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.


The more carries the merrier for Smith

I don't know that riding Kevin Smith from the start would have the winless Lions any closer to a victory, but here's why the carry-sharing system with Smith and veteran Rudi Johnson was never a good idea:

“Part of who I am is setting up a defense,” Smith said earlier this week. “I try to make it a point early to press it and hit front side, hit front side, hit front side so (the defense will) close, close, close, and then cut back. In the zone scheme, that's where you get your big plays from, it's the cut back. But if you go back too early, they're going to cut off the cutback and you'll never get it. They're going to play the cutback the whole time, you'll never get it so you'll be stuck with pressing three yards, two yards, four yards, four yards and you'll never get that big 20-yard-plus run.”

Smith is a volume carry. He gets better as games go on. Part of the reason is he's smart and patient as a runner. Not only could he not find a rhythm when he was splitting carries with Johnson, he couldn't set up defenses like he likes. In the last three games, Smith has 61 carries for 245 yards. In the previous seven, he had 56 rushes for 268.

“It was a coaching decision,” Smith said of why he wasn't getting more carries early in the season. “I had complaints within the organization. I wasn't crying or nothing, but I wanted the ball more, I wanted to be able to show the reason they drafted me. And their answer was wait. Wait and when your time is called you better be ready.”

A couple quick notes from Wednesday:

• Receivers Calvin Johnson and Mike Furrey did not practice Wednesday. Johnson said he'd be back Thursday from his quad injury, but their absence is still a bother as Daunte Culpepper needs all the practice time he can get with his top receivers in order to get in better sync.

• Defensive end Jared DeVries practiced Wednesday and should play Sunday against Tampa Bay. Dewayne White might need another week. White said he ran on the treadmill Wednesday and may try to test his strained calf later in the week. Safety Dwight Smith also practiced for the first time since spraining his foot at Houston. He declined to talk about the injury because he said he didn't want to get fined. Cornerback Keith Smith did some pool work Wednesday but he probably needs another week to get back from his groin injury.

• Tampa coach Jon Gruden on not overlooking the Lions (0-10): “We just went to Arrowhead a couple weeks ago and I don't know how many the Chiefs had won at that time and they were ripping us 24-3 when I looked up at the scoreboard right before the half. We respect the Lions a lot. We've studied them on tape. They beat us, they beat our brains in last year down there so we're going to have our hands full.”

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home