Detroit Lions News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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4/17/14: The Lions opened voluntary workouts last week without their star defensive tackle Suh. Running back Reggie Bush stated that the players are not mad at Suh for missing workouts (though who knows what the new coaching staff may feel about that). The Lions wasted no time last Friday in bolstering their defensive line depth by signing DE Kournei Brown after the Bills placed him on waivers the day before. Brown was in Bills training camp last summer but did not make the team. He also has had stints with San Francisco and Washington. He came to the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Clemson in 2012.
4/10/14: It is easy to understand why the Lions would be hesitant to spend a first or second round draft pick on yet another 'game breaking' wide receiver next month in the draft. The team has a troubling recent history of picking wide receivers, with the obvious exception of Calvin Johnson. they have had several busts such as Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, and Titus Young. Roy Williams was pretty good for a while, but aged quickly. Ryan Broyles has been too injured to help, so the jury is out on him. Still, pairing a Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans with Johnson is a pretty tantalizing thought.
4/3/14: With the NFL draft just over a month away, teams are in full smoke-screen mode. The Lions GM, Martin Mayhew, made some comments publicly, which could play into creating a smoke screen. Detroit picks 10th in the draft and has not ruled out trading up to get someone they really want. Mayhew says that the draft is deep but there are not 10 elite guys this year. It is anyone's guess as to who the Lions will select, but it could make sense to trade up for a star receiver like Sammy Watkins (Clemson) or Mike Evans (Texas A&M) to complement Calvin Johnson.
3/27/14: The Detroit Lions moved out of the Pontiac Silverdome before the start of the 2002 season, and have since made Ford Field their home. Since it has been 12 years, many people outside of Detroit may have thought that the Silverdome had been torn down. Maybe it is still around. The owners of the Silverdome are now selling off pieces of the old stadium, including stadium seats, the scoreboard, and even urinals. Of course, crooks are trying to make a quick buck off of this, so much so that former Lions great Barry Sanders has announced that any urinal with his signature is a fake. Of course, why anyone would want a used urinal is another question entirely.
3/20/14: The Lions hope they found (at long last) their complementary wide receiver to Calvin Johnson. It seems like the Lions have been looking for this player for the past several years, and they have had a few try to get the role. Titus Young was drafted but has had a lot of off-field and possibly mental health issues. Ryan Broyles is still a candidate, but has been injured throughout his two season. Nate Burleson was merely a stopgap. So now the Lions have Golden Tate. Tate was a free agent from Seattle and generally underrated for his ability. Perhaps the Lions got it right this time, or maybe they will be looking again in 12 months.
3/13/14: Ndamukong Suh is looking at signing an extension with the Detroit Lions at some point in the not to distant future, and there were reports that he was deciding between hiring a new agent or representing himself. The Lions actually wanted Suh to hire an agent for what could be a complex deal, and it looks like he is heeding their advice. Suh chose Jimmy Seton of CAA to represent him. CAA and RocNation Sports (the marketing firm owned by Jay-Z) have an arrangement, so it appears that any marketing deals may be done through RocNation in the future, though that is not determined yet. The Lions would like to get a new deal done soon to reduce Suh's cap hit of $22.4 million next season.
3/6/14: The Lions will be an interesting team to watch two months from now during the draft. They are on the borderline of having a dominating offense with the pieces they have right now, including QB Matt Stafford, WR Calvin Johnson, and RB Reggie Bush. Many think they are just a receiver away. That was supposed to be Ryan Broyles, but he has been mostly injured during his two years in the league. So there is speculation that the Lions could want Mike Evans out of Texas A&M in the first round, which would be a nice complement to Johnson.
2/27/14: After the Lions faltered down the stretch last season, not only losing first place in the NFC North, but also missing out on the playoffs when they seemingly had the division in hand, the powers that be decided it was time for a change. The feeling is that the team needs more discipline and play better fundamentals. On the other side of that thinking is Florida State defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan. Big Tim models himself after Lions defensive stalwart Suh. He admires the edge Suh plays with and thinks that is what makes a successful lineman. Timmy will be drafted in May but needs to understand that discipline is a good thing, even for a nasty defensive lineman.
2/20/14: The Lions are hopeful that WR Ryan Broyles will finally be healthy enough to contribute something this season. He was a high draft pick in 2012, and was intended to be a compliment for all-world WR Calvin Johnson. However, he has been injured for most of his young career, including two torn ACLs and a torn Achilles. Broyles says that the knees feel fine now and is just rehabbing the Achilles. He thinks he rushed back from injury too quickly before so this time he will take is slower get 100% healthy. If he can get on the field and show the skill he had in college, then this would really make the Lions offense difficult to stop.
2/13/14: While the Jimmy Graham salary situation plays out in New Orleans, the Detroit Lions may be keeping a close eye on any developments. New OC Joe Lombardi is the former QB coach of the Saints, and understands Graham's talents pretty well. He publicly says that he is always looking for 'well-rounded' tight ends. Lombardi has a the best WR in football in Calvin Johnson so Graham may not be worth the money. Detroit will need to figure out their TE situation as Brandon Pettigrew is a free agent. He is good, but few are as good as Graham.
2/6/14: Truth be told, the Detroit Lions do not have a lot of holes on their roster. They pass the basic checklist of franchise QB, franchise WR, and dynamic RB. They also have a very, very good front four that would scare anyone. The team could use some help on the offensive line and in the secondary, but the key positions are accounted for. New head coach Jim Caldwell has put together a pretty good staff, so maybe the last piece of the puzzle is has been filled. Do not forget that Caldwell was the coach of the Colts the last time they went to the Super Bowl.
1/30/14: So it has been a couple of weeks since Jim Caldwell was hired by the Lions as their new head coach. Many people panned the choice, mostly because of the pervasive thought that Caldwell is emotionless and that his success in Indianapolis was due primarily from Peyton Manning running the offense. Maybe that is true and maybe not. Manning, himself, called the Lions to endorse Caldwell prior to the hiring. If nothing else, give Caldwell credit for being able to get out of the way and let his coordinators do their jobs - which is a lot better than most coaches can do.
1/23/14: Its been a little time now, so we can all reflect on the Lions hiring Jim Caldwell as head coach. There is generally a perception about Caldwell that he is a place holder with no emotion. He was head coach of the Colts the last time they went to the Super Bowl a few years ago. On top of that, he was the offensive coordinator for the Ravens last year when they won the Super Bowl. So while he may not be the fan favorite, he does know how to either get the best out of QBs (or at least get out of their way).
1/16/14: Detroit and Ken Whisenhunt seemed like the perfect match. Whisenhunt is a renowned offensive mind and seems to need a quarterback to win. Detroit has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, as well as a franchise QB and the best wide receiver in the game. But Whisenhunt ended up taking the Tennessee job. There has been some speculation that Whisenhunt is not sold on Matt Stafford as as a franchise QB and could draft on with the Titans. Of course, Tennessee also offered him an extra million per year. Detroit ended up hiring former Colts head coach and Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.
1/9/14: The Lions are searching for their next head coach after firing Jim Schwartz after five seasons. Detroit may have the best position available. There is a franchise QB in place. They have the best WR in the league. A dynamic running back and a talented (if undisciplined) defense. They also have patient management (shown by letting Schwartz stay for five years and one GM who shall remain nameless for a long, long time). Tony Dungy is not coming back to coach, but that is the job he said he would want. The downside? No head coach in the past several decades has ever gone onto be a head coach again.
1/2/14: The Lions fired head coach Jim Schwartz on Black Monday. The move was expected, especially as the Lions seemingly had the NFC North wrapped up just a few weeks ago, but kept losing (late) and missed the playoffs entirely. The Lions' job seems to be a pretty good one. They have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, the best WR in the game, and a franchise QB. They also have a patient owner and GM who will let the coach build the team's identity. That may have been one of Schwartz' problems, though, as the team was very undisciplined and racked up a lot of penalties.
12/26/13:It is not happy times in Detroit. A few weeks ago, the Lions were in control of the NFC North and their nearest rivals (Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers) were without their starting QBs. So this should have been a cake walk into the playoffs. Instead, the Lions have lost enough games to eliminate themselves from the playoffs. The question raging around the city is if head coach Jim Schwartz will be back next year or not. If not, then there is a chance that he may end up in St. Louis under his mentor Jeff Fisher's watch.
12/19/13: A lot experts pile on the Dallas Cowboys for not being able to come through in December or in the fourth quarter. But it is really the Detroit Lions who should be carrying that banner. Detroit has given up the lead in the fourth quarter in each of the past five games and have lost four of those matches. Most recently, the Lions allowed the Baltimore Ravens to rally. Detroit held a slim 16-15 lead until Justin Tucker kicked a 61 yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining. Tucker accounted for all of the Ravens points in the Monday Night Game. The loss puts the Lions at 7-7 and looking up at both the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
12/12/13: The Lions had a chance to open up some ground on the NFC North last weekend, but instead found themselves in a blizzard without star running back Reggie Bush. Detroit ultimately fell 34-20 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Philly. The game was played with eight inches of snow on the ground. That did not stop return man Jeremy Ross from returning a punt 58 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 99 yards for a score. However, the Lions could muster little other offense as their passing game was neutralized by the snow. The Lions( 7-6) return home to host the Ravens (7--6) in the Monday Night Game this week.
12/5/13: The Lions made a big statement in the NFC North by dominating the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day. Detroit won 40-10 and had 435 more yards than the Packers in their first Thanksgiving Day in nine years. Matt Stafford had a Matt Stafford day. He threw three interceptions, but also had 330 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Lions defense made life miserable for backup QB Matt Flynn, and completely shut him down for the entire game. Green Bay's only touchdown came on defense. The win puts the Lions in the driver's seat for their first division championship in 20 years.
11/21/13: Detroit has not won in Pittsburgh for generations, and it looked like the time was right for that streak to come to an 11/28/13: The Lions wasted a big chance to give themselves some separation in the NFC North by losing at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-21 last Sunday. This whole game was about missed opportunities. The Bucs registered four interceptions, including a pick-six. For reasons unknown, the Lions seemed to ignore Reggie Bush for most of the day, instead trying to force passes that did not exist. Detroit is tied with the Chicago Bears at 6-5, though they swept both games this season giving them the tie-breaker for now. Short week ahead as the Lions play their traditional Thanksgiving Day game when they host the Green Bay Packers (5-5-1).
end. The Steelers did not see things the same way and rallied for a 37-27 win over the Lions last Sunday. The Lions scored 27 points in the second quarter and took a 27-23 lead into the final frame. But the Steelers, wearing their hideous throwback bumble bee uniforms scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the win. QB Matt Stafford had 362 yards, two touchdowns and interception and WR Calvin Johnson was his usual dominating self. But the Lions simply refused to give the ball to their other playmaker Reggie Bush in the loss. Detroit (6-4) really needs a home win against Tampa (2-8) this Sunday to right the ship.
11/14/13: The Lions are the only team in the NFC North with their starting quarterback still playing (or decided) and now they are on top of the division. The Lions beat the Bears for the second time this season as WR Calvin Johnson had two touchdowns and Reggie Bush added 105 yards rushing in a fairly balanced attack. Detroit knocked Chicago QB Jay Cutler out of the game and held on with a late defensive stand for a 29-27 win. Chicago went for two to tie the game but was stuffed by a swarming Lions defense. Detroit (6-3) is in Pittsburgh (3-6) this Sunday.
11/7/13: The Lions season could be shaping up for a trip to the playoffs. Detroit had a bye in Week 9, sitting at 5-3. The last second win over the Cowboys in Week 8 could be the turning point and the rest of the schedule is relatively easy. The Lions visit the Bears this week (likely without Jay Cutler), then only have one other team with a winning record on the schedule (Green Bay in Week 13). Otherwise, they a buffet of winnable games against Tampa Bay, New York Giants, and Minnesota. Detroit has a legit shot at a 10 or 11 win season and a trip to the playoffs.
10/31/13: The Lions may have pulled up the most exciting win of Week 8 with their come from behind win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys kicked a field goal with just over a minute remaining to take a 30-24 lead. QB Matt Stafford led his team 80 yards in 50 seconds, then scored the tying touchdown with a fake spike at the goal line, then took the ball over the top of the line. Calvin Johnson had over 300 yards receiving and two touchdowns in the 31-30 win. The Lions win puts them in a good mix to make the playoffs. Detroit has their bye week in Week 9.
10/24/13: The Detroit Lions suffered a heartbreaking defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, one which may come back to haunt them during the playoff chase. Bengals' kicker Mike Nugent made a game winning 54 yard field goal as time expired, handing the Lions a 27-24 loss at home. Both QB Matt Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson were solid. Stafford threw for 357 yards and three TDs, while Megatron had 155 yards and two TDs on nine catches. The Lions dropped to 4-3 on the season and face the NFC East leading Dallas Cowboys (4-3) at home this Sunday.
10/17/13: The Lions scored first on Sunday at Cleveland, then allowed the Browns to ring up 17 second quarter points and went into halftime trailing 17-7. Then they showed up to play. Detroit scored 24 second half points and did not allow anything from the Browns en route to a 31-17 win. Matt Stafford only threw for 248 yards, but did toss four TD passes. Reggie Bush had 78 yards rushing and another 57 (and a TD) in the air. Calvin Johnson was still hobbled with a knee injury and was really a non-factor. Detroit (4-2) is back home this Sunday to host the Cincinnati Bengals (4-2).
10/10/13: The Lions now know how valuable both Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush are to the offense. The team struggled a few weeks ago when Reggie Bush went out with injury and the same thing happened this past Sunday when Megatron missed the game. When healthy, this is a great offense. When not, they are not difficult to defend. Green Bay kept their home winning streak over the Lions (since 1991) with a 22-9 beat down. The Lions (3-2) are not out of this and still lead the NFC North. They stay on the road this Sunday to face the surprising 3-2 Browns in Cleveland.
10/3/13: A very big win for the Lions as they beat the Chicago Bears 40-32 at home last Sunday. The win puts the Lions in a tie with the Bears for the NFC North at 3-1, and the Lions have a chance to get some separation in the division when they visit the Green Bay Packers (1-2) this Sunday. The Lions welcomed back Reggie Bush who was injured halfway through the game in Week 2. Bush had 139 rushing and a touchdown, which led all rushers on the day. It may have been his best game as a pro and puts the league on notice that the Lions are a legitimate threat this year.
9/26/13: The Lions had a losing streak in Washington dating back to forever. The team was 0-21 in the Nation's Capital and looked to take advantage of Washington's poor start to end that streak. They did just that, winning 27-20 last Sunday. The Lions took advantage of some 4th quarter turnovers to achieve that feat. Matt Stafford threw for 385 yards and two touchdowns. Both Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson had over 100 yards receiving as well. Burleson will be out a couple months after breaking his arm in a car accident on Tuesday, however. It is hopeful that the Lions get RB Reggie Bush back for Week 4 when they host the 3-0 Chicago Bears.
9/19/13: The Lions are improved over last season, a year ago the team would not even be in this game. Unfortunately, this can only be a moral victory, because the real result was a 25-21 loss to Arizona on the road. The big blow, however, was losing star running back Reggie Bush in the second quarter. The good news is that Bush is expected to be fine and should be in the line up this week. Bush been durable for the past two years, but may take more hits this season in a more open offense. The Lions now head east to face Robert Griffin II and 0-2 Washington in Week 3.
9/12/13: The Lions have been excited to unleash new running back Reggie Bush all offseason and they finally had their chance last Sunday. Bush torched the Vikings for 191 yards (rushing and receiving) and a touchdown, as the Lions started the season with a 34-24 win. The Lions defense was solid after letting Adrian Peterson go for a 70 yard touchdown on his opening carry. He was limited to only 15 yards the rest of the day. With the exception of the Suh cheapshot to Johnathan Sullivan (which will cost him $100,000 but no suspension), it was a good start to the season. The Lions now travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, who lost their opener to the St. Louis Rams.
9/4/13: The Detroit Lions open the season against the rival Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and this should be a pretty good game. The Lions slumped to a lousy 4-12 record last year, even though QB Matt Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards and WR Calvin Johnson set the records for most receiving yards in a season. This year should be different. Reggie Bush is now in the backfield and is coming off the two best years of his career. The added offensive dimension will make the Lions a better and more balanced team - which should lead to more wins.
8/29/13: The Lions simply destroyed the New England Patriots in their week 3 preseason game. The interior defensive line tandem of Ndomakong Sue and Nick Fairely have been dominant - there may not be an offensive line that can hold them. Matt Stafford looks like he is ready for another 5,000 yard season, and newcomer running back Reggie Bush seems to fit in seamlessly with this offense. The Lions still must work on their attitude and maturity. A week after getting flagged for three personal fouls, they got flagged for five against the Patriots. The Lions are good, but not good enough to give up 75 yards a week for stupid plays.
8/22/13: Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson have to love the addition of Reggie Bush. In their first preseason game, a Jets cornerback let Johnson go free in order to cover Bush. Stafford said he had never seen that before. This means that Megatron could be more dangerous than ever, and should improve on his measly five touchdowns from last season. The danger the Lions have is their immaturity, which starts with head coach Jim Schwartz. The team often gets too hyped up and takes foolish personal foul penalties. They have to get their emotions under control, or it will be another disappointing winter in Detroit.
8/15/13: The Lions players are enjoying having "Kickalicious" on the team - even if it is only for the preseason. Kickalicious, whose real name is Harvard Rugland, is a Norwiegian and has never played American football. His trick shot video became a sensation on YouTube and the Lions offered him a tryout. He made both of his field goal attempts, from 49 and 50 yards, in the Lions preseason win over the Jets. His teammates genuinely like him and his accent. He probably will not make the team, but he is truly enjoying himself during his tryout - and doing pretty well also.
8/8/13: The most that has been written about Detroit this summer is that the city filed for bankruptcy, becoming the largest municipality to ever do so. Of course that is not stopping the city from building a new arena for the Red Wings. It does mean that the Lions have gone largely under the radar after their 4-12 season, in which they lost their last eight games. But a Lions' fan can do an eight game losing streak standing on his head. With a legitimate running threat in Reggie Bush, the team has the potential to really surprise people come the regular season. The playoffs are not out of the question.
8/1/13: Read into this as you want, but word out of Lions camp is that defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley look the best they have ever looked. On paper, this should be a devastating interior combination that is almost impossible to run against. In reality, the pairing has been good but not dominant for the past three years. Head coach Jim Schwartz says that both are in great shape this year, particularly since Fairley has lost a lot of weight. The Lions need both to be at their best as they face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers twice a year and try to rebound from a 4-12 season.
7/25/13: The Lions are scheduled to meet with veteran defensive tackle Justin Bannan, who remains as an unsigned free agent. Bannan, at 34 years of age, is on the downside of his career - though he can still be a productive member of a defensive line. He started 15 games last season with the Broncos and had 42 tackles. He has twelve years experience, which is also helpful. The Lions could use a little more depth on the D-line, and Bannan would likely be one of the first two subs for the starting interior linemen Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
7/18/13: QB Matt Stafford and the Lions management have been raked over the coals in the last few weeks because of the mammoth extension the two sides agreed upon. Former Eagles and Washington QB Donovan McNabb was especially vocal, saying he did not deserve it because he does not have the wins. Stafford says he understands that thought, but the guy also led the team to the playoffs in 2011 and they should be competitive again this year with the addition of Reggie Bush. Besides, who else are they going to get? Tavaris Jackson or Curtis Painter?
7/11/13: Of course there is no way to predict how the Lions will fare this season. They may be one of the more improved teams with the addition of Reggie Bush and another year of experience under the belts of the defensive line. However, right now they may be the most improved team in terms of arrests and off-field incidents. The team has had two incidents this year: Amari Spievey and Ronnell Lewis. But last year the team had seven off-field incidents and even sent Titus Young home during OTAs. Hopefully the new lawfullness will set a better tone for the team which looks to get back to the playoffs in a tough NFC North.
7/4/13: It is not often when you hear that the Lions have what the Patriots needs. The Lions, owners of the only 0-16 record are being eyed by the Patriots - the definition of consistent excellence over the past 12 years. However, with Aaron Hernandez no longer on the team, the Pats need another tight end, and the Lions have several. The Lions may end up trading Brandon Pettigrew or Tony Scheffler to New England. What the Lions may want back is up for speculation, but draft picks are always popular. As the season gets closer, do not be surprised if there is a trade in the works.
6/27/13: New Lions running back Reggie Bush is getting rave reviews from his teammates after the first rounds of workouts. Wide receiver Nate Burleson gushes about his ability. Bush may be exactly what the offense needs. Sure they can throw the ball - no one but Calvin Johnson and the refs can stop Calvin Johnson. But Bush should provide the balanced attack that has been lacking. The ability to run the ball should keep defenses honest, and actually open up more opportunities for Megatron to show why he is the best wide receiver in the game today.
6/20/13: The lions will be an interesting team to keep an eye on this season. They have plenty of passing power with Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson. What they need is a balancing running game and some defense. The Reggie Bush signing should help them on the ground and with screen passes. Bush has proven that he can handle a 16 game workload. Defense may still be an issue. They are good up front, but need to be able to shut down the passing game with a better secondary. No one is sure if this is a 10-6 team or a 6-10 team, but it should be fun to watch.
6/13/13: The Lions have to find offensive balance this year. It is great that Matt Stafford throws for 5,000 yards and that Calvin Johnson sets the single season record for receiving yards, but the offense is still one dimensional. Defenses figured that Johnson was going to get his catches - that comes with playing against the best WR in the game. But it also meant that defenses could stuff the run. The addition of Reggie Bush is a sound one. He showed he had the durability to be a feature back in Miami. Additionally, he can catch the ball and make plays in space. A great pickup for the Lions.
6/6/13: The Lions are certainly not the team that went 0-16 a few years ago. They have completely rebuilt their organization (starting with the termination of former general manager Matt Millen) and developed some nice young talent. Indeed, the team even made the playoffs in the 2011 season. But they stumbled big time last year as they could not identify a suitable complement to Calvin Johnson and the running backs kept getting injured. The wide out spot may still be a question, but the addition of Reggie Bush and a healthy corps may push this team back to 500 this time around.
5/30/13: The Lions, like the Green Bay Packers, have a weakness in the running game. The Packers drafted two top end rushers in the draft and hope that jumpstarts their running attack. The Lions, however, have been trying to solidify the position for years. They have spent a lot of draft picks on RBs, only for those players to get injured or arrested or both. It seems now that the position comes down to Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure. Bush is the team's big free agent signing and can be counted on a catch passes. However, without improvement from the offensive line, it simply will not matter who carries the ball.
5/23/13: How good is Lions' superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson? He is so good that he set the single season record for receiving yards without all of his fingers working. Apparently, Johnson hurt two or three fingers sometime last year, and they were not straight, but crooked. Megatron claims that he is trying to avoid surgery and working on straightening out his digits. Imagine that if Johnson set records playing with only 70% of his hands, then he should continue to set records at full strength for the next several years - especially since the Lions like to throw the ball.
5/16/13: Former Lions wide receiver Titus Young is turning into the next Maurice Clarrett or Lawrence Phillips. He was a second round pick just two years ago, but fought with teammates and was finally cut for intentionally lining up in the wrong spot. Now he has been arrested three times in a week. The first was a vehicular incident. The second (on the same day) was for breaking into an impound lot and trying to steal back his car. The third is for breaking into someone's house. There is no chance he will play this year, or probably ever.
5/9/13: Detroit drafted offensive guard Larry Warford in the third round with the 65th overall pick. The Rams would have taken him in the first round. St. Louis had to chose between Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree and Warford for the 30th pick, and chose Ogletree. Since the Rams did not have a second round pick, Warford dropped and the Lions took him before the Rams picked in the third round. That sounds like good value, especially coming from Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead, who have shown they know a thing or two about drafting.
5/2/13: The Lions are traditionally accustomed to selecting at or near the top of the draft, so after a brief hiatus, they must have felt comfortable with the number five pick overall. They selected Ezekiel (Ziggy) Ansah, the raw defensive end out of BYU. Ziggy is an interesting choice since he does not have a history of playing football. He played only two years at BYU and none before that. He hails from Ghana, and tried football only after not making the basketball and track teams in college. He is athletically gifted and may develop into a star player with proper coaching.
4/25/13: The Lions are one of the few teams picking in the top portion of the draft that actually have their QB situation figured out. What they do not have is a good offensive line to give Matt Stafford time to throw or any of the running backs to gain some yardage. Fortunately, there are some good offensive line prospects available in this year's draft. Luke Joekle, who protected Johnny Football last season will probably go first to the Chiefs, but other options such as Lane Johnson and Chance Warmack are solid alternatives for anyone looking to protect their QB.
4/18/13: Well this is news. Lions QB Matt Stafford says he is not interested in being the highest paid quarterback. Rather, he would rather put talent around him so they can win. Many athletes mistake pay for respect, without thinking about the ramifications. If they did think about the big picture, then teams in Texas and Florida would be consistent champions in every major sport because there is no state income tax (saving the players 5-9% per year). But this is good for Detroit. Stafford obviously wants to win on the field, and a statement like this will make him a winner to Lions fans.
4/11/13: Kicker Jason Hanson is officially finished in the NFL. The 42 year old field goal specialist, who has spent a full one half of his life in professional football, and all with the Detroit Lions is retiring. Detroit signed former 49ers kicker David Akers as the first Lions kicker not named Jason Hanson in 21 years. Hanson leaves as the third leading scorer in league history. He booted 495 field goals, including a record 52 from 50 yards or longer. Congratulations to Hanson on a great career, and best of luck to him with future endeavors.
4/4/13: The Lions selected left tackle Riley Reiff with their first selection last year, and he was immediately billed as the teams left tackle of the future. One year later, and Reiff has exactly one start to his name - the only game that incumbent left tackle Jeff Backus ever missed in his career. Reiff figures to be a starter this year, but his exact position has yet to be determined. With Backus still around, he probably will not get a shot at the left side. Since he is a run blocker, the right side may suit him better. Some suggest that because of his stout frame and short arms that he should be a guard.
3/28/13: Head coach Jim Schwartz and the Lions are excited to have Reggie Bush on board for next season. Schwartz believes that Bush will be able to keep defenses honest, thereby freeing up wide receiver Calvin Johnson - basically getting him away from triple coverage by forcing the defenses to keep a man in the box. Welcome to Offense 101, Coach Schwartz. The Lions hope they have their version of The Triplets now with Bush, Johnson, and quarterback Matt Stafford (whom fantasy players are calling 'Stat Padford"). In any case, some semblance of a running game will help the team tremendously.
3/21/13: Fourteen years ago, the St. Louis Rams were coming off of a 4-12 season, had traded for Marshall Faulk, and found their big free agent prize, Trent Green, down for the year. They turned into the greatest offensive scoring machine the NFL had ever seen, won the Super Bowl, and are immortalized as the 'Greatest Show on Turf'. Former Colts GM Bill Polian thinks that is what is going on in Detroit with the signing of Reggie Bush. Bush should be able to provide the balanced rushing attack that the Lions need - if so, then look out. This could be a very dynamic offensive next year.
3/14/13: Detroit got active in the free agency market, active enough that they may have won the press conference on the second day of free agency. The Lions signed running back Reggie Bush, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, defensive tackle Jason Jones formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, and free safety Glover Quin formerly of the Houston Texans. Bush may be the biggest name of the group, but he will be expected to share the load and change the pace from Mikel Lashoure. Detroit could use a running game to complement their potent passing attack and put more points on the board.
3/7/13: The hottest rumor going around Detroit is not about Emminem or Red Wings or the city's crumbling infrastructure. It is about a running back. More precisely, signing Reggie Bush as a free agent. The Lions running back woes are well documented. It is the most dangerous job in the city - more dangerous than being a drug mule on 8-Mile. Jahvid Best and Mikel Lashoure are talented guys, but Best's career may be over with concussion symptoms and Lashoure keeps hurting himself as well. Bush is more durable than people realize, and could be a good fit in the Motor City.
2/28/13: Despite the big passing yards the Lions put up the last two seasons, the knock on the offense has been the lack of running game. The team has gone through several running backs, who all seem to get hurt. There has been some recent chatter about the Lions picking up Reggie Bush. Bush has played the last several seasons in Miami, and while he never blossomed into the game-defining back that people envisioned when he was in college, he has been a very productive player. He will likely not be renewed by the Dolphins, so the Lions have a great chance of landing him.
2/14/13: Detroit cut ties with mercurial wide receiver Titus Young after two disruptive seasons. The Lions acknowledge there was little to no trade value for the talented yet troubled wide out from Boise State. Jeff Fisher and the Rams were the only team to submit a waiver claim on Young - apparently Fisher believes that he can set the young man straight. Fisher has a mixed record with team cancers. He got Albert Haynesworth to play, but could not do the same for Adam "Pac-Man" Jones or Randy Moss. As for Detroit, they had enough of his fighting with teammates, and his boast that he is better than Calvin Johnson surely did not go over too well.
2/7/13: The Lions are not wasting much time paring down the roster. Immediately after the season ended, the team cut volatile wide receiver Titus Young. Young threw a few cheap shots that killed some drives, sucker punched a team mate, and complained about his role incessantly. He even posted on social media, daring the Lions to cut him. So they did and made him the first casualty of the offseason. There was no real chance to trade him, so the Lions just cut bait. The team is also rumored to be cutting defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosh in a salary dump.
1/31/13: The Detroit Lions have hired former Denver Broncos GM Brian Xanders as a senior personnel executive. Xanders spent his coaching and front office career with the Atlanta Falcons and Broncos, and is noted for rebuilding the Broncos roster after the departure of former head coach Mike Shannahan. Detroit woefully under-performed this past season and won only five games. They had been expected to compete for a playoff spot. Individuals put up some excellent numbers and Calvin Johnson even broke the record for most receiving yards in a season. However, it did not translate into wins, and that is what Xanders is hired to fix.
1/24/13: Lions wide receiver Titus Young is probably lucky that he is with the Lions and not a more stringent team. Young has had his fair share of run-ins with authority since he came into the league - most notably his fight with a teammate in the 2011 season. He was suspended this season for insubordination, so the bad behavior does not seem to be a one-time episode. GM Martin Mayhew met with Young to discuss his future with the team, and the Lions seem inclined to keep him around and get him the help he needs.
1/17/13: Not surprisingly, the Lions are shaking things up after a disappointing season. Special teams coordinator Bobby Crossman will not be returning for 2013. Former Bills OC Curtis Modkins will be the running backs coach. Former Jags tight ends coach Bobby Johnson will assume the same role with the Lions while Tim Lappano moves from tight ends coach to wide receivers coach. Finally, Jeramiah Washburn earned a promotion from assistant offensive line coach to head offensive line coach. Jim Schwartz survived Black Monday, but if the team has another season like 2012 then he too will be looking for a new job.
1/10/13: A week and a half after Black Monday, and it looks like Head Coach Jim Schwartz is keeping his job. There were rumors that management did not like his style, though that seems to have faded. The Lions took a major step backwards this season. The team was expected to contend for the NFC North, but only won a handful of games. Matt Stafford put up excellent stats, and Calvin Johnson set the single season receiving record - though he only scored five touchdowns all season. But the big passing numbers did not translate to wins.
1/3/13: The Lions were among the most disappointing teams in the league this past season, which finally came to an end with another loss to Chicago. Detroit made this one close, losing 26-24 to an inspired Bears team. Matt Stafford threw for 272 yards and three TDs and one pick. But Detroit could not get anything going on the ground, though they only had 20 attempts. Stafford, meanwhile, set a record for most pass attempts in a season with over 700. Detroit finished the season at 4-12, and though head coach Jim Schwartz survived Black Monday, he still may be replaced.
12/27/12: It was not that long ago that the Lions were viewed as a legitimate threat for the NFC North crown, but 11 losses later and those are now just pipe dreams. Detriot hosted the NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, but could do very little to stop Matt Ryan and Roddy White in a 31-18 loss. The bright spot for the Lions is that Calvin Johnson brok Jerry Rice's single season receiving yards record of 1,848 yards, while becoming the only player with 100 yards receiving in eight straight games and the first player with four consecutive games with 10 or more receptions.
12/13/12: Declaring that this has been a disappointing season for the Lions is a massive understatement. The team had dreams of competing for the NFC North title and a long playoff run. But neither the offense nor the defense could ever really get in sync or sustain strong play. Such was the case this past Sunday in Green Bay - a place the Lions have not won in Green Bay since 1992, which is a streak covering 22 games. Detroit got out to a 14-0 lead early, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers methodically marched back and won the game 27-20. The Lions are now 4-9 on the season. The good news? This Sunday's game is against the Cardinals, who may have the worst offense in the league.
12/6/12: As inexplicable as it seems, the Lions dominated the Colts for about 57 minutes, but allowed Andrew Luck to record a dramatic come from behind victory. Luck threw a touchdown pass as time expired to lift the Colts to a 35-33 victory, leaving the Lions dazed, confused, and likely out of the playoffs. Quarterback Matt Stafford threw from 313 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Joique Bell rushed for 81 yards. However, the defense could not withstand the talented rookie and was picked apart for 391 yards and 4 TDs. At 4-8, the Lions will not make the playoffs this year but must prepare for a Sunday night trip to Green Bay.
11/29/12: Detroit's faint playoff hopes may have been extinguished on Thanksgiving against the Texans. Houston won on a controversial run and challenge, which is sending the rules committee back to the table to review the stance on challenge flags on plays that will be reviewed automatically. Suh avoided a suspension for kick to Houston quarterback Matt Schaub's midsection, but may be subject to a fine. In any case, the Lions are a 4-7 and in last place the NFC North, so it time to start planning for next season, and that will start with an improved defense.
11/22/12: After a tough home loss to the Packers, a game they controlled until the final quarter, the Lions hosted their traditional Thanksgiving Day game against the Houston Texans. Detroit's offense exploited holes in the vaunted Texans defense, and managed to put up 31 points. Unfortunately, the Detroit defense was missing again as Houston scored 34 points. Detroit was the victim of a strange penalty, getting a delay of game for throwing a challenge flag on a scoring play. The touchdown would have likely been overruled, but the challenge negated any review, costing the Lions the game.
11/15/12: Detroit fell 34-24 on the road to the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday. The Lions are now 4-5 and in last place in the NFC North, and may well be out of the playoff hunt already. Matt Stafford threw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Calvin Johnson had a monster game with 207 yards receiving and a score. But like it has been all season, the defense was porous and Detroit could not offer much of a running game. Mikel Leshoure led the team with 43 yards on the ground. Stafford was second with 13. The Lions host Green Bay this Sunday, and the Packers will be without Clay Matthews.
11/8/12: It looks like the Lions have finally found a running game. Do not be mistaken, the team is still pass happy, and starting running back Mikel Leshoure only got 15 touches during the entire game against Jacksonville, but he did rack up 70 yards and three touchdowns against the Jags. Detroit won the game 31-14, but making the playoffs is still a long shot. The team just does not look anything like last year's edition that rolled up over 5,000 yards in the air. Next up for Lions is a trip to the Metrodome to face the Minnesota Vikings who just dropped a game to Seattle.
11/1/12: The Lions have yet to establish an identity this year. Or, more accurately, the Lions are yet to establish a positive identity this year. They were the most frequent visitors to police custody in the off season and have yet to find a running game - but those are negative identities. At 3-4, they are last in the NFC Central. Stafford and company have not looked like the 2011 version at all. But then they host the Seahawks and their strong defense, and put up four touchdowns in a 28-24 victory. Maybe they can truly return to form against at Jacksonville this week.
10/18/12: The Lions are a difficult team to figure out. They barely beat the Rams opening week, dropped three in a row, including one to the hapless Titans, then come off of a bye week to take down the Eagles. The team stands at 2-3 and in the NFC North cellar. Runningback Jahvid Best, who missed all of last season due to concussion, has not been cleared to play, and may not play the entire season. There is talk that Best will retire, but the player has not made any decision at this time. The Lions are now preparing a Monday Night game against the Bears, which could make or break their season.
10/4/12: The Lions sit at 1-3 through September, and really should be 0-4 (if not for a league-acknowledged time keeper error against the Rams in Week 1). It is an understatement to say that the team has underachieved or dissapointed. Matt Stafford is throwing for a lot of yards (out of neccesity), but not for touchdowns. The defense has been MIA, and the special teams is probably the worst in the league, allowing two touchdowns off kickoffs/punts in each of the last two games. The Lions have a bye this week and they need it to figure out how to be the team they were last season.
8/16/12: Broncos fans got their first game-view of Peyton Manning in the preseason opener at Soldier Field against the Bears. Manning played one series, going 4-7 for 44 yards and an interception. While it was nothing spectacular or terrible, the debate rages on about whether or not 'old' Peyton is back. Manning will get more playing time in the second preseason game against Seattle, but the jury is still out. Manning looked sharp on throws to the outside, and the reported rapport with Eric Decker is showing with multiple targets and some quality catches - which may make Decker the new Pierre Garcon.
8/2/12: Despite all the talent Detroit has accumulated over the past few years, and the 10-6 record they posted last season, many expect the team to regress this coming season. The players certainly do not expect that, though there are some issue the Lions must sort through in short order. The team needs more off-field discipline, especially after 7 off season arrests. Projected starting cornerback Aaron Berry was released following his most recent indiscretion. Cliff Avril is still holding out and wants a long-term deal. He will likely report in mid-camp, which is good news, and hopefully that will not hinder him during the season.
7/26/12: Aaron Berry was not about to let Mikel Leshoure or Nick Fairley win the offseason arrest contest without a fight, so he got himself arrested twice in the past month to tie the other two. Most recently, Berry was arrested in Harrisburg, PA for simple assault after pointing a handgun at three people. The Lions promptly cut Berry due to "personal conduct which adversely affects the club". Berry was not a starter like Leshoure or Fairley, though he was projected to start this season. However, the Lions may be in for additional public scrutiny once the Commissioner weighs in.
The Detroit Lions added some insurance for their standout quarterback Matthew Stafford this week by signing backup quarterback R.J. Archer from the Arena League. Matthew Stafford, despite being one of the top quarterbacks in the league last season, was injury-prone in his first few seasons in the league. Archer will likely be the team's third string quarterback behind Stafford and backup Shaun Hill. The Lions also received wide receiver Troy Burrell. The Detroit Lions are currently holding minicamp practices and other organized team activities and will open up their training camp later next month.
5/23/12: The Detroit Tigers could use some help as they straddle the .500 marker a quarterway through the season. They may be able to find that help in town with Calvin Johnson. Johnson took batting practice with the team this past week and even knocked one out of the yard. Johnson did play baseball in high school, before focusing on football. While the Lions probably don't have to worry about another Bo Jackson in their midst, they must be pleased that offensive guard Rob Sims has added weight this offseason to better block. Improving an already outstanding offesnse just sent shivers through the rest of the NFC North.
5/16/12: The Lions will have to make those hard choices that everyone hates to make in the very near future. The team is very limited in cap space and must accommodate its draft class. This obviously means that there will be some salary cap casualties throughout this offseason. First-round pick offensive tackle Riley Reiff participated in minicamp without a contract, but both the team and player agree that it will be forthcoming Additionally, second-round pick Ryan Broyles (wide reciever) was present but not active as he recovers from knee surgery. In time, Broyles and Calvin Johnson will be one of the strongest wide receiver duos in the league.
5/11/12: Among the most interesting omissions in the recent NFL draft was the Lions not selecting a running back. Last season, Jahvid Best suffered two concussions and missed the last several weeks of the season. He has been working out since December, but has not been cleared for contact yet. The Lions are optimistic that he will be cleared before minicamp starts and is available for the whole season. 2011 draft pick Mikel Leshoure is coming off of an achilles heel tear which forced him to miss the entire 2011 campaign. Leshoure may be suspended for up to four games for two marijuana arrests this offseason.
5/3/12: Detroit bolstered its already potent offense in the first two rounds, selecting offensive tackle Reily Reiff with the 23rd pick overall, and adding a complement wide reciever in Ryan Broyles in the second round. After that though, it was all defense. The Lions took three linebackers Ronnell Lewis, Tahir Whitehead, and Travis Lewis in the 4th, 5th, and 7th rounds, respectively, and cornerbacks Dwight Bently and Chris Greenwood in the 3rd and 5th rounds, as well as defensive back Jonte Green in the 6th round. Detroit did not address its need at running back, instead hoping that Javid Best and Mikel Leshoure return from injury.
4/25/12: Detroit has a potent offense led by a border-line elite quarterback in Matt Stafford and All-World wideout Calvin Johnson. Unfortunately, they play in the same division as Green Bay and Chicago, and are facing the next decade trying to upend Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler. So with their first round pick, they selected Reily Reiff, the offensive tackle from Iowa to protect Stafford. Reiff is considered the second-best O-lineman in the draft, behind Matt Kalil who was selected by Minnesota. Reiff's biggest strength is in pass protection, which is important for a team that passed for over 5,000 yards last season.
4/17/12: NFL schedules were announced on Tuesday, and the Detroit Lions open the season with a gift: At home against the St. Louis Rams. Detroit was rewarded for their explosive offese and 10-6 record with five primetime national TV games on the docket: Week 2 Sunday night at the 49ers; Week 7 Monday night at Chicago; Thanksgiving at Home against Houston; Week 14 Sunday night at Green Bay; and Week 15 Sunday night against Atlanta at home. Aside from division games, the Lions play the NFC West the, AFC South, Philadelphia and Atlanta, and has a bye in Week 5.
Detroit Lions Tickets - The Beginning
As an American football team based out of Detroit, Michigan, you have a historic beginning in the National Football League, more commonly known as the NFL. Being faithful members of the North Division for the National Football Conference, you can imagine the legend behind the Lions pretty clearly, especially if you were a regular at Ford Field right in classic downtown Motown. Believe it or not, the Lions weren't always the Lions. Back in 1929, they played in Portsmouth, Ohio, as the Portsmouth Spartans. In 1930, the Spartans joined the NFL officially but was then moved to Detroit for the 1934 season -- then given the name the 'Detroit Lions.' The Lions haven't made the playoffs since 1999, when they were defeated by the Washington Redskins by a score of 27-13. The Lions have had some rough seasons since, but things are finally looking up as they are building a formidable young core of players.
Detroit Lions Tickets - The Players
With some of the greats like Lem Barney, Dutch Clark, and Dick Lane, there are future greats about to rise in Detroit such as running back Kevin Smith, wide receiver Titus Young, and running back Mikel Leshoure. With Jim Schwartz helming the field as head coach, you'll be looking for a truly exciting season.
The turn around the Detroit Lions have made is unbelievable. Calvin "Megatron" Johnson was waiting for a quarterback to throw him the ball and the Lions delivered by drafting Matthew Stafford. Now that this duo has three years under their belt they are ready to start winning. Not only is the offense ready to be productive, the defense led by DT Ndamukong Suh will surely step up its game and give the Lions and opportunity to have a winning record. Watch for Jahvid Best, Nate Burleson, Julian Peterson and Kyle Vanden Bosch to have good years as the Lions are a sleeper pick for a playoff run.
Detroit Lions News
The Lions finished last season as the hottest team in the NFL, winning four straight, including a win against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, the status of the 2012 season is up in the air as of June. In an interesting bit of news, the Lions have been working out at Detroit Country Day School in the suburbs of Detroit. Several players participated in the unofficial workouts, including quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Nate Burleson.
Detroit Lions Tickets - Check Them Out!
Unfortunately for Detroit fans, the Lions haven't seen a Super Bowl since the very beginning. But this is a team that's gnashing their teeth; they're ready for Super Bowl blood. Watch the Lions roar right at Ford Field and enjoy football at its very best.
Detroit Lions Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Detroit Lions First Game 2013
Detroit Lions Regular Season Last Game 2013
Detroit Lions Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 8, 2013 Detroit Lions 20 - 34 Philadelphia Eagles Nov 28, 2013 Green Bay Packers 10 - 40 Detroit Lions Nov 24, 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 - 21 Detroit Lions Nov 17, 2013 Detroit Lions 27 - 37 Pittsburgh Steelers Nov 10, 2013 Detroit Lions 21 - 19 Chicago Bears Oct 27, 2013 Dallas Cowboys 30 - 31 Detroit Lions Oct 13, 2013 Detroit Lions 31 - 17 Cleveland Browns Oct 6, 2013 Detroit Lions 9 - 22 Green Bay Packers Sep 29, 2013 Chicago Bears 32 - 40 Detroit Lions Sep 22, 2013 Detroit Lions 27 - 20 Washington Redskins Sep 15, 2013 Detroit Lions 21 - 25 Arizona Cardinals Sep 8, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 24 - 34 Detroit Lions Aug 29, 2013 Preseason: Detroit Lions 35 - 13 Buffalo Bills Aug 22, 2013 Preseason: New England Patriots 9 - 40 Detroit Lions Aug 9, 2013 Preseason: New York Jets 17 - 26 Detroit Lions
Aug 28, 2014 Detroit Lions vs Buffalo Bills Oct 26, 2014 Detroit Lions vs Atlanta Falcons