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Stafford reacts to his No. 41 ranking in the NFL’s Top 100 Players

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 30, 2012 – 10:29 pm

The NFL Network has been airing their Top 100 Players of 2012 series, this week highlighting the players that fell between 41 and 50 on the list.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford became the first Lions player to make the list, coming in at No. 41.

Whether Stafford should have been ranked higher was a point of debate on the reaction show. Former coaches and current analysts Brian Billick and Steve Mariucci both agreed that Stafford could have been higher, citing his 5,038-yard, 41-touchdown season and the way he put the Lions on his back in 2011.

The list is voted on by NFL players.

Said Stafford on the NFL Network’s reaction show, “I’m happy to be on this list. Obviously I struggled to stay on the field my first two years, was able to put one good season together last year and hopefully looking for more to come.

“I’m just happy the guys in the league felt I was playing well enough to vote me on this list.”

Stafford was also asked about Calvin Johnson and whether there is any doubt in his mind that he will be the highest-ranked receiver on the list as voted by the players.

“I hope not,” said Stafford. “He better be (the highest ranked). If anybody leaves him as not the top guy, they’re crazy.

“He’s a great player to have, a great teammate. Obviously a bunch of yards and touchdowns I had last year I threw to him and I’m happy to have him for sure.”


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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 4 Comments »

NFL, NFLPA announce 2013 Pro Bowl to be played January 27

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 30, 2012 – 8:54 pm

The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii for the 33rd time, the NFL and NFL Players Association announced today.  The game will be televised live on Sunday, January 27 on NBC at 7 PM ET and again serve as the signature event to kick off the week leading up to the Super Bowl.  CBS will televise Super Bowl XLVII a week later on Sunday, February 3 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

“The players have made it clear through the NFL Players Association that they would like the opportunity to continue to play the Pro Bowl in Hawaii,” said NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson. “We will support the players on this initiative to improve the Pro Bowl. We have had many discussions with the players in recent years about the Pro Bowl and they recognize that the quality of the game has not been up to NFL standards. We look forward to working with the players toward the goal of improving the competitiveness of this season’s game.”

“The players believe that the Pro Bowl is an important tradition,” said NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth.  “We worked hard with the league to make sure the best players in the NFL are honored for their achievements on the field.”

The NFL’s All-Star Game will be played the week before the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive year. The 2012 Pro Bowl on NBC was watched by an average of 12.5 million viewers, the second most-watched NFL All-Star game since 2001 behind 2011′s game (13.4 million viewers). The Pro Bowl was the most-watched all-star game in all of sports in the 2011 season.

The Pro Bowl was held consecutively in Hawaii from 1980 to 2009. In 2010, the NFL moved the game to the week before the Super Bowl for the first time and it was held in South Florida, site of Super Bowl XLIV.  The Pro Bowl returned to Hawaii for the 2011 and 2012 games.


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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 4 Comments »

NFL.com asks: Is Calvin Johnson the best receiver in the game?

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 30, 2012 – 10:41 am

NFL.com poses the question: Will Calvin Johnson topple Larry Fitzgerald in wide receiver rankings?

It reads:

“In 2011, Calvin Johnson transitioned from dynamic to dominant. The Detroit Lions wide receiver emerged as one of the game’s top offensive threats, but has he shown enough to unseat Larry Fitzgerald as the league’s top wide receiver? Daniel Jeremiah will hand out medals to the game’s top wide receivers, as well as the best linebackers, on Wednesday.”

What do you think, Lions fans?


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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 11 Comments »

Lions WR Titus Young back at OTA practice

Posted by ttwentyman on May 29, 2012 – 10:44 am

Lions receiver Titus Young is back with his teammates Tuesday participating in the team’s Organized Team Activity (OTA).

Young did not participate in voluntary practices last week after he was involved in a scuffle with safety Louis Delmas the previous week, in which Young reportedly punched Delmas.

He released this statement before Tuesday’s practice:

“My recent actions have not always been up to the standards the Lions expect or the standards that I expect from myself. I am truly sorry for those times when I didn’t meet those standards,” he said.

“My absence from the practice facility and the OTAs last week was necessary for both myself and the team.

“The time away from the team afforded me the opportunity to reflect and come to the realization that by putting those incidents behind me I will be able to focus on becoming the best teammate and player that I can be.”

Young is expected to play a larger role in the offense this season after catching 48 passes for 607 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 7 Comments »

Statement from Lions WR Titus Young

Posted by ttwentyman on May 29, 2012 – 10:18 am

Lions receiver Titus Young has released a statement on his absence from OTAs last week.

It reads:

“My recent actions have not always been up to the standards the Lions expect or the standards that I expect from myself. I am truly sorry for those times when I didn’t meet those standards.

“My absence from the practice facility and the OTAs last week was necessary for both myself and the team.

“The time away from the team afforded me the opportunity to reflect and come to the realization that by putting those incidents behind me I will be able to focus on becoming the best teammate and player that I can be.”

Young did not participate in voluntary practices last week after he was involved in a scuffle with safety Louis Delmas the previous week, in which Young reportedly punched Delmas.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »

Report: Lions DT Nick Fairley arrested again

Posted by ttwentyman on May 27, 2012 – 3:37 pm

The Lions can’t seem to stay away from bad press this offseason.

This time, it’s defensive tackle Nick Fairley – again. Fairley was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol and attempting to elude police in Alabama, according to Fox10 in Mobile Ala.

Fairley, a first-round pick last year, was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana last month, also in Mobile, and is awaiting a July arraignment on that charge.

“We are aware of the reports and are in the process of gathering more information,” the Lions said in a statement today.

Fairley was arrested shortly after 1 a.m., according to the report. He was charged with DUI and attempting to elude police, while also being ticketed for reckless driving, no proof of insurance and having an open container.

He posted $1,750 bond.

Along with Fairley’s two arrests, running back Mikel Leshoure was cited twice for possession of marijuana and offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath was also arrested in South Carolina for possession of marijuana.

Receiver Titus Young was involved in a fight with safety Louis Delmas during a training session in which Young punched Delmas. Young has not reported to the teams’ Organized Team Activity practices since.

The Lions continue to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz recently downplayed comments that his team might have a discipline problem.

“We’re not playing any games right now,” Schwartz said. “I think that a lot of times when people focus on some things about a team you can miss other things that a team does. We’ll just keep working harder to do better next time.”


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 56 Comments »

Broyles: “Matthew puts the ball in places I wouldn’t think a quarterback could throw it.”

Posted by Tara Altman on May 24, 2012 – 4:38 pm

“Finally getting on the field was fun – just going out there. I’ve been working as hard as I can in therapy. I went out there and did a little bit in individual drills; they don’t want me to do anything with contact yet. I was eager to get out there today, I felt good, but coach was like, ‘Just hold off on it,’ but it’s been good.

“In the film room I’ve been learning the plays and then going out there and doing a little bit of that; got a little one-on-one with the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks to go over some routes and get the timing down. That’s been fun.

“Matthew puts the ball in places I wouldn’t think a quarterback could throw it. He’s got a strong arm. He’s really poised, knows the offense, obviously, so it’s good to work with a guy like that. No matter where you are on the field, if he thinks he can get it there, he’s going to put it there. He’s got a great arm, the best ball I’ve ever seen thrown, so it’s cool working with a guy like that.

“Coach wanted us to come to the side after practice, we were dropping a lot of passes today. There’s a lot going on right now for the rookies, you try to learn the plays and you go out there and you can’t just play ball. You have to worry about where you’re set up and then you have to worry about reading coverages and things are moving a bit faster, so it was good to do some one-on-one stuff with coach after that and work on our motions and really just slow the game down as much as possible. The more you’re in it, the more comfortable you’ll feel, so that’s why we were out there after practice.

“The veteran receivers make you feel like you’re one of them. You see them on TV and it’s crazy and then you’re actually in the NFL now, so you’re just one of the guys. It’s a good thing. They take us in and I learn little things from them. I’m sitting back from afar watching every little thing that they do and really just try to implement it into my game. That’s the funnest part about it, just watching them work and try to do what they can.

“The Bocce event yesterday was pretty cool. I never heard of Bocce, never seen it played, so I went out there and gave it a couple of shots, it was fun.

“I’m heading back home for the weekend, leaving tomorrow to relax for a little bit, then I’ll come back in on Monday and get ready for Tuesday.”


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Posted in Ryan Broyles Blog | 12 Comments »

Report: Lions and Avril are $2 million apart per season

Posted by ttwentyman on May 24, 2012 – 2:26 pm

According to a report by NFL.com’s Albert Breer, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril is seeking a four-year contract worth approximately $42 million, with half the money guaranteed.

The Lions have used their franchise tag on Avril, worth $10.6 million, for the 2012 season. Avril is one of eight franchised players around the league who remain unsigned and away from their respective clubs, hoping to instead sign long-term deals.

The Lions and Avril have until July 15 to reach a deal or he has to play under that franchise tag this season.

Breer, sighting sources close to the negotiations, says the Lions are offering approximately $2 million less per year, or around $8 million per season. He did not report the number of years the Lions are offering.

Lions president Tom Lewand told season ticketholders a couple months ago that the team has offered Cliff a number of multi-year deals.

Avril is coming off an 11-sack season in which he led the league with six forced fumbles. He’s been training away from the team while negotiations are ongoing.

If the report is accurate, it seems Avril’s asking price a lot less than the $60 and $72 million deals signed by the Chiefs’ Tamba Hali and the Panthers’ Charles Johnson, which Avril referenced after last season when talking about his value.

It certainly gives hope that the two sides can meet in the middle.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 44 Comments »

NFL.com: Calvin Johnson headlines seven most dominant players today

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 24, 2012 – 11:13 am

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has listed wide receiver Calvin Johnson as one of the seven most dominant players in the NFL today.

Says Jeremiah, “You aren’t given the nickname ‘Megatron’ for being just an above-average wide receiver. Johnson is the epitome of dominance. Everyone in the stadium knows where the ball is going and there is absolutely nothing a defense can do about it. If you are looking for a witness, give Rob Ryan or anyone in the Dallas secondary a call. As one NFC executive put it, ‘He’s a bigger, tougher Randy Moss.’”

Johnson is the only receiver on the list.

Other players include Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, Jets CB Darrelle Revis, Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware, Vikings DE Jared Allen, Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul and 49ers DT Justin Smith.


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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 3 Comments »

Lions WR Titus Young was not asked to stay away from OTAs, according to league sources

Posted by ttwentyman on May 22, 2012 – 10:35 am

Reports surfaced Monday that Lions receiver Titus Young was not allowed to participate in the Lions’ Organized Team Activity practice Monday because of incident that occurred last week during a training session in which Young punched teammate Louis Delmas.

While that incident did occur, multiple league sources say his absence Monday was not the result of any punitive action by the team, He’s not been ordered to stay away from the facility by the team and is not on any team-mandated suspension.

That obviously lends the question as to why Young, a second-year player with a lot of promise, would be absent from the team’s first voluntary OTA practice.

That’s an answer Young will have to provide when he eventually joins his teammates.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 20 Comments »