In a recent article I wrote after the Detroit Lions played the Buffalo Bills, I said that the fourth preseason game was meaningless. I got a few responses in the comment section as well as in my email that suggested that statement was untrue.
A sample comment came from Walt Reid who wrote:
"This is the most important game for taking a look at the third string guys. Guys that will (not only) ultimately make up the bottom portion of the roster, but will contribute to the team as a whole.
If the NFL changes the schedule to two preseason games, will there be enough time to give your starting guys a chance to meld together, while giving your staff ample time to evaluate competitions, situations, etc. I say no. It's a bad idea for the NFL to change the season's setup. Don't fix something that's not broke.....just so you can make more ad revenue.
If it weren't for these games, the Lions wouldn't have a chance to make an educated decision about guys like Aaron Brown, Zack Follett, Willie Young, Dan Gronkowski, Ashlee Palmer, De-De Dorsey, Lydon Murtha, Tim Toone, etc.."
After taking a look at who the Lions cut, even Walt will have to admit that the game meant nothing to the coaches.
Arguably three of the biggest stars of that game were Dede Dorsey, Landon Cohen, and Paul Pratt.
Dorsey was both the leading rusher and receiver. He electrified with a beautiful 34-yard reception for a touchdown. He was listed as one of the winners in a postgame review by Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Dean Holden.
Cohen finished the game with four tackles and two sacks. He was also listed as a winner in Dean’s column.
Pratt got an interception and returned it the length of the field for a touchdown.
Just to clarify I agree with Dean’s assessment of how well they did during the game.
No other Lion player did much more than these three did and on the strength of that game alone all three should be found on the Lions’ roster this morning.
The reality however is all three players were cut.
As I stated when I replied to Walt’s comment there is not much a player can do in the final preseason game to make the coaches forget about all the offseason activities that have been going on for months.
The upcoming change in the NFLs season format to only two preseason games is a welcome one, especially for season ticket holders who are forced to pay full price for a game that means even less than practice does.