The Lions have claimed defensive back DeQuan Menzie off waivers from Kansas City.
A fifth-round pick by Kansas City last year, Menzie (5-11, 202) spent his rookie season on injured reserve after suffering a hip flexor injury.
The former Alabama cornerback has some versatility in his game and can play both cornerback and safety. That’s a trait the Lions like in their secondary players.
Last week, the Lions claimed linebacker Cory Greenwood off waivers from the Chiefs and guard Derek Hardman from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The team released defensive back Conroy Black, which still puts them at 89 players on the roster.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »
“I don’t have a feel for Detroit too much yet because I haven’t got out enough, but that will come in time. I’ve been out a little bit — went to a few restaurants — but I’m still learning the culture — the Detroit culture.
“I obviously know a little bit about it, but it’s always different when you’re actually there. You get a chance to learn the culture and the people and the language and the food and the music – all the different things that make Detroit what it is.
“I have met people in other states that are from Detroit and they always talk about the football team and how passionate the fans are about the football team. I got a chance to speak to Chauncey Billups who played for the Detroit Pistons for a while and he talked about that, too. It was one of the first things he told me was just how passionate the fans were.
“I think I kind of already knew that, though, just by being out here. Obviously it’s a great sports town — it was one of the reasons I was excited to come here. In certain cities, football just means more.
“For example, playing in New Orleans, no matter what, those fans always showed up. Even throughout the bad times. They were always in support and they were always there and it was always a football-first town.
“That’s the same kind of vibe I get here in Detroit. It’s a football-first town and no matter what – what I’ve heard – the fans are always going to be there to support the team through the tough times.”
Tags: Reggie Bush
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The Lions added more depth along their defensive line Tuesday with the addition of former Western Michigan University defensive end Freddie Bishop to a new three-year deal.
Bishop, who’s an undrafted rookie free agent, first impressed the Lions back on April 17 at the local pro day hosted by the Lions. Bishop qualified for the workout being from Inkster, which is within the 50-mile radius that all the players had to live within to participate.
He had a career high 63 tackles and a team best 11.5 tackles-for-loss, which also ranked fifth best in the Mid-American Conference, as a senior. He had four sacks, which tied for second on the team, and also led the Broncos with five quarterback hurries to go along with a pair of forced fumbles and a blocked field goal against rival Central Michigan.
He had 12 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks as a junior.
Bishop (6-3, 253) will join Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones, Willie Young, Devin Taylor and Ronnell Lewis in the defensive end rotation.
He’s also the 90th player signed to the roster, which is the maximum the team can have. Any further signing will result in a coinciding release.
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Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday, after his team had concluded it’s third and final practice of a three-day rookie mini-camp, that all 49 players who participated in the camp had impressed him in some way.
“I just told those guys that every single guy that was here improved their status, whatever that status was,” he said.
“We think more of them after this rookie mini-camp than we did coming into it. We got a chance to see them work. All of our draft picks, we’re pleased with all of our draft picks coming out of this, pleased with the undrafted guys that have come in.”
The Lions entered the weekend with 11 undrafted free agents on the roster. Monday, they added one more to the list by signing tryout guard/center Darren Keyton to the 90-man roster. Keyton signed a three-year deal, which is standard for undrafted rookies per the CBA.
Keyton, 6-foot-3, 305, was one of 21 players who attended the rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis. The former Central Michigan standout started all 13 games at right guard as a senior and helped anchor an offensive line that allowed just 15 sacks, which ranked No. 17 nationally.
He started 12 games at center as a junior, eight at right guard as a sophomore and three at center as a true freshman, so he has the multidimensional skills the Lions covet with their interior lineman.
“When you’re an interior offensive lineman, that’s an important thing,” Schwartz said. “You have to have the flexibility to play guard or center.
“Typically, you take seven offensive linemen into a game, so somebody’s got to play center if your center gets hurt. Usually, it’s one of your guards or your back up. But the more you can with stuff like that, the better.”
The Lions currently have an open competition at both right guard and center along their revamped offensive line.
Tags: Darren Keyton
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 3 Comments »
“So far, everything has been real good, a great experience. The draft was the first time I went to New York, my family loved it – it was the first time there for all of us – so it was a good experience for me and my family, and my little boy was with me too. It made everything even better to have him there.
“He knew what was going on, he kept asking me a lot of questions, like why I hadn’t been picked yet. Then when I got picked he said, ‘Daddy, make sure I’m going to stay with you.’ Just knowing that he’s seeing something productive, I feel like I’ve led by a good a example for him and I’m sure he’ll do the same.
“Being at the next level, the tempo, the speed, everything changes, but I love to compete. Basically it just makes me want to be on the field faster now, but, I’m enjoying the process. It’s tough being on the sideline. It’s only the first week, but I’m just ready. I can’t wait to get out there, only time will tell, but I’m prepared for it.
“They’ve installed the defense day-by-day. It’s going good, they said they run this stuff during the season too, so I’m learning it pretty well. We ran basically the same thing in college, so I’m just repeating it, but there’s more coaching with it, more schemes.
“Coach Robertson is a straightforward guy, he wants you to be the best you can be and he loves to compete, just like I do, so I think we’re going to work out real well together.
“We have OTAs next week, so I’ll be around, getting better. I also have to find a place to live. I’ve been in a hotel for three months straight, with visits and everything, so I’ll be looking for a place so I can get my son up here too. He’s moving with me, so that’s what I’m ready to do.”
Tags: Darius Slay
Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 6 Comments »
Ziggy Ansah wasn’t going to wait around for the dominoes to fall before he signed his contract.
The No. 5 overall pick signed a five-year deal with the Lions Friday morning, becoming one of the first players drafted in the first round to agree to a contract. Monetary details of the deal weren’t immediately known.
It’s the earliest the Lions have signed a first-round pick since quarterback Matthew Stafford agreed to a contract before he was selected No. 1 overall in 2009.
It also makes the Lions the first team in the NFL to have all of their picks – nine in all — signed on the dotted line.
The Lions had Ansah as the third-highest rated player on their draft board and expect him to compete instantly for a starting spot along the edge of their defensive line.
That makes Ansah, cornerback Darius Slay, guard Larry Warford, defensive end Devin Taylor, punter Sam Martin, receiver Corey Fuller, running back Theo Riddick, tight end Michael Williams and linebacker Brandon Hepburn all under contract before the start of today’s rookie mini-camp.
Tags: Ziggy Ansah
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 17 Comments »
The Lions are looking for a dynamic kickoff and punt return man, hosting free agent Josh Cribbs at Allen Park next week is part of that search.
Cribbs, who’s a three-time Pro Bowler, visited with the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and New York Giants this week.
The Lions ranked 31st in kickoff return average and 22nd in punt return average last year.
Cribbs would be an upgrade at the position, but the Lions won’t have a lot of cap space after signing their rookies. Team president Tom Lewand has found ways in the past to make room for signings under a tight cap for players the team really wants, though.
While Cribbs would be an upgrade, the Lions do have other options.
Receiver Devin Thomas also has experience returning kicks in the league.
Also in the crop of potential return men are recently-drafted rookies Darius Slay, Corey Fuller and Theo Riddick, who could each try and fill the role as rookies.
Mike Thomas, Patrick Edwards, Slay, Ryan Broyles and Reggie Bush could all be options at punt return, though Bush isn’t likely to see much time there with how much the Lions plan to use him on offense.
Last season with the Cleveland Browns, Cribbs averaged 27.4 yards per kick return and 12.0 yards per punt return. He has eight-career kick return touchdowns and three career punt return touchdowns.
He only caught seven passes for 63 yards in 2012 as a receiver, but had 41 receptions for 518 yards and four touchdowns in 2011.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »
“I’ve been back home in LA working out and just keeping the phone close to me, waiting for my fiance to have a baby.
“Leaving yesterday was very tough. I’ve been looking at baby pictures the whole time since I’ve been back. It was tough to leave, but I can’t wait to get back — I’m going back tomorrow after workouts.
“Each week I’ll be here Monday through Thursday with the team and I’ll fly back Thursday afternoon. I’ll be home with my fiance and the baby until Sunday, then I’ll fly back. If I need to, I’ll take a red eye Sunday night and get here early in the morning and then just come straight to workouts.
“I’m trying to avoid that at all costs and just fly out early Sunday, but things can happen — especially if the baby gets sick or something like that.
“Today was my first day on the field with the team — with the guys. Everybody seems pretty cool. I wasn’t surprised, but I was just pleased with how supportive everyone was of, obviously, me missing time and being back home to have a baby.
“You never know, it can go both ways. It can look one way when you’re back home and you’re missing time and other people are there, working and putting in time.
“Coach Schwartz has been the greatest throughout this process. I was really pleased at how supportive he was of me being back. It’s always valuable time any time you can be here, but the fact that he was supportive of me being back and forth for my baby and all that, that was really cool of him.
“While I was in LA, Stafford and I actually kept in touch and he just kept me up to date on what they were going over in meetings and new play installations and all that stuff. That really helped me out a lot.
“Now I’m just hoping to get up to speed with the offense — that’s my No. 1 priority. Then just being around the guys — the team — and preparing ourselves one day at a time for the season.”
Tags: Reggie Bush
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I learned this morning after speaking with Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew that second-round pick Darius Slay has undergone minor and successful arthroscopic knee surgery due to a torn meniscus.
The Lions initially thought that Slay wouldn’t have to have a procedure done.
In fact, the knee never even bothered him. Following an MRI, he was told he had a torn meniscus.”I’ve been working out on it, I’m great,” said Slay during his introductory press conference.
The Lions opted to take the safe route, however.
Mayhew said that the collective medical opinion was to do the procedure now to allow Slay to put the knee issue behind him once he begins his offseason workouts.
It would have been nice to see Slay work out with the rookies this weekend, but — considering how minor this surgery is — the hope is now to see him fresh and ready to go with the vets.
Tags: Darius Slay, Martin Mayhew
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 20 Comments »
The newest Detroit Lions on a roster of 88 are linebacker Cory Greenwood and guard Derek Hardman, whom the team claimed off waivers Friday.
Greenwood, 27, played in all 16 games for the Kansas City Chiefs the past three seasons, primarily on special teams. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder has 34 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery over his career.
Hardman (6-6, 300) played in 15 games his first three seasons in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, starting four games in 2010.
Both Greenwood and Hardman add depth and experience to two positions of need for the Lions.
Greenwood also brings some experience and talent to the Lions’ special teams units, which is where he’ll probably make the most impact if he makes the roster.
Tags: Cory Greenwood, Derek Hardman
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 10 Comments »