achieve his selection. Having that trade justified in their minds, was a win for the organization - not to mention having Forman in the fold was one reason that a team with a young QB was able to stay relatively successful. Imagining the struggles the offense could face without having Louis Forman in the fold is scary to imagine.
While there was some optimism on the future of the team the Lions did not make the playoffs which no one in the organization really expected, but are definitely not pleased with. The front office in Detroit is not going to settle long term for continuing to look to the future, at some point immediate results are expected and the fan base will get united and behind this team.
Moving forward, you can expect the expectations every season are to at least make the playoffs and give yourself a shot, but with the roster turnover last season, they achieved more then most thought was possible. The outlook on next season figures to be significantly more positive with an entire off-season of moves ready to be made. The big key looking forward into the next season is going to be what improvement they can make on the offensive side of the ball; if that is figured out, look out for the Lions.
The Lions made a very big splash in the off-season as they tend to do and what General Manager Jason Arnold is known for. They traded off a couple of key pieces to their already elite defense the prior season in Defensive Tackle Michael Brockers and Free Safety TJ McDonald. The Detroit Lions also moved other additional pieces throughout the off-season to acquire assets via the draft and players, as well. They are going to be very aggressive in the off-season to upgrade an anemic offense while hoping to not take any steps backwards on the defensive side of the ball. Tough task to accomplish, for sure.
But the question pegging analysts and fans alike is, "But, why though?" Why are the Lions moving pieces that some would consider "keys" on an elite defense and entering the primes of their career? Seems insane, right? Well, the Lions brass seems to think differently and gave their answers as why the moves:
"Michael Brockers is a guy we felt didn't live up to his draft status or pay check. He was a good, not great player and we have high expectations on this defense. Good enough will not cut in Motown. McDonald is a good player, he's very good against the run and leaves a bit to be desired in pass coverage. This is a passing league nowadays, if you can't cover you can't play on this squad. On this team, with this defense, you have to be able to create turnovers and cover people and he was so-so in that aspect. Just not the fit we wanted moving forward."
Upgrades along the Defensive Line were brought in, however with big time Free Agent signing Timothy Miller beign the cream of the crop on the defensive line free agents. He's widely regarded as one of the elite Defensive Tackles in the RZL and a former high draft choice, as well. Along with him came veteran CB and CB mentor, Andy Barber. Barber was brought in on a very cheap, short term deal with his main goal to bring veteran leadership to a very young and talented defensive backfield. He should be a welcome additional to guys like Tre'Von Howard who are good, but he can push them to be elite.
The local news media asked General Manager Jason Arnold his feelings about bringing in highly touted Timothy Miller and is their any concern that after a big Free Agent contract that Tim could lose motivation and get overweight?
"That's a valid concern. Any time you bring in a guy on a big time deal there's always a bit of pause. Especially when that player is a 350 plus pound Defensive Tackle. We put incentives into his contract to keep him motivated and one of those is weekly conditioning tests. He passes all of those throughout the season, he will get a nice bonus at the end of the year.
If you look at Tim throughout his career, even going back to college while he was a heavy guy, he's also very tall and powerful, so it's not necessarily "bad weight." Clearly, with his production and success, it has not held him back at all in his career. To sum it up; we're not really concerned. He is a professional and an elite level player."
The draft breakdown: http://rzl-football.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=27697
The off-season isn't over yet. The Lions are looking at bringing in some help at the Right End position, Running Back position, Safety depth and depth at the Wide Receiver position as well as the Linebacker position. Do not expect huge splash signings as the Lions have expended a lot of cap space already and they really do enjoy their key corps of players. Do not expect a Wide Receiver or Defensive End to come in and unseat a long term starter, for example. At this point in the off-season it's safe to say that depth signings and quality locker room guys are the primary focus for this team.
Offense -- the offensive focus has been primarily on the offensive line techniques and getting the calls from C Ed Day down. Brennan Williams is changing positions to LT and they're starting a rookie at RT. Getting in sync is going to be huge for this offense.
Another big focus in training camp so far has been the WR corps and TE corps getting in rhythm with the newcomer Mark Sanchez. It'll be interesting to watch how they come together because the Lions have a lot of talent and speed on the outside and at TE, but very raw.
Perhaps the biggest and most interesting story line will be to the battle between "franchise" QB Tyler Wilson and newcomer Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is a vet with a lot of success under his belt, but Wilson was pegged as the guy. Our Lions insiders broke it down for us:
"With a defense as good as this one, GM Arnold felt it almost disrespectful to not try and field a good offense to win games. The window is always short with a top tier defense and he wants to get to the playoffs while they have that. Wilson showed some promise, but they obviously feel like they can win more immediately with Sanchez. I expect Sanchez to be the day one starter, but if they start losing and fall behind in the NFC playoff picture, expect Arnold to have a short leash.
Another factor is this; the division is right for the picking. The Bears and Packers are going through a transition time and the Vikings have been good, but not dominant. Their front 7 on defense doesn't scare anyone."
Defense -- With Defensive Coordinator R. Gay being promoted to Head Coach and former Defensive Coordinator in Washington Shawn Springs coming on board(how did this man get fired as the HC? Won 63% of his games), do not expect many changes to the overall philosophy.
Because of that overall lack of change in their philosophies, they have focused more on assignment responsibilities and technique. Learning the playbook is coming natural for the vets and technique has been the name of the game.
Corners are working more in their man coverage, Safeties are learning to play together since Clinton-Dix is a newbie and the defensive line and linebackers are learning about gap integrity and sticking to their assignments. Not a whole lot to report on with the Defense outside of they expect to be very, very good again this season.
Football seasons are always incredibly hard to predict for any body when it comes to the RZL. You have an incredible number of factors that play into these scenarios. For instance, you can have anything from injuries, to off the field issues, to underachieving players, or to players not being able to adapt to the speed of the RZL game or the playbooks themselves. When foreshadowing a season you must look at all potential scenarios, depth of the team teams, and even with all of that into account it's still a roll of the dice.
Now with that said, having not really thoroughly looked over the schedule in much detail at all, the Lions are pegged by some to win at least 9 games this season. A team that won 7 games in the last year with a major upgrade at key positions like QB and Wide Receiver should improve the offense drastically just by adding talent. As we all know, QB is the key position in this game, so adding a veteran like Mark Sanchez is huge for their immediate outlook.
The Detroit Lions and their front office also expect their defense to be even better this season with the addition of Tim Miller. He's not the only reason for optimism as they are excited to see young stud Outside Linebacker Joe Taylor taking over the full time starting job. On top of that move, they added an exciting veteran Right Defensive End in Hardold Riggs who comes from an organization known for winning(Tampa Bay). The last reason some are selling high on this defense is the fact that new additions of Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and Cornerback Marquez Alliman add a speed dimension at the starting Free Safety and Nickel Cornerback positions that has long been missing from this squad.
I would put a ceiling at 11 or 12 wins, but that's not going to be easy at all. The floor is probably around the same 7 wins the team accomplished last year. Why the pessimism or reserve about this teams' progress? Well, Mark Sanchez is very injury prone. If he goes down -- they're going back to a young QB who has shown promise, but is far from a sure thing and a reliable starter at this point in his young career. The other factor is the toughness of their division. The long time divisional king Minnesota Vikings have some chinks in their armor, but they have a lot of talent and success. The other factor is the Chicago Bears. Mightily underrated across the league, they're featuring a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. Questions about coaching have been there with that team, but they are a wildcard because of the talent level.
If things fall into place, players develop as expected, the team stays relatively injury free, and the players buy in to the system and the coaching staff, the Lions fully intend on making the playoffs for the first time in three full seasons.
(by J_Arnold on 11/17/2014)
Replies - 4 :: Views - 78
Lions 2024 draft comes to a close.
Detroit, MI. - The Lions came in with a goal to get as many top tier picks in the draft as possible and came away with four players they think will be factors in the long and short term. The Lions' brass made it known they feel this draft was heavy in the top 20 picks and had depth in the top 35-40 picks, so they accomplished their task.
Here's a quick rundown of their picks and where they fit into the teams' plans this coming season:
1.07 LT Taylor Lewan -- He will immediately shift over to the vaunted RT position. Featuring better athleticism and potential then Brennan Williams, the Lions feel a move to LT is in Williams' future. The hope is that Mark Sanchez plays well enough to get rid of the ball quickly and help all of these young OL progress quickly.
1.17 WR Jevan Shephard -- Shephard was a guy that Lions had targeted throughout the whole process and had pegged as a pick in a potential trade down scenario. Luckily, they were able to sit tight at 17 and grab him. He possesses almost everything you want with good size(6-2) and good initial starting speed/acc(93/93), he can easily translate into a starting caliber WR for this team.
2.2 CB Marquez Alliman -- There's no doubting the reason this man fell was because of his perceived lack of size. However, the Lions have seen what a supreme athlete at 5-7 can do with Chris Saunders and are licking their lips to see what a supreme athlete at 5-10 can do. With starting speed of 96 and acceleration of 94, he will inevitably one day be a quality starting Corner and will immediately start off in nickel situations.
2.4 FS Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix -- An appeal will be made to get his ridiculous name corrected. Either way, he has the tools to be a top tier FS in the RZL. His speed will be increased every year and he already has tremendous starting stats all around. Good size at 6-1, good athleticism, solid tackling, and not a big injury risk. High hopes for Dix in Motown.
(by J_Arnold on 11/14/2014)
Replies - 1 :: Views - 30
Detroit Lions TC
|Allen Park, MI. - The Detroit Lions made quite the splash after the season came to a close, signing the General Manager from the Washington Redskins, Jason Arnold. Arnold closed off his run in Washington with three consecutive NFC East championships. His most impressive coming last season despite having injuries two several key player; Jackson Manning, Gabriel Arnold, Ezekial Ansah, and Chris Cook. Despite that, they took home the crown again.
When asked what his goals were in Motown, Arnold simply replied, "Win." He has been tasked with rebuilding franchises in the past, but - wants to win with the time he grew up cheering for vigorously and had what appears to be a strong off-season and we'll see in time, if the pieces pan out.
What the Lions were hoping to accomplish coming in to the off-season was to get younger, more athletic, and revitalize the offense that was without a future Quarterback, a Running Back, and nothing on the outside, except for Golden Tate. Big expectations mixed with a big task in front of him were Arnold's first big, big challenges as the new GM of the struggling Lions franchise. The other major need was to get a star CB to pair with a guy Arnold himself drafted that has developed nicely in CB TreVon Howard.
That was accomplished.
Key Acquisitions from FA/Trade:
- Adrian Anthony ... Anthony is a guy brought over with Arnold from Washington. Anthony is a young guy with good size(6'0) and is one of the faster players in the entire RZL.
- Gabriel Arnold ... Son of Arnold, this was a guy that was expected to be brought on board and well, he was. One of the better overall SS's in the RZL.
- Jerel Worthy ... Not a strong nose tackle type Arnold has usually built around, but he's an athletic freak at DT that offers the ability to rush the QB and is versatile.
- Chris Saunders ... The fastest, most athletic and accomplished CBs in the RZL. His size offers a varied amount of limitations, but there's no doubt about his ability. He can make plays on the ball and force turnovers.
- Tyler Wilson ... This guy has everything a GM can want in a franchise QB. Strong arm, hard worker, and tough as nails; no history of injuries whatsoever. Quick learner, too.
Several other key contributors were signed in the post draft FA period to fill out remaining holes on the team. Players include starter RE Gerald McCoy, starting WR Laurent Robinson and WR Adan McKellar. Solid depth signing in HBs Damien Berry and Keiland Williams(another Washington hold over), and perhaps their biggest signing TE Rob Wenthold who will mentor their first round draft pick at TE and hopefully give some good plays from the #TE2 position.
Draft Day Acquisitions
Only the guys of note:
- TE Juan Torres ... has the ability to be a mismatch nightmare at TE. Will be a big factor in the Lions' passing attack.
- OLB Joe Taylor ... a consensus one or two OLB on most everyone's board. Taylor brings a great size/speed/strength combination that should form a fearsome trio with Witherington and Fisher.
- HB Louis Forman ... bring a unique size/strength/speed combination to the Lions. Forman has a history of injury in his past, which would explain the other HB additions to the squad, but if he can stay healthy, can be a top tier back.
- C Ed Day ... Arnold raved about Day on draft day and after a good skew it's easy to see why. Day is one of the most athletic C's in the draft with 80 acceleration, 60 speed, and 84 strength and featuring strong blocking attributes, as well(84 PBK, 80 RBK). With a little work in the weight room, he can be one of the best C's in the RZL.
Training Camp Focus
The biggest focus for the offense in this TC period is getting the Quarterback in sync with his WRs/TEs. The Lions are featuring three new starting WRs, a new QB, two new starting TEs, and all new HBs in their stable. There's a lot of work to be done at getting them on the same page and getting them all to learn the Playbook. Many hours have been spent in the film room and Tyler Wilson has taken it upon himself to round the guys up during off hours and go over things with them. It's going to be a work in progress, but one that they hope pays off.
The offensive line is pretty much the exact same except for a potentially new starters in C Ed Day. They are all focusing on the physical aspect of the game by being in the weight room. The Line is a projected young group with some veteran reserves and physically, if they can get up to snuff, they could be dominant.
The strength of this defense is their LBs and a pretty good defensive line, as well. The Lions focus is to get the secondary, that features two new starters on the same page. TJ McDonald and SS Gabriel Arnold are working on communication and making sure each other know their roles. This has been a big focus during the 7 on 7 period and in the film room. Saunders has been around the block, so he knows his job.
The rest of the focus has been on technique on the defensive line. Bowers is a stud, but DTs Worthy and Brockers, despite their immense potential have been inconsistent and new DE Gerald McCoy has been a solid starter most his career, but the staff is still wanting more. The staff in Detroit feels this comes from a lack of coaching and that has been a primary focus; technique.
Projected Opening Day Depth Chart:
QB: Tyler Wilson | Rusty Smith | Tim Hiller
HB: Louis Forman | Damien Berry | Keiland Williams
FB: Jason Strasburg | Keiland Williams | Rob Wenthold
WR: Laurent Robinson | Adrian Anthony | Adan McKellar | Juan Torres
TE: Juan Torres | Rob Wenthold | Chris Gragg
OLT: Anthony Stewart | Martin Hensen | Brennan Williams
OLG: Jon Asamoah | Nigel Esparaza | Eric Olsen
OC: Ed Day | Eric Olsen | Josh Luna
ORG: Martin Hensen | Chris Jokovich | Paul Antonio
ORT: Brennan Williams | Martin Hensen | Anthony Stewart
RDE: Gerald McCoy| Long Wiley | Lawrence Sidbury Jr.
LDE: DaQuan Bowers | Lawrence Sidbury Jr. | Gerald McCoy
DT: Michael Brockers | Jerel Worthy | Ian Austin | Jerrell Powe
LOLB: Tyrelle Witherington | Joe Taylor | Victor Price
ILB: Max Fisher | Tyrelle Witherington | Horace Sparks
ROLB: George Reynolds | Joe Taylor | Horace Sparks
CB: Chris Saunders | TreVon Howard | Brandon Boykin | Jackson McCreary
SS: Gabriel Arnold | Delano Dye | Darren Holley
FS: TJ McDonald | Delano Dye | Rudolph Cain
K: Scott Griffin
P: Jackson Rice
In a division and a conference that has struggled outside of a few select franchises(New Orleans, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Washington, and St. Louis); Arnold feels the time is now.
"I wouldn't have taken this job if I felt we needed to have a 3-5 year rebuilding plan. We're here to win now. We have a talented roster, a young Quarterback that we have complete faith in and a litany of additional draft picks for the future including a first round draft pick and three additional second round draft picks. If we don't make the playoffs, it'll be a big time failure, but we're also prepped well for the future with big time cap space and a plethora of picks. The future is bright."
Official Prediction: 10-6.
(by J_Arnold on 04/14/2014)
Replies - 1 :: Views - 25
Lions 2022 season so far
Overall Record 4-8-0
Points Scored/Game 26th 21.4
Total Offense/Game 17th 349.4
Pass Offense/Game 7th 263.5
Rush Offense/Game 30th 85.9
Points Allowed/Game 21st 25.6
Total Defense/Game 5th 323.2
Pass Defense/Game 3rd 212.8
Rush Defense/Game 16th 110.3
Turnover Diff 9th +4
It's beena strange and harsh season so far for the Lions.
They firstly lost star QB Stubbs in a week 1 loss to the Bears, and again in week 7. He was relieved by rookie Osweiler who did finely posting 2.023 yards for 13 Tds and 7 Ints on a 51,06% completion.
During the course and a 1-7 record, they choose to deal DHB to the Vikes for draft picks, considering that the season and strong playoffs push were over.
They then posted 3 victories in arow, just to be defeated again last week by the Vikes.
Now at 4-8 crossroads are ahead and the team is looking for the future : it is rumored that Eric Stubbs is on the trade block, allowed to seek a new home.
Statically, the team is good. Wether on offense or defesne, the pass is the main force, being in the top 10. They boost an excellent red zone defense, a good pass rush and are ball hawk on defense. They just render too many bug plays like last season, and they can't socre points. Obviously, their rookie kicker is totally bas with 13/29 FG rate. And this have costed more victories than playing it safe on the offensive PB with a rookie.
They also had big issues on defense in the first 3 weeks, now quitely forgotten. With more stops on the run, this should propel them a bit better to have the ball back more often than not. However, the loss of star DT Michael Brockers likely till the end of the season, that could be an hard feat.
The team has clearly a shot at finishing 8-8. It will be hard but clearly it can be done. With all those problems, a positive season will be quite an achievement.
(by O_Ratajczak on 01/07/2014)
Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Lions 2022 Training Camp
The Lions finished the 2021 season ahead again in the NFC North, making it a back to back division title, a first since a long time.
They make it a game in the wild card, but lost in the end to the then-to-become RZL champions Tampa Bay.
But the biggest news was the departure of Tom Riddell, after just one year of duty. He did more than enough after taking place for Luka Livojevic who was removed by the owner 3 weeks into the season. Fans were anxious of having such a turnover at this such a crucial position. But the owner had an ace in his sleeve, as he succeeded in convincing Olivier Ratajczak to take back his former seat as the Detroit Lions GM.
One of the first move at marketing level was to reajust the prices to league average, and to enter in somewhat another period of the franchise, renaming the stadium to Rock City.
About the roster, the GM had to reconsider his options because some aging in the secondary and in the offense was the major issue.
PRE DRAFT MOVEMENTS
The key movements are :
Resigned / franchised :
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
FS Normand Barstow
Not resigned / Lost to pre-draft FA :
CB John Bowie
FS Eric Valenzuela
DT Alan Branch
C Lucius Roepcke
HB Lino Baggett for BEars 3rd round DP
Lions 2nd round DP for Bills CB Basil Shuff
RT Lanny Rodriguez for Texans 3rd and 4th round DP
- Badgett was not was GM thought good for the HB position, and in need of more draft picks with a draft pool promising to be deep in his positions of need, this was a deal that ought to happen.
- With Bowie not resigned, the need was for a CB with high awareness to mentor the young guys. there was no possibly other deal that could involve a better player
- Rodriguez wanted a change of team; and the Lions wanted a but of mid draft pick. that was just bound to happen.
1.22 :: LOLB Tyrelle Witherington - ALABAMA
Anyhow, this pick was going to be a tackle or a LB as a good bunch of players at those positions of need had a 1st round grade. The Lions drafted accordingly to their board and did not try to reach for an OT even if it was their strongest need.
Witherington, despite some lack of AWR and limited STR (that can be worked through camp as it was done with DE Bowers in the past) has elite skills at SPD, ACC, AGI, TKL and STA ; and his size 6'5" for 256 lbs with JMP at 80 are quite excellent complements. He should a nice addition to Reynolds and Fisher.
3.09 :: LT Brennan Williams - NORTH CAROLINA
Williams may happen to be the starting RT now, as he has the coveted minimum STR wanted this draft. His RBK and PBK need developping but if he pans out well it should not be a problem. He has the size, ACC and AGI to be elite. SPD is average to the liking but hopefully skew is kind with him.
3.12 :: SS T.J. McDonald - USC
A rush pick maybe but it seems the Lions wanted to have theirs hand on this good promising youg safety. Will probably play FS where he'll play right away if Barstow is traded. He has excellent size and STR for the position, enough tackling and catching. AWR will always limit him a bit along his career, but McDonalds reminds a lot of a former 1st round pick by the Lions in Taylor Mays. With a better defensive surroundings than Mays, McDonalds should developp better.
3.24 :: K Zach Brown - PORTLAND ST.
The Lions traded their 2023 third to make sure they had a kicker to develop, expecting to have him gone before the 3rd round is all but done.
Of all the kickers remaining he may have a lower KAC from them, but he has the best combination of size, KPW, ACC, AGI and AWR of the lot.
the kicker was always a pain in the foot for GM Ratajczak in previous years; this may be the right one providing his KAC gains in points.
4.09 :: P Jackson Rice - OREGON
Rice was a guy the Lions had an eye on since the third round. They prayed him to be available once the picked in the 4th and there he fell. The second best punter of the draft, he should provide the consistency lacked in that department. The Lions failed to have a reliable punter over the years, this one can close this dilemma.
4.22 :: QB Brock Osweiler - ARIZONA ST.
The giraf is coming to town !!!
Osweiler has tremendous size at 6'7", but still possesses excellent SPD, ACC and AGI. THP is good, THA still to be develop but not that bad pre skew. He may be a gamble this round with his 55 AWR notably if he's to become the second QB on the depth chart. An intriguing prospect that can be a nice surprise if he developps well.
4.25 :: TE Chris Gragg - ARKANSAS
The Lions are still in search of teh heir to Gus Dixson. Ladarius Green did not pan out and Gragg can be a reliable option. He has good speed and good hands, but his route running is to be desired. Better blocker than Green, he shoud be helpful in blocking packages.
5.22 :: CB Jackson McCreary - MIAMI U.
McCreary is here to add some size at CB. Depending his skew he can be a nice addition or a nice deception. Late in the 5th, that should be worth it.
With skills more fitted to play Safety, he may get the nod here in the depth chart.
POST DRAFT MOVEMENTS
Center Eric Olsen :: Another Center was needed, above all a veteran to make a good competition and be sure the better guy is playing week 1. Olsen is this guy.
WR Jeff Samardzija :: Big Jeff is coming to town !!!! Once up for grab, it was a no brainer for the Lions to add the big reliable target to DHB and Tate. Slower than he used to be, he nontheless be an headache to defend and form a perfect fearsome trio to throw to.
RT Ryan Kalil :: the proven veteran is here for teaching rookie Brennan Williams and in case a nice police insurance.
WR Leonard Hankerson :: Another cast-off from Jacksonville coming to Detroit. Did not pan out as expected in Florida, he may prove to be a good 4th target for Detroit, and with mayhap, with the defenses planning for Tate, Big Jeff and DHB, he may produce and find the endzone more often than not.
MLB Horace Sparks :: the veteran is here as insurance policy, in case injury might take another toll on Fisher this year.
HB Quinn Bueche :: Veteran with proven strarting ability to be in the mix at HB during camp.
RE Ken Tulley :: Back-up DE with starting experience to add to the rotation.
LE Lawrence Sidbury Jr. :: A quality back-up for rotation at LE in the punishing pass rush schemes of the Lions. May also see some reps as OLB in case.
FS Norman Barstow was cut : after a DUI and a failed post draft physical, this was a no brainer to save money and to be sure the right guys are kept. This was the last straw for the front office after he allegedly twitted that he would not accept any competition for the starting spot, something the team was more than willing to do with TJ McDonalds being quite a nice surprise this camp.
CAMP ACTIVITIES & DRILLS
As usual the first moves are working on the physics. Gym and field practises are often due early morning to clean the bodies of what's left of the offseason
The offensive line is also getting a more stronger look as it was reshaped during offseason with 3 departures and 3 new comers in starting role. The entire right side is changed as long time RT Rodriguez is gone and replaced by rookie Williams, RG is - for now - in the hands of second year Nigel Esparza. Only new center Eric Olsen is somewhat less monitored being a veteran. Time is spent on the playbook and the chemistry under the teaching of LT Hensen and LG Asamoah.
Behind them, QB is also working chemistry with new comers WRs Jeff Samardzija and Leonard Hankerson, who are going to be hi third or fourth to the second option according the schemes and GP. He was quoted to be saying : " That's not a great workload you know. Both guys have played in the RZL long enough, Jeff being one of the best ever and has played for long time contender Saints. Leonard also is known to me from my days in Jacksonville. They are reliables hands, and Golden and Darrius are helping a lot to transition them to what we do. Coach Warner uses a lot of 3 to 4 WRs packages, shif and motions; he got that from his days in St Louis under coaches Vermeil and Martz. That's what it is more complex to absord, NO being a smashmouth run offense and Jax somewhat a run and gun. But that's going smoothly, I can nearly find them eyes closed now. They're incredible route runners, so half the work is done with that."
The other focus is how rookie Osweiler is doing. As of now, the Lions did not have found yet the veteran in FA, loosing the last negociation thay had. The good point is that as the coaches are willing to mix often 1st team and 2nd team, Osweiler is working with vaterans among the OL and WRs more often than not. "He's a fast learner - coach Warner said - and has tremendous skills to work with. Eric [Stubb] is also sharing time with him after practises to transition him for a RZL life : they spend time together, the whole offense spends time reworking schemes, playbook, techniques after the "office time. Once a week, an offense dinner is held, and that's a plus for him, and for all the guys revolving around the offense."
At HB, nothing is settle now, but young Miller has the upside for his better skills at pass protecting. He can't carry the load himself, but bruisers Bueche and Blount show that they will have their share of the cake.
The defense in itsefl underwent no such an overhaul like the offense, the main changes are the addition of CB Shuff and rookies OLB witherington and FS McDonalds.
DT Price is again the #2 DT after a down year when he left his starting spot to Alan Branch who came through FA pick up, and after an injured season, MLB Fisher is more than focused on staying healthy and carry the defense to reach a SB.
After experimenting some version of the cover 2, the defense is back to play some more aggresive style. The goal is to create more pressure and thus create more hurries or sacks and TO's. Scoring defense is also a main point of focus notably the work for cutting big plays, as the Lions were quite often burned in 2021, wether by run or pass.
The third main point of the defense is to be under 100 yards a game vs the run. The minimum set is to cut at least 10 yards per game, which would put the Lions at merely an inch above the century mark. With a top 10 pass defense unit, that would be a major stride to try to gain more wins during the season, and go far in the post season.
Special team :
With a new kicker and a new punter, both rookies, the Lions will try to boost their average kicking game. Both kickers have a strong leg, something that would give a better hanging time and as so, better coverage to the KR/PR, and better chance for long distance FG.
The work will also be to gain a better field position out of the KR/PR : the analysis showed that a gain of an average 5 to 10 yards from the last year would give, stats wise, a better chance of scoring more points. Indeed, with drives starting around their 30 yard line or over, after a KR generally, the Lions have scored on 75 of their possession. Under that line, the digit downs to around 65%. That can be the difference.
Moreover, if the drive ends in a 3 and out, it also cuts down the porcentage of being scored by the opponent.
(by O_Ratajczak on 03/04/2013)
Replies - 2 :: Views - 87
At A Glance
||vs Bears #20
||at 49ers #28
||at Colts #31
||vs Seahawks #7
||at Vikings #3
||at Cowboys #15
||vs Vikings #3
||at Jaguars #9
||vs Panthers #10
||vs Packers #32
||vs Titans #2
||at Bears #20
||vs Cardinals #24
||at Rams #30
||vs Texans #17
||at Packers #32