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Super Bowl Experience Valued Highly by Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell

April 22nd, 2014 at 11:39 PM
By Mario E. Scipioni

Tuesday was a big day for the Detroit Lions as they began minicamp for the 2014 season.  As new Lions head coach Jim Caldwell spoke to the media after practice, the topic of Super Bowl experience from new team members came up.  Caldwell finds it very helpful.

 

'Golden Tate' photo (c) 2010, Matt McGee - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
 

Two of the biggest acquisitions for the Lions in free agency were players from the last two Super Bowl champions.  Safety James Ihedigbo earned a ring with the Baltimore Ravens two seasons ago, and wide receiver Golden Tate spent comes to Detroit from the new champions, the Seattle Seahawks.

Caldwell, who actually has Super Bowl experience himself as a coach, views having such players to be very beneficial for the team as they move forward.  "It’s invaluable.  You can’t have enough of them," stated Caldwell.  "Obviously, Golden Tate, you’re talking about Dig (James Ihedigbo), both guys are guys that have been in the thick of it as leaders, that know what it takes to win.  Not just to win, but to win a championship."

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Detroit Lions Sign Cornerbacks Aaron Hester and Nate Ness

April 22nd, 2014 at 10:02 AM
By Mario E. Scipioni

The Detroit Lions are continuing to make sure they will have depth in their secondary for the 2014 season.  They have now added even more security by signing cornerbacks Aaron Hester and Nate Ness.  The terms of their contracts have not been revealed.

 

'Ford Field, host of the MotorCity Bowl being played on December 26, 2008' photo (c) 2008, Debra Drummond - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
 

The signing of these two players adds to what has become a collection several signings have been made in the secondary by the Lions this offseason. They added James Ihedigbo and Cassius Vaughn via free agency and also re-signed Rashean Mathis. What makes bringing in Hester and Ness different is that they do not have the experience that Ihedigbo, Vaughn, and Mathis have. 

Hester, who is the cousin of Atlanta Falcons wide receiver and kick returner Devin Hester, was signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted rookie last April but released four months later. He spent his college career at UCLA, where he tallied 42 tackles and five interceptions, and one forced fumble.

Ness has been in the NFL since 2009 but has barely seen any action.  Since signing his first NFL contract, he has appeared in only eight games and recorded eight tackles.  The Arizona product has bounced around the league, and the Lions are now the eighth different NFL team he has been signed to.  Out of those eight teams, Ness has not made it past the practice squad for four of them.

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Will the Detroit Lions Trade up to Draft Sammy Watkins?

April 9th, 2014 at 5:10 PM
By Mario E. Scipioni

As of now, the Detroit Lions hold the tenth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Is there a chance that may change into an earlier pick? There are reasons to believe that it is very possible.

 

'Sammy Watkins' photo (c) 2011, Parker Anderson - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
 

The Lions met with Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins yesterday. There is a lot that they like about Watkins. Detroit does need a wide receiver, and Watkins would be an excellent addition if he can perform the way he did in college.  Watkins would be the number two receiver that the Lions have been looking for.  He has the athletic abilities and the attitude that the team needs.

Everything may add up in the move being pulled off. Watkins even said he likes the idea of being drafted by the Lions.  "It'd be definitely a blessing playing with Megatron and Golden Tate, having Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford," said Watkins.  “They’re doing a great job with the program with all the coaches.  If I ever go there, sky’s the limit."  He likes them and they have paid a lot of attention to him in the past month.  The interest is there for both sides, which makes it even more likely that the Lions will see if they can make a jump.

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Detroit Lions Sign Offensive Tackle J.B. Shugarts

April 3rd, 2014 at 11:02 PM
By Mario E. Scipioni

Some depth has been added to the Detroit Lions’ offensive line. The team has signed offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts. He is best known for his college days with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

 

'3624 - Detroit - Ford Field' photo (c) 2006, Cleavers - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
 

Shugarts went undrafted in 2012. Since making the jump to the pros, he has not actually played in a regular season NFL game. The most action he has seen has been in preseason games. In case you are wondering, he has played in eight preseason games total.

In two seasons, he has spent time with three different teams – the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Jets. He had a place to call home only once past the preseason, which was his rookie season in Cleveland where he was a member of their practice squad. Other than that, he has yet to make a 53-man roster.

During his time at Ohio State, Shugarts was a starting offensive tackle for three of his four college seasons. In that time span, he played in 44 games and started in 33 of them. Despite standing at 6’6” and weighing in at 305 pounds, there were criticisms and concerns about his strength and athleticism that led to his name not being called in the 2012 NFL Draft.

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Detroit Lions Sign Dan Orlovsky to One-Year Deal

April 2nd, 2014 at 11:09 PM
By Mario E. Scipioni

The Detroit Lions have finally found a veteran backup quarterback.  Unfortunately, they found someone who had an awful stint with them in the past.  Dan Orlovsky is in a Lions uniform once again.

 

'Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings 2012/09/30' photo (c) 2012, kdoebler@att.net - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
 

Orlovsky's deal is for one year and worth $1.75 million.  Anytime you mention Orlovsky's name, everyone will remember him as the quarterback of the Lions team that went 0-16 in 2008.  They will also remember him for his signature moment when he rolled out into the back of the endzone against the Minnesota Vikings that season.  To add some salt to the wound, that safety was the difference in the 12-10 loss.

Jim Caldwell is familiar with Orlovsky, which is somewhat a positive part of bringing him in.  The two were part of the notoriously bad 2011 Indianapolis Colts team where Caldwell was the head coach and Orlovsky was the third quarterback to start a game for the team that season.  In fact, Orlovsky led the Colts to their only two wins near the end of the season.

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