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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.


Martz, Kalimba and a tackle

The Lions aren't out of the playoff hunt yet, though it's unrealistic to expect this reeling team to win more than one game the rest of the year. There are reasons to keep watching however, including these storylines that will shape the offseason:

- Will Mike Martz return as offensive coordinator? Head coach Rod Marinelli has defended Martz's playcalling on numerous occasions, but it's clear something isn't working. Jon Kitna gets beat up every game, the offensive line and running backs want to run more, the veteran receivers were peeved at their underuse last week, and Calvin Johnson was nowhere to be found in the gameplan again Sunday. One school of thought says this offense gets better the longer you're in it and with core players like Kevin Jones and Roy Williams nearing free agency and Kitna closing in on a point of diminishing returns it'd be foolish to blow it up now. Another school says the offense has been this season's biggest disappointment.

- Will Kalimba Edwards be back for a seventh season? A chronic underachiever, Edwards has three years left on the $20-million deal he signed in 2006. He hasn't started the last two games, and makes a lot of money for someone who's contributed six sacks over the last two seasons. Of course, the Lions also have to beef up their shoddy secondary and add a linebacker who can tackle (Boss Bailey will likely find a new home as a free agent). Spending big money on a defensive end a year after you drafted Ikaika Alama-Francis in the second round may be too much to ask.

- What's the rebuilding plan on the offensive line? Edwin Mulitalo has been a solid addition at left guard, Dominic Raiola is entrenched at center, and for better or worse Jeff Backus is your left tackle. But the Lions must do something about the right side of their line. There'll be a handful of free-agent options available (not including the soon-to-be-departed George Foster and Damien Woody), but the most logical place to look will be the draft. The Lions haven't spent a top-three-round pick on a lineman since taking Backus and Raiola in 2001. Michigan's Jake Long will surely be off the board by the time they pick in April, but USC's Sam Baker and Boise State junior Ryan Clady are potential options.


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