Friday, July 25, 2008

Training Camp: Revamped Secondary, more

If there is one place the Lions determined to get better this ifseason, it was in the secondary. The primary opponents were injury and developed talent that fit the scheme. The Lions did a lot to improve the position via trades and ifseason FA signings.

So far, it seems that reports for all areas outside of QB are pretty positive. I still say that they will both be fine. Dan O is about a year rusty, and Stanton is essentially in his first real ifseason getting any reps. I'm willing to wait out camp and see. Pre-Season games will be really telling on that score -- Dan O looked good running the O last year before he got injured. I'm curious to see if he leveled off, took a step back, or went forward. He may turn out to be the David Gerrard or Tony Romo of the Lions - or he could be the next Sage Rosenfels -- who knows?

One side benefit of the defense improving is that it will inadvertently improve the offense -- and vice versa.

I can understand why Jordan Dizon didn't tell anyone about his DUI until it was in the news. I think we've all done something really stupid that could have a devastating effect on our lives -- and just hoped it would either go away, or somehow get "solved" with no one knowing about. Granted, he should have told Marinelli, but after reading the article I think we are reminded that these are just young men -- very young men -- and he was just scared. Don't get me wrong, after his holdout and the arrest news coming out after the draft... that boy better have a chip on his should the size of S. Rogers. (Sounds like Cherilus already does. I would too if I was him and read even half the stories on him between the draft and now. It also sounds like he is eager to prove it on the field instead of in the media -- which is where it should be done.)

Nothing I want to see more than KJ and AP getting sportscenter highlight fumble causing crushed by our LB creating a RB flatbread sandwich.

I was watching old YouTube clips of "Terry Tate -- Office LB" One of those things you laugh at in spite of yourself -- especially those of us in office settings. Yup -- I want to see them hit the opposing RB like the guy playing solitaire.

Almost Filmseason. I can hear the bone cracking hits now....


JJLions20 said...

In an era of Michael Vick and PacMan Jones, I think Dizon’s brush with the law will be forgotten fairly quickly if he produces on the field.

I still would like to see them sign Spikes so we don't have to go through the growing pains of a rookie MLB. The lions need a fast start again this season, and having a veteran starting the first 8 games would help.

Anonymous said...


"Hello, Janice!"


CHIEFGER139 said...

the secondary could very well be 4 differnt players-should be better but who knows im exicited about our defense-it will be practially an entire new team

Anonymous said...

So far there's been a lot of buzz about Bodden at practices. He sounds like an interception machine. Plus, from what I've heard, he's a great tackler for a corner, something I've never heard associated with the Lions.

Of course this is all just training camp hype, but it's hard not to feel positive about the potential (yes, that dreaded P-word) for this Lions secondary


The Lions just signed Lehman (*ugh*) so I wouldn't get to excited about the possibility of Spikes. I have a feeling they're probably going to get outbid and so they're getting Lehman for insurance. Just hoping that's not the case cause Lehman is old news. His only real upside is that he already knows the system.


CHIEFGER139 said...

off too
as i posted on m-live
TIME TO stand behind the guys you got and quit stirring the pot! hope the hell you know what your doing coach rod-hope this has nothing to do with dizon-especially seeing he's 3rd string now-the least we could afford is another 2nd rd bust-especially when i hear smith choked bigtime in pads-you passed on one of our biggest needs rb-to get smith later-just to get cherlious and dizon and i hear there stinkin it up too-DIZON IS 3RD STRING! too early to tell-but by god you better not screwed up on all 3 of these great needs-im counting on you didnt!! will never forgive you if you did!!

Isphet said...

I don't blame Dizon for not saying anything. I have a pretty good chance at an offer for my dream job coming up in October. Out of loyalty to my current employer of 16 years, I told them in May that there was maybe a 50% chance that I would leave, but If I didn't, I was planning on sticking around because I still enjoy what I do and I'm very good at it. My boss told me directly that he wasn't a bitter person, and that if my dream job ended up not coming through that I was always welcome to stay at my current position.

This week however, I was told that my position is terminated as of October 1st. I'm not worried, because there are about 10,000 jobs I'm more than qualified for and just about anything I wind up doing will be a pay increase for me (I love my current job but am vastly underpaid for it,) but it just goes to show you that in today's business culture, there is NO loyalty from employers to their employees, even if you think you are in a place of special exception like I thought I was.

Dizon did the right thing. I know I'll never tell any future employers any more than they need to know. It's sad, but everyone needs to watch out for themselves these days.

Anonymous said...

isphet, so true...especially in a bad market.

CHIEF, I am shocked.

Teddy Lehman already knows this defense. He is world's ahead of Fincher as he's played here.

We now have signed him for a ton of less cash than we would have if we re-signed him as a free agent in March.

He now knows the Monte Kiffen play book (Grand Daddy) that has been taught to all the Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Rod Marinelli children, and Barry, Lake, Smith grandchildren.

Teddy knowing all the defenses "calls" may help the Lions offense in November against the Bucs.

And it also give Rod and Co. a chance to see how Kiffen evolved his defesnsive playbook since they've all left the system.

This is a great pick-up.

And with Reggie Ball getting hurt in camp, watch to see which receiver they pick up to replace him. The Lions are set at receiver and go seven deep right now, even before the injury with Middleton, Bellamy, and Ellis.

PREDICTION: They will snag a receiver that has been cut from a team they will be playing this year (and maybe from a team they will play twice).

TRAINING CAMP is so much fun!


CHIEFGER139 said...

nubs dont be shocked
i bring up legitimite questions- i hope were all set at linebacker we need to be but i have my serious doubts- have major doubts on cherlious too-but its early hope they do well im counting on it

Anonymous said...


It's all good. As long as the Lions can stay healthy, and not catch the "Redskin Virus", this team is poised to do better than last year.

I always stay away from predictions until just before the teams break camp, but there is NO REASON this team isn't better and more consistent than last season.

Last year, I said .500 in the face of Fetish and all the others. I've been consistent, and I don't think the Lions are Super Bowl-bound every year. I've even picked them to be bad when Killer said '20 in 2'.

IF they stay healthy, you'll be happy.


JJLions20 said...

About the Lehman signing....
First lets remember something about Free Agency. It happens before the draft, and if you don't get guaranteed money, you don't have anything. The Buc's drafted a LB and had him in for Minicamps, OTA's and a few days of preseason, and he signed a week ago. Lehman was not signed to be a starter but he was signed to be a back-up. The Buc's figured this kid would make the team and Lehman's guaranteed money if he got injured was a liability. That's the business part of the NFL.

As for Gardner he had a non guaranteed $520k with no signing bonus. It cost the Lions nearly nothing to cut him. I have not heard the terms of Lehman's deal but if it is less than $520k and not guaranteed, the lions make out financially. Lehman essentially takes Campbell's spot. He makes the team only as a reserve OLB and special teams. Lehman excelled on special teams last year.

This does not preclude signing Spikes. Spikes is not going to play special teams for you, although Lennon would have to if Spikes was signed. What this move may do is put Lennon in Jeopardy. The Lions Cap already accounts for $600k in signing bonus this year, but the 2008 Cap could be freed up of a little more than $1M in 2008 and 1.8M in 2009 by cutting him before the season starts.

So I suspect the Lions will wait to see if Spike's price comes down, and how close Lehman and Lennon are (taking special teams into consideration). Dizon's development also comes into consideration. We can all assume Lennon is the better MLB between him and Lennon. This gives Lennon a better chance of making the team if they need him to start at MLB. But if Dizon shows early he can handle the middle and the Lions make the commitment to start him (lets say after the 2nd preseason game, then Lennon is in trouble. It would come down to who is the better “OLB” and special team player between Lennon and Lehman. And what price do each of them come at if they are very close.

It's as much about finances as it is about talent. Keep the best player at the position and role they are slotted at, but if they are about the same, then take the one that cost you the less, and spend the money somewhere else to upgrade your team.

I now see it as a very possible scenario that Bell and Lennon does not make this team. Now how many actually had that in their predictions of the final roster.

Can said...

Chief, I sometimes wonder what in the world were they thinking also when it comes to resigning some of our old throwback players. It's an act of desperation - nothing more, nothing less. So how is Dizon doing, well they just brought Lehman back - that pretty much explains the situation.

I'm not going to get caught up in all this training camp hype but our secondary looks lights out. This is something that I'll give coach Rod and Millen credit for (A+). We have needed them so called "Dogs" for quite some time now but they won't be as good as they could be if we don't get that push up front.

Now who stands between the secondary and the big guys up front is the real question mark. Thats right, the linebackers. This is a area for serious concern - they have to plug them holes and cover a tight end until the safety's can give them some help over the top.

We will miss Shuan Rogers no doubt.

Keeping it real, Can

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why some people over-react to the Lehman signing. I think it is a minor signing that good for the team for several reasons.
1. The Lions will get him cheap. I think he may have priced himself out of the lineup during free agency. Now He will get paid essentially they were going to pay Fincher. I do not see this hurting any chances of signing Spikes because I think moneywise it is a wash.
2. He already understands the system and what the coaches expect. I do not think the coaches are considering him as a starter but more like added depth and special teams help. One less question mark in their eyes.
3. I think he will have some motivation to play to show Tampa Bay they made a mistake. He will provide additional competition to Dizon and Lenon which could help out.

I sometimes get tired of reading comments on other sites by some people.(Please bear in mind that I do not want to burn anyone in particular.) Some lions fans are so black and white. It is either they stinks to high heaven and will never get better or they will win it all this year. Some fans act like this signing is the final nail while others make Spikes out like he will the savior. I think everything the lions do should be taken with a grain of salt and some common sense. The lions will be a better team but could likely end up with an identical or worse record than last year. I think they are few years and some players away but I also believe that they are on the right path for once.

CHIEFGER139 said...

no way we cut lennon-he should be starting if not at least backing up dizon or spikes no way barring injury he dont make the team, even made an impressive interdeption in practice already-made the lions highlight video's top ten with a interception for a td last year and bell makes the team hands down too-he may even be our best back-remember we were winning when he played-only martz was the moron who didnt see it-he screwed bell and woody about the same time and then the bottom fell out. bell is smiths change of pace and true backup

JJLions20 said...

Yes I may be nuts, but that doesn't mean it won't happen. I try to keep in mind the finances, and the key is to try to better yourself at each position. Lennon comes with a $1M price tag this year and $1.8M next. So a couple of things have to happen for Lennon to be in trouble. #1, the Rod needs to be convinced that he needs to be starting Dizon in the middle. #2 Spikes needs to be signed at a reasonable price. You need to look at it this way. If Dizon is the starting MLB, then who is better at the SLB, Spikes or Lennon. If it is Spikes, then the next question is who is the better reserve/special teamer (Lennon or Lehman) and at what price. If Dizon is not starting after the 2nd preseason game, or Spikes is not landed, then this is all mute.

As for Bell... His cap situation is similar to Lennon. If Smith looks to be the starter and Calhoun looks good, the Lions could free up the Cap space. Bell also has a habit of coughing up the ball. If that happens in the preseason, it could be the end of him. I see Calhoun as being the key to this situation, the finances come in heavily, and also remember that Calhoun was a Millen draft choice, just like Lehman. If Calhoun and Bell are close in camp, then Bell looses.

Also remember not to believe what you hear about players performances in camp. I'll remind you that last year there was all this hype about Bell's speed, and how much faster he was than Jones. All along Martz wanted Jones off of PUP so he could be starting sooner. In a previous year Corey Bradford was a solid #2 receiver that would be paired with Roy. The hype was that Bradford was such a good fit for this offence. Bradford only made it a few games into the season before they released him.

So there will be some surprises. I may be nuts, but it "could" happen.

Anonymous said...


I'm used to walking around with a target on my back.

Problem is, I think you're gunning for the Chief.

I would agree with you.

There is still a lot of camp left.
And way too many injuries and curve balls to come. Right now, it sounds like Gilbert is backing Sims. Where does that put Canon and Lewis---BOTH are VERY GOOD special teamers.

Will they not have a slot if Spikes is signed, Dizon starts with Spikes, and Lenon and Buster to back them???? Or does Lewis slide over and Lenon backs Dizon.

And what if the Lions want to keep five backs and they count McHugh as a natural fullback with "positional flexibility" to dual out as a TE???????

You will NOT see me say anything definitive until I have watched and scanned this team until a week before they break camp after the last pre-season game. I may say some early things about solid picks at starters, but the 80 block or the 53 man is still forming.


And hey, I'm on world tour. I have to head to OZ next Tuesday for some training.

Anonymous said...

And JJ

I don't think everyone thought that Bradford was a fit for the offense.

Remember, Bradford and Kippy Brown both came to the Lions from the Texans. I think everyone thought that Bradford was a shoe-in with the coaching staff and figured he'd absorb things very quickly because of his relationship with Kip.

But Bradford never caught on. Kippy was the reason they went back to Bradford, too. But Martz didn't care. He liked Az-Hakim and Saipaia and Areln Harris and J.T. O'Sullivan WAY TOO MUCH.

If it weren't for Arlen Harris, the Lions would've probably kept Pinner the first time around.

Martz inherited his team in St. Louis, Rod was building this team from scratch. Martz wanted to sacrifice talent with knowledge and their wasn't enough talent around what they had. He was abrasive, non-adaptive and singular, plain-thinking. Cold and maybe rudimentary.

Rod realized he had guys with talent, and no heart and knew he had to keep some talent around until he could replace the talent with heart AND talent.

That's why I think you'll see Shaun Cody gone and Langston Moore still here. That's why DeVale Ellis might be here and Shaun McDonald may be packing (via trade).

But, it is still too early to tell.

DetFan1979 said...

Isphet -

I know what you mean. Few years back told an employer I was going to start looking near my parents/gradnparents for a position so that I could be closer to help them out, and I was spending too much time (8 hours one way) traveling back and forth.

They literally "eliminated my position" on the spot. 3 days before Christmas. Funny, they "reinvented" it with a different title less than 6 months later, but still got out of unemployment.

Hope things work otu well for you -- in the long run, it led me to a near perfect position for me, and my family.

Nubs -- I found an interesting article with Martz describing his offense and what he's going to do (theoretically) in SanFran. PFT wrote it, but it had some good points for a change -- especially funny considering his tenure with the Lions.

I liked Pinner the first time around, and thought they cut the wrong RB. He's not an every-down back, but good to have on the team.

Anonymous said...


You found a gem. You all MUST read that article. That is vintage Martz double-speak. Vernon Davis is getting released after the year, and J.T. O'Sullivan is his starting QB.

I do think it bodes pretty well for Gore this year out in San Fran.

That was so funny, especially the PRESS BOX. He stated he hated the press box becaus he couldn't capture the "flow" of the game.

That is Nolan's way of controlling Martz. He will change the play on the sideline. This is NOT GOOD for Martz as he is a control freak.