Interesting how many Lions-Tampa connections keep popping up. Also, how seriously Rod is taking measures to ensure there are mentors available for each of the rookie/young players that he is trying to develop on the roster.
The latest example of this is Lomas Brown mentoring Gosder Cherilus -- a possibility that was brought up a couple weeks ago in Brown's interview with Philip Zaroo on Mlive.com -- an offer that Marinelli and Brown took seriously enough to implement. Lets not forget, that as a back-up Olineman with Tampa's SB team in 2002, he worked with Marinelli quite a bit since Marinelli -- as Assistant Head Coach-Defense in addition to Dline position coach -- would oversee the defense working against the scout team --- especially the Dline against the scout team Oline. What is obvious from Browns interview is something that appears again and again -- the respect that serious players and coaches who have worked with Marinelli show him.
It was interesting the Freep had one quote I didn't see in the other article -- which was still mostly positive; It is that quote which I have noticed "haters" -- being really the only way to explain them -- latching onto. To me, everything I got from Brown's comments is that he thinks Cherilus has the skills you can't teach, and is willing and able to work on refining those skills he needs to improve in order to be a pro-bowl NFL RT. Will he get there? How is he or anyone else supposed to know? They've only worked together a couple times with Cherilus in shorts in non-contact drills. I'm no expert, but as I've said before: You can't evaluate until the pads go on, and the whistle blows.
Moving more on the mentors-mentees, it is now prevalent throughout the roster.
DE: White is mentoring 50 and now Avril
DT: Darby is there to help Moore, Redding, and Fluellen
LB: Lenon can help Dizon learn the system; remember, it's not that Lenon doesn't know what he should be doing, but he is just not as talented nor does he have the instincts Dizon appears to have.
S: Dwight Smith is a savvy vet who will surely help continue and accelerate the development of Alexander and Bullocks; Pearson also knows the D and could be a factor as well (pending his legal troubles)
CB: Kelly is a great mentor not only for Keith Smith, who is showing continued development into a solid CB -- especially as a dime back covering the deep ball, and special teams contributor. Kelly can also help Bodden to pick up the T2 quicker, as well as Stanley Wilson who has often been the forgotten man this ifseason, even though he earned a starting role before losing it to injury last season.
QB: Just ask Carson Palmer. When it comes to talent, he may have more than Kitna, but he says that his mentorship form Kitna was and still is a big reason for his success. That kind of mentorship should hopefully be helping Orlovsky and Stanton especially
WR: Perhaps the most solid group on the team, CJ is the least experienced but Mike Furrey knows what it takes, and is a good mentor -- again, even if CJ can execute at a higher level at different aspects than Furrey can. Sometimes it's not about knowing what to do, but having the ability to do it.
Oline: Having Brown Mentor Cherilus is just the latest step.
I may have missed some instances, but you can see the obvious trend -- especially considering the number of knowledgeable, solid players on D that were brought in to help mentor the younger guys who will eventually supplant them.