Ask the Intern: Week One – After the Roster Cuts

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Hello and welcome to a new segment here at Detroit Lions Podcast called “Ask the Intern” where I, Brandon “The Intern”, will be taking and answering your questions via Facebook, Twitter and even the Podcast! The season is up and coming and many fans around the NFL are excited to finally see meaningful games being played after a month-long roster battle. The Detroit Lions take on the Indianapolis Colts week one and it should be a very interesting game. If you would like to see your questions appear here next week, comment on our Facebook post, tweet me @BKnappBlogs or call in to the podcast. Here are this weeks questions, which focus mainly on issues arising from the roster cuts of last Saturday.

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Question 1: After the last preseason game, and all the rosters are cut down to 53 men, what is the chance of the Detroit Lions winning the NFC North title?

Well before the season started, I had Detroit coming in second behind the Green Bay Packers in the division, with the Minnesota Vikings closely in third and the Chicago Bears in fourth. Now with the news of Teddy Bridgewater being injured for the season, the Vikings are knocked out of the race, even with Sam Bradford being their quarterback. Chicago is still in a rebuilding phase and I don’t believe they will have a chance to win the division, even with an improvement on the offensive line in Josh Sitton. The Green Bay Packers are the team to beat as per usual, and they are healthy with Jordy Nelson returning to the team and Eddie Lacy losing weight and getting back to his old self – Green Bay will be back in control of the division. Overall, I would give Detroit a 35 percent chance to win the division, with Green Bay in first with a 55 percent chance, Minnesota at 8 percent and Chicago at 2 percent.

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Question 2: Why is the roster the way it is? We only have four wide receivers and 11 defensive lineman, what gives?

I am struggling to answer this question as well. Detroit bringing in four wide receivers after the roster cuts is dangerous as one injury could mean the same three guys are on the field and gassed with no breaks. With the tight end spot having some injury issues, the Lions cannot afford to move a tight end to receiver if things go bad. Eleven defensive linemen is a crazy number to have, with six being tackles, four being ends and one being able to play either spot. Detroit must believe they want depth in the position and if they were to cut anybody that was practice squad eligible, another team would snag them, so they kept them on the team. Detroit did bring TJ Jones and Jace Billingsley to the practice squad so if they need some help, they have two guys that can come in easily.

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Question 3: What were the biggest surprise roster cuts in your opinion?

Three players come to mind when looking at the roster cuts that happened on Saturday and they are TJ Jones, Jake Rudock and Caraun Reid. TJ Jones didn’t play in the fourth preseason game, which looked like a for sure roster spot. Detroit only has four wide receivers on the roster, which is unusual and TJ Jones was on the team last season. He is on the practice squad so he can get called up when the Lions need him.

Jake Rudock is next as I expected him to be the third string quarterback with an impressive preseason. Detroit has a shaky backup in Dan Orlovsky and fans were excited to see Jake Rudock, a former Michigan Wolverine, take over the quarterback spot during the preseason. Luckily for his fans, he was signed to the practice squad and will be with the team all season unless he gets signed elsewhere.

Caraun Reid is the final player I didn’t expect to get cut. He played in 14 games, starting 12 last season and did well doing so. He didn’t have a bad preseason showing, but with other guys stepping up elsewhere on the line there wasn’t room for him on the roster. I was hoping he would be on the practice squad, but the San Diego Chargers signed him so the chances of him returning are really slim to none.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me and ask me questions on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find and send me questions on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life, call in to the live post-game show and ask me questions as we will be taking listener calls and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.