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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.

8/30/2008

Analyzing the cuts

The Lions made the smart move Saturday when they decided to keep rookie seventh-round pick Landon Cohen on their 53-man roster. Cohen had a good preseason — better than some other defensive linemen that made the team — and likely would have been claimed had the Lions exposed him to waivers.

But keeping an 11th lineman at the expense of a third running back (or even a fifth receiver) could prove problematic over the course of a 16-game season. I say "could" because I don't know if the Lions will stay at 11 all year. It's certainly possible they trade or release a veteran like Shaun Cody (or spare fullback Sean McHugh or tight end John Owens once Dan Campbell proves healthy) in order to solidify one of their thinner position groups. Nothing's imminent and I wouldn't expect a Rudi Johnson signing, but if the right move is there it will be made.

For now, Shaun McDonald will handle punt returns and Mike Furrey is in charge of kicks. Kevin Smith will start at running back with Tatum Bell as his backup and rookie fullback Jerome Felton as the emergency No. 3. One injury to any of those five (not to mention top receivers Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams) and the Lions are in trouble, but that would have been the case regardless. It's not like Aveion Cason, Brian Calhoun or Artose Pinner — Cason and Pinner were placed on injured reserve Saturday and Pinner was released — was going to carry the rushing load.

As for Cohen, don't expect big gameday contributions from him this year. He'll likely join fellow rookie defensive linemen Andre Fluellen and Cliff Avril on the inactive list most Sundays, but he has a bright future ahead of him, especially under Rod Marinelli's tutelage.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous JD said...

I would think undersized DE Corey Smith is also on the bubble. The Lions have 4 DEs (White, DeVries, IAF, and Avril), plus they can stash Hardie and DeGrate on the practice squad. In other words, Corey Smith is a luxury the Lions really don't need.

If Campbell was healthy, I'd have to think John Owens is dead man walking.

9:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't believe dan campbell is still on the damn roster....that guy needs to go and so does calhoun.

davis, pinner, henson, and blue better be there when we make our practice squad. not sure if any of them aren't eligible, but if all of them are, we should get them on there.

2:52 PM 
Blogger Nuf said...

jd, you forget that Smith is probably the best special teams player on the team. he singlehandedly saved two Devin Hester TDs last year, one time even catching him from about 10 yards back.

5:47 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

Dave,

Is Ryan Nese going to be the new starting Strong Side LB? I'm assuming that his signing will push Gardner to the Weak Side, to back up Sims. Marcus Thomas isn't a return man at all is he?

-Marty

6:08 PM 

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