Lions: What To Watch For During Training Camp
The Quaterback battle
For the first time in years the Lions have a quarterback battle that will be the main story of training camp. The incumbent Daunte Culpepper has lost 30 pounds and is reconnected with the person that helped him set records in 2004 when he played for Minnesota-Scott Linehan. Culpepper is four-years removed from a knee injury that hampered him when he played for Miami and Oakland.The challenger is first-overall pick Matt Stafford.Stafford has a very strong arm,but needs to work on his accuracy.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz has stressed that there isn't a depth chart and that everyone must earn their playing time. At camp today Stafford ran mostly with 2nd team offense while Culpepper worked with the 1st team. Stafford did however take the majority of the snaps with the 1st team during seven-on-seven drills.
I was impressed with the velocity of Stafford's throws and he looked comfortable running the 1st team. Overall I thought that Stafford out performed Culpepper at the morning practice and I feel that Stafford will start at New Orleans.
Coming into the 2008 season everyone- including myself- thought that Ernie Sims would have a great shot at becoming the Lions first linebacker to play in the Pro Bowl since 2001-Stephen Boyd. Instead Sims was surround by sub-par talent and played out of position. This off-season the Lions signed former Michigan State stand out and five-time pro-bowler Julian Peterson and two-time Super Bowl champion Larry Foote.
Foote and Peterson replace Paris Lenon-signed by New England- and Alex Lewis. Lewis was a great special teams player but never lived up to his potential when he was drafted out of Wisconsin. Lenon beat out 2nd round pick Jordon Dizon to when the starting middle linebacker spot last season. With the addition of Foote,Peterson and another year under the belt of Dizon,the linebackers look to be the strength of the defense.
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