Lions find veteran safety help in Sean Jones

Posted by ttwentyman on June 25, 2012 – 1:59 pm

The Lions have found themselves some veteran help at safety.

The team signed  veteran Sean Jones to a one-year contract. Jones passed his physical with the team on Monday and signed the deal soon after. An unrestricted free agent, Jones, 30, visited the Lions’ practice facility in Allen Park in early May, but left without a contract.

He started 32 games at strong safety for the Buccaneers over the last two years.

The Browns selected Jones in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft, but he missed his rookie season due to a knee injury suffered before the season. He made his debut the following season, playing mostly on special teams, and finished with 23 tackles. He assumed the Browns’ starting strong safety spot in 2006 and had 14 interceptions and 263 tackles from 2006-2008 with the team.

He played one season with the Eagles in 2009 (replacing Brian Dawkins at strong safety) before signing with the Buccaneers as a free agent before the 2010 season. Jones had 92 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble last year.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said during the team’s mandatory minicamp two weeks ago that he wanted to get a good look at some of the younger safeties on the roster before making any moves with a number of veteran free agents the Lions brought in this offseason. Mayhew obviously didn’t see what he wanted in those younger players, so he made the move to sign Jones.

Jones will likely compete with Amari Spievey, Erik Coleman and Don Carey for the other starting safety spot opposite Louis Delmas.

Spievey, who’s started most of the last two years at safety for the Lions, has been inconsistent over his tenure, which prompted the team to seek out veteran help this offseason. The Lions also brought in veteran free-agent safeties O.J. Atogwe and Chris Crocker for visits.

Jones is an eight-year veteran with a bevy of experience who’s played in 107 career games with 85 starts.

The team released undrafted rookie free agent safety Sam Proctor to make room for Jones on the 90-man roster.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 21 Comments »

Matt Burke Travel Blog: A lot to catch up on

Posted by Tara Altman on June 25, 2012 – 11:49 am

“A lot to catch up on…

“So, I spent the last few days in the city of Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. I really enjoyed my time there. It was a lot less hectic than Bangkok was. It is the jumping off point for a lot of adventure-based activities, so there is a lot to do.

“Did a fairly typical trek for that region on Friday. After about an hour drive up into the mountains you go to an elephant camp where you can ride one for about an hour. Then you hike further into the mountains/jungle (about an hour hike) until you get to a waterfall, where you can refresh underneath it, totally necessary since it was about 90 degrees and humid. You hike part of the way back and then raft the rest of the way, half as a whitewater excursion and then the last part as a slow-float on a traditional bamboo raft.  It is definitely a full day. I was really looking forward to the elephant ride but was slightly disappointed in it — it was a little rushed and commercialized. But the rest of the day was great, just spending it in the jungles and mountains and on the river. We almost lost a British girl out of the boat into the rapids but other than that it was a relaxing day.

“The next day, the hostel I was staying at arranged a “driver” for the day for me.  I questioned my decision when he showed up in what looked like about a 1983 Datsun hatchback that had seen better days. Sometimes you just gotta go with it, so I jumped in.  Driving here is crazy — lanes are just a suggestion apparently and there are motorbikes and tuk-tuks coming at you from all directions. He turned out to be a great guy and we had a good time together. He first took me to Doi-Suthep, which is a temple on top of the highest peak that overlooks the city. There are over 300 steps you have to climb to reach it. It again was pretty impressive and with some great views.

“I also somehow wandered into a room where I ended up getting blessed with some holy water by a Buddhist Monk. I am not sure if I was supposed to be there or not but the monk didn’t seem put off by it. The only English he spoke to me was “ok, good luck” so hopefully that comes true.

“Next I was off out of town a ways to a park where they raise tigers and you can go into the cage with them. Definitely a great trip. I had heard mixed reviews based mostly on rumors that they drug and/or beat the animals to keep them docile enough for humans to interact with them, but I didn’t see anything to suggest that. It was certainly one of the highlights of my trip so far. You can choose which size you want to be with so I decided on the “big cats.”  Just a day full of good decisions. Being in an enclosure with 4 tigers all around 2 years old is definitely nerve-inducing!  Won’t forget that for a while.

“That’s it for now. I am currently en route to Cambodia, so I will check in more from there.

“It would take me too long to document all the fantastic people I have met and spent time with here. Probably one of my favorite things about being out in the world is meeting other travellers and swapping stories or sharing adventures. I did want to pass along a couple of random meetings. The first American I really met here was staying in my hostel in Chiang Mai travelling with her two friends from Toronto and low and behold she is from Bloomfield Township. Then I am sitting in a mostly empty airport waiting to leave Chiang Mai and the only other person within a mile of me is this girl who went to Dartmouth College (my alma mater). She was great company — we ended up sitting together and then killing time in the airport before we both went our separate ways. Never ceases to amaze me when I have connections with people I meet half way around the world.  “

Posted in Matt Burke Travel Blog | 3 Comments »