Detroit Lions Preseason: Who Are These Guys?

Michael SuddsCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2011

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

“Hello muddah, hello faddah. . . . .

Here I am at. . . .  Camp Grenada. . . .

Camp is very. . . . .  entertaining. . . . .

And, they say we’ll have some fun. . . .

When it stops raining.”

Alan Sherman

The same storm that knocked out my power at home (still out, too) kept me from seeking refuge and solace in a Lions training camp practice.

So, after an expenditure of the serious kind for a five kilowatt gasoline generator (some assembly required), it dawned on me that I can’t afford the gas to run the damned contraption.

It took me an hour to siphon the five gallons of gas out of my neighbor’s vehicles required to run the beast.

Siphoning gas sucks. Literally. Ptooi!

I will have to take it out in trade with my neighbors, who can’t drive to work tomorrow, but will be eating and drinking on my last dime for the foreseeable future.

Synergies can be a bitch, but none of my neighbors called the cops on me. A plus in my ledger.

Anyway, what are we to make of our pet cats, the Lions? After two exhibition games I honestly have as many questions as answers.

It’s been widely reported that LT Jeff Backus has returned to practice. This is a good thing, right?

I hope that Backus’ return isn’t premature, and he goes on to have a great season.

Which brings me around to OT Corey Hilliard. Hilliard didn’t look like a plug-and-play left tackle in Cleveland, did he?

Which brings me around to the Lions rushing game. What’s up with that, eh? Ian Johnson looked better than any other running back because he hit the hole (or, lack thereof) with authority.

Jerome Harrison looked to be getting his “football legs” going, but he had those dancing, happy feet. Let’s face it. Harrison will rarely bounce a play to the outside with any success.

Mike Bell had several chances to shine but ran with considerably less power than his physique would suggest.

So, what are the Lions to do about their running game? This is obviously the biggest question mark on the team going forward.

Which brings me around to RB Maurice Morris. “MoMo” looked like a player on the bubble when rookie Mikel LeShoure showed that he’s for real in camp.  LeShoure is on the IR and the Lions have yet to find an answer.

Morris had the cast removed from his broken paw and returned to practice Sunday. Like the cavalry riding to the rescue, Morris has arrived at the right time and place.

Without any further glaring deficiencies on offense (unless you want to devote an hour to the O-line), let’s turn our attention to defense.

Is OLB Justin Durant better than Bobby Carpenter? Not in my book. Durant has been out of the play more often than not. Carpenter, on the other hand, has a “nose” for the ball, takes better angles and sheds blockers far better.

Playing OLB is more about anticipation and instincts than physicality. Carpenter has it. Durant doesn’t. Period.

The Cleveland Browns singled out Detroit’s safeties for abuse in the passing game. Neither Louis Delmas, Amari Spievey, Erik Coleman or Ricardo Silva was immune from wearing a bulls eye.

Delmas has forgotten the Cardinal rule of safety play: Thou shall wrap a tackle. When screwy Louie sent his shoulder into a Browns ball carrier, he was sending a message to his teammates that it’s cool to chip.

Sure enough, the others followed with shoddy tackles of their own, as if following Delmas’ lead. Monkey see, monkey do.

Typing in candlelight, I am suddenly blinded. The lights are on! Woo hoo!

Now, can I take that generator back for a refund?


Mike Sudds is a syndicated Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Mike is also an analyst and correspondent for


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