The Lions' Den: Detroit Lions Weekly

Rudy DominickCorrespondent IMay 8, 2009

PASADENA, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Zack Follett #56 of the California Golden Bears looks on in the second half against the UCLA Bruins at the Pasadena Rose Bowl October 20, 2007 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

The Lions’ Den:  Your source for Detroit Lion’s information year round.  Player profiles, analysis, rumors, interesting tidbits, etc.  The weekly will be published every Friday, barring any (punter) Chris Hanson-like injuries (I.E. Axe to the non-kicking leg or third degree burns from a cheese fondue accident).


My Two Cents:  Larry Foote’s signing was a major boost to the Lions roster, instantly giving them a top linebacking corps in the NFL

Foote’s off-the-field contributions to his home town of Detroit may make a greater impact.

In March 2008, Foote paid for 10-year old Mark Brown-Williams funeral, after the boy fell through the ice and drown in the Rouge River in Detroit.  He felt compelled to do something even though he had no previous relation with the family.  Foote's son is around the same age as Mark and Foote played on the same river as a child growing up. 

His dream after the NFL is to coach football at his former high school, Pershing High School in Detroit.

Lion’s fan should welcome home one of their own, but also recognize his great accomplishments off-the-field  that so few athletes contribute today.


Player Profile:  Zack Follett

Zack Follett was a seventh round selection picked 235th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.  He is 6’2” 240lbs and played all three linebacker positions during his collegiate career at California.

His versatility will be a welcome addition to the Detroit Lions team, giving Detroit depth at linebacker and as a special teams contributor.  His biggest strengths are his pass rushing ability and his violent tackles, which have made him a fan favorite along with his quirky personality.

His hero growing up was Terry Tate, the office linebacker from the Reebok commercials. Follett said, "Growing up, Terry Tate, No. 56, the Office Linebacker, he was my hero watching those commercials. I tried to emulate him when I was out there."

Do you notice what number Follett wore in college (seen in the picture above)?  No. 56 the same as Terry Tate.

Not a bad hero to have, Tate’s fictional character brought a lot of energy and violent hits to his coworkers or “opponents.”  Follett brings that same energy to his game.  Though he has an injury history, including a neck stinger and shoulder injuries.

Follett seems determined to prove the NFL wrong for not selecting him before the seventh round.  His comment clearly shows that, “They're gonna pay for it," says Follett. "I'm gonna go out there and hit their players and take them out of the game.” 

Other interesting notes about Follett:

He spent the 2007 season at Cal with dyed hair resembling tiger stripes with a “Z” dyed in the back of his head, earning him the nickname “Ziger.”  He also makes life-size work carvings of teammates.

Follett doesn’t allow his off-the-field antics to change the way he plays on the field.  He takes the game very seriously and wants to sustain a long NFL career.


Transactions of the Week (Notables only)


DE Eric Hicks- 44.5 career sacks, played in a 3-4 under Gunther Cunningham in Kansas City.  

OG Toniu Fonoti- 27 years old, 6’4” 340lbs, once promising guard that was out of football for two years with weight issues.  This could be his last chance in Detroit.


Released:  TE Michael Gaines, CB Travis Fisher, RB Brian Calhoun