Hey there Lions Fans! It’s been a crazy couple of months for me, but at the same time it has also been a blast. With our Educational School Assembly Program finished for the year and summer fast approaching, it’s time for me to focus on the upcoming season.
Getting the chance to hang out with the fans at our NFL Draft Parties this year and meeting our new 1st-round pick Ziggy Ansah was a ton of fun. Based on the welcome he received, it’s safe to say that a lot of the fans are ready to get back to football!
My summer appearances are starting to heat up just like the weather. I’ve already been booked for a ton of festivals, family get-togethers, outdoor activities, and even sporting events like last week’s Detroit Lions Invitational Golf Outing. Maybe I can go to one of our Detroit Lions Youth Football Camps again this summer and get some practice in before Training Camp.
No matter where I go, though, it’s time for some fun in the sun for this Lion! I hope to see a lot of you fans throughout the summer, so make sure to check me out on Facebook and Twitter to see where I’m off to next, and feel free to send me an email at Roary@DetroitLions.com if you want to make me a part of your next event or even just to say hi. Hope to see you all soon! GO LIONS!
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The Detroit Lions got a little better on special teams Thursday with the signing of veteran RB/FB Montell Owens.
Owens, who turned 29 earlier this month, entered the league in 2006 as an undrafted free agent from Maine by the Jacksonville Jaguars and has played in 104 games over a seven-year career. He was released by the new coaching regime in Jacksonville earlier this month.
“The past seven years in Jacksonville, we’ve had three new head coaches, we’ve had three general managers and two different owners since I’ve been there,” Owens told detroitlions.com after his signing. “There was always a lot of turnover. A great organization, but there was always a new vision.”
Owens said the stability of the Lions front office and coaching staff was one of the things that ultimately lead to him signing with Detroit.
“Getting to a team that has a vision and is established and we know what direction we’re heading in was important,” he said.
A consistent special teams player, Owens (5-10, 225) was voted to two Pro Bowls in 2010 and 2011. He left Jacksonville as the franchise leader in special teams tackles (118).
He’ll rejoin coach John Bonamego, who was hired as the Lions special teams coordinator after spending last season in the same role with the Jaguars.
“I bring my hard hat to work,” he said. “I’m going to come here and work. A lot of it is going to be gaining the trust of my teammates.
“I’ve been a part of No. 1 punt teams. No. 1 punt return teams. I’ve seen it. I know what it takes. I’m a sponge in my own regard. I love to learn and whatever I have and whatever I’ve learned, I’m going to give away. It’s all about winning and everyone being on the same page.”
Owens made four starts on offense last year, when the Jaguars were ravaged by injuries at the position, and carried the ball 42 times for 209 yards (5.0 average) with one touchdown.
In his career, he’s also caught 12 passes for 132 yards.
Tags: Montell Owens
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 19 Comments »
“I ask Chris Houston a lot of questions. He’s one of the oldest ones here, he’s played the position for a long time, he knows a lot about the game, so he’s been teaching me his little tricks.
“Really I’ve been learning the game a lot faster than I thought I would. I’ve learned real well, it’s not hard and they’re making it real simple and easy for me. I feel like I’m pretty much in good shape right now, but it’s killing me being on the sideline.
“It’s also very helpful to be able to talk to coaches. Gun’s always coming over trying to give me a little pointer every day, teach me something about football. Coach Robertson, he just wants to make sure I know all the plays – that’s it.
“I’m actually going to find a place to live this weekend. I’m enjoying the environment, but this is really the first it’s been hot, every other day it’s been raining. My car was shipped up today and my son will be coming up as soon as I get a place.”
Tags: Darius Slay
Posted in Darius Slay Blog | 4 Comments »
Nealy (6-3, 285) played at Texas A&M. Last season, he recorded 42 tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks for the Aggies. He played both defensive end and defensive tackle during his time at Texas A&M, which adds versatility to his game.
Maci, a defensive end, went undrafted out of Purdue. He had 37 tackles, 6.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks in 2012. Maci (6-4, 245) played some linebacker in college, but he’ll fit in as a defensive end in the Lions’ scheme.
The team released defensive tackle Michael Brooks (East Carolina) and receiver Chastin West (Fresno State) to make room on the 90-man roster.
Tags: Robert Maci, Spencer Nealy
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 11 Comments »
NFL teams were notified today that, due to a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held on May 8-10.
The decision was made after discussions with club personnel and key NFL business partners, according to a press release distributed to teams Tuesday.
No decision has been made regarding the dates of the NFL Draft in 2015 and beyond. A variety of alternatives are being explored, teams were told, including holding the draft at Radio City or at other locations, either in the New York area or in other cities.
There would be no significant changes in the dates of other off-season events next year:
– Several Regional Combines will be held on various dates from January 24 through February 16, 2014. Some Regional Combines may be held after the National Combine in Indianapolis.
– The annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis will be held from February 18-25, 2014.
– The new league year, and the free agency period, will begin on March 11, 2014.
– The annual NFL League Meetings will be held in Orlando, Florida, on March 23-26, 2014.
The change in the date of the 2014 NFL Draft will have no effect on when rookies may begin to report to their clubs, the dates of offseason programs, or the length of offseason programs.
Clubs will have available to them the same number of practice days that they currently have and no changes in the offseason calendar are being considered that would reduce the number of practice days or the overall length of the offseason program.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 1 Comment »
News has been circulating that Calvin Johnson admitted to playing with broken fingers last season, but a source with the Lions is confirming that is inaccurate.
While Johnson did admit to suffering finger injuries, he did not specifically state that he did suffer a break.
“Had a couple things here and there,” he said regarding his fingers. “Pretty much just getting them back straight and trying to straighten those things out.”
Johnson was reluctant to say the injuries affected his play, stating that “it’s nothing that’s going to prohibit me from doing what I’ve got to do … I mean, the thing is with a lot of football players, you have injuries. Unless you know about it, you just think it’s something that’s hurting and you just keep on playing.”
When asked when the injuries occurred, Johnson said the season was such a blur, he couldn’t pinpoint an exact date and time.
“I don’t blame anything on it,” he said. “I don’t blame any drops or anything like that on it. It’s just part of the game. Had a heck of a season with it and I’m just fortunate to be in that position.”
Tags: Calvin Johnson
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »
The Lions have claimed defensive back DeQuan Menzie off waivers from Kansas City.
A fifth-round pick by Kansas City last year, Menzie (5-11, 202) spent his rookie season on injured reserve after suffering a hip flexor injury.
The former Alabama cornerback has some versatility in his game and can play both cornerback and safety. That’s a trait the Lions like in their secondary players.
Last week, the Lions claimed linebacker Cory Greenwood off waivers from the Chiefs and guard Derek Hardman from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The team released defensive back Conroy Black, which still puts them at 89 players on the roster.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 10 Comments »
“I don’t have a feel for Detroit too much yet because I haven’t got out enough, but that will come in time. I’ve been out a little bit — went to a few restaurants — but I’m still learning the culture — the Detroit culture.
“I obviously know a little bit about it, but it’s always different when you’re actually there. You get a chance to learn the culture and the people and the language and the food and the music – all the different things that make Detroit what it is.
“I have met people in other states that are from Detroit and they always talk about the football team and how passionate the fans are about the football team. I got a chance to speak to Chauncey Billups who played for the Detroit Pistons for a while and he talked about that, too. It was one of the first things he told me was just how passionate the fans were.
“I think I kind of already knew that, though, just by being out here. Obviously it’s a great sports town — it was one of the reasons I was excited to come here. In certain cities, football just means more.
“For example, playing in New Orleans, no matter what, those fans always showed up. Even throughout the bad times. They were always in support and they were always there and it was always a football-first town.
“That’s the same kind of vibe I get here in Detroit. It’s a football-first town and no matter what – what I’ve heard – the fans are always going to be there to support the team through the tough times.”
Tags: Reggie Bush
Posted in Reggie Bush Blog | 28 Comments »
The Lions added more depth along their defensive line Tuesday with the addition of former Western Michigan University defensive end Freddie Bishop to a new three-year deal.
Bishop, who’s an undrafted rookie free agent, first impressed the Lions back on April 17 at the local pro day hosted by the Lions. Bishop qualified for the workout being from Inkster, which is within the 50-mile radius that all the players had to live within to participate.
He had a career high 63 tackles and a team best 11.5 tackles-for-loss, which also ranked fifth best in the Mid-American Conference, as a senior. He had four sacks, which tied for second on the team, and also led the Broncos with five quarterback hurries to go along with a pair of forced fumbles and a blocked field goal against rival Central Michigan.
He had 12 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks as a junior.
Bishop (6-3, 253) will join Ziggy Ansah, Jason Jones, Willie Young, Devin Taylor and Ronnell Lewis in the defensive end rotation.
He’s also the 90th player signed to the roster, which is the maximum the team can have. Any further signing will result in a coinciding release.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 11 Comments »
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Sunday, after his team had concluded it’s third and final practice of a three-day rookie mini-camp, that all 49 players who participated in the camp had impressed him in some way.
“I just told those guys that every single guy that was here improved their status, whatever that status was,” he said.
“We think more of them after this rookie mini-camp than we did coming into it. We got a chance to see them work. All of our draft picks, we’re pleased with all of our draft picks coming out of this, pleased with the undrafted guys that have come in.”
The Lions entered the weekend with 11 undrafted free agents on the roster. Monday, they added one more to the list by signing tryout guard/center Darren Keyton to the 90-man roster. Keyton signed a three-year deal, which is standard for undrafted rookies per the CBA.
Keyton, 6-foot-3, 305, was one of 21 players who attended the rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis. The former Central Michigan standout started all 13 games at right guard as a senior and helped anchor an offensive line that allowed just 15 sacks, which ranked No. 17 nationally.
He started 12 games at center as a junior, eight at right guard as a sophomore and three at center as a true freshman, so he has the multidimensional skills the Lions covet with their interior lineman.
“When you’re an interior offensive lineman, that’s an important thing,” Schwartz said. “You have to have the flexibility to play guard or center.
“Typically, you take seven offensive linemen into a game, so somebody’s got to play center if your center gets hurt. Usually, it’s one of your guards or your back up. But the more you can with stuff like that, the better.”
The Lions currently have an open competition at both right guard and center along their revamped offensive line.
Tags: Darren Keyton
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 3 Comments »