Detroit Lions News: Latest Reports and Notes Following Preseason Week 2 Win
Their backfield is in shambles, and their secondary is still vastly unproven. Both of these were expected to be "problem" areas coming into the season, and these flaws have been validated thus far.
Let's take a look at these issues and any other valuable tidbits from the Lions' camp with preseason action halfway over.
Who is Going to Carry the Ball?
Ideally we can just say: Mikel Leshoure. However, Leshoure is still nursing a hamstring injury. Associated Press reporter David Ginsberg summarized the Lions' backfield woes in his report on Boston.com:
"The Lions were without running backs Jahvid Best (concussion) and Mikel Leshoure (hamstring). Backup Stefan Logan was carted off the field in the second quarter with an ankle injury after colliding with Stafford on a handoff. X-rays were negative."
I didn't include the players who did touch the ball. Kevin Smith had four carries for 11 yards. Joique Bell had five carries for 35 yards, and Stephfon Green had six carries for 92 yards and a touchdown to lead the team.
Those aren't all negatives, and it's nothing against the three backs who played on Friday, but are you going to expect them to carry the run game all season? I'd say probably not.
Detroit's pass game is as dynamic as ever, but the run game must keep the defense honest. Leshoure is supposed to be the back of the future, and Best isn't far behind, but both players must stay healthy for that to happen.
Discipline, Discipline, Discipline
The Lions' youth certainly has its benefits, but there are downsides as well. Penalties are one of them.
Mike O'Hara had this to say on the team's website after being asked if the offense covered flaws on the other side of the ball:
"No, and it shouldn’t. There were too many penalties—seven in the first half, with some offsides and a late hit by Nick Fairley. That has to be cleaned up."
The Lions are the second-most penalized team in the league since 2010 according to NFL.com. Regardless of the team's obvious offensive talent things like this cannot continue to happen.
Taking the next step as a franchise doesn't just rely on physical ability. The players must mature mentally, and they must be smart enough to keep themselves from committing unwise infractions.
It's still preseason, but you would think Jim Schwartz would be extremely focused on this. Focused or not, it still appears to be an issue in the Motor City.
Issues at Safety
This falls very close to the running back situation in Detroit. Talent is there, but it's thin and Louis Delmas is injured at the moment.
Tim Twentyman had this to say about the situation on the team's website:
"Veterans Erik Coleman and John Wendling have been holding down the fort since Delmas went down early in training camp.
Wendling has been a particularly nice surprise for the Lions all through camp. He had a nice game last week against the Browns and was all over the field against the Ravens."
The Lions failed to address their secondary in the NFL draft like many expected, and the situation hasn't improved. Twentyman does state that "Wendling had four tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a pass defended. Though it won’t officially count in the statistics, the sack was the first of his career."
Production from unexpected sources is never a bad thing, but, again like the running backs, are you going to expect consistency on a week-by-week basis in the regular season?
It could happen, but it would certainly make me nervous.
The Lions are one of the most exciting teams in the NFL, and that hasn't changed, but they have a few flaws. Their situation at safety is one of them, but it will improve when Delmas returns.
I just wanted to drop a quick note about one of Detroit's most pleasant surprises through two weeks of action. Detroit Free Press reporter Dave Birkett touches on Young's play at length, but a few basic observations can be made here.
It's no secret that the Lions are strong up the middle. Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh are two incredibly talented players at defensive tackle, but the Lions' situation at defensive end is less exciting.
Kyle Vanden Bosch is banged up. Cliff Avril just decided to join his teammates on the field, and Lawrence Jackson is nothing to write home about.
That makes Young's presence important, and he has capitalized on that opportunity. His performance against Cleveland in Week 1 was enough to open fans' eyes, but his blocked punt against Baltimore forced them to stay open.
It's tough to say what Young's long-term potential is, but he's one of Detroit's most intriguing players so far in preseason action.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?