Blogs > Lions Lowdown

One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.

7/31/2015

Detroit Lions — Jim Caldwell comfortable with right tackle options

ALLEN PARK —  Because LaAdrian Waddle will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, there is a question for the Detroit Lions at right tackle.

Coach Jim Caldwell does not seem too concerned about the position.

“I think all in all we’re going to be all right (at right tackle). (Cornelius) Lucas played a lot of football for us and played well. He had ups and downs but he played well for us. We have some young guys who are going to be alright too,’’ Caldwell said on Friday.

As a rookie, Lucas started three games at tackle last season due to injuries to Waddle. He didn’t name the young guys but Michael Williams, who made the transition from tight end, could be one and rookie Corey Robinson could be another.

Waddle underwent ACL surgery in mid-January. There is no timetable for his return according to Caldwell.

While there were reports that former Lions right tackle free agent Gosder Cherilus had visited the Lions, but Caldwell would not comment.

Overall Caldwell can’t wait to see the new-look offensive line go to work in pads.

The Lions open training camp on Monday and will don pads later in the week.

“Very interested in seeing how they work together, it’s a great group of guys who have the kind of attitude and work habits you like to see,’’ the Lions coach said.

With Dominic Raiola and Rob Sims gone, there are openings at left guard and center. Travis Swanson is expected to start at center with Manny Ramirez and Laken Tomlinson battling at left guard. Riley Reiff will be at left tackle and Larry Warford is expected to start again at right guard.

“We have a veteran that’s in the mix with Manny (Ramirez). We have a young player that has an immense amount of talent in Laken Tomlinson and on down the line there are a number of guys who have some potential,’’ Caldwell said. “We want to see how they jell, how they work together. How Larry (Warford) works with the rest of the crew and Reiff, etc. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching those guys develop and some pretty good battles against the defense as well. You’ve got a defense that’s out to prove itself.’’

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)

Detroit Lions — Joique Bell 'coming along quickly'

ALLEN PARK — It’s still uncertain when Joique Bell will return to action following offseason surgery on his knee and Achilles.

The Detroit Lions running back will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list and coach Jim Caldwell said on Friday that there is no exact timetable for his return.

“I’m not sure how long it’s going to take. I do know one thing he’s coming along quickly. We’ll see what the doctor says. We can’t put an exact timetable on it right now,’’ Caldwell said.

Bell did not participate in organized team activities or minicamp in the spring, although he was on the field watching.

“From a schematic standpoint, he understands and knows how to run the ball, he knows the system and we’re just majorly concerned right now with getting him healthy and he’s well on his way to that,’’ Caldwell said on Friday.

He was healthy enough to make a trip to Britain a few weeks ago to represent the Lions and the NFL to promote the Lions-Chiefs game at Wembley Stadium on Nov. 1.

Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle and defensive end Jason Jones will also start the season on PUP.

“They’re all making excellent progress,’’ Caldwell said.

The Lions’ veterans report on Sunday and start training camp on Monday.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)

7/30/2015

Detroit Lions — Nate Burleson part of preseason broadcast crew

Nate Burleson, a  fan favorite during his four seasons with the Detroit Lions, will return to Detroit  not as a player but as a broadcaster.

Burleson will join Rob Rubick and Matt Shepard in the TV booth for  three of the Lions preseason games on FOX2 (WJBK): Aug. 13 vs. New York Jets, Aug. 20 at Washington Redskins and Sept. 3 vs. Buffalo Bills.

Burleson was cut by the Lions after the 2013 season. Always a talker, he found a good home working as an analyst on the NFL Network. That gig included a visit to Detroit to interview his former teammate Calvin Johnson.

Rubick, a 12th-round pick by the Lions in 1982, and he served as the Lions studio analyst on the Detroit Sports Report and later on Lions Live on FSD. In 2010, he became the color commentator for preseason games on the Detroit Lions Television Network.

Shepard, a reporter and host for FOX Sports Detroit, has previously worked as the the play-by-play announcer for Detroit Lions preseason games and as the host of The Ford Lions Report during the regular season on the Detroit Lions Television Network. Shepard also has a morning show on WDFN.

“All of us at FOX Sports Detroit are excited to welcome this trio of Nate, Rob and Matt to our Lions broadcasting team,” said Greg Hammaren, senior vice president and general manager of FOX Sports Detroit.  “We’ve had the pleasure of working with Rob and Matt for a number of our other live events and think Nate will bring his unique perspective as a former wide receiver and energy to enhance our show.”

The Detroit Lions open training camp on Monday, 10 days before the first preseason game.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)


Detroit Lions — Golden Tate on deflategate, integrity of the game

Golden Tate speaks to media at his football camp on Thursday.
ROCHESTER HILLS — Golden Tate admits that he’s not entirely educated on the situation with Tom Brady and the four-game suspension handed down by the NFL for allegedly deflating footballs.

Perhaps, no one is.

Still the integrity of the game is key for the Detroit Lions wide receiver, so if Brady's punishment is deserved he has no problem with it.

“I’m not totally educated on the situation. I don’t know what’s real and what’s not. I think if you violate the integrity of this game you must be punished,’’ Tate said on Thursday.

“We’re always trying to gain more fans — nationally and internationally — when you threaten the integrity of the sport as a whole, you’re threatening the integrity of the people who are inside it also.

“If it’s legit and he had actually did have something to do with it, he deserves every bit of that punishment. If he didn’t have anything to do with it, they need to look into it more and be more factual. That’s not for me to really dip in. I hope it works out for the best for both parties. I hope justice is served,’’ Tate added.

Tate made the comments at his football camp at Rochester Hills High School. He didn’t bring up Deflategate, but answered the question when asked.

The Lions open training camp on Monday.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)

7/29/2015

Detroit Lions — Check out transcript from chat

The weekly Lions' chat made its triumphant return on Thursday after a five-week break. So fun to talk to everyone again. Check out transcript here.

With the start of training camp set for Monday, there was plenty to discuss.

We talked a little about most everyone including Matthew Stafford, Ryan Broyles, Haloti Ngata, Jeremy Ross and tons more.

Next week's chat will be at noon on Thursday because practice is at 2 p.m. that day. — Paula Pasche




7/28/2015

Detroit Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes another wild trip

Levy skinny dipping in the Amazon.
From the looks of DeAndre Levy’s Instagram account, he’s not too concerned about signing a contract extension with the Detroit Lions.

The linebacker posted a photo of himself skinny dipping in the Amazon today (Tuesday).

DeAndre Levy sledding down a volcano in Nicaragua.
 His post suggests (in adult terms) that he's no fan of pool parties and that a candiru wouldn't dare attack him. (Thanks to Wikipedia -- a candiru a toothpick fish or vampire fish -- 
is a species of parasitic freshwater
catfish native to the Amazon Basin.)

A few days ago it was sledding down a live
 volcano in Nicaragua.

The guy sure knows how to vacation.

At least both of those activities seem somewhat safer than wing-walking which he did in the spring.

Levy’s contract expires after this season and there has been interest from both sides for an extension.
Levy's earlier adventure, wing-walking on bi-plane.

Lions’ veterans report on Sunday and start training camp on Monday. Rookies reported on Tuesday.



(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-
order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)









Detroit Lions single game tickets on sale Wednesday

Detroit Lions single game tickets for this season go on sale at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Tickets will be available through DetroitLions.com or 877-212-8898. Tickets can also be purchased at the Ford Field ticket office between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Lions open their home season schedule on Sept. 27 against the Denver Broncos in a Sunday night game at 8:30 p.m.


(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)

7/24/2015

Detroit Lions – Five reasons Matthew Stafford will improve this season

The fate of the Detroit Lions’ offense rests on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford. He knows it, the coaches know it and the fans know it.

Here are five reasons Stafford will be better than he was in 2014:

  1. The quarterback is more familiar with this Joe Lombardi offense. I know you’ve heard that before but it’s true and it’s important. He’ll be able to operate at a faster pace because it will seem more natural to him — he won’t have to stop and think — he can just play.

  2. Stafford is a gunslinger, we all know it. Last year Lombardi seemed hesitant to give Stafford the freedom to go deep down field. Lombardi said in the spring — and he’s been consistent with this — that the goal is give Stafford the green light more often. If the running game is improved (as it should be) this will help the effort.

  3. After minicamp, coach Jim Caldwell again talked about Stafford’s hard work. The coach said between minicamp and training camp last year, it was obvious Stafford had been studying the playbook. He expects the same when camp starts on Aug. 3.

  4. He just looked more comfortable in the offense during minicamp with the new-look offensive line. Yes, there were no pads or no contact allowed — but he was moving the offense at a much quicker pace. His accuracy was on full display too.

  5. This will be Stafford’s seventh NFL season. All that experience in invaluable. He’s got great coaches in Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter who are setting him in the right path.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)

7/23/2015

Detroit Lions — Five top position battles in training camp

When Detroit Lions training camp starts on Aug. 3 questions will start to be answered. Some players have their positions nailed down, but several others do not.

Here are five of the top position battles in training camp:

  1. Kellen Moore and Dan Orlovsky will fight it out for the No. 2 quarterback spot. It was Orlovsky’s in 2014, but Moore had an impressive showing in the preseason games and throughout practices last season. The two were basically splitting reps with the second group through OTAs and mandatory minicamp. It will likely come down to who plays best in the preseason games.

  2. Manny Ramirez and Laken Tomlinson are the favorites to start at left guard. This coaching staff treats players equal once they are on the field. They will not hand the job to Tomlinson because he was the first-round pick. In minicamp, it was Ramirez that mostly worked with the starters.

  3. It’s a young group at defensive tackle hoping to start beside Haloti Ngata. Caraun Reid appears to have the edge heading into training camp. However Tyrunn Walker and Gabe Wright could have something to say about that.

  4. The Lions kept six wide receivers (including the Jeremy Ross, the returner) out of training camp a year ago. They’ve got more talent now which could put Ryan Broyles, Lance Moore, TJ Jones, Greg Salas and Andrew Peacock in a battle just for a spot on the 53-man roster. Plus, it’s not a given they will keep six again this year.

  5. While Jeremy Ross returned kicks and punts last season, that is not a given. This will be played out in training camp but the crucial tests will be in preseason games. Competitors include Ryan Broyles, Ameer Abdullah, TJ Jones and Lance Moore.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)

7/21/2015

Detroit Lions – Five reasons Ryan Broyles could make 53-man roster

It’s still early and the the competition is tough among Detroit Lions wide receivers. 

Here are five reasons why Ryan Broyles has a good shot at making the 53-man roster:

  1. This is the first of his four training camps with the Lions that he is not coming off major offseason surgery (two ACLs and Achilles). It appears he’s regained his speed and his explosiveness.

  2. Broyles had a good offseason and was solid in OTAs and the three-day minicamp. He was bunched in with the possible returners during both. Bringing that added dimension, could help him keep his job.

  3. He remains a bit of a mystery since the coaches didn’t use him much in the 2014 season. At one point coach Jim Caldwell said Broyles was trained to run the same routes as Golden Tate and since Tate was never injured Broyles didn’t get a chance.

  4. He can line up on the outside or in the slot. Versatility always a good thing.

  5. Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate are absolute locks. Lance Moore and Corey Fuller are favored to make roster. Other than Broyles, that leaves Jeremy Ross and Greg Salas as only veterans who have a solid chance.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)

Detroit Lions — Five reasons it's OK to be optimistic

Detroit Lions fans have learned their lesson about being optimistic for a season even if it follows a successful season. I get that.

It’s just that it seems so many fans are wringing their hands about the Lions who were 11-5 in 2014 and went to the playoffs.

Here are five reasons it’s OK to be optimistic about the 2015 season:

  1. Yes, the Lions blew it in 2012 finishing 4-12 after a successful 2011 season and a trip to the playoffs. These are not the same Lions and it starts at the top with coach Jim Caldwell.

  2. The defense was ranked second in the NFL last year and will survive the loss of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley thanks to the effective coaching of coordinator Teryl Austin.

  3. The offense is already looking better because they are in the second year of the new Joe Lombardi style offense. Last year they were working to get the basics, this year even before the start of training camp they are working on the details.

  4. The run game will be better with Ameer Abdullah and a new-look offensive line. This will take some pressure off Matthew Stafford and let him stretch the field.

  5. It’s hard to explain but the right mindset is there thanks to Caldwell. Every team’s goal is the Super Bowl and Stafford admitted (when asked) that certainly it is the Lions’ goal too. But first they have to improve on a daily basis.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Amazon.com. Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)