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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.


Draft leftovers

A couple leftovers from the press conference to introduce Saturday draft picks Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew and Louis Delmas while we wait for the Lions' last pick, and coach Jim Schwartz's final draft-day thoughts:

• Schwartz said Pettigrew is NFL-ready right now and pointed to his most famous game against Texas, when he manhandled defensive end Brian Orakpo, who went 13th overall to the Redskins. “One of the things that sort of put him over the hump for us was we watched the Texas game and Brandon did a very good job of blocking Orakpo, and we said that's what he's going to be looking at in the NFL, that's what he's going to be blocking,” Schwartz said. “Never seen a guy push guys off the radar screen, push guys off the film as much as him, and we're really excited about what he can add to our offense.”

Orakpo will get a chance for revenge in Week 3 when the Redskins visit Ford Field.

• Stafford said he doesn't think of himself as any sort of franchise savior. “There's no way one guy can turn it around,” he said. He also said he'll do his best to win over the fans who booed his selection. “That comes with playing and winning football games,” he said. “Winning solves a lot of problems and there's a bunch of steps that go into that and hopefully we can turn it around, start winning some games here and it could be an exciting time.”

• Schwartz on Louis Delmas: “We've probably gotten about 10 calls today from different people around the league said, 'Damn, you took our guy.' You don't have to watch very long on film to see what kind of player he is. A multidimensional player, a guy that has some corner in his background, he's got great range against the pass, he's got great instincts and absolutely brings it in the run game. A guy that wants to make the play. And there's a difference when you talk about guys in the secondary that are willing to tackle and guys that want to tackle. And you'll see that immediately when you watch it on tape.”

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Blogger Jesse said...

Hi Dave...I'm going to visit this one more time: is it all possible that this team is looking to run a 3-4 and that they denied it to hide their draft intentions? I look at the kid from Stillman (possibly at 3-4 end) and the two linebackers they took and I start feeling 3-4.

8:16 PM 
Blogger Bret said...


I have no understanding of the 3-4. With that in mind could you elaborate as to who would fit a 3-4 between the new draftees and the current roster? If a case could be made for the 3-4 or a hybrid defense, I would get on board with the poor drafting this weekend. I really want to see the Lions succeed, but when they didn't address the O and D lines early on, I lost all hope of a solid foundation being built.

10:03 PM 
Blogger Jesse said...

Bret...I'm definitely no expert, but I'll give it a shot. "3-4" (like "4-3") refers to the number of down linemen (defensive tackles and ends) and the number of linebackers in the scheme. A 3-4 features a nose tackle and two defensive ends...typically all three are larger than lineman in the 4-3, which includes a second tackle. Larger linemen are necessary in the 3-4 as they are oftentimes responsible for taking on more offensive blockers and filling more rushing lanes ("gaps"), having one less defensive lineman to help. the four 3-4 linebackers are typically large and athletic, as with one less lineman they are more exposed to offensive blockers and have to help generate more of the pass rush...very often one of the four 3-4 linebackers will be blitzing the quarterback, hence the popularity of smallish college DEs taken to play OLB for 3-4 teams.

As far as the Lions go, Cliff Avril and Zack Follett are two decent pass rushers who would be good fits as 3-4 OLB (though Follett needs to bulk up). Super large tackles like Grady Jackson and the kid from Stillman could play the NT, while athletic defensive end/defensive tackle "tweeners" like Andre Fluellen, Ikaika Alama-Francis, former Lion Cory Redding, make decent 3-4 ends.

Ultimately, I think they should run a hybrid (switching schemes and personnel), as their most talented veteran defenders--Dewayne White and Ernie Sims--are traditional 4-3 right end and weak-side linebacker, and would not fit a 3-4. Thanks for indulging us, Dave.

11:30 PM 
Blogger Jesse said...

Bret...small correction. White is a 4-3 LEFT defensive end. Typically a little bigger, stronger against the run, less of a pass rusher.

11:33 PM 
Blogger Bret said...

Jesse- Thanks for explaining the 3-4. I've believed for a while that there is talent in the guys the Lions drafted during the Marinelli years, although there is lack of size. I think Schwartz can find a use for some of the guys you mentioned. I've always liked what I've seen out of IAF, even if he is raw.

12:16 AM 

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