Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this set of eyes saw a dozen different things that made watching the first preseason game of the year definitely worth the time. Not everybody is going to see the same things, even though we’re all watching the same game. I guess it depends on what you’re looking for. Me, I’m only looking for the positive things from the new guys on the squad. I’m not interested in how the main guys are doing in a couple of series before they sit down for the night. I already know that Matthew Stafford is going to be a little shaky with his timing in the first few games, and that Megatron is going to be out of this world as always. They have another month to work on the negative stuff before the real bullets start to fly, so I don’t worry about that yet.
I do however want to see the new guys and what they can do for the Detroit Football Lions. I watched the game again and made notes of 12 things that made me smile – 12 plays from the new guys that made me think this team is tracking in the right direction. They’re listed chronologically from the start of the game, here we go:
These are the dozen BAM plays that really got my attention and why.
1. Reggie Bush hurdles a defender.
On the third play from scrimmage, Bush actually leaped over a defender like like he was playing tag in the playground. No sweat at all. That’s exactly the kind of weapon the Lions envisioned coming out of the backfield.
2. Ziggy says hello to Detroit.
Matthew Stafford said it best when he said “That was a nice way for Ziggy to say hello”. Ansah flashed those natural instincts in snatching that ball out of the air and igniting Ford Field into a frenzy.
3. Ansah sheds Ferguson like a rag doll.
Ziggy threw aside D’Brickashaw Ferguson in a heartbeat to make a nice sole tackle. It was only a couple of plays, but they show you the enormous upside that the Lions spoke about. He kinds of looks like a longer, thicker and quicker version of Robert Porcher in his heyday.
4. Quin almost intercepts a pass.
I didn’t know Lions safeties were allowed to intercept passes. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Glover Quin looked like that ball-hawking Safety the Lions have been searching for, when he grabbed a ball but had it wrestled out of his hands on a good play by the receiver. He showed great instincts there.
5. Warford’s first play.
On Larry Warford’s first play from scrimmage, the Lions ran right up his butt and he got one yard. One precious positive yard. It was only one yard but it was a yard in the right direction for once behind the right guard. The next play, the defense stayed in to cover Bush, and Megatron got a 28 yard reception. Coincidence?
6. Ziggy playing downfield.
I was very impressed to see Ziggy Ansah, number five pick in the draft, chasing a play 30 yards down the field. Nice to see the lessons of Kyle Vanden Bosch haven’t been forgotten.
7. The Lions can run the ball on the right side.
It was just one play, but it was a glimpse into the future. Warford and Jason Fox opened up a hole big enough for Mikel Leshoure to gain five yards. I am definitely not used to seeing holes in the running lanes on that side of the ball.
8. Sam Martin can punt.
The punt leaving the opponent inside of the ten is something I could get used to. The Lions sorely need someone who can flip the field. I also loved the punt where the Lions man had to wait so long for the ball to come down that he could have tied his shoelaces in that time.
9. Joique Bell looks quicker.
In the middle of the second quarter, Joique Bell got rid of a defender so quickly and effortlessly. It’s a move we wouldn’t have seen last year. His rise in confidence seemed to have made him a little quicker.
10. Who’s Matt Willis?
To tell you the truth, I had never heard of Matt Willis before that game. He sure made the most of it with his acrobatic catches. Who knows, maybe he has a chance to be the fifth receiver?
11. Devin Taylor’s strip and sack.
Taylor’s play late in the third quarter reminded everyone that the Lions did indeed draft another defensive end in the fourth round. His size is intriguing at six foot seven inches. He could be a huge part of the Lions future.
12. Havard Rugland is no joke.
He came to the NFL in the strangest way possible, but the kid has shown he can kick in the NFL by making 49 yard and 50 yard field goals. He was mobbed by his teammates afterward.