LIONS SIGN LB RYAN NECE, CLAIM RB MARCUS THOMAS AND SIGN EIGHT PLAYERS TO PRACTICE SQUAD
Team releases LB Anthony Cannon and FB/TE Sean McHugh
Allen Park, Mich. - The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed LB Ryan Nece and claimed RB Marcus Thomas off waivers. Eight players were signed to the teamâ€™s practice squad: LB Darnell Bing, G Matt Butler, RB Allen Ervin, WR Eric Fowler, QB Drew Henson, S LaMarcus Hicks, WR Kenneth Moore and TE Jake Nordin. The team also released LB Anthony Cannon and FB/TE Sean McHugh. Contract terms were not disclosed.
Nece (6-3, 224), is a seventh-year player who has gone from undrafted rookie free agent (signed by Tampa Bay as an undrafted rookie free agent April 22, 2002) to starting strong-side linebacker during his career. He spent the first six years of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, appearing in 85 games (35 starts). During Neceâ€™s career he has registered 276 career tackles, two interceptions, six pass defenses, 3.5 sacks. His tremendous work ethic and solid play is not only limited to his time on defense, but he has been a significant contributor on special teams having recorded 73 special teams tackles and one special teams fumble recovery. In four of his six NFL seasons, he has garnered over 10 special teams tackles. He was released by the Buccaneers August 30, 2008. Nece has a strong football background, his father is Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott, and he played for Lions Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry when he was the Buccaneers linebackers coach (2001-06). At UCLA, Nece was a honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection and Butkus Award semifinalist as a senior.
Thomas (6-2, 215) was waived by the San Diego Chargers August 30, 2008Â after being selected by the Chargers in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. He is a big, powerful running back who finished his college career as Texas-El Pasoâ€™s fifth all-time leading rusher (2.615 yards) and third leading scorer (26 rushing touchdowns). He ranked fourth in 100-yard games (11) and seventh in all-purpose yards (3,660). As a senior, Thomas rushed for 1,166 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging over five yards per carry (5.1). He racked up a school-record seven 100-yard games and became only the fourth player school history to score more than 100 points in season and only the seventh to rush for more than 1,000 yards.