I’ll admit it right up front, I’m not watching the last exhibition, pre-season, final dress rehearsal or a really long practice with another team that happens to be televised this Thursday night. The starters won’t play more than a few snaps, if any. If Matthew Stafford does have to play by some weird NFL bylaw then I hope he takes the first snap and runs straight out of bounds with it, hand it to the referee, put his Lions hat on backwards and take a seat on the bench for the rest of the night. There is absolutely nothing to watch at this game unless you have a son on the roster trying to make the last cut. They really should just outlaw the 4th game and give everybody two weeks to rest and get ready for the REAL games to start. I wanted to make a few observations about the Lions pre-season games before half the state retreats up north for the final weekend of summer.
-The Lions had better do everything they can to protect Matthew Stafford. As he goes,the Lions go. It’s a good thing he a big set of shoulders because he’s going to have to hoist the Lions offense on them. It’s obvious that the running game has problems opening up holes and will be relying on Stafford’s powerful right arm again this season.
-I like the way Mikel Leshoure looked. Getting 1 yard in 5 carries is nothing to write home mom about, but the O-line was putrid in their blocking. He looked fast and shifty. He is somebody teams will definitely have to wrap up when they tackle him, try and arm tackle him and he’ll rip it off. I thought this talk about trading for Maurice Jones-Drew was ridiculous before seeing him, but now that we’ve seen him in a Lions uniform it’s not even worth mentioning anymore. This could be the guy that carries the load for the Lions for the next five years.
-It annoys me that the only time I hear Nick Fairley’s name mentioned is when there’s a yellow flag laying on the ground. I kept hearing how he was in great shape going into training camp and how Martin Mayhew was predicting a breakout year for him. It sure hasn’t translated to anything positive on the field. It was a huge red flag when he was openly criticized by his own coaches last week about being immature. I hope he matures rapidly which hopefully will result in more sacks.
-The defensive line is going to have their work cut out for them this year. Without Louis Delmas in the backfield, the Lions already shaky defensive backs look extremely vulnerable to deep passes. I still have nightmares of the last two games of last year when the secondary got burned for nearly a thousand yards. This is a problem that probably isn’t going away this year so the success of the Lions defense is once again going to rest on the shoulders of the D-line.
-The GQ piece on Ndumakong Suh revealed him to be a grumpy kind of guy. That he ignores people in public and doesn’t respond to their greetings. Sorry folks, he’s not here in the Motor City to spread goodwill on behalf of the Detroit Lions. He’s here to kiss ass. The anger that propels him on the football field is apparently not so easy for him to shake off once he gets in public. So what? His message is clear, just leave me alone. I’m cool with that. The Lions have needed someone with his football mentality since the days when the “Blue” in the Black and Blue division was the color you were after tangling with the Lions all Sunday afternoon.