David Amerson is an interesting prospect leading up to April’s NFL Draft

Posted by ttwentyman on February 27, 2013 – 3:37 pm

David Amerson admittedly spent the 2012 college football season chasing the NCAA interceptions record. As a result, the 6-1, 205-pound cornerback from North Carolina State spent a lot of time chasing receivers with the football down the field.

Amerson broke the ACC record with 13 interceptions in 2011. He entered 2012 with a lot of NFL eyes on him, but his stock dropped considerably after a shaky season in which he was beaten a number of times in coverage.

He told reporters down at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that his approach to the 2012 season was all wrong.

“I was just playing to get interceptions, trying to match the 13 (from 2011),” Amerson said. “A lot of sitting on routes and guessing resulted in giving up touchdowns.  I started getting out of character, not letting the game come to me and just not being myself.”

Amerson’s season got off to a troubling start when Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson, who’s considered the best receiver available in next month’s draft, had his way with Amerson to the tune of six catches for 93 yards and a score in the first game of the season.

In a game against Miami (Fla.) later in the year, Amerson was beaten on four touchdown passes.

The entire 2012 season for Amerson can be summed up in one word – inconsistent.

So, Amerson came to the Combine with something to prove and did very well for himself when he measured 6-foot-1 and showed terrific straight-line speed in the 40-yard dash at 4.44 seconds.

The game film doesn’t lie when it comes to Amerson, though, which is why interested teams will evaluate him very carefully over the next two months.

The measurables all fit the Lions profile for what they like in their cornerbacks, but also what they might be looking for in a cover safety.

Amerson played safety in high school, and though he only played cornerback at NC State, said he had teams talk to him about safety at the Combine.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” Amerson said of a switch to safety. “I just see myself as a playmaker in the secondary wherever (I play). My first love on defense was safety. So I don’t think it would be too hard for me. It wouldn’t be too much of a challenge.”

The Lions had success converting cornerback Amari Spievey to safety in training camp in 2010.

Amerson’s size, speed and skill set make him an interesting prospect — one worth keeping an eye on over the next two months.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 16 Comments »

What has Detroit Lions’ mascot Roary been up to?

Posted by Tara Altman on February 25, 2013 – 4:57 pm

“Hey everyone! It’s feels great to be back in Detroit and now that I’m all caught up with my emails and handled a ton of appearances it’s time to get this blog rolling again.

“Since I got back from my Pro Bowl trip the reception from the fans has been greater than ever! Whether it was the Super Bowl Party on Super Bowl Sunday, 97.1 the Ticket’s Sportsfest, or any of the many school assemblies I’ve been to the last couple of weeks, the excitement has been contagious.

“Safe to say this Lion is tallying up some miles, and of course a ton of smiles! If you’re wondering where I’ll be next, you can always check out my Facebook page and check out my nifty calendar.

“Also make sure to follow me on Twitter, I changed my twitter handle to it’s easier to find me and so my handle doesn’t take up half of your tweet.  You can now find me at @RoaryNFL.

“I always enjoy spending time with Lions fans at all different kinds of events! Make sure to keep in touch Lions fans and get ready, football is right around the corner!”

Posted in Roary | 1 Comment »

Detroit Lions at the NFL Scouting Combine: What we took from Day 3

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on February 23, 2013 – 7:58 pm

Denard Robinson

Detroit Lions-specific availability is over for the NFL Scouting Combine, but there was still plenty of Lions football to discuss.

Saturday was the first day defensive players were available to the media, most notably Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, whose off-the-field experiences have drawn significant attention.

Sunday is the final day of media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine, with defensive backs on the docket.

Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 4 Comments »

Detroit Lions at the NFL Scouting Combine: What we took from Day 2

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on February 22, 2013 – 10:54 pm

Martin Mayhew

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew stepped to the podium on day 2 of the NFL Scouting Combine, but it was comments made during his private session with the beat writers that drew more attention.

Also available Friday were offensive linemen, running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks.

  • Detroitlions.com lead writer Tim Twentyman speculated whether Alabama’s Chance Womack would become the first guard drafted in the top five since Bill Fralic in 1985.
  • Arkansas-Pine Bluff tackle Terron Armstead has potential with his athletic ability to be a mid-round selection for the Detroit Lions.
  • West Virginia’s Tavon Austin presents an intriguing option for the Lions as a triple-threat return man, wide receiver and running back.

Saturday’s availability will include more wide receivers and running backs, defensive linemen and linebackers. Offensive linemen will also begin on-field workouts.

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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | No Comments »

Martin Mayhew still extending a helping hand to Titus Young

Posted by ttwentyman on February 22, 2013 – 1:10 pm

Titus Young may no longer be a member of the Detroit Lions, but that doesn’t mean general manager Martin Mayhew isn’t willing to extent a helping hand to a man in need.

“We’re going to try and work with him and support him in any way possible,” Mayhew said Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I feel like I want to help him deal with his problems, whatever they are, and we support them.”

Mayhew said he’s been in contact with Young’s family since he was released by the Rams and said he’ll continue to be supportive to him.

Young’s troubles have been well documented in Detroit, which led to his release on the first day teams could do so following the season. Young was claimed off waivers by the Rams — the only team to put in a claim on him — but was later released after the interview process.

Mayhew did reiterate that although he’s extended a helping hand to Young, the door is shut on any possible return to the Lions.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »

Detroit Lions at the NFL Scouting Combine: What we took from Day 1

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on February 22, 2013 – 12:06 am

Jim Schwartz

Day 1 of the NFL Scouting Combine consisted of head coach Jim Schwartz‘s media availability as well as interviews with some of the top offensive line prospects coming out for this year’s NFL Draft.

Schwartz spoke at the podium and then additionally to the local media outside the actual media room.

Key points from Day 1:

Friday’s availability includes Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, running backs and wide receivers.

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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 2 Comments »

Nate Burleson tweets a picture of his restructured contract

Posted by ttwentyman on February 21, 2013 – 10:50 pm

Burleson's contract

True to a promise he made to reporters right after the season, Detroit Lions veteran receiver Nate Burleson has restructured his contract.

Burleson tweeted a picture of the restructured contract on his official Twitter account Thursday evening with the message: “When I said I was gonna ‘Retire a Lion’. I meant it! Restructure = Stronger Lions = Better Team”

It’s no wonder why Burleson is both a fan favorite and locker room leader.

Burleson is the second veteran to agree to a restructure this offseason. Center Dominic Raiola restructured the final year of his deal last week.

The Lions cleared approximately $8.5 million in salary cap room earlier this month by releasing Titus Young, Stephen Peterman and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

The financial details of of both Burleson and Raiola’s deal have not been released, but the restructures give the Lions more leeway to fill some holes via free agency in March.

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is trying to work on a long-term contract for quarterback Matthew Stafford that would lower his $20-plus million cap number for 2013 and give the team even more room to work with this offseason.

Burleson said after the season that he’s ahead of schedule in his return from a broken leg suffered in October at Chicago on Monday Night Football.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 15 Comments »

Jim Schwartz kicks off NFL Combine coverage for Detroitlions.com in Indianapolis

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on February 21, 2013 – 1:36 pm

Jim Schwartz

The NFL Scouting Combine is officially underway with coverage beginning on Detroitlions.com today.

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was available to media in attendance this morning, covering a wide range of topics including personnel along the offensive line and Jahvid Best‘s status heading into the offseason.

Detroitlions.com lead writer Tim Twentyman and columnist Mike O’Hara will have plenty to read throughout the day, but – to wet the appetite of Lions fans – here are some tweets they have already sent out:

@ttwentyman: “Schwartz said there is no update yet on the futures of Jeff Backus or Jason Hanson.”

@ttwentyman: “Schwartz said he was impressed by Ziggy Ansah at the Senior Bowl.”

@ttwentyman: “Lions have hired former Wayne State offensive line coach Terry Heffernan to be their new offensive line assistant under Jeremiah Washburn”

@MikeOHaraNFL: “Jim Schwartz joking about Nate Burleson campaigning for Reggie Bush: “is tampering season officially open?””

@MikeOHaraNFL: “Jim Schwartz on adding to Lions run game: “one thing I’d like to see from our run game is more explosive runs.””

@MikeOHaraNFL: “Jim Schwartz on what 2013 draft means to Lions: “we’re going to need help from this draft.” He means not just the first round.”

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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 3 Comments »

Nate Burleson makes a free agent plea to Reggie Bush

Posted by ttwentyman on February 18, 2013 – 1:35 pm

Receiver Nate Burleson made it very clear Monday who he’d like to see the Detroit Lions pursue in free agency.

Making an appearance on the NFL Network this morning, Burleson made a personal plea to running back Reggie Bush.

“I’m going to just say this, ‘Reggie Bush, you already took your talents to South Beach, come on to Detroit,’” Burleson said, looking right into the camera. “I know it’s not as sunny, and it might not be the same type of glitz and glamor, but you can do wonders for us.”

The Lions are looking for a running back with some “juice” as general manager Martin Mayhew said after the season. The Lions dearly missed that element in their backfield last season when Jahvid Best (concussion) never got his clearance to return. The Lions are looking to add that element back into their offense this offseason via free agency or the draft if Best isn’t able to return.

“Reggie Bush has proven that he’s still explosive, and me and (Steelers safety Ryan Clark, appeared with Burleson on the NFL Network) talked about it off air. He still has that legend behind him,” Burleson said.

“He came from USC, and everybody knows he can go out there and shake a little bit, wiggle a little bit and break that big run. And for him to put up two 1,000-yard seasons the last couple years proves that he’s still an elite running back. And if I can get Reggie Bush in a Detroit Lions uniform, ooh-wee, watch out.”

Bush turns 28 in March and is one of the top free agent running backs on the market.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 25 Comments »

Don’t expect any franchise tag news out of Allen Park

Posted by ttwentyman on February 18, 2013 – 12:49 pm

Monday marks the first day NFL teams can use the franchise tag as a way of preventing players from reaching free agency.

Don’t expect any news out of Allen Park on that front.

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew made it clear immediately after the season that he had no plans to use the franchise tag and reiterated that point last week when he spoke to reporters again.

“We’re not going to franchise anybody,” Mayhew said. “It doesn’t make sense for us right now.”

Last year, the Lions placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril, which paid him $10.6 million in 2012. The team would have to pay him upwards of $12.6 million, or 120 percent of last year’s salary, if they wished to tag him again.

That isn’t cost effective for a team with so many other needs and unrestricted free agents on the roster.

There was a time this season when safety Louis Delmas seemed like a candidate for the franchise tag – especially since the franchise amount for the safety position (approximately $6.8 million) is the third-lowest next to kickers/punters and tight ends – but injury concerns have probably decreased his value on the open market and the Lions will try to sign him for a much lower annual amount.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »