DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE FOR FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2006

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TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions practiced on the indoor field in helmets and shorts today at the team headquarters and training facility in Allen Park.
  • Lions QB Jon Kitna enters Sunday's game ranked eighth in the NFL (3rd in NFC) with a completion percentage of 65.7 (at least 40 attempts).
  • Kitna is one of three quarterbacks in the league to throw at least 60 passes and have no interceptions.
  • Kitna's 76.7 completion percentage (23-of-30) at Chicago (9/17) was the third highest single-game tally among Lions' passers who attempted at least 30 passes in a game since 1970. It was the highest since Gary Danielson completed 80.0 percent (24-of-30) of his passes vs. Minnesota September 23, 1984.
  • The following players have been listed on the Detroit Lions' injury report: WR Shaun Bodiford (knee), S Kenoy Kennedy (foot) and LB Alex Lewis (knee) are out. T Barry Stokes (hamstring), T Rex Tucker (knee) and G Ross Verba (hamstring) are questionable. Bodiford, Kennedy, Lewis, Stokes and Tucker each missed the team portion of practice today. CB Shaun Rogers was also held out for a portion of team practice and CB Fernando Bryant did not practice (personal issue).
  • The following players have been listed on the Green Bay Packers' injury report: T Junius Coston (knee) is doubtful. CB Will Blackmon (foot), RB Ahman Green (hamstring), CB Al Harris (shoulder), TE David Martin (knee) and G Jason Spitz (thigh) are questionable. Blackmon, Coston, Green and Spitz each missed the team portion of practice today. Green Bay added Green to their injury list today.
  • The Lions will host the Packers Sunday in a NFC North division match-up at Ford Field. This week, Detroit will look to get their first win after a difficult 34-7 loss to the defending NFC North division-winning Chicago Bears while Green Bay looks to rebound from a heartbreaking 34-27 home loss to the New Orleans Saints.
  • Sunday's game will be televised live in Metro Detroit on WJBK-TV FOX Channel 2 with Ron Pitts handling play-by-play and Terry Donahue adding color commentary. The game will also be broadcast on the Lions Radio Network (WKRK 97.1 FM) with announcer Dan Miller handling play-by-play, Jim Brandstatter adding color commentary and Tony Ortiz reporting from the sideline.
  • Former Lions T Rich Strenger will be the Alumni Honorary Captain for Sunday's game against the Packers. The 6-7, 285-pound tackle was Detroit's second-round draft pick (40th overall) in the 1983 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan where he was All-Big Ten and honorable mention All-America for the Wolverines as a senior. Strenger played in 46 games including 27 starts at left and, later, right tackle opening holes for two great Detroit backs RB Billy Sims and RB James Jones.

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On the injuries: "Just to go over the injuries again: Shaun Bodiford, Kenoy Kennedy - they're out; (Alex) Lewis, out; (Barry) Stokes is still questionable right now; (Rex) Tucker is very questionable and Ross Verba is questionable. Fernando Bryant is still (excused) on a personal matter, I don't quite know yet what the status will be Sunday right now. Hopefully we'll find that out in another day or so. Other than that, everything is great and it's another work day."

On if CB Jamar Fletcher will start for CB Fernando Bryant if he is out on Sunday: "Right. We have 'Fletch' out there."

On if G Ross Verba had a set back: "Oh no, it's the same as what we had yesterday. He's working; getting his step. He's questionable I guess, but he's practicing and everything's fine -he should be fine."

On out of all of the starters (Stokes, Tucker and Verba) that are questionable is Verba the most likely to play on Sunday: "Of those three, yeah."

On who will start at right tackle: "Well, if everything is as it is right now it will be Jonathan Scott."

On what challenge's Packers DE Aaron Kampman will present Scott: "Oh he challenges a lot. He's a veteran in terms of how he uses his hands. He uses his hands really well and he's highly productive over there. He does a good job with power so, it'll be a heck of a challenge for him."

On if TE Dan Campbell will help Scott: "Well, there's different ways to do it. You also have to get guys out in routes and all of those things. He's just got to go. He's a highly paid professional athlete that we expect when he gets on the field to do his job."

On how much he feels this team needs to win in order for the players to feel they're going in the right direction: "I don't go that way - we are going in the right direction. I know that and that's what they understand and that's what they see. We line up and we go, we line up and we go. No excuses, we line up and we go."

On the fact that 1-2 is still better than 0-3: "Well I'm a competitor - that's obvious, right? I mean you don't go in to lose; you compete and that's the obvious."

On being a defensive line coach what does he think the best way is to defeat a rush: "I think some of the big things are the chips of you're really good end - a late chip - cause you don't see it coming. That's the thing that kind of wears those guys out a little bit. Changing the sides a little bit and then not quite knowing when the tight ends are in or out - because you don't know who you're rushing at that moment. You feel you're rushing him and he's released, now you're going to tackle; all of a sudden he's in and then whoa, I'm off a little bit. Those are the things that menace you - the hard counts, the draws, the traps - that are always the things that try to slow you down."

On if place selection is defeated too: "Oh no, that's all part of it, but now it's coming out quick and there are guys in the back that should be breaking quick. If their confident the ball's coming out, they believe their eyes and they go."

On if they have to adjust to what they're seeing: "Oh yeah. The fronts got to push the ball out quickly too; that's there job. We have to make that thing come out quick."

On how much the players have shown him they want to get out there and get it done right: "They've worked hard this week. The biggest thing is, you have a day like today - a couple things pop here and there - now, it's between today and tomorrow to get things corrected. We have time to keep working on it - to get in your book, get in the meeting, watch the films and then Saturday to Sunday you still have time. To me, the mental process - a lot of the physical stuff we've done. Again, it's still the visualization of the steps, your hands and all those keys, the fundamentals. But now it's the details, the adjustments, you get the sound, how do you hand signal. All of a sudden when we play at home our defenses got to work on hand signals, all your communication is silenced right now - you can't hear each other. So, that's how communication can break down. There's somebody giving it and there's somebody receiving it, they both have to be responsible for it to be successful."

On how big of an addition TE Casey FitzSimmons will be: "Oh, he's a good player. He's good on team force and he's got excellent hands, he's a veteran. He gives you more depth there and that's a nice group of tight ends we got - I really like those three (Campbell, Pollard, FitzSimmons) guys."

On if FitzSimmons will be ready to go: "Oh, yeah he's practiced all week, he's been humming; so he should be ready to go."

On the draft classes on both teams: "Oh, yeah and it's always comes down to: it's just the NFL. That's what it's about and what teams can adjust and hopefully from day one we've coached every one of these men like starters; so, they're up and ready to go. I'm excited to see them, I really am and with five of them out there, they will contribute. So we've just got to see them do their job and believe in them and get going. The mistakes they make - got to let it go and move on and keep playing

On despite Green Bay coming off two losses if they're still dangerous: "Oh, brutal. Believe me (I have) unbelievable respect for him (Brett Favre) now; he's an all-time warrior in this league. He will not let a play die and as a coach you're sweating bullets. He won't go down; he fights it every way; he backs up, he throws, he reverses and he's still doing it. He's such a competitor and it scares you; you got him covered here and he breaks out goes across field and he's still got a cannon. He's still got a lot there and he's alive; you know what I'm saying? In the game he's alive, you can just see it, as a coach you admire that. He goes after it; he's done it for a long time and he's been successful. We know, believe me, we've played against this guy too many times."

On the rivalry between QB Brett Favre and DT Warren Sapp: "Two great competitors, that thing was really awesome. Usually you get those down lineman who are geared up for the guy in front of him - he (Sapp) won't even deal with that, he doesn't want that guy. It made it kind of special, it was really special. Brett, the way he competes is unbelievable."

Courtesy of the Lions