The Detroit Lions kicked off their rookie orientation Friday with an afternoon practice outdoors.
All drafted rookies were in attendance, including second-overall selection DT Ndamukong Suh.
Suh on what he thought of his first day: “It was a good day; we got out there and I’m happy to be back on the field, that’s really exciting. No more combine training and those things. It’s back to football. I’m learning the basics and I’m excited.
“I love this scheme. I’ve just got to really hone into it because it’s a little bit different. It’s like in Nebraska and third-down rushing every single play, so I’ve got to get used to that and incorporate that in my body.”
Suh came from a defensive scheme in Nebraska where he wasn’t asked to rush the quarterback every down. Instead, he was asked to play the run first (on first and second down) and then rush the quarterback on third down.
The Lions’ system wants Suh to rush on every down.
Suh on whether he looks at this defense as treating every down like third down: “Yeah, as in my get-off and so forth. Obviously the game is going to change – they’ll keep it even running and passing the ball. But for the most part, I take that view of third-down get-off every single time.”
Suh says there haven’t been any surprises in regards to his first day of professional football. Without the veterans in attendance, the entire group was getting used to a faster pace and a different coaching staff.
Suh is just glad to get back to football after months of combine and draft preparation.
Suh: “When you get back on that field, it’s all about football. It’s whatever you do in between those white lines. Obviously my learning curve is going to be a lot faster than what it was in college being a freshman coming in here being a rookie. So my mindset is just to pick it up as quickly as I can and then learn what I have to get done and get it done.”
Tags: Ndamukong Suh
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Linebacker Caleb Campbell was originally selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of West Point.
Based on the Army’s alternative-service-policy, he was allowed to enter the draft upon graduation, with the plan to complete his military service as a recruiter while also pursing his football career.
But on July 8, the Army revised this policy, stating that Campbell would first have to serve his military service time, preventing him from signing a contract with the Lions and playing football until 2010.
Campbell: “It was really tough for me, initially. But I knew I had to carry on with my orders. I allowed that pain I was feeling of having your dream at your fingertips and then having it taken away from you, I guess you can say I embraced it, and allowed it to make me a better person.
“Over the last two years I’ve definitely matured as a person and I think that pain and that hard time built character. Over the past two years it’s been a blessing still and I’ve matured in a lot of ways off the field.”
With his service time accounted for, Campbell arrived at the Lions’ training facility anxious to get back on the field with the other rookies.
Having been away from football for the past two years, the idea of getting back on the field is both nerve-racking and exciting.
Campbell: “It’s really exciting to know that I have an opportunity to be here because over the last two years I’ve been battling with the idea of whether I was even going to play again. I’m trying to work out at the levels that this caliber of athletes in the NFL workout at and being unsure of whether or not I can even play again.
“I’m pretty nervous, but I’m also excited to get out there and to run around with the guys again and put a helmet on. I’m anxious to see how my body adapts to it. I know that I’m my own worst enemy, I’m an over achiever and I’m very critical of myself, so I know it’s going to take a little time to get back into things. It’s been challenging, but I’m really excited to be here.”
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Exactly one week after the Detroit Lions selected DT Ndamukong Suh and RB Jahvid Best, both players and the rest of the rookie class are checking in for Rookie Orientation.
Practices will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will include drafted rookies as well as rookie free agents and other invited players.
Stay tuned to Detroitlions.com for full coverage for this weekend’s event!
Tags: Jahvid Best, Ndamukong Suh
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After spending the first four years of his career in Denver, tight end Tony Scheffler is glad to be home.
As a Chelsea, Michigan native and a Western Michigan graduate, coming back to the Detroit area has been a welcomed change.
Scheffler: “It’s a beautiful facility, top notch. I’m happy to be back in the home state. My whole family is from the down river area, so I make my home here in the offseason. It was kind of cool to be able to pull my car into the driveway yesterday after practice and it actually felt like home.”
Having proved tremendous pass catching abilities throughout his career, it’s no surprise that Scheffler is looking forward to working with second-year quarterback Matthew Stafford.
While he hasn’t had the opportunity to get on the field with Stafford yet, he’s impressed with what he’s seen so far.
Scheffler: “He’s very similar to Jay (Cutler). I was watching practice yesterday – I’ve only been around for a couple of days – but he sits in that pocket and throws that thing with some zip. Just watching yesterday, he made some throws that you don’t see a lot of guys make.”
Another player Scheffler is looking forward to playing with is on the opposite side of the ball.
Second-year safety Louis Delmas, who the Lions’ selected in the second-round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Western Michigan.
Scheffler: “It was good to see Louis. He was just a little freshman when I was a fifth-year senior at Western and I got to say, he still has the same personality. I reminded him yesterday that he’s still a rookie here, so he got a kick out of that. It was a good to see him and a couple of other guys that I’ve played with in Denver. It was pretty cool.”
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When cornerback Chris Houston got word that he was being traded to Detroit, his main concern was how his coaches and teammates were going to be when he arrived.
After a couple of weeks of getting adjusted during the team’s offseason workout program, Houston has become “comfortable” with his surroundings, reconnecting with some familiar faces and learning the new system.
Houston: “First being traded, you never know what to expect and you have to go through the process all over again with meeting the coaches and the new team. Of course when you’re comfortable with a certain place, you don’t really want to leave because you have friends there and people that you’ve gotten close to. But as I got here and I’m surrounded by my teammates and some of the guys I knew already like Calvin Johnson – we worked out in Orlando together when we came out (of college) – so I talked to Calvin a couple of times and I talked to Eric King.”
With OTA’s, mini-camps and training camp coming up, Houston’s main focus will continue to be showcasing his skills and proving how he can better the Lions’ secondary.
Houston: “I think I have great speed and I can be physical with the press technique that the coaches are establishing within the DB group. They want us to be more physical and coach Gun (Gunther Cunningham) and coach (Jim) Schwartz liked that in me and I think I can give that to the team.”
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“I am doing a fundraiser this weekend as another opportunity to raise money to support Haiti. I thought it was a great idea to do it at Western Michigan being that it’s my alma mater. I got a lot of support. I just plan on going out there and having fun. Hopefully a lot of people will show.
“It starts out with a breakfast that I will be speaking at for about 10 minutes. I will introduce everybody to the field and let everybody know what’s going on with the crisis in Haiti and if they could support.
“We will follow that up with the spring game, of course. Then, after the spring game we’re going to have a barbecue. I will do the normal things I do every day: try to make people laugh and give them insight with what’s going on with the Lions so they can look forward to next year.
“I do have a big following at Western, starting off with my so-called dad, Bill Cubit, and all the rest of the coaching staff that’s been supporting me in my years there. I also have my cousins there. My one cousin and a couple of my high school teammates are there promoting it as much as they could. It’s going to be a fun week.
“Today is my birthday. I want to say I am a big birthday guy, but I’m not. Birthday is another day. I pray to God that I’m thankful just to live another year, but as far as birthdays – getting up and celebrating with a birthday cake … first of all, I hate cakes.
“Chocolate cake, vanilla – I hate all of it. I can’t stand cake to be honest with you. Pie either. Pie, candy, Snickers bar, nothing. Birthday cakes are overrated to me. Don’t get me wrong; I think everybody deserves a cake once in awhile. But, to me, it’s just another day. I’m just thankful to be here.”
Tags: Louis Delmas
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Lions’ Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders has been announced as one of the top-20 vote-getters in the NFL’s 75 Most Valuable Draft Picks of All Time.
The vote is in celebration of the 75th NFL Draft, which kicks off in primetime for the first time in exactly two weeks: Thursday, April 22.
Lions’ fans can help Sanders get to the top of the list by voting, which ends April 18!
Following the conclusion of the fan vote, picks 75 – 11 will be announced from April 19 – April 21 on NFL.com and NFL Network. The top 10 greatest Draft picks then will be revealed during the 2010 NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 PM ET.
The 10 Most Valuable Draft Picks will be announced during Round 1, when many of the Top 10 will be in attendance at Radio City Music Hall, the home of the 2010 NFL Draft.
The order of the Top 10 will be revealed following the conclusion of the Second Round of the Draft on Friday night. Many of these players will be on hand for the announcement.
MOST VALUABLE DRAFT PICK TOP 20 VOTE-GETTERS THROUGH APRIL 7 (in alphabetical order)
Year; Round, Pick
1989; 1, 1
1970; 1, 1
New England Patriots
2000; 6, 199
1957; 1, 6
1965; 1, 3
1991; 2, 33
1996; 1; 26
San Francisco 49ers
1981; 1, 8
1998; 1, 1
1983; 1, 27
San Francisco 49ers
1979; 3, 82
1998; 1, 21
1975; 1, 4
San Francisco 49ers
1985; 1, 16
1989; 1, 3
1989; 1, 5
1981; 2, 38
1990; 1, 17
New York Giants
1981; 1, 2
1987; 1, 10
Tags: Barry Sanders
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Michigan State has made it back to the final four for the second year in a row and on Saturday the Spartans will go up against Butler University in Indianapolis as they continue to fight their way back into the NCAA Championship game once again.
State fans, including Lions’ third-year pro quarterback and Spartan Drew Stanton, are looking forward this weekend.
Stanton on Michigan State going to the Final Four: “It’s huge. It shows the ability that (Tom) Izzo has to get as much out of his players as he does. Last year I think that it wasn’t so much of a surprise as is it was this year with them being a five seed and having some question marks going into the tournament.
“It just shows what they’re capable of doing when a team comes together and that’s why it’s so much fun to watch these games. Who would have thought Butler would have been in it at this point in time? That’s why you go out there and play the games and they’ve had a close call pretty much the whole way through.”
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