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Predictions for Training Camp and Regular Season

 
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WillParks


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:14 pm    Post subject: Predictions for Training Camp and Regular Season Reply with quote

I am sitting in Afghanistan with nothing to do right now, which is a good thing, so I figured I would throw out some predictions for training camp and the season:

1. Mikel Leshoure isn't on the week one roster--Everyone knows that Reggie bush is the #1 RB now. Joique Bell had a pretty good season as a back-up and was effective in the running game as well as the passing game. Leshoure was decent in short yardage and goal-line situations but that was about it. I think that the Lions staff positioned themselves to move on without Leshoure if need be with all the moves they have made at RB this year. I think that is exactly what will happen.

2. DeAndre Levy will not make it through the year as a starter--He in an enigma. He plays good for stretches but, whether it is due to injuries or mental mistakes, he disappears. Even when he plays good he isn't really a playmaker. I could see Tahir Whitehead moving into his slot sometime this season.

3. Louis Delmas will not make it through the year as a starter--I have serious doubts about his creaky knees. He has taken an awfully long time to heal and hasn't really had a chance to develop any chemistry with Glover Quinn. The Lions were smart to put him on a one-year deal.

4. LaAdrian Waddle will make the roster as a back-up tackle--This kid has too much size and athleticism to not make the roster. He may have played in an unusual offense in college but he started 25 games at Texas Tech. At 6'6" and 330Lbs with good length and strength, he could be a very good back-up at RT or G. The talent is there and I don't think that is too much to ask from a rookie. He is definitely more physically imposing than Jason fox or Corey Hilliard.

5. Rodney Austin makes the roster as a back-up guard/center--I really like what I am hearing about this guy. He was listed at 6'4", 311 last year and put on some muscle while maintaining his athleticism. Jim Schwartz said that he see him as more of a guard but lets face it; Jim Schwartz isn't always honest when it comes to the information he shares with the press. At the very least I think he turns into a solid back-up for us. He has more upside than Dylan Gandy.

6. Our CBs will become a play-making unit by the end of the year--Even thought Chris Houston was matched up on #1 receivers last year, he is more of a #2 CB. By the end of the year, Darius Slay or Jonte Green will be starting on the outside. Bill Bentley will lock down the nickel position which is good because that is where he is best suited to play. Greenwoood, who is the most physically talented CB we have will make progress but will probably be just quality depth this year. Some people may scoff at me for saying Jonte Green has starting potential but by the end of the season he was playing fairly well, especially for a rookie CB from New Mexico.

7. Michael Williams will be our 3rd TE and make a bigger impact in the passing game than anyone expects--He is already a solid blocker and at 6'5" and 278Lbs, can give us a boost in short-yardage and goal-line situations. His size is a match-up nightmare for LBs and safeties. I think will develop into a consistent red-zone threat and a reliable target out to 15 yard.

8. Riley Reiff will be fine as our starting LT--After a year of learning the system and making two starts his foundation is good. I don't think he will be the next Orlando Pace but he will be an upgrade over Jeff Backus. That is saying something because despite all of the heat Backus took he was a solid LT for a long time. His ascendance to the starting LT spot will be a non-issue.

9. Ezekial Ansah's biggest impact will be his ability to affect the game on every down--I think he will have a pretty solid impact on how well we defend the run on his side. He has already shown decent instincts when it comes to recognizing screens for what I understand. He may not get 12 sacks but his all-around play will make a big difference to our defense.

10. Corey Fuller and Patrick Edwards will take away a lot of snaps for Nate Burleson--Nate Burleson wasn't getting any separation from CBs before his injury and now he is a year older. Edwards could be deadly as a slot WR. Fuller is a prototypical #2 WR and I think he isn't nearly as much of a project as some people have made him out to be.

11. Havard Rugland beats out David Akers for the kicking job--David Akers has had a great career. However, I think the injury last year has taken something away from him. Most 38-year-old kickers don't find the fountain of youth. I suspect the Lions brought him in to help get Kickalicious up to speed or be an insurance policy incase he can't and not as their #1 PK option.

What are some of the things everyone else sees happening this year?
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DrRay11


Joined: 19 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, but I feel like you're being very optimistic about our young guys whom we haven't had the chance to see suck yet.

I have the same hope on Fuller and Edwards, though, for sure. Can't see them give up on LeShoure yet - 2nd year back from Achilles, so we should get his best now.

I think Levy makes it through as a starter, I don't see anyone better on the roster.

I feel the same on Reiff, and about the o-line in general. I actually like this group better than last year's.

My biggest prediction/hope is that Steven Miller wins the KR/PR job and proves to be useful on offense - a Bush lite in case of injury. Not Busch Light, 'cause that just sucks.
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DetroitPride26


Joined: 25 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post. Don't know if Levy will dissappear. He will always be getting PT this year no matter what..(unless put on IR of course)

I think Delmas will schock us all this year (I hope) Wink

And I think Mikel gets through all TC and preseason at least. Then we can judge.

Agree with everything else!

Can't wait for first game!!!
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Sllim Pickens


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there is any chance Leshoure is cut.

I think Fauria makes the roster.

I also think Kickalicious beats out Akers.
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IDOG_det


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that Leshore hasn't been the best he can be, and so far into his career he is (sadly) best suited only as a goaline back. I doubt he gets cut because I assume he would leave a bit of dead money on our cap (that and he is still young).
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detroitroar


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leshoure has the best running ability of any RB we have. I have seen enough to understand why we drafted him. The guy needs better feel (seeing holes etc.), and he fumbled a couple times too many. I still have high hopes for him.

I thought Levy was playing at a near-pro-bowl level until his injury last year.

I think I'll withhold any season predictions.

As for camp, just a couple thoughts:

- I think Larry Warford will highly impress.

- I think Ryan Broyles will as well.

- I think Whitehead wins the OLB spot.

- Akers and Martin win the kicking jobs.

- Mike Thomas doesnt make the team.
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LionsFan630


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always during this time of year we seem to always have at least one guy that gets talked up and then proceeds to do nothing in the pre-season to get cut. I think Miller and/or Fauria are prime candidates to fill that role this season.

I am buying the hype in Patrick Edwards though, I think he makes the final roster and would've been called up last season if not for injury.

Realistically speaking I think the biggest name we could see cut probably is Akers and he'll really have to be a disaster for that to happen. If last season proves to be due to injuries and he's back to 100% though he'll run away with the job.

Also wouldn't be surprised if we had several rookies not make the roster, unlike years past where pretty much everyone has. Riddick and Hepburn stand out as the two likeliest cuts there.
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RyanFuller003


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Predictions for Training Camp and Regular Season Reply with quote

WillParks wrote:
1. Mikel Leshoure isn't on the week one roster--Everyone knows that Reggie bush is the #1 RB now.

I absolutely can't imagine this will be the case. They have six RBs right now--Bush, LeShoure, Bell, Theo Riddick, Monte Owens, and Steve Miller. Owens is a special teams player while Miller and Riddick are basically competing to make the roster as return men. I'd say Bush, Leshoure, and Bell are all pretty much locks to make the team since they all have pretty well defined roles--Bush as the lead guy, Leshoure as the short yardage/goal line guy, Bell as the guy they let play for a series or two to spell Bush. Owens probably makes the roster for his ST duties, and then it's up to Riddick and Miller to compete for the return duties.

I would think that if Schwartz actually had an issue with Leshoure and preferred Bell for any reason, that they'd have started Bell toward the end of 2012 instead of Leshoure. But they didn't.

Quote:
2. DeAndre Levy will not make it through the year as a starter--He in an enigma. He plays good for stretches but, whether it is due to injuries or mental mistakes, he disappears. Even when he plays good he isn't really a playmaker. I could see Tahir Whitehead moving into his slot sometime this season.

I might agree with you if we had any depth, but we don't. Other than Ashlee Palmer--who is the favorite to take Justin Durant's vacant spot--we don't really have anyone on the roster that's shown even the ability to be a decent backup. Plus, Levy did just get a multi-year contract extension, so I have to think the Lions have enough faith in him right now. If he were on a one-year deal I may be a bit more likely to see him losing his job.

Quote:
3. Louis Delmas will not make it through the year as a starter--I have serious doubts about his creaky knees. He has taken an awfully long time to heal and hasn't really had a chance to develop any chemistry with Glover Quinn. The Lions were smart to put him on a one-year deal.

He's on a two-year deal, actually; it's just that he's unlikely to actually play out the second year because his base salary is huge and his cap hit would be prohibitive. But I agree, I don't think Delmas can be trusted to stay healthy. There's a reason they signed Chris Hope.

Quote:
4. LaAdrian Waddle will make the roster as a back-up tackle

Well, someone's got to.

Quote:
5. Rodney Austin makes the roster as a back-up guard/center

We'll see. They did sign Jake Scott, and Leroy Harris actually got a two-year contract so I'm pretty sure they'll be keeping him. The only thing about Gandy is that he has actually played center before, whereas I don't think Austin has (Bill Nagy did, but he's been released).

Quote:
6. Our CBs will become a play-making unit by the end of the year

I would be happy with "adequate." But then again, we are used to "terrible."

Quote:
7. Michael Williams will be our 3rd TE and make a bigger impact in the passing game than anyone expects

I would really like to see Joseph Fauria make the roster, but I don't think he'll do that. Pettigrew is obviously a lock, and Scheffler is very close. I think Williams pretty much has the #3 spot on lock-down, but I can see an outside chance of the team keeping Fauria and elevating him into Scheffler's position since they use him mostly as a pass-catcher.

Williams's production probably won't be much higher than Will Heller's, though. It's just not that often a team marches three tight ends onto the field, and when you have Calvin Johnson on the outside and a pretty solid red-zone RB in Leshoure (his 9 TDs are more than any Lions RB has had since Barry retired), not to mention Burleson, Broyles, Pettigrew, and Scheffler, I just don't know how you look to a 7th round rookie when it's 3rd-and-goal on the 2.

Quote:
8. Riley Reiff will be fine as our starting LT

Schwartz has already said as much.

I understand the optimism people are showing toward him, but let's not pretend Reiff is some kind of superlative talent. He was drafted in the first round, yeah, but so was Jeff Backus. I think if the Lions have a disappointing season, the offensive line will be the #1 reason why. I'm very, very nervous about it.

Quote:
10. Corey Fuller and Patrick Edwards will take away a lot of snaps for Nate Burleson--Nate Burleson wasn't getting any separation from CBs before his injury and now he is a year older. Edwards could be deadly as a slot WR. Fuller is a prototypical #2 WR and I think he isn't nearly as much of a project as some people have made him out to be.

You know, I actually think Nate was playing really well prior to his injury last year. Even my friend who is notoriously harsh on him agreed. That said, he's 31 years old, and he's never been the most durable guy on the planet.

I really like Patrick Edwards and I'm hopeful he makes the team. Seems like he and Durham have been splitting reps at the #3 spot, but it looks like CJ and Burleson have the #1 and #2 spots on virtual lockdown right now. That's obviously not to say that will continue to be the case, but then again we also have Ryan Broyles who will return to the lineup at some point and ostensibly take that role on.

Quote:
11. Havard Rugland beats out David Akers for the kicking job

Well, Akers has been one of the most reliable kickers in the NFL for the last 15+ years, but he was downright awful last season. Then again, he was exceptionally good in 2011. If that 2012 injury is really the problem, he will win this competition hands-down. I wouldn't really be too disappointed to see Rugland win it, though; it'd save us some cap space and knock half a year off of our roster's average age. But the guy was so raw, he didn't even know how to put on his helmet in OTAs. You'll really have to watch him to see how he's able to handle a rush bearing down on him.

As for original predictions of mine . . .

- Travis Lewis wins the 2nd OLB spot: Levy will obviously start at one end, but Durant departed and left and opening. I think Palmer is probably going to get first crack at this job, but Lewis was a potential 1st round pick if he'd left school after his junior season. He's smallish, but he has talent. plus, I think Palmer's got a little more versatility as a backup to play MLB, OLB, or special teams.

- Thaddeus Lewis earns a roster spot as the third quarterback and a gadget player. He had a fairly decent outing with the Browns, and Kellen Moore doesn't really have much upside.

- Detroit cuts two drafted players for the first time in the Mayhew era. Brandon Hepburn and Theo Riddick don't really have a spot on this roster in my opinion. Both will be cut and signed to the practice squad, if we can manage. Fuller might not make it, either, depending on how some of our other receivers look (Durham, Edwards, Mike Thomas, Chaz Schilens, Devin Thomas). But, of course, I'll be rooting for him because reasons.
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DrRay11


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levy is rocking a huge beard. Hopefully that makes him a better player.
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LionsFan630


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although still very early, some notes that back up my predictions:

https://twitter.com/davebirkett/status/361139026616528897

Quote:
Steven Miller muffs his first PR opportunity of the day


https://twitter.com/davebirkett/status/361132007167770625

Quote:
Akers 4 for 4, Rugland 3 for 4 in FG drill. Miss was wide left from about 37 yards

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detfan782004


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Coach Jim Schwartz said DT Ndamukong Suh "made a mockery" of the pre-camp conditioning test Thursday.
That's a good thing. Per Schwartz, Suh is in the best shape of his young career. This comes a day after Suh's partner in crime, DT Nick Fairley, showed up to training camp around 20 pounds lighter, looking leaner and meaner. The Lions boast arguably the top defensive tackle tandem in the sport.


Rotoworld


So Fairley trimmed down Laughing. Man that is nuts if his burst is any faster.
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detfan782004


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Predictions for Training Camp and Regular Season Reply with quote

WillParks wrote:
I am sitting in Afghanistan with nothing to do right now, which is a good thing, so I figured I would throw out some predictions for training camp and the season:

Quote:
1. Mikel Leshoure isn't on the week one roster--Everyone knows that Reggie bush is the #1 RB now. Joique Bell had a pretty good season as a back-up and was effective in the running game as well as the passing game. Leshoure was decent in short yardage and goal-line situations but that was about it. I think that the Lions staff positioned themselves to move on without Leshoure if need be with all the moves they have made at RB this year. I think that is exactly what will happen.


This is NUTS! He is coming off major injury and has looked good so far in coming back.

Quote:
2. DeAndre Levy will not make it through the year as a starter--He in an enigma. He plays good for stretches but, whether it is due to injuries or mental mistakes, he disappears. Even when he plays good he isn't really a playmaker. I could see Tahir Whitehead moving into his slot sometime this season.


Levy is highly underrated. The dude may not be stellar but he is light years better then Tahir.


Quote:
3. Louis Delmas will not make it through the year as a starter--I have serious doubts about his creaky knees. He has taken an awfully long time to heal and hasn't really had a chance to develop any chemistry with Glover Quinn. The Lions were smart to put him on a one-year deal.


CONCUR



Quote:
7. Michael Williams will be our 3rd TE and make a bigger impact in the passing game than anyone expects--He is already a solid blocker and at 6'5" and 278Lbs, can give us a boost in short-yardage and goal-line situations. His size is a match-up nightmare for LBs and safeties. I think will develop into a consistent red-zone threat and a reliable target out to 15 yard.


Concur


Quote:
9. Ezekial Ansah's biggest impact will be his ability to affect the game on every down--I think he will have a pretty solid impact on how well we defend the run on his side. He has already shown decent instincts when it comes to recognizing screens for what I understand. He may not get 12 sacks but his all-around play will make a big difference to our defense.


I think his impact is going to be disappointing compared to expectations but probably decent for a rookie.


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