Morris: Lions 'should have won 8 games' last year
Sorry I didn't get a blog up yesterday. Had a previous engagement that occupied most of my day. Figured I'd empty my tape recorder this morning instead. Here's a few morsels for your enjoyment:
Kevin Smith isn't the only Lions running back who thinks the team was that close to making the playoffs last year. I caught up with new running back Maurice Morris at the Lions' bocce ball tournament Wednesday and asked if he had any apprehension about signing with the NFL's first ever 0-16 team.
Not at all because I saw film, Morris said. You could see the Detroit Lions, they should have won eight games. They may have lost them in the fourth quarter with a play here and there, but they should have won eight games because they (lost) a bunch of games by a field goal. It's kind of like, it's just a matter of finishing in the fourth quarter.
To clarify, Morris said most of his Lions' watching came via highlights before his games, which typically started three hours later in Seattle. But he said he wanted to be part of a team that was young and hungry, and that only needed the help of some veterans to get over the hump.
They lost by a field goal, here, seven points here, gave up a touchdown at the end of the game or something, Morris said. They lost a bunch of games by a slim margin.
He also said Smith's prediction of the playoffs this year didn't strike anyone in the locker room as odd.
Not at all, Morris said.
I mentioned right tackle Gosder Cherilus on Thursday and how I think he'll be a big key to the offensive line's progression this year. The second-year right tackle, who coach Jim Schwartz called a giant, said he's much more comfortable now that he's got one NFL season under his belt.
I don't feel like I'm all over the place, Cherilus said. The one thing I realized is you're trying so hard trying to please everybody. The guy playing next to you, the coaches behind you, your quarterback. And most times you just don't please nobody. Now, you're just like, yeah, I'm just going to count on playing for myself and once you do that everybody will respect what you're doing cause at the end of the day it's 11 guys, once you do your job and everybody else does theirs, nobody's going to point fingers.
Schwartz complimented Cherilus' mean streak and compared it to some of the league's top right tackles. Said Cherilus, Do I look mean to you? You see that smile. Nah, at the end of the day football's football. You can be happy and play, but at the end of the day, they blow the whistle, everybody's going full speed, you have to have it, especially what we're trying to do here. We're in the NFC North. We talk about running the football. You have to really get your noes down hard in the trenches and try to run the ball, and that's not going to come easy.
Cherilus does have a mega-watt smile, by the way. But Vikings fans remember the play Cherilus made on Jared Allen last season, when he lunged from a kneeling position to block Allen as Allen chased Daunte Culpepper horizontally across the field.
When you watch me play, one thing you expect I'm always going to give you 110 percent, Cherilus said. I'm not dirty, but if I have a chance to really cross you and do my job, make it look good and make sure you have nothing to do with this play, I'll do it. But that doesn't mean I'm dirty like that. I'm not trying to hurt nobody. I'm just trying to get the job done the best that I can.
Titans running back LenDale White explained on SportingNews Radio why USC shouldn't lose its national championship if Reggie Bush and others are found to have accepted improper benefits a few years ago: I don't think if you got money, a flat-screen TV, or however it looks that (those things) will make you go out and play better or beat somebody. I don't think so. We get paid in the NFL, and the Lions went 0-16.
Finally, receiver Darrell Jackson, who played last season in Denver, worked out for the Lions on Thursday.