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Bush: “I definitely hope that I can come in here and make life a little easier for Stafford, Megatron”

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on July 30, 2013 – 7:00 am

Reggie Bush“The reception here has been really positive.  I’ve really enjoyed the fans being out here and showing support for me. With this being my first year in Detroit, you never know how the fans are going to respond. I think the reception has been overwhelming. I’ve really enjoyed it.

“The fans have been supporting me and cheering me on. It’s not just about me, but obviously it makes my job a little easier knowing that they are here behind me and I’m happy that I’m here.

“Coming into a new fan base is a little different, just because you have to start all over again. You start all over with new fans, new team, and new environment. I think the fans are the best part about it; getting to switch teams and meeting different people, having different fans and earning your respect with your new fan base. I enjoy that side of it. I think the tough part is getting adjusted to the new environment, making a move, finding a home, all of that.

“Our last few practices have been really productive. I think we’ve gotten a lot accomplished and it feels like everybody is on the same page. We all have one goal and everyone is on the same page to achieve it — we’re just taking baby steps. We’re making each day count and I feel like we are getting better every day and that is what’s most important.

“For me, personally, having such a high expectation placed on me is a good problem to have. I definitely hope that I can come in here and make life a little easier for Stafford, Megatron, Pettigrew, Scheffler and Burleson … all those guys. Because obviously the offensive passing game is really good, it’s superior. So my job is to come in here and help bring in a solid, consistent running game that’s going to compliment the passing game.”


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Posted in Reggie Bush Blog | 10 Comments »

Slay: “The first padded practice was very intense”

Posted by Tara Altman on July 29, 2013 – 3:09 pm

“My offseason was pretty good. I went home for about two weeks to chill with my son, then I went back to Mississippi State to train with the team. I wanted to be in better shape, and stay in shape, so I went back to my school.

“So far, camp has been pretty good. Right now I’m just learning, getting my technique better, and my athletic ability will be able to take care of itself. I’m in the learning process still.

“The schedule hasn’t been too exhausting. There are definitely a lot more meetings than there were during mini-camp, and it’s a lot more competitive. People are turning it up another notch now – I need to turn myself up a whole other notch now. I’m just out there competing with everybody else.

“I feel good about the tempo of practice. I feel like I’m up to speed and I can keep up with everybody. I have to make sure that I continue to take care of my body more because I do feel it when it comes time at the end of practice, but I just keep pushing through it.

“The first padded practice was very intense. First part of practice, you want to be good to put it on film for us to watch. Everybody is trying to do their job. If you mess up, make sure you correct it and do it at full speed, running to the ball and all that stuff. It was just real intense. I have to get used to that, I haven’t been in pads in a long time.

“Going up Calvin is great. Playing against the best, you have to be the best. I’m having a great time out there competing against him. I’m waiting for the day that he gives me some tips on what to watch out for and I’m guessing I’ll get some at the end of camp.

“Overall, I feel good physically. Right now I’m about to get in the cold tub to get my body right. But I’m feeling pretty good.”


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Posted in Darius Slay Blog | 8 Comments »

#AskMegatron: Does Calvin Johnson think he can break his own record?

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on July 27, 2013 – 1:19 pm

Calvin Johnson

Switching up his blog a little for training camp, Calvin Johnson (@BigplayCJ) takes it to the fans, answering questions posed on Twitter. Fans can follow the Detroit Lions @DetroitlionsNFL!

@ConnorGraham39 asks, “Thoughts on Reggie Bush being a Detroit Lion?”

MEGATRON: “Going to be a big help. It’s going to take pressure off everybody on the offense making plays because he’s going to be out there making plays and moving us up and down the field as well.”

@JoeandEff asks, “what are the top three things the lions must do to win the division this year?”

MEGATRON:“Win. Make plays at the end of the game and start faster.”

@Mrsemipro asks, “what kind of car do you drive?”

MEGATRON:“Don’t worry about it. I don’t want people to know what I drive.”

@AKDW90 asks, “What are your personal goals for 2013?”

MEGATRON: “Personal goal is to do better than I did last year in every category.”

@go20lions asks, “What is your favorite stadium away from #FordField to play in and why?”

MEGATRON: “Green Bay just because of the history.”

@steven_welling asks, “what’s your favorite restaurant in Detroit?

MEGATRON: “Morton’s. I did like that Joe Maur. I’ve only been there once, but it’s good.”

@Ed2cool901 asks, “pick a hall of fame DB to go against for one game #AskMegatron”

MEGATRON: “Hall of Fame to go against the best, it would have to be Deion (Sanders).”

@DetroitlionsNFL asks, “Who would win?”

MEGATRON: “Aw man, I’m gonna go up on him.”

@TheRealNate13 asks, “Who is the best DB in the #NFL at covering you 1 on 1 in man coverage?”

MEGATRON: “I don’t know, it’s tough because I don’t go against the same guy all the time. Guys, they play double coverage, so it’s hard to say. Chris (Houston) does a hell of a job. I see him every day and we go one-on-one, so that’s a battle in itself.”

@SquirmyWilliams asks, “How do you plan to repeat last years performance and do you think it is possible to do again?”

MEGATRON: “It’s definitely possible, but if guys are healthy, I shouldn’t have to do that.”

What does it mean to you to be called Megatron?

MEGATRON: “It’s cool. I just try to be big and strong and fast like he is (laughter)

@sabree06 asks, “Do you think you would have a dominating player in baseball, like you are in football?”

Megatron: “I would hope so. I think so.”

@ChrisN408 asks, “how did you feel when you realized you broke Jerry Rice’s record for most yards in a season?”

Megatron: “It was humbling. I didn’t think it was possible, but it happened. It was just from hard work and, like I said, when guys went down I had to take on a lot of our offense.”


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Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 4 Comments »

Lions fill final roster spot with DT Andre Fluellen

Posted by ttwentyman on July 26, 2013 – 2:00 pm

fluellen-article-072613The Lions needed to add depth along their defensive line and are turning to a familiar face to provide it.

The team signed defensive tackle Andre Fluellen to a one-year deal Friday, which will be his third stint with the club.

Fluellen (6-2, 302) spent his first four seasons with the Lions after the team drafted him in the third round out of Florida State in 2008.

Fluellen was released during final cuts last year due to a numbers game along the defensive line, but was re-signed in December. He played in the final three games of the season with one start.

He had a brief stint with the Bears this offseason, but was released in May.

Like Jason Jones and Isreal Idonije, Fluellen is a versatile player who can play both on the outside and inside at defensive tackle.

The 28-year-old Fluellen has appeared in 56 games in five NFL seasons, with 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He also had a two-game stint with Miami in 2012.

Fluellen will wear No. 96 and C.J. Mosley will now wear No. 99.


Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 13 Comments »

Lions release G Bill Nagy

Posted by ttwentyman on July 25, 2013 – 4:36 pm

When the Lions claimed Bill Nagy off waivers before the season last year they hoped he’d eventually compete for a starting guard or center spot once his surgically repaired ankle healed.

Unfortunately, that ankle never got healthy enough for Nagy to get on the field consistently and the team cut ties with the third-year pro out of Wisconsin Thursday.

The Lions liked Nagy’s versatility and the fact that he could play guard and center, but his ankle was obviously not at a point where the team thought he was going to be able to immediately help them.

Nagy hasn’t played since the 2011 season, when he started four games at guard for the Dallas Cowboys.

This increases the likelihood that third-round pick Larry Warford will eventually win the right guard spot and Dominic Raiola will play center.

Warford will have competition from Dylan Gandy, Rodney Austin, Leroy Harris and others in camp, though. All three can play center, too.

The release of Nagy opens up a roster spot, which could be filled by one of the defensive tackles — Justin Bannan, Rocky Bernard or John Drew — the Lions hosted this week.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 1 Comment »

Schwartz expecting big season from Suh

Posted by ttwentyman on July 25, 2013 – 3:06 pm

Roary poses with DT Ndamukong Suh.

Roary poses with DT Ndamukong Suh at the 2013 Pro Bowl.

One would hesitate to say that a player who’s already been an All Pro in his career is poised to take a big step forward in his development, but that’s exactly what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said he expects of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh this season.

“I thought Ndamukong had the best spring he’s had since he got here,” Schwartz said Thursday on the eve of training camp. “ I think he’s poised to have an outstanding year.”

Suh was back to his disruptive ways last year after — by his standards — a subpar 2011 season. Suh recorded eight sacks and 35 tackles last year, but that was still short of the numbers he put up as a rookie when he stormed onto the scene with 66 tackles and 10 sacks.

Suh was an All Pro and Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2010. He was neither in 2011, but earned his second Pro Bowl nod last season.

“He’s always been in great shape, but his understanding of the defense and his execution of that was very, very impressive in the spring,” Schwartz said.

“I really think he can (take a jump forward).”

Suh makes up one half of what could be one of the better defensive tackle tandems in the NFL, if third-year player Nick Fairley shows more consistency in his game.

The Lions’ defensive scheme is built around the defensive line, and if Schwartz is right about Suh, and his number could reach or even exceed those of 2010, the retooled defense is already off to a good start.


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 8 Comments »

Lions sign WR Chaz Schilens

Posted by ttwentyman on July 24, 2013 – 2:11 pm

Chaz SchilensThe Lions and receiver Chaz Schilens agreed to terms on a new one-year contract Tuesday after the five-year veteran worked out for the team at their Allen Park headquarters.

Schilens, 27, played for the New York Jets last season. In 15 games, he caught 28 passes for 289 yards and two scores.

He spent his first four seasons with the Raiders and has 100 career catches for 1,191 yards and nine touchdowns.

Schilens is a big body (6-4, 225) on the outside opposite Calvin Johnson. The Lions have been on the lookout for an outside receiver all offseason. They drafted Corey Fuller in the sixth round of April’s NFL Draft and dabbled in the free agent market.

Schilens will join Johnson, Ryan Broyles and Nate Burleson in the rotation of pass catchers heading into the start of training camp on Friday.

He’ll have competition for that spot, though, with Fuller, Patrick Edwards, Mike Thomas and others.

The team was also considering signing Laurent Robinson and Steve Breaston.

The Lions are now at a complete, 90-man roster.


Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 19 Comments »

An early peek at the Lions’ 2014 schedule

Posted by ttwentyman on July 23, 2013 – 9:54 am

Fan excitementWith training camp just days away, Detroit Lions fans are just starting to get excited about the 2013 schedule.

But the NFL just released it’s annual Record & Fact Book for the 2013 season, which includes a partial 2014 schedule for the Lions.

The Lions will play teams from the NFC South and AFC East next year. They will host New Orleans and Tampa Bay from the South and will play at Atlanta and Carolina.

In the East, the Lions will host Buffalo and Miami and will travel to New England and the N.Y. Jets.

The Lions will host a to-be-determined NFC East team that finishes in the same place in their division in 2013, and will travel to an NFC West team for the second straight year.

The team will also play home and away games with Green Bay, Chicago and Minnesota, like always.

Exact dates won’t be announced until the spring.

Lions’ 2014 schedule

Home:

  • Green Bay
  • Chicago
  • Minnesota
  • New Orleans
  • Tampa Bay
  • Buffalo
  • Miami
  • NFC East team

Away:

  • Green Bay
  • Chicago
  • Minnesota
  • Atlanta
  • Carolina
  • New England
  • New York Jets
  • NFC West team

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 8 Comments »

Dominic Raiola: It’s Matthew Stafford or bust

Posted by ttwentyman on July 10, 2013 – 4:03 pm

Dominic Raiola has snapped the football to a lot of Lions quarterbacks over the past 12 years, but none of them have been a franchise-caliber quarterback like Matthew Stafford.

“This guy came in and was a Day 1 starter for us,” Raiola told Sirius NFL Radio Wednesday, after Stafford signed a three-year, $53 million extension.

“He took that and ran with it and took us to the playoffs (in 2011). He’s progressed well and really taken leadership of this team. That’s what franchise quarterbacks do.”

Stafford is now signed through 2017 with total compensation worth $76.5 million after the extension. It’s uncertain how many more years Raiola will be snapping the ball to him, considering he’s 34 years old and entering his 13th season. But Raiola knows his best chance at seeing a second winning season in his career is with No. 9 leading the way.

“I have a little closer bond with him and it’s well deserving,” Raiola said. “I’ve always said from the beginning that this guy was going to be the guy. It’s Stafford or bust for everyone (in Allen Park).

“He’s been the guy and what I saw this offseason is good stuff from him, so I’m happy for him.

“I texted him last night to congratulate him and his text back to me was, ‘Thanks, man, now lets go win.’ I think that says it all.”


Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 36 Comments »

New Lion Israel Idonije wins Daily Point of Light Award

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on July 9, 2013 – 2:07 pm

Israel Idonije

New Detroit Lions DE Israel Idonije has been recognized for his work away from football with the Daily Point of Light Award.

Idonije’s foundation — the Israel Idonije Foundation — provides support to thousands of kids through after-school programs, sports camps and medical missions. The foundation focuses on three places: West Africa, the Canadian city of Winnipeg and Chicago.

Read more about what Idonije is doing through his foundation on pointsoflight.org.

Founded by President George H.W. Bush, Points of Light is the world’s leading volunteer organization with more than 20 years of history and a bipartisan legacy.

Daily Point of Light Awards are given to individuals who find innovative ways to meet community needs; efforts which often lead to long-term solutions and impact social problems in their local communities.


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Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 6 Comments »