It’s game day! The Lions take on the Ravens tonight, so let’s not waste any time and get straight into the news bullets:
- ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter believes that the Green Bay Packers should trade for Browns quarterback Colt McCoy as insurance for Aaron Rodgers. This move makes sense because although the Packers have invested a lot of resources in bringing backup Graham Harrell along, he just isn’t where he needs to be to play the backup role to the franchise’s superstar QB. Schefter thinks that McCoy can be had for as little as a 5th round draft selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, which would be well worth it for the Packers to make the trade. It would be great to see McCoy join the NFC North, even as just a clipboard holder, because of how exciting he was to watch in college.
- Lions guard Rob Sims believes that San Francisco 49ers defensive end Justin Smith is hands down “the most dominant player” he’s ever played against. Sims says the four seasons he spent with the Seattle Seahawks playing against Smith two times per season was not enough to get used to blocking the powerful d-end. The Lions play against the 49ers week two of the regular season.
- According to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, the Lions defense has spent considerable time in practice this week working on blitz recognition in preparation for the Baltimore Ravens defense. Expect offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to get the calls in quick to quarterback Matthew Stafford in order to combat the aggressive play calling of Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
Some things you should look for while watching the game tonight:
- Jacob Lacey is making the start at one of the corner back positions over rookie Bill Bentley Friday night. Bentley will most likely start at the nickel position.
- Franchise-tendered defensive end Cliff Avril will see his first playing time of the preseason tonight against the Ravens and there are a few things that fans should focus on. Do not get upset if he makes hardly any plays and looks a little behind the other guys in the defensive end rotation. He has only had one week of practice, is not in full game shape and needs to put in more time at the Lions facility to get himself ready to reproduce his great numbers from last season. Look for Avril to get himself in position to make plays, align himself correctly along the defensive line and, most importantly, stay healthy.
- Do not expect to see recently signed offensive guard Billy Nagy to play because he hasn’t spent any time practicing with the Lions and he is still recovering from ankle surgery. As a matter of fact, Nagy may not play at all this season, but he could be in line to be a contingency plan for guard Stephen Peterman, who has an expiring contract this season.
- Let’s see if second-year defensive tackle Nick Fairley is able to suit up and play tonight. Earlier this week he had hurt his knee in practice, was forced to miss practice time and spent Wednesday with a wrap around his knee. It’ll also be interesting to see if he can put anything on film that resembles a first round draft pick defensive lineman because he has not impressed in camp at all.
- The Lions first team offense should perform better this game regardless of the fact that the Lions are facing a top-ten defense led by all-pro linebacker Ray Lewis. Stafford and co. started slow last week against the Browns sub-par defense, but this week at practice Schwartz made sure the intensity level and focus was the best it has been all training camp, said Matthew Stafford.