Things actually happened this week, you’ve got to love OTA’s. It is not quite as good as having real football, but the things being said by players, coaches, and front office people right now are all we have to go on in regards to what this team is going to look like. So far I have to say I like almost everything I am hearing. So what you’re getting in this week’s morning intel is the things that came out during the week that I think will give you the best idea of where the team is at, and where it is going.
“I don’t see us being predictable this year.” Golden Tate said that, and also said last year that defenses were announcing the Lions plays as they were about to happen; essentially calling out the offensive co-ordinator’s unimaginative tendencies. It reminds me of a time in high school where our quarterback called 2-+ consecutive plays on one, and then wondered why his protection was failing. Hopefully unlike my high school’s quarterback who went on two for the rest of the game, Cooter isn’t going to change things up, and then stick with a different but equally predictable pattern for the rest of the time he’s with the team. I don’t want to have to write morning intel columns bashing Jim Bob Cooter.
The thing about Taylor Decker looking good at left tackle for the Lions is he’s a little different than a lot of Lions hype candidates in that he’s got quality of competition to go against in OTAs, though there’s not a lot to learn in sessions without pads on the line. The same can be said with Reiff moving to right tackle, when the pads come on we’ll see how this shakes out and until then we’re all just hoping and wishing.
Ah, PFF. Let morning intel clue you in on a little secret gentlemen; Calvin Johnson alone did not win the team 18 games in the last two seasons, and while he’s not the only significant loss the Lions had, were James Ihedigbo and Isa Abdul-Quddus really the lynch pins of the defense? Neither was a particularly good player before coming to the Lions, so I have to wonder if they were products of the system rather than stand outs that the Lions could ill afford to lose. Marvin Jones, a lack of Lombardi, and a much deeper running back position should more than make up for the Lions’ losses in my opinion.
Under-promise and over-deliver has been a mantra by which I have lived most of my life. I stole it from Scotty, the chief engineer of the starship enterprise, who would always tell captian Kirk things were going to take longer than they really were, and look like a hero when he pulled off miracle after endless miracle to pull the crew out of the fire. Detroit’s defensive coaching staff are taking an opposite approach this year. Whether it’s hyping rookies, claiming Ansah is going to get 20 sacks, or ensuring that a player who so far has looked like he might be one of the worst picks by the previous regime is going to be good this year, this staff are not being shy about telling the world how good this defense is going to be.
Gabe Ikard over Graham Glasgow when Swanson was out this week? Honestly, to be surprised that the veteran would fill in better for the team than a player who has been a pro all of a month, is to greatly underestimate the mental aspect of picking up the game. At skill positions the battle is getting used to the speed as much as it is mental, but for the linemen, it’s all about knowing where they have to go, and what they have to do on the way. Morning intel does not see Ikard’s role as an indictment of Glasgow. if I were to pick one of them to get major playing time this season, it would be Glasgow.
Alex Carter is a player I think will surprise people this year. The Lions’ defense is a complex one by all accounts, and it’s not too surprising that a player who went on the PUP list as a rookie would fail to make a mark. That, and a lot of less interesting topics are covered in Justin Rogers twitter talk this week.
Zach Zenner is likely to be the Lions fourth running back behind Abdulah, Riddick, and Ridley. His comeback from injuries is not one of the key stories for the Lions this off-season but the fanbase is pretty much united in that we’re all pulling for the kid to come back fully. Morning intel will continue to keep Case, and thus you, fully aware of his status.
Every year in the NFL there is a guy that was never supposed to make a team that steps up and takes on a role nobody believed he would ever be capable of. With the large number of Lions veterans out from OTAs with injuries, a lot of young and unheralded players are getting their chance to show the Lions coaches what they’ve got. This part of the year is not as important as training camp and the preseason games, but this still provides the team with an excellent opportunity to churn through the roster at the bottom as the separate the wheat from the chaff.
Petry did an interesting interview with Rafael Bush, who wants to be as versatile as possible, and make himself an option for as much playing time as possible. The same can be said of Riley Reiff, who seems to be doing everything he can to tell teams that whatever need they have on the offensive line, Reiff is the name on the jersey of the guy who can fill it.
That’s this week in morning intel, See you next week, when I fully expect to be completely sure that the Lions are going to win the superbowl.