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.

7/24/2014

Report: Detroit Lions not optimistic about deal with Ndamukong Suh


The Detroit Lions are not optimistic about signing Ndamukong Suh to a new contract, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Suh’s contract which runs through the 2014 season has a salary cap hit of $22 million. Mortensen reported that if Suh doesn’t get signed his franchise tender would be $26.7 million in 2015 or he would become an unrestricted free agent entering his sixth NFL season.

Suh fired his former agent in January and signed new agent Jimmy Sexton in March. Both sides have said they want to reach an agreement, but neither side has made a public announcement in months.

It’s likely Suh, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, wants to be the highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL. A year ago Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins signed a six-year deal worth $66.423 million.

While there’s no question Suh has found success on the field, he drew attention to himself this spring when he didn’t show up for the voluntary offseason workout programs from the get-go.

He's a man with a mind of his own. Nothing should be surprising to Lions' management or the fans.

The Lions veterans report for training camp on Sunday and hold their first practice on Monday.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

7/23/2014

Report: Detroit Lions Golden Tate, Ziggy Ansah place on PUP


Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate and defensive end Ziggy Ansah have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list prior to training camp, according to Ian Rapoport, insider for the NFL Network.

This is basically a precautionary move. 
It does not mean the two will sit out the first six games of the season. To be eligible for the PUP list once the season starts, which would make players unavailable through the first six weeks, players must have been on PUP list prior to training camp.

Ansah underwent shoulder surgery in February and should be close to a return.

Tate has been dealingwith shoulder issues but thought he would be ready for the start of camp.

The Lions veterans report on Sunday and open camp on Monday.

Nine sessions of camp will be open to the public starting on Wednesday, July 30, at Wayne State Stadium.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions open up 2 more training camp practices


The Lions have opened up two more training camp practices  — July 30 and July 31 — to the general public in addition to the eight previously announced.

Both practices are free, but wristbands or tickets will be required for entry.

On July 30 the Lions will practice at Tom Adams Field at Wayne State Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Ford Field and Wayne State box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday with a limit of four per person while supplies last.

For the July 31 practice at 2 p.m. at the Lions practice facility in Allen Park, fans must visit a southeast Michigan Ford dealer to pick up a wristband for entry.

Training camp opens on July 28 with the first two days open to season ticket holders.

Other practices open to the general public are Aug. 1 at 3:30 p.m., Aug. 2 at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 4 at 8:30 a.m., Aug. 5 at 3:30 p.m., Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m. (Ford Field), Aug. 7 at 2 p.m., Aug. 11 at 3:30 p.m. and Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. Unless noted, all practices are at Lions headquarters and practice facility, 222 Republic Drive, Allen Park. No wristbands required for those sessions.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

7/22/2014

Check out transcript of pre-training camp chat on Detroit Lions


If you missed Thursday's chat discussing the Detroit Lions, check out the transcript here. Good, insightful questions and hopefully satisfying answers. Training camp starts Monday. Next chat set for 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 31. The Lions will have three days of training camp under their belts at that time. Join us, it's always a good time.



7/21/2014

Detroit Lions to honor William Clay Ford with uniform patch


William Clay Ford will be honored by the Detroit Lions this season with a uniform patch that features his initials.

Ford died on March 9 at age 88

He purchased the Lions in November 1963 and became the sole owner on Jan. 10, 1964. 

Ownership of the team has been passed on to his family with his wife Martha as the team’s majority owner. Bill Ford Jr., has remained as vice chairman.

The patch will be worn starting with the season open on Sept. 8 against the N.Y. Giants at Ford Field.

The Lions, under new coach Jim Caldwell, open training camp on July 28.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

7/17/2014

Detroit Lions — Five key players who have moved on


When training camp opens on July 28, five key players from last season will be missing.

Here are the five players who have moved on:

1. Cornerback Chris Houston was released by the Lions. It was all a little suspicious in the offseason when he couldn’t participate due to a toe injury and then surgery. He has not signed with another team. It’s uncertain which two cornerbacks will start. Darius Slay and Rasheen Mathis are the early favorites.

2. Safety Louis Delmas, who couldn’t find a way to stay on the field due to his bad knee, was released. He signed with the Miami Dolphins. Free agent James Ihedigbo was signed and is expected to start in place of Delmas.

3. Wide receiver Nate Burleson, who is 31, was also cut. Burleson broke his forearm last season in a strange pizza-related incident just after he was coming off a broken leg in 2012. He signed with the Cleveland Browns and will visit Ford Field in the preseason opener for both teams. Golden Tate was signed as a free agent to fill the void.

4. Defensive end Willie Young, who started 15 games in 2013, was an unrestricted free agent who signed with the Chicago Bears. Young stepped in last year after Jason Jones was lost for the season after tearing his patellar tendon in the third game.

5. Quarterback Shaun Hill was a free agent and signed with the St. Louis Rams. Hill was considered one of the top NFL backups. He’s been replaced by Dan Orlovski who is in his second stint with the Lions. He also played for Jim Caldwell at Indianapolis.



(Training camp opens July 28 with eight of the sessions open to the general public starting on Aug. 1.)

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

7/15/2014

Detroit Lions — Top 5 position battles expected at training camp


While all the Detroit Lions' offseason work is important — especially this year with new defensive and offensive systems being installed — training camp is the most crucial time.

Here are five top position battles we’ll be watching:

1. Cornerback: Both starting spots are up for grabs with Chris Houston gone. The most likely candidates are Darius Slay, Rashean Mathis, Cassius Vaughn  and Bill Bentley. Mathis and Vaughn have the most experience, but that doesn’t mean everything. Slay had a good minicamp and Bentley saw plenty of action at nickel in 2013.

2. Right tackle: This is the same battle as in 2013. It was close all the way through a year ago when Corey Hilliard emerged as the starter over the undrafted LaAdrian Waddle. Then Hilliard was injured in the first game so the job was handed to Waddle. Martin Mayhew has said he’s comfortable with either one. Bring it on.

3. Kicker: While the Lions drafted Nate Freese in the seventh round, they also have Giorgio Tavecchio on the roster. Freese consistency at Boston College was amazing. Tavecchio was in camp with the Green Bay Packers last summer and almost won the job over Mason Crosby. The preseason games should determine the winner here.

4. Wide receiver after Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. The Lions usually keep five wide receivers, we’ll see if Caldwell does it that way. In the mix for the final three spots are Ryan Broyles, Jeremy Ross (who will be the returner), Kris Durham and Kevin Ogletree. Much of this decision could be based on their special teams’ ability too.

5. Defensive end: Ziggy Ansah and Jason Jones should start, but it’s not a given. Jones only played three games last season before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. He’s a versatile veteran who can move inside too.  Ansah improved each game — he’s the best the Lions have at defensive end. Still can’t forget about Devin Taylor who improved as the 2013 season wore on and veteran Darryl Tapp who was signed as a free agent.  Rookie Kyle Van Noy is expected to line up mostly at linebacker, but will be on the defensive end in some packages.

(Training camp opens July 28 with eight of the sessions open to the general public starting on Aug. 1.)

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)



7/14/2014

Detroit Lions — Three reasons team holds training camp at home


It’s been 13 years since the Lions have held training camp away from the Detroit area. 
For a few years, they camped out at Saginaw Valley State University which seemed to be a hit with the fans. Since then they have stuck close to home at Lions headquarters and practice facility in Allen Park.

Three reasons they will be in Allen Park for training camp starting on July 28:

1. That’s where coach Jim Caldwell wants to hold camp. When he was with the Indianapolis Colts, they held camp at nearby Anderson, Ind. (Not a hit with the local media.) But he said in June after Lions’ minicamp that he wants to keep it at the practice facility in Allen Park.

2. When teams hold camp away from home, they say it forces the guys to be together and think football 24 hours a day. Caldwell said there’s enough veterans on the team to help him keep everyone focused. During camp the players all stay at a nearby hotel.

3. It’s just easier and cheaper to keep it at the facility in Allen Park which has an outdoor field big enough to hold two football fields and an indoor field too.

(Training camp opens July 28 with eight of the sessions open to the general public starting on Aug. 1.)

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)