Johnson: “It feels like you’re running in sand sometimes, but we’re going to fight through.”

Posted by Tara Altman on July 31, 2012 – 1:49 pm

“This offseason was the busiest one since I’ve been in the league so far, especially with the Madden thing. They had me going from the east to west coast. I was also doing stuff for Nike, which is the west coast, you know, so I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked to to get some rest and sit down for awhile, but I did get to go to Mexico with the fam, so that was good.

“I did some cool things with Nike. The new uniforms are cool; they’re very tight, very light-weight, they won’t hold as much water as the last one, so you’re lighter out there on the field.

“Everything was very exciting, but the time matter, the time you have to spend doing them really gets you.

“Practice is going to good. It’s that time in camp when guys’ legs start getting heavy. Our wind is alright, it’s just our legs, you just have to be able to pick them up. It feels like you’re running in sand sometimes, but we’re going to fight through.

“I feel that, as far the receiver position, we run a heck of a lot out there. I feel like that we’re in pretty good condition. Our wind is good, like I said, it’s just our legs getting heavy. I think we came in in pretty good shape, we were more focused this offseason since we had a more structured offseason where we could work out.

“Ryan (Broyles) is a lot stronger than I thought he was. He’s not the tallest guy, but he’s definitely strong. I’ve seen him in the weight room and I’ve seen him fight through some press-man on the field and make some catches after the fact, so he’s a lot stronger than I thought he was. He’s got good footwork and good hands. He has quickness, that’s one thing he has. He has good knowledge of the game. Coming from Oklahoma, they had a pretty good fastball system that they ran there. We like to do some of those same things here. That’s probably part of the reason we picked him, because he fits in real well.

“Tomorrow I’m just relaxing, taking care of some things around the house, but mostly relaxing.”


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Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 8 Comments »

WR Ryan Broyles and OT Jonathan Scott cleared to practice

Posted by ttwentyman on July 29, 2012 – 8:59 am

Rookie wide receiver Ryan Broyles is no longer a bystander at Lions training camp practice.

The team removed Broyles from the non-football injury list on Sunday, paving the way for him to join his teammates at practice nine months after he had ACL surgery on his left knee.

“I’m nine months out so I’m on the verge of getting cleared any day now,” Broyles told Detroitlions.com on Saturday.

Turns out he was right.

Broyles was drafted in the second round out of Oklahoma and is expected to be an immediate contributor in the slot for the Lions.

The team also removed offensive tackle Jonathan Scott from NFI. Scott was signed as a free agent on Wednesday but failed his conditioning test Friday morning.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 8 Comments »

Jeff Backus leaves practice with a thumb injury

Posted by ttwentyman on July 28, 2012 – 1:13 pm

Left tackle Jeff Backus sustained a thumb injury at practice Saturday in training camp.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz was unsure of the severity of Backus’ injury, saying further tests needed to be done.

“He hurt his thumb in one-on-one,” Schwartz said. “Went in and got x-rays. Didn’t return to practice. We’re going to wait and see what those looks like. It wasn’t real determinate right away, but there are some findings on there so we’ll look at it later this afternoon and see what comes of it. If it’s something long-term, we’ll let you know.”

Backus, who has started 176 consecutive games in an 11-year career, is coming off an injury to his left bicep that required surgery this offseason.

The Lions rotated Corey Hilliard, Jason Fox and Riley Reiff into first-team reps in Backus’ absence Saturday.

If it turns out the injury is severe like a broken finger, Schwartz said it wasn’t an injury that’s likely to force Backus to miss time in the regular season.

“Guys have played with a lot worse, but obviously it’s a training camp practice, we’re not going to push through a situation like that,” Schwartz said. “We’ll just wait and see.”

Backus returned to the sidelines later in practice and didn’t seem to be bothered by the injury.

Running back Mikel Leshoure grabbed at his hamstring in a team drill and shut it down the rest of practice. He said in the locker room that the injury was no big deal and that he was fine.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 2 Comments »

Broyles: “I feel like it’s closer then ever right now. The time will be soon.”

Posted by Tara Altman on July 28, 2012 – 9:23 am

“I got married July 7, so a little bit before that I was back home, getting some preparation done for the wedding and working out, doing therapy. The wedding was a good time. Friends, family – we all enjoyed it.

“On July 8 we went to Paris for four days, then Rome for four days. It was hard to get away because I was still thinking about needing to get work in, so I had my football gear and all that stuff out there. I found time in the morning to do my football stuff and workout and what not. After that, we did a lot of sightseeing.

“When I got back here, we finalized our move up here. I got my cars up here, my house situated, and now we’re in camp. The rookies had to report about four days before the older guys. I just came in, conditioned everyday and worked out. Now we’re back into practice.

“Rehab hasn’t stopped since the day I got hurt, you know. I’m on pace. I talked to the doctors yesterday and I’m looking good. I’m ready to just get out there whenever I can, whenever that time might come, and I feel like it’s closer then ever right now. The time will be soon.

“Today was good. I didn’t get to do much out there, but I worked with the strength coaches doing some routes and things like that, working my knee to see where I was from the offseason, working alone to see where I am now and just go from there.

“Being inside was a little disappointing. You always want to be around the fans and let them see how the life is inside this locker room and be around the guys that put in the work. It’s definitely something we want to share with them, but they’ll get another chance to come out. The weather wasn’t so good, so we had to be inside, but we’ll definitely spend some time with them, sign some autographs when the time is right.”


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Posted in Ryan Broyles Blog | 11 Comments »

RB Jahvid Best on PUP; OT Jonathan Scott on NFI

Posted by ttwentyman on July 27, 2012 – 2:54 pm

Running back Jahvid Best will join rookie cornerback Chris Greenwood and rookie defensive end Ronnell Lewis on the physically unable to perform list as the Lions begin training camp practice this afternoon. Offensive tackle Jonathan Scott will join rookie receiver Ryan Broyles on the non-football injury list.

Best has not been cleared for contact as of yet after missing the team’s final 10 games of the regular season and the their playoff game against the Saints last year after suffering his second concussion of the season Week 6 against the 49ers.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday that Best “still had a hurdle to go” to be cleared for contact.

“We’ll just wait and see,” Schwartz said. “It’s not just one single thing. It’s sort of a whole battery and a whole process and there are a lot of people involved in that. He has input from a lot of experts around the country, not just our team doctors.”

It’s unclear when Best will be cleared for contact. He can come off the PUP list at any point during the preseason and will still be eligible to play Week 1 of the regular season against the Rams. If Best’s stay on the PUP is extended into the regular season, he’ll be required to miss the first six weeks of the regular season.

Scott likely found himself on the NFI list for not passing the conditioning test conducted with all veteran players Friday morning. The Lions acquired the free agent Scott Tuesday and he would have had to pass a physical in order to sign his contract, so it’s unlikely he’s suffering from an injury that would have put him on NFI.

Best told reporters this offseason that he expected to be cleared for contact. He participated fully in the team’s offseason training program, though those practices were non-contact.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »

Report: Suh sued for $1 million in damages from Oregon car crash last year

Posted by ttwentyman on July 26, 2012 – 8:50 pm

A woman involved in a car accident with Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is suing him for $1 million, according to reports by the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.

The suit, filed in an Oregon court Thursday by Saadia Van Winkle, claims Suh engaged in negligence, reckless driving and intentional infliction of emotional distress when he crashed his 1970 Chevrolet Coupe into a curb, light pole, drinking fountain and tree on Dec. 3, 2011, in Portland.

Police said Suh was not impaired and was cooperative with officers after the accident. In the days following the accident, police amended their report after the passengers reported their injuries but had no plans to investigate the accident further.

Van Winkle’s attorney, Sarah Nelson, told the Detroit News her client suffered neck and back injuries, including a cut above her eye, requiring stitches.

“My client was bleeding at the scene, had a laceration above the right eye,” Nelson told the paper. “She still struggles with daily back pain and has got a scar above her right eye.”

A court date has not been set, according to The News.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 12 Comments »

Lions sign veteran cornerback Drew Coleman to one-year deal

Posted by ttwentyman on July 25, 2012 – 5:22 pm

The Lions continue to add depth to their secondary with the signing of veteran cornerback Drew Coleman to a one-year deal Wednesday, according to league sources. The Lions also signed fellow veteran cornerback Justin Miller on Wednesday.

Coleman, 29, was drafted in the sixth round by the Jets in the 2006 NFL Draft and played and played his first five seasons in the league in New York (nine starts). He played 16 games (four starts) with the Jaguars last season. He had 46 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, forced three fumbles and defended nine passes for the Jaguars last season.

The Lions released projected starter Aaron Berry on Monday after his second arrest this offseason. Coleman now joins Chris Houston, Jacob Lacey, Alphonso Smith, Justin Miller and rookie third-round pick Bill Bentley in the competition for the team top three cornerback spots when training camp begins Thursday.

The team released cornerback Ross Weaver to make room for Coleman on the 90-man roster.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »

Lions agree to terms on one-year contract with veteran CB Justin Miller

Posted by ttwentyman on July 25, 2012 – 2:21 pm

The Lions have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with veteran cornerback Justin Miller. Miller worked out for the team Wednesday and his signing adds depth to the secondary following the release Monday of cornerback Aaron Berry.

Miller, 28, was a second round pick of the Jets (No. 25 overall) in 2005 out of Clemson. He started 12 games his first two seasons with the Jets, but made his biggest impact as a kick returner. He averaged 26.3 yards per kickoff return as a rookie with one touchdown. He averaged 28.3 yards per return his second season with two more touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl nod as the AFC’s return specialist.

The Jets waived Miller in 2008 after the team signed Ty Law. He’s since played with the Raiders, a second stint with the Jets and the Cardinals. He’s been out of football since 2010, though. He went back to school to earn his degree during the lockout last year to fulfill a promise he made to his family.

“My grandfather passed in 2010 and I had made a promise to my grandmother and my mother that I wanted to get a degree. With him passing, it was a way for me to clear my head and take an opportunity to fulfill a promise I made to my grandmother and mother,” Miller told detroitlions.com Wednesday. “If anything happened to them I didn’t want that day to come without them seeing me do that. It was an opportunity to do that and was very beneficial to me. You can’t play football forever.”

Miller finished his degree in Sports Management at Clemson last year.

Berry, who was projected to be a starter for the Lions this fall, was released after his second arrest in a month last weekend. The move left the Lions scrambling for Plan B just days before training camp begins on Thursday.

Miller brings another veteran presence to the secondary. Outside of Chris Houston and Jacob Lacey (91 starts), the Lions have 10 total starts among their other cornerbacks, a group that includes four rookies.

“It’s a blessing to even be in this position,” Miller said of signing with Lions. “I thank God every day just to be out here every day and being able to compete and do something I love.”

Miller will join Houston, Lacey, Alphonso Smith and rookie third-round draft pick Bill Bentley in the competition for the top three cornerback spots. It’s possible Miller sees more time as a kick returner, though, at least initially.

The Lions released receiver Marcus Harris to make room for Miller on the 90-man roster.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 8 Comments »

Lions sign T Jonathan Scott; release T Johnny Culbreath

Posted by ttwentyman on July 24, 2012 – 3:56 pm

The Lions continue to improve their roster just days before training camp begins with the signing of veteran offensive tackle Jonathan Scott to a one-year deal on Tuesday. The team released offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath to make room on the 90-man roster for Scott.

Scott, 29, began his career with the Lions in 2006 when the team selected him in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. He was waived by the Lions during final cuts before the 2008 season and subsequently signed with the Bills. He spent two years in Buffalo. He then signed with the Steelers in 2010 and started 14 games for them over the last two seasons, including three playoff games.

Scott became expendable for the Steelers when they re-signed Max Starks and drafted Ohio State rookie Mike Adams in the second round of April’s draft.

Culbreath, 24, a seventh-round pick by the Lions in 2011, was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed illness his rookie season. He was arrested back in January for possession of marijuana; the first in what would be seven offseason incidents involving Lions players and law enforcement.

Scott will be thrown into the mix with Jeff Backus, Gosder Cherilus, Riley Reiff, Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox in what should be a terrific training camp competition to see who wins the starting tackle spots and who makes the team as backups.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 22 Comments »

Head Coach Jim Schwartz to sign autographs for cancer

Posted by Molly Mita on July 24, 2012 – 2:45 pm

Head Coach Jim Schwartz has done a lot to help turn the Lions into winners. Tonight he’s trying to help a former player win a far greater battle – cancer.

 
Frank Chamberlain is a former Tennesse Titan who played under Schwartz when he was the defensive coordinator for the Titans from 2001-2008. Chamberlain is currently battling cancer.

 
Schwartz will be signing autographs tonight at DC Sports in the Lakeside mall from 7-8 pm, all proceeds will be going to the Andy K. and Friends Foundation which will help Frank Chamberlain’s family as he battles cancer.

 
DC Sports is located near JC Penney on the lower level in Lakeside Mall at 14600 Lakeside Circle, Sterling Heights, MI 48313.

 
Autograph costs range from $25 to $35 depending on what is being autographed.

 
For more information contact DC Sports at (586) 566-8331 or visit detroitcitysports.com


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