Best Named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 30, 2010 – 11:08 am

Rookie RB Jahvid Best has been named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for the month of September.

Best: “It’s a great accomplishment. It’s something just to see my hard work pay off a little bit, but it’s the beginning still, it’s a long season, and I still have a lot of work to do. I’m feeling good and I’m just excited to get back out there.”

Best is tied for the League lead in scoring (first among non-kickers) over the first three weeks with 30 points, notching five touchdowns – four rushing, one receiving – over the first two games.

His big game came against the Philadelphia Eages at Ford Field when he became the first rookie in NFL history with at least 75 rushing yards (78), 150 receiving yards (154) and three touchdowns in a single game against Philadelphia (9/19) in his second game as a pro.

In that game, Best took a Shaun Hill screen pass 75 yards for a touchdown.

Best: “We felt like we could exploit that, me on a linebacker. We felt pretty good about that. Shaun was throwing me some great balls and I was just making plays.”

This marks the second year in a row that a Lions’ rookie has been named NFL Rookie of the Month for September.

In 2009, S Louis Delmas was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month. Best becomes the fourth Lions’ offensive player to be named NFL Rookie of the Month and first since RB Kevin Jones earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for December 2004.

This is the first time that Lions’ rookies from back-to-back draft classes have earned Rookie of the Month honors.

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Johnson: ‘The big thing for me is seeing these other receivers get the rock – that’s just going to open things up for me.’

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 27, 2010 – 2:43 pm

“When we came into the game, I felt we were right there in it. On defense we were getting some pressure on Favre. On offense we probably came out a little rocky. Then we finally got a groove going. We got the turnover down there and we scored on the turnover.

“The way I feel about it – if we find a way to get into the red zone, we can score every time. We came close to that yesterday. We had the turnover down there for us yesterday, but I feel if we get down there, we have a great chance to score. The thing is just getting down there consistently.

“The big thing for me is seeing these other receivers get the rock – that’s just going to open things up for me. Especially when they start getting up there in yards in the game and start causing damage. Then they can’t just pay all this special attention to me, then I’ll have more opportunity myself to go down the field and make big plays.

“We’ve lost starters in each game, but it’s not deflating. We’ve got people who can come in and fill. Shaun came in and filled in for Matt. Nate went down the second game – Bryant stepped in. Then the last game, Jahvid went out in the second half and we’ve got Mo who can step into that spot. Peterman went out and Dylan stepped in.

“That’s what Coach said: ‘Guys, you’ve got to step up.’ Coach said it yesterday. Guys have to step up when they have the opportunity to and some of those guys definitely have the opportunity and they need to make the best of it.

“I’m definitely going to be watching the Monday Night game tonight because we’re playing the Packers next week and it’ll be good film – I can get a head start on film. The Packers have some good linebackers. Their front performs well at times and they’ve got some good players in the secondary. So they’ve got some good all-around talent on defense.”

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Schwartz: ‘I think it’s obvious that we have enough ability to play’

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 26, 2010 – 4:46 pm

Head Coach Jim Schwartz says that from looking back at the last three games, it is clear his team has the ability to play and win, but self-inflicting errors are costing the Lions victories.

This week, the Lions started the game 7-0 after a Corey Williams interception led to a 5-yard touchdown from Shaun Hill to Tony Scheffler. Following that drive, however, a muffed punt gave the Vikings the ball at the Lions’ 24-yard line and quarterback Brett Favre quickly capitalized with a touchdown to Percy Harvin to tie the game.

Schwartz: “Obviously (our own errors) played a big part in this game – particularly the first half – honestly keeping Minnesota in the game.”

A missed field goal and big plays negated due to penalty on both offense and defense also contributed to Detroit falling behind.

Schwartz: “We have playmakers, we can’t afford to have stuff called back due to penalties, no matter what the penalty – no matter how it’s called. We’re good enough to not be in that situation. Our penalties are aggressive penalties and some of those they’re going to call. We need to do a better job of it.”

The message Schwartz delivered to his team following the game placed an emphasis on Detroit’s ability to compete.

Schwartz: “I think if you look at our first three games, I think it’s obvious that we have enough ability to play. We have some big-time injuries that we’re dealing with right now, but even with that we’re still fighting and putting ourselves in positions where we have chances. We need to get over the hump; we need to be able to make plays that win us the game rather than have the play that cost us an opportunity at the game.”

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Avril Starting, Levy Active at Minnesota

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 26, 2010 – 12:10 pm

Both defensive end Cliff Avril and middle linebacker DeAndre Levy are getting back into the starting lineup this week.

Levy has been out since suffering a groin injury the final week of the preseason while Avril sat out of last week’s game due to a knee injury suffered at Chicago.

Already ruled out on Friday, quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Nate Burleson and linebacker Zack Follett will not play today.

Starting at quarterback will be Shaun Hill, starting in place of Burleson will be Bryant Johnson and starting in place of Follett will be Ashlee Palmer. Check for a full list of starters.

Full list of inactives:

  • Matthew Stafford
  • Nate Burleson
  • Kevin Smith
  • Zack Follett
  • Landon Johnson
  • Manny Ramirez
  • Jason Fox
  • Willie Young

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Best Voted Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Posted by Tara Altman on September 24, 2010 – 1:20 pm

Voters on have made their choice and selected Detroit Lions Rookie running back Jahvid Best Pepsi’s NFL Rookie of the Week for his remarkable performance in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Best compiled a total of 232 yards from scrimmage (78 rushing, 154 receiving) and and three touchdowns in the Lions 35-32 loss. Best became the first rookie in NFL history with at least 75 yards rushing yards, 150 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a single game.

Best on the honor of being Pepsi’s NFL Rookie of the Week: “That makes you feel good because it’s not just an ESPN analyst, or the guys that do that for a living. It’s the actual fans who are voting, so that makes you feel good because it’s the people that enjoy the game who are voting for you.

“I just go week-by week (when asked about the prospect of being named Rookie of the Year), because if you focus day-in and day-out about getting better as a player and helping the team win, all of the stuff at the end of the year will take care of itself.”

Best was selected from among five finalists through fan votes on  The other finalists were wide receiver-kick returner Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver-kick returner Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Demaryius Thoams of the Denver Broncos and wide receiver Mike Williams of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors.  Fans can vote for the winner on throughout the month of January.  The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLV in North Texas.
This is Pepsi’s ninth year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the ninth year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.

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Suh: ‘If we do make mistakes, they need to be minimal mistakes’

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 20, 2010 – 5:38 pm

“The atmosphere at Ford Field is amazing. I was definitely excited to see that and I definitely think that the defense fed off of it. It was definitely a good atmosphere; I hope they keep it that way throughout the year and don’t take this loss too hard, because I don’t foresee any more losses at home.

“I can only speak for the defense and, as a whole, our performance was average. I think we played 85-90-percent of that game pretty well, but when we did make mistakes, they were big mistakes. Those then turned into big plays, which turned into points and touchdowns. Those are the things that we can’t allow. If we do make mistakes they need to be minimal mistakes and they need to be at the most maybe a 10-yard run, a 20-yard pass at the very most. And those 10-yard runs became 50-yard touchdowns and things of that sort.

“We had a tough time with cutbacks yesterday. The running back did a very good job – he’s a shifty running back. But we knew that coming in and we knew that were going to have to watch that he liked to cut the ball back. He wasn’t really a guy that liked to hit the hole. A lot of the time if the hole is wide open he’s going to go through it. If it’s not, he’s going to try to create it and cut it back or bounce it outside. I would put that on us, without a doubt.

“As far as Michael Vick’s performance, we definitely give credit where credit is due. At the same time, the one thing we didn’t want him to do was extend plays, which we allowed him to do. When we had our shots, most of the times we took them, but some of them we didn’t take and he extended those plays. Then instead of him running, he threw it, which hurt us even more. We can’t allow those things to happen no matter who the quarterback is. We’re about to get ready to go against a guy that likes to extend plays and really likes to find plays far down the field. So that’s something we have to get correct very quickly in practice.

“It’s a passing league, so sacks mean more than stopping the run and I am definitely looking forward to getting a sack on Brett Favre. At the same time, I definitely want to get after Adrian Peterson. I know him personally, so I want to be able to talk some trash to him when I see him outside of the field.

“I’ll only talk to him after the game – I’m not the guy that likes to talk before the game. Maybe before the actual game, warm-ups or something like that, but other than that I’ll talk to him on the field while I’m hitting him.

“I actually met him for the first time during the Super Bowl through a Nike event. We’re both Nike, obviously. I talked to him, went to another Nike event with him and talked to him. So, he’s a good dude. I’ve played against him – we played against each other my true freshman year in college – but I didn’t play that game, I was hurt.

“He’s a powerful runner, but he’s also got speed. I think his biggest thing is he likes to try and to run over a lot of guys. He was prone to fumbling last year, so hopefully we can create those again. In the two games that I’ve watched so far, he hasn’t really fumbled it, that I’ve noticed. We definitely want to be able to put that in the back of his head. Hopefully we can get an early one, and continue to do that throughout the game. He’s definitely a guy that’s dynamic that wants to try to break tackles and run over people, so we have to be ready for both. You have to be ready for both. You need to make sure you wrap up.”

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Johnson: ‘There were too many mistakes’

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 20, 2010 – 5:35 pm

“After the game, Coach said there were a lot of good things that we did. He was proud of the way we fought – making it happen at the end there – but there were too many mistakes. Too many penalties and missed opportunities.

“We went into the game with just three receivers, so once Nate went down, it was just two receivers left after that, so we had a tight end playing the receiver position. The only difference was that there might not have been as much speed in the slot as we’re used to, but that’s about it. We should have been fine.

“The main thing is that for some reason after halftime we stall a little bit. We got off to a pretty good start – we put up 17 in the first half. You want to repeat that in the second half, but we weren’t able to do that. We were able to put up some points late, put up 15 there in the last six minutes of the game, but it was all too late by then. Like I said, there were a lot of missed opportunities that happened before that.

“Not being able to convert on that last drive was tough, especially since we had the chance there at the end. But we weren’t able to convert. We’re 0-2, we’ve got 14 games left. We still have a good shot. We have a big divisional game coming up, so really that’s the big focus for us.

“Minnesota has a very rambunctious crowd. They get real loud in there. I’m used to it, I’ve been there a couple of times. All of us have been there a couple of times, so we’ll be ready to go there and put up our best effort.”

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Vanden Bosch: ‘We gave up big plays, but we made big plays’

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 19, 2010 – 6:46 pm

The Detroit defense had plenty of peaks and valleys throughout its 35-32 loss against Philadelphia.

Looking at the good, they sacked Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick six times for 37 yards, also holding Philadelphia 6-of-14 on third-down conversions.

On the flip side, explosion plays became a factor. The Lions surrendered receptions of 18, 20, 29 and 53 yards and rushing touchdowns of 14 and 46 yards.

DE Kyle Vanden Bosch: “We gave up big plays, but we made big plays. It’s another one of those games where we have a lot of things to clean up, but also have some things to build off of. It’s not a complete disaster. I think we had some big-time plays. Some guys really played well, we just have to put it together. We can’t have lapses; we can’t give up big plays. In the game, we rose and gave ourselves an opportunity to win at the end. We just have to win it. That’s it.”

One of Detroit’s strategies for defending against Vick was to blitz. Unfortunately for the Lions, Vick made some quality plays.

Head Coach Jim Schwartz: “(Vick) made a couple great plays. We dialed up some blitzes and we had free runners to him, and he got away from guys that were free to him. Those are match-ups that we need to win that he won. He’s won a lot of those in the past, and that’s one of the reasons he is where he is in his career. I think we had at least two of those drives, maybe three, that we had our hands on him on 3rd down, and we weren’t able to get him on the ground. Hats off to him, and that’s something that we need to do better.”

The one thing the Lions were able to do was keep Vick from running the ball himself, though containing him allowed the Eagles to convert those big plays.

DT Ndamukong Suh: “For the most part, I think we limited it. We had to just continue attacking against him, but he did make some plays with his arm as well.”

Vanden Bosch: “I think we had a good game plan. I think he scrambled a few times, but we had guys around him. Our defensive coaches put us in a position to stop him and to stop that offense and 90 percent of the time we did. Then we just had lapses and we gave up those big plays. That’s something we have to eliminate.”

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Levy Inactive, Williams 3rd QB for Philadelphia Game

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on September 19, 2010 – 11:42 am

Wide receiver Derrick Williams has been listed as the Lions’ 3rd quarterback for this afternoon’s game against the Eagles.

In regards to Williams being listed as the 3rd quarterback, the NFL rule states that the player is permitted to dress for and participate in the game as well as pregame and halftime warm-ups.

It also says, “The two quarterbacks on the 45-player Active List must be bona fide quarterbacks; a club is not permitted to designate as one of its two quarterbacks a player whose primary position is not quarterback.”

If the Lions were to put Williams into the game, the first two quarterbacks (Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton) become ineligible to return unless Williams were to enter in the fourth quarter or overtime. Williams would also be limited to quarterback, holder, kicker or punter – he could not play in the game as a receiver.

If the 3rd quarterback enters the game in the fourth quarter or overtime, either of the first two quarterbacks can re-enter the game, but cannot be on the field at the same time as the 3rd quarterback.

Full inactives list:

  • WR Derrick Williams (3rd QB)
  • QB Matthew Stafford
  • RB Kevin Smith
  • LB DeAndre Levy
  • G Manny Ramirez
  • T Jason Fox
  • DE Willie Young
  • DE Cliff Avril

Starting line-up changes include Shaun Hill at quarterback, Turk McBride at defensive end and Landon Johnson at middle linebacker.

• Full starting line-ups from this afternoon’s Lions vs. Eagles game

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Lions Sell Out Home Opener

Posted by Tara Altman on September 17, 2010 – 11:56 am

Lions team President Tom Lewand announced earlier today that this Sunday’s home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles has sold out.

Lewand: “We have sold out, the blackout will be lifted. The Eagles returned some tickets last night, so we still have tickets available for sale, I’m not sure about the exact amount, but there are still tickets available.”

Lewand expressed his gratitude toward the die-hard Detroit fans who have continued to support the organization.

Lewand: “We couldn’t be more excited. This is the fans supporting us and we, in turn, expect to put a good product out there Sunday and make it a great atmosphere. They’re doing their part by supporting us and we’re going to do our part by playing a great game on Sunday.”

Furthermore, Lewand stated that the Detroit Lions and Ford Field continue to make improvements on the overall fan game day experience.

Lewand: “Whether it’s all-you-can-eat seats, whether it’s things we’re doing on the video boards differently this year, or entertainment. A lot of those things are important and we can never lose sight of that fact. The core of what we do is that football game. That’s what people want to come out and support. That’s the message that we’re receiving from our fans and that we’re very grateful to receive from our fans this weekend, by the support that they’ve shown us by getting the stadium sold out for Sunday.”

For more information, click here.

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