Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Caution: Roster Work in Progress

Caution: Roster Work in Progress

August 12th, 2009 | by detfan1979 |

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.

Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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3 Responses to “Caution: Roster Work in Progress”

  1. By RIP on Aug 13, 2009

    I really like how the DT position is shaping up. More depth, size, and strength as promised is coming along faster then I could have imagined.

    It is looking now if Sammie Lee Hill, our fourth round pick, may project to the practice squad (if clears waivers).

    Cohen added 20 pounds, and perhaps more wieght of muscle with less fat, and is now at 305. In the past week he has been working out with the first unit. I never saw this last year when we did our roster projections. He was a 7th at what 280? Did not have him on my 53 man roster last year.

    Five-O is probably back at DE, and would not supprise me if he is the LE on running plays. This new way of lining up wide maybe most benificial for his skill set. He was best known for his lateral movement by the previous coaches, and now at 295, should hold the point from RT and end runs.

    As far as size upgrade? Most all of the defensive linemen from last year gained 10-20 pounds. Then we gained what 5 guys this past IF Season to upgrade our d-line? Taht was mostly at the DT position to fight for jobs and fill then places of the no longer on the team.

    I am so far really impressed with the direction we are going.

    The two areas I have concerns for now is the interior run plays, and pass protection on Offense (believe it will much improved with continuity, coaching, and new offense), and the secondary mostly at safety and depth.

    Lions to the playoffs this year guys.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. By RIP on Aug 13, 2009

    Millford Brown looks be a good pick up and may get the last roster spot on the o-line. He gave up alot of sacks 2 years ago, but he could have been playing injured. Remember that Jeff Backus has not missed a game since he came into the NFL. Nobody can expect his numbers to consistant considering all the injuries, such as bruises, sprains, and broken bones he has played through. Remember Jeff working out for 3 days with pain during an offseason. He had a ruptured appendics and the doctors had to pull out some of his intestine to clean out the posion. Never missed a start the next season.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. By chiefger139 on Aug 14, 2009

    im glad there goin with the beef now-if the coach can manage them -theyre the way to go-no longer will later drafts-4th and beyond be a waste-unfortunately for us 2nd and beyond and many 1sts were a waste unexcuseable!! avril was a latter draft-looks like he really was a steal-smith our rb-ok for the 3rd-better than years past-felton a steal in the 5th-cherlious in the 1st-ok but as a first that is all he is-what about dizon?? whats the word there?? any hope or as usual x out the 2nd rounder-makes me wonder about delmos-is he for real or not?? have we finally turned the corner with the likes of stafford-petigrew , delmos-all are 3 home runs?? chief wants to know!!

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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