- The Lions practiced on the indoor field in full pads today at the team headquarters and training facility in Allen Park.
- The team announced today that they have released WR Az-Zahir Hakim. Hakim (5-10, 189) joined the Lions for his second tour of duty with the club September 12. He was previously with the team from 2002-04. Hakim played in six games for Detroit this season and registered 17 receptions for 147 yards. In Week 5 at Minnesota (10/8), he led the team with 8 receptions for 82 yards.
- QB Jon Kitna is currently first in the NFL in completions (167), third in attempts (264), fifth in passing yards (1853) and seventh in completion-percentage among passers with 20 attempts-per-game (63.3).
- Detroit's passing offense is currently ranked fifth in the NFL with 247.3 passing yards-per-game.
- Among league leaders, RB Kevin Jones is seventh in the NFL (third in the NFC) with 740 total yards from scrimmage (474 rushing, 266 receiving). He is also seventh in the NFL and fifth in the NFC with 37 first downs (23 rushing, 14 receiving).
- WR Roy Williams is seventh in the NFL in receiving yardage (581). With 38 receptions through the first seven games, he is tied for 11th in the NFL and is sixth amongst NFC receivers.
- The Lions (1-6) return home this week to face the Falcons (5-2) at Ford Field. Detroit had their bye in Week 8 after a frustrating 24-31 loss to the New York Jets at The Meadowlands, and will be looking to get on the winning track against Atlanta. The Falcons will be bringing the league's best rushing offense to Detroit this weekend and hopes to win their third consecutive game after a 29-27 victory last week at Cincinnati.Â
- This week's game will be televised live in Metro Detroit on WJBK-TV FOX Channel 2 with Kenny Albert handling play-by-play, Brian Baldinger adding color commentary and Jay Glazer reporting from the sideline.
LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement: "Injuries (are) just about all the same. We'll have a better feel on Wednesday where we're at; but, all the same guys we've talked about practiced today. We should be in good shape."
On the surprise of WR Az-Zahir Hakim being released: "Just a football move at this point. That was our decision."
On if the release had anything to do with any violation of team rules: "No."
On if he just didn't give what was expected: "I'm just going to leave it at that now. It was a football move and I'll just leave it at that."
On who will take his spot: "We just have guys working in there right now so we'll see as the week goes on."
On how Hakim was the go to guy when WR Roy Williams was hurt: "We're just going to leave it as a football move. I'll leave it at that. That usually ends it."
On if he'll make a decision on LB Teddy Lehman this week: "We had full pads today to see him work around and then we're going to go full pads on Wednesday, work again there and kind of see where he's at in this whole process. He's moving around pretty good now."
On if a lot of it depends on how well he feels: "Yeah, I think it will be from today to Wednesday (on) how he feels. It will tell a lot in the next day or so. Just so the soreness and all of that - this is the first time he's really done something heavy on it."
On if he's looking at Lehman as a middle linebacker: "Middle linebacker, 'MIKE.'"
On if that's so LB Alex Lewis can stay on the field: "Well, yeah. Alex out there, we have Boss (Bailey) outside, Ernie (Sims) outside and Alex outside and we'll work Paris (Lenon) and Teddy (Lehman) inside."
On if moving LB Boss Bailey from middle to outside was something he's planned all along: "Not really, no. We think right now, in terms of the whole uniqueness of the positions, because Teddy's (Lehman) an inside guy and I think Paris (Lenon) has done a good job inside and maybe (it will) get Boss (Bailey) back to more of a natural position for him."
On if he'll move Bailey outside: "Outside, yeah. We're going to move him outside - back to outside backer. So it gives us three guys there we can really rotate around - those three - gives you two inside guys we can rotate and keep fresh and then hopefully this will really start to add to our kicking game. In terms of that we can use all five or six of those guys in the kicking game. At one point it was tough because Ernie (Sims) was taking too many snaps, so this will help the whole group and I think it will upgrade the kicking (coverage) a little bit."
On whom he expects to be the starting linebacker, Bailey or Lenon: "Well, we're going to move Paris inside. So, it will be all three. We'll just let it play out as the week goes. Alex (Lewis) is just coming up right now and he's going back outside. So, we'll just take a look at these guys and see how the week progresses."
On what he'd like to see from QB Jon Kitna in the second half: "I obviously think the No. 1 thing we've always got to work on is just good ball security. Other than that he's been very, very good for us."
On his unique perspective of QB Michael Vick and how he's seen him develop: "The perception is that he's not a thrower - he's a great thrower. This guy has got a cannon; given enough time he'll drill you. There's nobody in football like this guy. You have to account for him on every snapÂ in your eight man box. All of a sudden it's not an eight man box anymore. Even though you pack eight in, somebody's always got the boot. He's a naked-booter. He's such a weapon on this stuff and when you think you've got him - you don't. They create some situations where you're one-on-one with him, where you have to be and you've just got to use good defensive principles and force and feel and contain him."
On if WR Glenn Martinez will be brought up from the practice squad: "That's a tomorrow discussion. We had a good practice to get guys on film today and we'll sit down and look at it tomorrow."
On if it's a consideration to bring WR Corey Bradford back or is that a closed door: "No, there's no door closed. So we just have to look at it and see where we're at tomorrow."
On if Lewis is expected to reclaim his starting position: "Yeah, if he's healthy and everything. All of a sudden guys are not the same guy when they left so we have to make sure we're fair and give each guy a good opportunity. All three (Sims, Lewis, Bailey) will play just like both of the middle linebackers (Lehman, Lenon) are going to play. It's going to give us some real good depth especially against a team like this (Atlanta). They're going to make you run - play the width of the field and the depth of the field every snap. So we're going to need to be fresh a good part of this game."
On what he expects from Lewis: "Oh, he's really outstanding, he's outstanding. He's really one of the better ones on his breaks. He's got great speed and great instincts. I really think he's got a chance to be a heck of a player. But now we just have to make sure we work the right progression to get him back to where he was at."
On how much Marinelli is looking forward to getting more guys back: "There are two things that it really helps: one, it creates competition for uniforms on game day. The guys have had no competition here for about three or four weeks. So it upgrades the competition. It upgrades our kicking (coverage) - we have more bodies and fresher guys. It also adds to our speed. The guys that we're getting back, they were fast when they left so we have to see where they're at right now. But it was really good work today for us."
On the order of the offensive line if G Ross Verba will be left guard and T Rex Tucker will be the right tackle: "Yeah."
On if G Barry Stokes will move inside: "Stokes we're going to take a look inside with Blaine (Saipaia) and kind of let that thing shake out."
On if it's expected for Tucker and Verba to be the starters: "Yeah. It gives us a nice base and it's close to the group we had in camp - not counting (Damien) Woody."
On if the Lehman move to middle linebacker was to have somebody who can fight off blockers: "Yeah and it's also the instinctive part in there - it's a different position. Paris (Lenon) has played there a lot and Teddy's nature - he's natural there. We're just trying to get as many of these good guys on the field as we can."
On if Bailey didn't have the instincts for the middle linebacker position: "I think he might just be a really terrific outside linebacker."
COURTESY OF THE LIONS