Lions Congregation: Rookies and Lineups
By Zac Snyder
Thanks to Joshua over at Roar of the Lions, SideLion Report is part of what is called the Lions Congregation. Every week, he brings a panel of Lions bloggers the questions of you the readers. It is exciting to be a part of a solid group of writers and fans who share equal passion for our football team!
This week’s edition is extra special as we have two questions to answer.
1. From Juan G.: Gerald McCoy has already basically said he will sign after Bradford does. Bradford may not be in camp on time. How does this bode for getting Suh and Best in camp in time?
2. From Brian S.: It’s obviously still way too early, but give us your best guess for the opening day lineups on offense and defense…
Here is the Panel for this week’s question (To view everyone’s responses click here):
Al of the Wayne Fontes Experience
Steve of Detroit Lions Weblog
NetRat of The Netrat Detroit Lions Site
Zac of The Sidelion Report
Phil of Mlive.com
Blades Boyd formerly of The Church of Schwartz
Joshua aka DetFan1979 of Roar of the Lions
My answers comes after the jump…
1. The Lions actually seem to be ahead of the rest of the league in terms of signing rookies. It shouldn’t be a surprise that both unsigned picks are first rounders, such is the nature of the beast. I’m not worried about Jahvid Best getting to camp on time. He’s not one of those guys that slid to the end of the first round yet holds delusions of top-ten money. Ndamukong Suh’s situation is a little different as the number two overall pick and first defensive tackle off the board. The Rams ability to sign Sam Bradford may or may not alter Suh’s negotiations. Suh has stated that he would like to report on time but don’t expect him to leave dollars on the table to make that happen. He may miss a couple days of practice but a lengthy holdout doesn’t seem likely. The Cowboys became the first team to sign their first-round draft pick on Thursday. Not surprising considering the Cowboys are one of the first teams to report to camp. Contract negotiations are volatile situations and the pressure isn’t really on until the first practice approaches. A lot will change in the next week and picture should look a whole lot better.
2. QB – Matthew Stafford, RB – Jahvid Best, WR – Calvin Johnson, WR – Nate Burleson, TE – Tony Scheffler, TE – Brandon Pettigrew, LT – Jeff Backus, LG – Rob Sims, C – Dominic Raiola, RG – Stephen Peterman, RT – Gosder Cherilus
Injury situations will have a lot to do with what the starting lineup looks like in week 1. Brandon Pettigrew is reportedly progressing nicely and should slide into a starting spot with the Lions featuring more two TE sets. While Kevin Smith is also healing to everyone’s delight, he may have to settle for being number two in a one-two punch from the backfield. Jahvid Best has the king of game breaking speed that the Lions offense has sorely lacked. Gosder Cherilus will face a challenge from Jon Jansen but he will win the job as long as he shows some improvement between the ears.
DE – Cliff Avril, DT – Ndamukong Suh, DT – Corey Williams, DE – Kyle Vanden Bosch, LB – Julian Peterson, LB – DeAndre Levy, LB – Zack Follett, CB – Chris Houston, CB – Jonathan Wade, S – Louis Delmas, S – C.C. Brown
The second corner and safety spots are the biggest toss-ups. The addition of Dre Bly will add to the level of competition and overall talent pool but I’m not convinced he will win a starting spot on this team. Zack Follett gets a spot for now with a chance to solidify it when the team hits the field. Cliff Avril also has something to prove but don’t be surprised if he gets every opportunity to win a starting job.
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