Friday, August 28, 2009

WR Battle Intensifies as Cuts Begin…

WR Battle Intensifies as Cuts Begin…

August 28th, 2009 | by detfan1979 |

Calvin Johnson, Bryant Johnson, and Dennis Northcutt — widely considered to be the top 3 WR for the Detroit Lions when the season starts — all returned to practice this week. That means the Lions have no further need for some of the bevy of WR that were in camp filling in for the starters, and vying for the 4th and 5th wideout spots.

Kenneth Harris didn’t differentiate himself from the pack, and after injuring his ankle was the first one waived/injured. Eric Fowler was a recent casualty. Billy McMullen was subtracted today to sign a LB, and Allen Ervinwas waived (though I’m guessing could go on IR?) to make room for Glenn Holt. That leaves quite a few players vying for those two spots, leaders have started to emerge and the competition will only get more intense as more players are released as the team moves on to the final 53.

As of right now, Johnson & Johnson have the top two spots locked up, and I didn’t see anything from anyone filling in to make me think that will change any time soon. I was hoping D. Williams would come on and challenge Northcutt for the slot WR spot, but so far Dane Looker is the only one giving him a run there. Williams looked okay in the first preseason game, but he still needs a LOT of work — at this point, he has shown so little he may even make the practice squad if he’s a final cut. It would take real guts for Millen and Mayhew to admit they screwed up an early pick that bad, but it’s all about winning. Holt is an interesting pickup — Minnesota has Percy Harvin as KOR and PR now, so they didn’t really need Holt even though he was a good returner. Holt’s hands, however, are rumored to be not-so-great, so that could work against him.

I can’t tell who will be number 4 and 5 WR right now — or, for that matter, I’m not sure Looker hasn’t beat out Northcutt (who is apparently still injured?) for #3 — or isn’t competing for it now. As you watch the game with the starters in Saturday, everyone will be focusing on the QB’s. While that is a huge battle, the WR battle is a knock-down drag-out affair, and I will be watching to see who has maybe gained an edge…

I’m hoping against hope that one or two really stand out, and step up. The Lions need someone to at WR — and so, they are dropping the ball.

Rating: 7.3/10 (7 votes cast)
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3 Responses to “WR Battle Intensifies as Cuts Begin…”

  1. By RIP on Aug 29, 2009

    This WR situation is becoming interesting.

    If Looker out performs Northcutt as a possession receiver, have him as a starting situational slot. Have Northcutt for the post and deep out routes for the slot receiver.

    Northcutt will probably get alot of plays and one of the two outside spots for both Johnsons can not do every play for entire game.

    I also believe that the slot will mostly be used when we take the FB off the field.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, Williams is going to have to show more than just talent to make the active roster.

    Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  2. By StreetWorm on Aug 29, 2009

    I’d say Williams just made things interesting with his latest performance. Given, I don’t believe it was against the Colts’ first team, but he made some solid, and in some cases, downright spectacular plays. Hopefully we’ll start seeing more of the same as the season progresses.

    After that I’d say he surely has the 4th spot locked up and may be a strong condender for the slot receiver position by midseason.

    …maybe not returning punts though.

    Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  3. By RIP on Aug 31, 2009

    I liked what Scwartz stated before last weekends game with the Colts. A quarterback is judge by the team’s TDs and winning (or something like that).

    The competition for starters status still seems to be alive.

    Daunte’s completion percentage is 15% better than John’s. But during the first 2 preseason games he played it very conservative. No TD passes or interceptions. After Scwartz’s statement, Daunte finally produced a TD (and he celibrated like what he should have done last year with his come back career). His preseason numbers are like this. Over one game played with 1 TD, a FG, and no INT. Not game winning numbers, unless there are TDs from ST and defense.

    John’s game is more like a gunslinger. It is very aggressive to move the ball down the field. Along the way he has had his bad moments, which should be expected from a Rookie in preseason.

    If I see it correctly, I like the way is going into the final preseason game for a couple of reasons. The first is to push Daunte for a replicate game like the last one. The second reason goes more towards the safety of the players playing. If the mentallity is to play for 10 plays, the idea is for timeing tune-up and no injuries. If you have to play for a half, the intensity will be greater and everyone should be on the same page. Slacking, lack of focus, will give greater opurtunities for injury.

    Let the QB battle continue for the Rookie one more game.

    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

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