With the 22nd pick in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL draft, 54th overall, the Detroit Lions selected Ryan Broyles, a 5'10", 192 pound wide receiver from Oklahoma. Thought to be a sure thing 1st round prospect going into his senior season, Broyles' 2011 was cut short due to suffering a torn ACL late in the year, missing the Sooners final 4 games. The ACL injury, which he has yet to fully recover from, dropped Broyles to the Lions is in the 2nd round.
The scream you heard was Lions fans bemoaning the Lions drafting another skill player, who really appears to be a Titus Young clone, when the defensive backfield depth chart remains as barren as the Bonneville Salt Flats.
On Twitter, my first reaction was pretty much the sames as I just described:
When Martin Mayhew says he will pick the best player available, regardless of position, ihe obviously means it. But...really? A WR?
I ranted...but just a little.
Uh...who is going to play in the defensive backfield for the Lions? Though I hear Lem Barney is not available.
But I gave it some thought, and I do believe Martin Mayhew deserves some benefit of the doubt.
Now that I've gathered my thoughts, I have to give Mayhew credit for sticking to his draft philosophy. It's worked to this point.
But I couldn't help myself from one more dig.
But jeez...a wide receiver? Mayhew has to know this will go over with the fans & media as well as Millen picking BMW (Big Mike Williams).
Honestly, if thje Lions were going to draft skill position, RB makes more sense as a glaring need, not WR. With 3 highly drafted WR in Calvin Johnson, Young and now Broyles, along with veteran Nate Burleson, 2 talented TE in Brandon Pettigrew (also a 1st round pick) and Tony Scheffler, and the RB depth chart in true flux, maybe the Lions plan on running an empty backfield on every damn down.
I have no other explanation.
This is one case where we'll just have to put our complete trust in Mayhew and his "best player, regardless of position" draft philosophy. It's hard, as wide receiver is, well, sort of a need, but not really a 2nd round selection kind of need when there was talent all over the draft board. Though I have to admit, the talent left in 2nd round when it came to defensive backs was considered questionable by the draftniks.
“We have the luxury of being able to rehab this guy very thoroughly, very carefully and just allow him to get healthy,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said. “If the guy were healthy now he’d have been gone way before our pick. So we’re just fortunate to have this guy on our team. Think he’s a great talent.”
Well, yeah. Of course Broyles is a luxury considering all the cash you've already spent on the position.
The coaching staff is in lock step, as you would expect:
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said “there was no other player that tempted us at this position.”
And it wouldn't be a Lions draft pick if there wasn't some sort of police report on flie:
Oklahoma freshman football player Ryan Broyles was suspended from the team indefinitely Friday after his arrest earlier in the day for allegedly attempting to steal gasoline from a convenience store pump.
Broyles, 19, was booked into the Cleveland County Detention Center at 12:10 a.m. Friday on attempted larceny charges. He was released at 3:44 a.m. after posting $200 cash bond, according to a sheriff’s captain.
As it was with Riley Reiff, this incident was a mulligan for Broyles. He's been a good citizen ever since.
Four-year starter awarded all-conference honors since his sophomore season and named an All-America the past two years. Played in nine games as a senior before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Finished 2011 with 83 catches/1,157 yards/10 TDs and averaged 10.1 yards on 18 punt returns. Junior totals included career-best receiving numbers of 131/1622/14. Totaled 89/1120/15 receiving as a sophomore with an average of 15.9 yards on 31 punt returns.
Let's not make a rush to judgment. Broyles may be injured, but is undeniably talented. The numbers, pre injury, are glowing. But when I look at the WR depth chart, I'm left scratching my head over this pick.no comments
The Detroit Lions sent out transcripts of the post 1st round pressers given by GM Martin Mayhew head coach Jim Schwartz. Mayhew didn't say much about his latest addition, 23rd overall pick Riley Reiff. Why? As always, Mayhew is a GM of few words. Very few.
Opening statement: “Riley Reiff – big, smart, tough guy; versatile. We think he can play four positions; Jim can talk a little bit about that. But the guy is a three-year starter in a good program. He’s a good, solid offensive lineman. “We came into this draft thinking that we needed to try to add some young players to that group and Riley certainly fits that mold.”
On whether they tried to move up and take a cornerback: “As usual, we looked at all of our options and we tried to go up and at one point we were talking about moving back. We ended up staying put and taking a really good player.”
On how important it was to get younger on the offensive line: “Very important. And we like the guys we have; we have five quality starters, but it’s good to have a young guy in the pipeline with Riley’s talent level. So we’re excited about what Riley brings to the table.
“We got a good player – a good young player. (We were) a little bit surprised he was even available. He’s going to help our football team a lot.”
Once again, when Mayhew says Reiff, who will wear number 71, same fellow Hawkeye and Lions great Alex Karras, is "a good, solid offensive lineman," I think Jeff Backus clone. A solid player who won't blow anyone away, but does the job. Make of it what you will.no comments
Riley Reiff had his first exposure to Detroit via conference call. He says all the right things, coming across as Jeff Backus, redux. A big, solid, Big Ten born and bred lineman. And that's not a bad thing.
The transcript follows, so you can make your own judgement:
On his initial reaction to being drafted by the Lions: "I was real excited when I got a call from the Lions. I'm excited to get to work and make the team a better team."
On if it was nerve-racking waiting to be drafted: "I had nerves running through. I said to myself: whatever happens, happens and make the best out of it."
On if he considers himself a left tackle at the next level: "Absolutely. I think I could play any position on the offensive line excluding the center. Wherever I can help the team at, I'd be glad to help the team."
Thoughts on when his name wasn't coming up yet: "I wasn't actually watching the TV. That doesn't matter to me. I'm ready to play football and I'm super excited to be a Detroit Lion."no comments
As announced by Madden game cover winner Calvin Johnson, with the 23rd pick in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions selected Riley Reiff, a 6'6", 315 pound offensive tackle from Iowa. In Reiff, considered the number 2 tackle prospect in this year's draft, the Lions have selected the player whom they believe will the eventual replacement for veteran left tackle Jeff Backus.
This is the money quote from Lions GM Martin Mayhew:
“He’s one of the two guys we felt really comfortable with at left tackle.”
There was talk Reiff, an early entry junior, could play guard or right tackle. But Jim Schwartz shot down those rumors post haste, saying:
"Riley is a left tackle."
The Schwartz has spoken. So shall it is written, so it shall be done.
NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock had this to say about the selection:
"They need help on the offensive line. He can play left or right tackle. I think he should start on the right side. But let's remember their quarterback Matthew Stafford has had some injury history. You've got to protect the franchise."
I think Maycock has nailed the Lions' strategy with Riley. Ease him into the lineup while being groomed to replace Backus. And of course, HE MUST PROTECT THE QUARTERBACK. 5000 yard passers don't grow on trees, you know.
It was long past time the Lions addressed their aging OL. When your starting left tackle is 34 years old, coming off surgery for a significant injury (a torn biceps muscle) and is ripe for a decline, the drafting of Reiff makes a huge amount of sense. Especially when every mock draft (ridiculous as they may be, they are a measuring stick) had him going in the top 15.
The one big knock which most evaluators brought up in regard to Reiff was his having a short wingspan, with an arm length of 33 1/4".
Word is Reiff isn't the most athletic of linemen, either. It's the Dominic Raiola argument all over again, who has proven to be a pretty solid player over the years. Regardless of the physical limitations, Reiff was thought to be a sure fire first mid-1st round selection. And the Lions got him at 23, not bad for an night's work.
With the Lions having a knack for drafting boneheaded potheads, I wouldn't be a good Lions blogger if I didn't bring up Reiff's one big fat mistake as an 18 year old.
Reiff was involved in a small but hilarious run-in with the police when he was eighteen. Reportedly, he was found by police officers in some state of undress in downtown Iowa City -- if you've never been to Iowa City while eighteen years old, this is not an uncommon occurrence -- and led said police officers on a chase through downtown, eventually knocking over some trays at a late-night pita shop just for good measure.
Better knocking over trays in a pita shop while naked than speeding with a suspended license in a car reeking of pot and potpourri. It's all a matter of degrees, and Reiff's youthful indiscretion doesn't rate very high. He received his one mulligan, and all reports are Reiff has been a solid citizen as a Hawkeye ever since. His drunken, naked stunt is water under the bridge...next to the pita shop.
If pre-draft reports are to be believed, the Lions ended up with a relative steal in Reiff. He's not a sexy, flashy selection, but a player you can plug into your lineup as a rookie, and not have to worry about him for the next decade...kind of like, well, Jeff Backus.
Not having to trade up for a highly regarded lineman, having him drop into your lap instead, doesn't happen often. Yet the Lions have been the recipients of such good luck in consecutive drafts, as Nick Fairley dropped several picks and into the Lions' lap in 2011. Martin Mayhew must be living right.
For those who desperately wanted the Lions to take a defensive back early in the draft, it wasn't in the cards. Thanks to a run early on in what was a crazy 1st round filled with trades, the top 3 corners and top ranked safety all went off the board by the 17th pick. The Lions little choice but to draft a lineman, which isn't a bad fall back position. They had their pick of linemen, and decided Reiff was the choice over Stanford guard David DeCastro.
Now on to day 2 of the 2012 draft, where we cross out fingers and hope the Lions draft a cornerback. To be honest, I'm starting to hope the Lions pick the talented but more than a little crazy Janoris Jenkins, due to of all the possibilities for hilarity, hijinks and self righteous media rants.no comments
And yes, the lede means I've become jaded, irritated and annoyed by the NFL draft coverage.
It's reached the point of complete ridiculousness when I read reports (from unquestionably respected NFL writers) saying the Detroit Lions are trying to trade up:
The Lions are seriously pursuing options to trade up in Thursday’s NFL draft, and multiple team executives believe South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore would be a prime target.
Multiple team executives said Thursday that Detroit is one of a few teams looking to move up. The Lions, who currently hold the No. 23 pick in the draft, did a lot of work on cornerbacks and are very high on Gilmore.
and also trade down...
HUH? So which is it? Hell if they know. Hell if I know.
All I do know is the coverage of the NFL, and especially the draft, is all encompassing, smothering, and worst of all, out of control. You can't swing Ryan Leaf's handcuffs and not hit someone breathlessly covering the NFL draft on the internet, in print, over the air or on the social networks.
But try as I might, I can't shake myself from the coverage, not completely. There will be a crazy ass trade made tonight, and I'll find myself trying to get as much info on it as possible.
As Michael Corleone said, "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in."
God damn it, I LOVE/HATE the NFL...
The NFL has released the Detroit Lions' schedule for 2012. For more in-depth information on the the 5 nationally televised games, check out this post.
Home games are in italics, nationally televised games in bold. Click here to see a flash version of the schedule at NFL.com, or click here for a printable PDF:
Week 1: Sep 09 - 1:00 PM ET - St Louis Rams - FOX
Week 2: Sep 16 - 8:20 PM ET - at San Francisco 49ers - NBC
Week 3: Sep 23 - 1:00 PM ET - at Tennessee Titans - FOX
Week 4: Sep 30 - 1:00 PM ET - Minnesota Vikings - FOX
Week 5: BYE
Week 6: Oct 14 - 1:00 PM ET - at Philadelphia Eagles - FOX
Week 7: Oct 22 - 8:30 PM ET - at Chicago Bears - ESPN
Week 8: Oct 28 - 1:00 PM ET - Seattle Seahawks - FOX
Week 9: Nov 04 - 1:00 PM ET - at Jacksonville Jaguars - FOX
Week 10: Nov 11 - 1:00 PM ET - at Minnesota Vikings - FOX
Week 11: Nov 18 - 1:00 PM ET - Green Bay Packers - FOX
Week 12: Nov 22 - 12:30 PM ET - Houston Texans - CBS
Week 13: Dec 02 - 1:00 PM ET - Indianapolis Colts - CBS
Week 14: Dec 09 - 8:20 PM ET - at Green Bay Packers - NBC
Week 15: Dec 16 - 4:05 PM ET - at Arizona Cardinals - FOX
Week 16: Dec 22 - 8:30 PM ET - Atlanta Falcons - ESPN
Week 17: Dec 30 - 1:00 PM ET - Chicago Bears - FOX
At first blush, a few things stand out...save for nearly 1/3 of the Lions' games being nationally televised, of course.
- Week 1 is the home opener against the Rams. You could not ask for a better opportunity to get off on the right foot...and with a 1-0 record.
- Game 2 against the Niners will dominate NFL talk for the week. I'm sure it'll be billed as "Handshake at the 'Stick: Schwartz vs Harbaugh 2" or something just as ridiculous. Should be damn fun!
- The bye week is a little earlier than it has been in the past, at week 5. Not a big deal, it's all about who is and isn't healthy in the first month. I've always preferred something closer to the middle of the season, but it's not a huge deal.
- Coming off the week 5 bye, the Lions have a rough stretch of 4 road games in 5 weeks, including back to back games at Philly and Chicago. Gut check time.
- The Lions play only one 2011 playoff team in the first 10 games, the Niners in week 2. Though you can make the argument the Bears, Titans and Eagles may be playoff quality, if healthy and/or have their acts together.
- The Lions play 5 of their final 7 games at home, which will help in a big way in making a final playoff push.
- Detroit native and fomer Lions backup QB Drew Stanton returns with the Colts...holding a clipboard, of course. Expect the NFL's probable number one overall draft pick, Andrew Luck, to be under center.
- Will the road losing streak against the Packers finally come to an end? If it does, it'll be on national TV. At least ithe game is in early December, when the the frozen tundra won't be quite so frozen.
- Good thing, as the schedule turns into a gauntlet in the final weeks. The final 7 games include 4 against 2011 playoff teams (Packers twice, Texans, Falcons) and what should be a quality Bears team in week 17.
After looking at the schedule, how many games do I see the Lions winning? 11.
Yes, it's far too early, and and my opinion could change as the season comes closer...and liklely will, depnding on the draft, personnel moves in training camp and the nmood I happen to in on a given day. But right now, I think the Lions care capable of posting an 11-5 record. Call me a slappy, call me an optimist, call me Sally. But this is going to be a very good Detroit Lions team in 2012.no comments
The 2012 NFL schedule has been released, including the nationally televised matchups, and the Detroit Lions are all over it. It's been a decade and a half, but the Lions have finally regained relevancy in the eyes of the NFL and the TV networks.
One year after returning to regular season prime time for the first time in a decade (appearing twice, once each on MNF and SNF), the Lions are scheduled for 4 prime time games this coming season. When you include the annual Thanksgiving Day tilt, the Lions will be part of 5 nationally televised games in 2012.
If you are wondering if the Lions have ever been on the national TV schedule as much as they will be in 2012, the answer is...it's been a long, long time, but yes. But you have to go back to the tail end of the Barry Sanders era.
Since the NFL expanded their schedule to include Monday Night Football in 1970, 2012 is only the 4th time (1990, 1994 and 1998 being the others) the Lions will play in 5 nationally televised games in a season. Though the Lions did play 4 prime time games in 1998. To be honest, I didn't remember, but there wasn't a decade long drought on my mind at the time, either. I was obviously taking the Lions playing the occasional game in prime time for granted back in the day, it being out of the realm of my imagination I would only see one regular season prime time game between 1999 and 2010 (The infamous MNF blowout against the Rams in 2001).
Those ugly days of being ignored have finally passed. The Lions, for lack of a batter word, count.
At exactly 7PM, the Detroit Lions fired off a press release focusing on the nationally televised games:
Detroit’s first prime time game occurs in Week 2 when the Lions travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers, who claimed the NFC West last season, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (9/16; 8:30 p.m.; NBC). The Lions return to SNF after appearing on NBC’s prime time game for the first time last season when the NFL flexed the team’s game at New Orleans (12/4/11) into the Sunday night prime time slot. The Lions also played in prime time on NBC during last year’s playoff game at New Orleans (1/7/12).
The Lions prime time game in Week 2 is the club’s earliest prime time game in any season since it opened the 1991 season at Washington during a Sunday night TNT telecast.
In 2011, the Lions returned to MNF for the first time in 10 years when they defeated Chicago at Ford Field (10/10/11) in front of a record crowd. This year, ESPN will once again feature the Lions on MNF.
In Week 7, the Lions travel to Chicago to play the Bears on MNF (10/22; 8:30 p.m.; ESPN). It is the Lions’ first-ever prime time game at Soldier Field. Detroit has previously played Chicago five times on MNF and twice on SNF, but all seven prime time games occurred at home.
The schedule features the Lions’ 73rd Thanksgiving Day Classic (11/22; 12:30 p.m.; CBS) vs. the Houston Texans, who won the AFC South division last season. This year’s game marks the first time the Lions will play the Texans on Thanksgiving and the third time in the series. The teams have split the first two games with each home team claiming victories.
Their next prime time game is set for Week 14 when they face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on SNF (12/9/12; 8:30 p.m.; NBC). This year’s meeting is the sixth prime time game between the two clubs since 1970 and first since they played on Sunday night December 11, 2005. The Lions have played three previous games (11/1/71, 11/2/97 and 12/11/05) at Green Bay on prime time television.
Detroit’s fourth prime time game features an ESPN MNF broadcast on Saturday night as the Lions host the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field in Week 16 (12/22/12; 8:30 p.m.; ESPN). The Lions have played the Falcons only one previous time in prime time, which dates back to the team’s meeting October 1, 1973.
Things have definitely changed in Detroit.no comments
First Cheech Mikel Leshoure is arrested for possession of drugs. Now it's Chong's Nick Fairley's turn.
Detroit Lions defensive lineman Nick Fairley was arrested this afternoon in Mobile on a 2nd-degree marijuana possession charge, according to records at Mobile County Metro Jail.
Fairley, 24, was held at the jail on $1,000 bail. Mobile police said that Fairley was originally stopped earlier in the afternoon because of a suspended driver's license.
"Say cheese marijuana!"
At the very least, this bust looks to be a first offense for Fairley. If it turns out to be as such, he'll be placed in the NFL drug program, but won't face a suspension. Thank goodness for small favors.
Once again, the immaturity of the Lions players comes to the forefront. They know the NFL frowns on the use of illegal drugs (don't they know what "ILLEGAL" even means?), with the risk of fines and suspension if caught...yet they blaze away.
I'm no prude or prohibitionist, by any means. I used in the day, back when I was Leshoure's and Fairley's age. But I wasn't making millions as an athlete, either.
When you have a contract on the line, and an NFL team having invested millions in you, it's out and out stupid to put yourself at risk for a little chronic.
It's confirmed. The Detroit Lions have a roster full of players who love to partake in the smoking of weed. Mary Jane. Chronic. Pot. You name it, apparently the Lions will smoke it.
I just hope someone on the Lions takes control of this situation (be it Jim Schwartz or other players) before things really get ridiculous...if they aren't already.no comments
If the NFL does one thing better than any other organization on the plant, it's hype. And hype (with very little substance) is what we got when the NFL introduced Nike as their new uniform (and all other gear) supplier.
So, whithout further ado, here are Nike's new and improved Detroit Lions uniforms!
WOW! IT'S...pretty much the same uni it's been for a few years now.
So that was underwhelming...THANK GOD. There's not a damn thing wrong with the Lions' current unis. Well, as long as they never, ever break out the all black jerseys again. Those can burn in Reebok Hell.
Here's a closeup of the "new" Nike design, with lens flares added for style...
In Nike's world, Ndamukong Suh is wide receiver sized...
All 32 NFL teams...and the most hated man in the NFL is front and center.
As undewhemling as the Lions' unifomm unveiling was, at the very least we can thank our lucky stars the Lions don't wear the Seattle Seahawks' eye searing atrocities to humanity. This is what you end up with when your primary design tool is a highlighter.
MY EYES! THE GOOGLES DO NOTHING!
Unfortunately, this is how I expect most NFL fans to react to the new Nike styled unis...
UPDATED 4:30PM: According to Mlive's Anwar Richardson, Mikel Leshoure did not show for his arrignment.
Wonderful...just wonderful. The news gets better and better. My reaction?
This is soooo worthy of a double facepalm...
Not to worry, Leshoure is not on the lam. The Freep's Dave Birkett reports via Twitter the Lions have told authorities Leshoure will will show up on Wednesday for arraignment. Keep in mind, we're talking about what will be misdemeanor offenses. Leshoure isn't some combination of John Dillinger and Charles Manson waking the streets, just a kid with a taste for weed.
Regardless, not showing up for arraignment will guarantee this story has legs for a few more days.
Original post: Everything has been fine and dandy on the Lions front, not a bad word to be said...until this afternoon. Apparently, Mikel Leshoure likes to smoke a little pot, and was caught holding in the Grand Rapids area a few weeks ago.
ESPN 96.1 is reporting that Detroit Lions running back Mikel LeShoure is being arraigned today in Berrien County Court on a charge of marijuana possession, second offense.
WOOD Radio confirmed the walk-in arraignment with the Berrien County clerk.
Online reports say Leshoure was busted on March 12th, but it didn't become public until today, thanks to the pending arrignment. Going by Tim Twentyman's posting of the team's reponse to the news on Twitter, the Lions are in damage control mode:
What doesn't bother me is Leshoure getting popped for possession. He's young, and young men make mistakes.
What bothers me is this Lesoure's second offense. That's a definite sign of a lack of maturity. That he doesn't quite get the responsibilities he has to the Lions. In other words, it's God damn stupid.
More proof of Leshoure's immaturity? Dave Birkett of the Freep provides it:
What the Hell is this? The sequel to Super Troopers?
The arresting officer...
Birkett also reports Leshoure's first offense was on February 18th, paying a fine after being found in possession during a traffic stop.
I'm not going argue the pros and cons of pot, if it's essentially the same as alcohol (in my mind, there's no difference, and should be treated as such). But pot possession remains against the law and in violation of NFL rules, which could put your high paying career at risk. That alone should be enough to keep you from being a chronic user of the chronic.
But at the VERY least, the consequences should be enough to keep you from getting busted by the cops on the west side of the freaking state carrying illegal drugs...after getting caught for the same offense a month earlier!
If Leshoure is considered a repeat offender by the NFL, he'll be facing a 4 game suspension. After getting popped twice in 2 months, I can guarantee there's a suspension in Leshoure's future.
With Leshoure's status in limbo, I have to believe the Lions will be in the market for a running back. I'm sure the Lions aren't eager to start the season with a depth chart of the eternally concussed Jahvid Best, the perpetually injured Kevin Smith, and a high and suspended Leshoure.no comments