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.


Join chat on Detroit Lions at noon on Thursday

Join me for a live chat at noon on Thursday to discuss the Detroit Lions after the first three days of training camp. Bring your questions or just read along.


Detroit Lions — Running back by committee?

ALLEN PARK — It’s a new day and a new offense for the Detroit Lions as they work out during the first week of training camp.

The rotation of players on the field in 7-on-7 and team drills is fast and furious, giving several players opportunities.

When it comes to running backs, expect a different look. Just not sure exactly what that will be yet.

“(The running back rotation) is yet to be determined,’’ quarterback Matthew Stafford said on Monday. “This league seems to be going running back by committee more and more.

“Who knows if that will be us, but it’s such a physical position. We have talented guys who have individual talents that can help our team in different ways. We plan on utilizing them as best we can,’’ Stafford added.

Obviously Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are 1A and 1B, in no particular order.

Theo Riddick shined in minicamp and offseason work. He could prove a good fit with this new offense which mirrors the New Orleans Saints. As a rookie, he was active in 14 games in 2013 and had nine carries for 25 yards.

Mikel Leshoure certainly had his share of work on Monday. Will that continue?

Leshoure was active for just three games in 2013 and had two carries for nine yards.

 Will he be the odd running back out?

“He came back in very good shape, he’s certainly running well at this stage,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said of Leshoure. “We like what we see. It’s early yet. If a guy can perform and play well, there’s always room for another good back. He’s a talented guy.”

(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 table talks with Ndamukong Suh until after season

ALLEN PARK — Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand said today, just before the opening of training camp, that the team has tabled contract talks with Ndamukong Suh's agent until after the season.

Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew remain optimistic that a deal will get done.

Suh is under contract through 2014. The two sides have been negotiating since the spring on a new deal. Mayhew said it was the team's decision to table the talks.

"We've had a lot of conversations over the offseason,'' Lewand said. "Every one of the contract negotiations is different. In light of where we are and most importantly in light of getting ready for the season and keeping the focus where it should be, we've decided to table the discussions with Ndamukong on any further discussions until after the season.

"I think it's the right thing for us to do, its the right thing for the team, it's the right thing for everybody involved,'' Lewand said. "It allows us to keep the focus where it belongs.

"I remain tremendously confident and Jim (Caldwell) said it (Sunday) in his press conference we have a high degree of confidence that we can work out something that will be mutually satisfactory at the right time and the goal hasn't changed in the least but  the timinig is such we think the focus needs to be on the field starting today,'' Lewand said.

Mayhew echoes Lewand.

"We have the formula for getting a guy signed, we have a player who wants to be here, we have a team that wants to (sign) the player,'' Mayhew said. "Those are the two most important things.''

Mayhew said Suh has told him he wants to remain with the Lions.

"It's been a complicated process. At the (February) Combine I thought it would be done around the start of free agency, possibly. After the draft I thought probably by now and now I think probably next year,'' Mayhew said.

"When you're talking about good players it takes a long time to get them done frequently. They're more complicated contracts,'' Mayhew said.

(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 Jim Caldwell expects young cornerbacks to step up

ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions have plenty of cornerbacks with limited experience. It’s an issue as training camp starts and coach Jim Caldwell doesn’t tip-toe around it.

He’s got veteran Rashean Mathis, 33, who started 13 games for the Lions last season along with Cassius Vaughn, who is 26 and started four games for the Indianapolis Colts in 2013.

Most of the others are untested youngsters including Darius Slay who could be a starter along with Mathis.

“The young boy, Darius Slay, in his second year is taking big steps to become a big-time player in this league,’’ linebacker Stephen Tulloch said on Sunday.

Three corners — Bill Bentley, Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood — were drafted in 2012 and remain short on experience. The Lions also drafted Nevin Lawson in the fourth round.

“We’re young. We have a few guys who have been around the block a little bit, but we’re young,’’ Caldwell said. “But we also have some guys who have talent and ability which we’ve certainly been pleased with. Some of the young guys we were able to bring back last week (when rookies reported early).

“We’ve been looking at those guys closely they’re doing a good job. We have some young veterans who have not played an ordinate amount. We certainly anticipate they’re going to have to step up and play and play well,’’ Caldwell said. “We’re pleased with where we are right now. This is the real test. This is where we’re going to find out what we have.’’

Training camp, which starts on Monday, will offer Caldwell and the coaching staff a better understanding of what they have at the position.

“There are a number of spots — to be honest with you -- there’s a number of spots that we’re going to get a look at them in a totally different arena at this stage,’’ Caldwell said. “We’ll see them under the lights in preseason games, we’ll get an opportunity to see them with pads on. To me those are the things that really matter.’’

(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 — Jim Caldwell optimistic about deal for Ndamukong Suh

ALLEN PARK — Ndamukong Suh reported to training camp in impressive shape according to those who have seen him.

The Detroit Lions defensive tackle also reported without having a contract extension done, but coach Jim Caldwell said that will not be a distraction.

“No. 1, he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in,’’ Caldwell said on Sunday. “He’s got a great attitude. You guys will have a chance to talk to him at some point in time, he’ll speak for himself. I don’t think he’s going to let anything distract him. I’m not worried about it in that regard because Tom (Lewand) and obviously Martin (Mayhew) and ownership will get that taken care of.’’

Caldwell said he’s “absolutely” sure that Suh will reach a long-term agreement.

“I’m always optimistic,’’ Caldwell said. “I think you know me by now. Without question they’re working at it and something will be done at the appropriate time.’’

Center Dominic Raiola said the players won’t try to urge Suh into a new deal.

“I don’t think there’s much talking to him,’’ Raiola said. “Right now he’s under contract with the Detroit Lions and he’s coming to camp. He’s here, he’s a Detroit Lion and I’m excited for that. 

“The guy looks more like Adonis now. I think he cut out more body fat and put on more weight which is scary. He’s an exceptional player, one f the best d tackles we play against all year long,’’ Raiola added.

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch echoed the comments. 

He doesn’t see the lack of a new contract as a distraction and he wants Suh playing well in front of him.

“As long as I’m here, I’d like to have him here,’’ Tulloch said on Sunday.

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


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.)


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.)


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.