Detroit Lions News: Food Poisoning Catch Up Edition
I don’t know about you but I’ve had an interesting couple of days. I completed round two of my first set of practicum assignments on the way to becoming a High School math teacher, lost about fifteen pounds (I won’t go in to the details of that part; it was….. unpleasant), had conversations I don’t remember, tweeted and re-tweeted things I don’t recall reading, or really understand why I felt the need to share (some of which have been deleted), and I even posted coherently on /r/detroitlions once or twice. I recall almost none of that, and I also don’t recall trying to collect links for this article, but apparently I did try to bang this out at some point Saturday, so here are what I thought were the important links to keep you caught up on Detroit Lions News:
Lions running back George Winn signed his ERFA contract. An exclusive rights free agent is different from a restricted free agent in that the words free agent are somewhat of a misnomer, as the player literally has no choice but to play for that team if he wants to stay in the NFL. Winn was cut in the final wave of players last season having lost his roster spot to Zach Zenner, but signed to the Lions practice squad and was promoted when Zenner went down with a chest injury. He is a competent special teams contributor, and an adequate last resort at the running back position. If the Lions draft a running back this year Winn is likely a camp body, but his special teams play is always fun to watch late in otherwise meaningless preseason games.
It seems like the rest of the internet and I do not see the same player when we watch film on Ronald Blair. He is not going to be an edge rusher at the NFL level, he just doesn’t have that in him. His plays in college were made primarily against right tackles, some of whom literally stood in one place punching at him as he went by. When his speed rush worked, it was against players that were wider at the waist than at the shoulder. He is going to need to bulk up and play end in a 3-4 defense at the NFL level, or really bulk up and be a full time DT, so unless the Lions really are changing schemes, I don’t see the fit. More Daryll Tapp than Jason Jones, and that’s not a good thing.
Rob Sims told us what we already knew: the Lions blocking scheme was too complicated for the Lions to try and run it with nobody on the roster who could be called a veteran. With any luck Geoff Schwartz will be the veteran presence that can help the younger guys see what they’re missing on game day.
Aaron Burbridge met with the Lions at Michigan State’s pro day. I like the prospect as the Lions fourth round pick, he could fit in to the Lions offense as a third receiver long term, but is likely somewhat limited in his NFL prospects by his lack of special athletic attributes. His bench reps were the only stand out in his combine testing, but the rest of his day was adequate. He will be a slot receiver at the NFL level, and I think a decent one. He has small hands, but doesn’t look like a guy that has trouble making catches. Some WR coaches hate that though.
The Lions gave their old weight room gear to the Police Athletic League. I don’t want to take the focus off the incredible charitable donation, this is a solid move by the Lions and supporting groups like this is amazing. With that said looking at that gear my first thought was “The equipment in my gym is way better than that stuff, how did a professional sports franchise let their gear get so busted and old?” I mean, if you’re a free agent and you’re visiting the facility, and you’re looking at chipped and dented plates on the racks, that alone is going to make you want to avoid going to that place if you have other options. I also thought back to how many players in recent years have chosen to work out on their own rather than at the team facility when they were given the option. This was an excellent use of the old gear though, hopefully the new strength and conditioning coaches make good use of the new stuff.
Mike Rothstein did a nice mailbag this week going over some of the Lions best options at pick 16. He gives his take on what would have to happen for the Lions to have the option of trading back, some players he thinks will be available at pick 16, Donte Whitner, and the direction the Lions are going this off-season in regards to planning for the future vs. taking care of the present.
So there are the best articles I found in my semi-coherent state some time between 3pm Friday and 10pm Saturday. They say that 75% of all food borne illnesses are caused by salads, and that 80% of statistics are made up on the spot with no research to back them up. That’s a compelling enough reason for me to get something else for lunch next time though. I almost undoubtedly missed something, so shoot me a line @a5hcrack on twitter, or just go post it at /r/detroitlions if you feel the world needs to see it. I am going back to bed; I’ll wake up at some point down the road and see what the world has brought us in Detroit Lions news.