SLR Detroit Lions Player of the Year Tournament First Round: Kevin Smith vs. Will Heller

SideLion Report has great readers so it makes sense that you should have a say in helping us name the SideLion Report Detroit Lions player of the year. The players have been seeded and placed into a tournament bracket with each matchup determined by a reader vote.

To ensure that everyone has a chance to vote, polls will remain open until midnight on the west coast. At that time, a winner will be declared and the tournament will continue with another matchup the following day.

The top four seeds in each region are on to the second round. Today marks the start of single matchups each day as the disparity between seedings gets a little smaller.

(5 seed) Kevin Smith vs. (12 seed) Will Heller

The Detroit Lions’ running back situation was in rough shape with Mikel Leshoure lost in training camp and Jahvid Best out with a concussion after week six. Kevin Smith was one of about 25 players invited to the Lions’ training facility for a workout during the team’s bye week and was signed and carried the ball four times a week later in Chicago. He really broke out and showed how valuable he could be for the Lions in their push towards the playoffs with a 140 yards on 16 carries, another 61 yards on four receptions and three total touchdowns in the win over Carolina.

When asked to name the Lions’ three tight ends, Will Heller will almost assuredly be the last to come to mind. While Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler are targets in the passing game, Heller does most of his work locked up with a defender to let other players shine. Heller’s highlight reel moment came in the playoffs against the Saints when he caught a ten yard touchdown pass to give the Lions an early 7-0 lead. Heller had six catches for 42 yards in the regular season.

Who should advance to the second round of the 2011 SideLion Report Player of the Year Tournament?

  • Kevin Smith (95%, 38 Votes)
  • Will Heller (5%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 40

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Tags: Detroit Lions Kevin Smith Will Heller

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