Well, I have finally recovered to the point of sensibility (were I ever there before) and other than some lingering pain in my arm shall recover, I am told, fully. Lesson Learned: Keep Better Track of Own Medical History and I will leave my absence this past week at that. Thanks to JJLions20 for filling in; Remember -- you too can be a DF79 Guest Blogger. Merely email me your submission, and I will use it where/when possible. Thanks again for your submissions, your comments, and your readership.
In other news, Tarvaris Jackson went down in the preseason game vs the Ravens, but I don't know the extent of his injuries at this time. Funny, the "best" veteran QB left on the market is...everyone together now...Daunte Culpepper. Maybe a Chris Simms trade will be in the works with Tampa "why can't I have 5 active QB's" Bay.
I will once again be typing up notes quarter by quarter for tomorrow's second preseason game as I watch it, and posting them at the end of each quarter as it is televised here in Lansing.
As a quick aside, I will NOT be doing so immediately for the third preseason game. Mrs.DetFan1979 and myself will be out of town without the kids that weekend, and I will be catching the game on tape delay. (Read: Youngest Sibling of DF79 (my sister) is going to try to match wits with the blackout/replay/no listed scheduled showing/we'd rather show so-you-can-dance TV executives to attempt to tape the game for me. Whether or not she succeeds will determine whether or not I get to break down that game as well. I know you're all pulling for her success.)
Some quick thoughts on the upcoming game before I sign off. Leon Joe was pretty good, but will need to outplay a lot of people in the next 2 games to avoid being cut again (for good info on him, see SprBwlB4IDie's great comment on the last Blog Entry).
I'm going to be watching Greg Blue's special teams and coverage play, along with Cory Smith and Avril to see how those two are stacking up. how the Dline performs, and whether they keep 5 CB or 5 S, or both will determine who makes those final few spots. There is a lot more jockeying, even for the last 20 -25 spots, than we have ever really seen on the Lions. As JJLions20 pointed out, good problem to have.
Cody will be another target of scrutiny - he is still disappearing in games in my mind, as I'll see if that holds true -- especially with him running against the 2's this game with Redding and Moore back.
How Bell and Smith compare -- especially if both get work with the Starting Oline will be another focus. (along with the various Oline members)
I think Davis, if he continues well, has locked up the 5th LB spot, and I only think they are keeping 6. So the Cannon/Garnder/(to a lesser extent)Joe battle should be quite heated, and I want to see again how they respond. Cannon's tackling and execution, both in ST and at WLB in place of Ernie, looked much improved over last year. He still seems to be finding ways to make plays, and I'm pulling for him as I haven't seen the same passion out of Gardner yet.
Finally, the battle for returner is a spot that needs to be given good looks. they need to narrow it down some, and especially give Ellis and Middleton a chance to earn a 5th wideout spot based on ability to return (assuming they keep a 5th wideout). Bad thing is, if Lions don't trade a wideout to SF (say McDonlad?) then look for Ellis and/or Middleton to land there after being cut due to their knowledge of Martz's system.
Funny side note: I was on a couple of SF forums earlier this Ifseason and gave them a few factual points form the Lions offensive statistics/personnel trends to look for as the ifseason progressed. A primary one was for Martz's "system" guys to take over for players, even if you don't think they are as talented, but know his system. Biggest case in point was JTO vs Smith. I was laughed at in uncountable ways for my comments. JTO is now the leader for the SF starting QB gig. Too early to say "I told you so?"
If the Lions can get the 49ers to part a 4th round pick for McDonald, I say go for it --even if it is prior to week 3. Then he can catch the ball a lose a couple yards to miss the first down for them, and we'll get more looks to Mike "I have super-glue hands and always know where the 1st down marker is" Furrey, and be able to keep a multi-talented WR like Ellis or Middleton on the roster. Even if as a backup WR/ST/KR-PR -- starter or backup.
Looking forward to some more action again tomorrow night!!
[Please note that as soon as I posted this, realized Nubsnobber beat me to posting T. Jackson injury news -- and Culpepper speculation. Just want to be sure you all know he posted it as a comment on the last story as I was writing this. -- DF79]