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Cliff Avril talks to NFL Network about a wide range of topics

Posted by ttwentyman on June 19, 2012 – 9:13 pm

Lions defensive end Cliff Avril sat down with the guys on the set of the NFL Network’s “Total Access” Tuesday where he talked about his contract situation, the offseason issues that have plagued the Lions and a number of other topics.

Avril and the Lions have until July 16 to come to term on a long-term deal or Avril will have to play the 2012 season under the $10.6 million one-year franchise tag.

Here’s a transcript of the interview:

Q. On where the contract negotiations stand right now with the Lions:

A. “We’re talking. We’re still trying to get things figured out before camp. I want to be there long-term, I want to get a deal done. I don’t want to play under the franchise tag. I’ve been with the team for four, going on five years. Started off a little shaky going 0-16 and I want to be with the team when we make the Super Bowl run.”

Q. On if he is set on not playing on the franchise tag in 2012 and if he would consider holding out if it came down to that:

A. “I would prefer not to play on the franchise tag but we have a lot of time front of us. I think the deadline is July 16 and hopefully we get something figured out before then. I haven’t really thought past that point.”

Q. On if he believes the comments of Lions general manager Martin Mayhew praising defensive end Willie Young has been for his benefit:

A. “No. I think Willie is a good player, don’t get me wrong. I definitely feel like he’s a heck of a player and he’s playing well right now, but I didn’t expect the spot to be given to me anyways. Whenever I do come back, I want to go in and compete for the starting spot. Obviously it would be against him I guess.”

Q. On if he would have liked to have face-to-face conversations with some of the Lions players who have gotten in trouble this offseason:

A. “I talk to these guys. The only thing that is different with the offseason is I’m not working out with them. But I see them around, we hang out, so I’ve talked to (Nick) Fairley, I’ve talked with some of the guys that have gotten in trouble. Like I said, the only difference is just not being there lifting with the guys.”

Q. On if the characterization of the Lions as ‘undisciplined’ is unwarranted:

A. “I think it’s unwarranted but it comes with playing football. Obviously if you have a few mess-ups, people are going to start throwing out things; name-calling in a sense. It comes with it but we have to be smarter too. Obviously the off-field stuff doesn’t help with the past season, but we’re a fairly young team; all of the guys that got in trouble were young so they just have to live and learn, and bounce back next year.”

Q. On what the team learned from their trip to the playoffs last season that will help them go further in the playoffs next year:

A. “That we have a good team and that we can do it. Like you said, we have 18 starters coming back so that tells you that we have experience now. A lot of the guys last year, it was our first time being together. So this year having everybody back, it just gives us a chance to be even better.”

Q. On the kind of impact he anticipates defensive tackle Nick Fairley will have on the Lions’ defense in 2012:

A. “Nick is going to be a heck of a player. He’s got long arms, he can run, and he’s big and strong. To have him, Corey (Williams) and (Ndamukong) Suh, it’s going to be painful for some guards in the middle. He’s going to be a heck of a player. He just has to keep learning and keep getting better.”

Q. On what it is like to compete against quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson in practice:

A. “Trouble, just like they give everybody else in the league. It only makes us better as a defense going against those guys. Obviously you can’t touch Matt in practice so I can never let him feel my presence. But to have that one-two punch, and then hopefully our running game can pick up with the running backs that we have, we have a real good chance of competing with the best out there.”

Q. On if the biggest difference between last year’s team and this year’s team will be the running game:

A. “Yes. Last year we were a little bit ‘all pass,’ but I think it will open up. If we get a running game, Calvin (Johnson), Nate (Burleson) and Titus Young – all of those guys will have a great year because it opens it up for them.”


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »


6 Responses to “Cliff Avril talks to NFL Network about a wide range of topics”

  1. By BiLL Brown on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    The Lions also have one off the best backups at QB in Kellen Moore in case Stafford gets hurt, you won;t be disapointed. I hope to see him get his shot at a big time game, but not at Stafford expense, I don;t like to see anybody get hurt ! BiLL in Idaho,,,, go BSU Broncos !

  2. By Andrea L. Molinari on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    Can we please sign Avril now? Enough already.

  3. By Ryan Sproull on Jun 20, 2012 | Reply

    I’m a big Kellen Moore fan and yes we do have a really good back up QB.. his name is Shaun Hill. Hill is THE best backup in the NFL right now so we have a good 3rd string QB in K M. Maybe in a few years he can be our backup.

  4. By jeff on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply

    I love Cliff but I think he should take 8.5. I think on most teams he would not have as good of stats. I think he is very good, but not elite. Having to face no double coverage ever is a big plus that most d ends dont get. suh & co. in the middle take extra linemen, tight ends and running backs in pass coverage….leaving our ends to beat one man.
    He is very good, and I want him…but he should be wise about this. I think willie or the rookie would have a great year in his place. Sign for 8.5.

  5. By joeg on Jun 22, 2012 | Reply

    i dont think he is worth that kind of money

  6. By KC on Jun 26, 2012 | Reply

    Are you guys serious? Avril is elite, and he deserves to be signed. Our problem rests with people doing stupid things and getting caught. So many of our team are getting arrested that we are becoming a joke again, and not a funny joke like 0-16 but a horrible joke that will result in people looking at us as bad as the saints right now. The lions have a unbelievable team when we click on all cylinders, but if we keep making stupid decisions and getting busted, we will have nothing but arrest records, poor team play and a bottom of the NFC North record. Please please for the sake of the state of Michigan and all the lions fans out there, please stop being so selfish. We need you, The pistons are rubbish, the wings arent a dynasty anymore and the tigers are in trouble as of late.

    As a die hard lions fan I want to see one season where we are not a joke. I want everyone to see that Detroit is a wonderful city and Michigan is a wonderful state. It is time to restore the dominance we havent had since the fifties!!!

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