The Lions signed Shaun Smith to the Dline. They also picked up a camp body at WR in Billy McCallum. I expect once the Johnsons, Standeford, and Northcutt are all healthy (or some of them) he will be cut.
Fonoti was cut, and the Lions signed a Journeyman OG, Millford Brown, originally of the Texans, as what I see as another camp body. However, what all these moves show is that the Lions, as anticipated, are far from done with their roster.
Shaun Smith was an interesting signing in that I think it pushes IAF back to DE — at least for this year. Currently, I’d expect White, Avril, Hunter to be the 3 front runners at DE. I see IAF and Kees battling for that 4th spot. Also at this point, I see them keeping 5 DT. However, unlike I thought before I think it is really up in the air (As I indicated yesterday).
Expanding on that, I can much more easily see Darby getting let go at this point — especially if Smith really cranks it up. Effort and focus — not talent — has been his issue in the past.
Now, let me preface this next part by saying I am not a big fan of Eric Mangini. There is positive and negative motivation, and I think that he is the type of sly trickster mincing words that usually pisses me off. Josh McDanielsalso reminds of that type of stereotypical used car salesman type coach, with a huge dollop of smug on top.
I noticed this interesting nugget from Don Banks in his Lions camp postcard:
3. Ex-Brown defensive tackle Shaun Smithis not a Mangini fan. I shared a flight from Detroit to Clevelandwith Smithon Monday night, just hours after he signed a one-year deal with the Lions. Mangini released Smith last week, and it’s accurate to say that the two of them weren’t a good fit. Smith proclaimed himself happy to be out of Cleveland and assured me that some of his ex-Browns teammates wish they were leaving too. Smithsaid he had tired of the coach’s “mind games,” and didn’t feel he had been told the truth face-to-face in their brief time together.
This type of back stabbing behavior is typical of the Mangini-style of coach. Tell someone one thing to their face, when it is something else entirely; Schwartz seems to be the type that doesn’t believe in wasting time on beating around the bush. Take this quote from Schwartz regarding Smith and his weight. In Marinelli-like fashion, the Browns wanted Smithreally light to play DE since they have Shaun Rogers at NT in their 3-4 already, with the former GB NT backing him up.
Smith told Schwartz that, while he played last season at 350 pounds, he was told to report this season at 318. Schwartz wasn’t a fan of either number.
“We’re going to have him somewhere in between those two—318 isn’t enough for him,” he said. “He said he lost strength at that weight. Our goal is to have players weigh as much as they can without losing any speed. That’s the point where the size should stop.”
All that was just what Smith wanted to hear.
“I know that I can get off the ball, I can push back the pocket and I can help stop the run,” he said. “They are going to give me a chance to compete and to play, and I’m going to help them win games.”
From the early looks, he seems to be motivated in practice — something he wasn’t known for in Cleveland. I also don’t think we have to worry about him punching Matthew Stafford in the face in the locker room; he’s noBrady Quinn.
Still, he will have to fight for a roster spot even if he is super motivated. Right now, I’d say 3 of your 5 DT’s are: Jackson, Hill, Cohen with Orien Harris, Smith, Darby and Fluellen fighting for those last two spots. But don’t hold me to that — it could change any time. After all, this is a roster in progress.
What are your thoughts on Smith, the Dline, or the roster moves? (Also, if anyone is still having trouble posting comments please email and let me know; that way, I can see if there is something that can be done to correct it.) Chief– there is depth at LB, but the guys are young and unproven; but at least the potential is there. As for the roster overall, the depth is pretty thin — there was no way to get starters and depth in every spot in one ifseason. Two may even be stretching it.