Today was an off day for the Lions players so I took some time to accumulate some notes and look back over camp.Â I also talked with a few players.Â Here is what I have for you!
- Nothing would make the Lions happier then to see Aveion Cason make this team.Â He is a leader in the locker room and they love his work ethic.Â Kevin Smith is the man and the horse that the Lions will ride.Â So the issue comes down to who plays best on special teams.Â If you are not the main back in the NFL you have to play special teams.Â If no receiver steps up as the best PR\KR look for him as a solid lock.Â Anything can happen, but as of right now no one has stepped up.
- Artose Pinner is likable as a person and is a player that many people like.Â He would be a shoe in to make this team (leaving Bell on the outside looking in) but the tape doesnâ€™t lie and he makes mental mistakes that he canâ€™t make.Â If he were able to get rid of those there wouldnâ€™t be so much talk about Bell.
- Ed Mulitalo being back will have a huge impact.Â He is a specialist as a zone blocker and his being back goes along way towards helping the line.Â If he can stay healthy it would appear that at least one more offensive line position will be solidified.Â That will make three of them.Â Remember that I am not thinking about pre-season, I am talking about Atlanta.Â Raiola, Goz and Big Ed are three that either are solid, or solid with a rookie with the talent to grow into it.
- Jeff Backus is a great person.Â I donâ€™t know many people that are as good of a person as he is.Â It pains me that his play is not better because I genuinely like him and want him to succeed.Â It would make the Lions thrilled if Goz had a break out season and was able to be moved to LT next season and move Backus over to RT.Â I think he would go from the lower third of LTâ€™s in the NFL to a high mid-third RT as far as where he would rate in the NFL.Â Spartans need to stop hating him because he is a Wolverine (we can forgive) he is a super human being and watching him struggle is something no decent person should take joy in.
- Jared DeVries has always been a solid player.Â He has also been a player that is always over looked.Â He has had a super camp and one offensive player told me today on the phone, â€œIt makes the OL look bad, but we are really fortunate to have two very good DEâ€™s.Â I donâ€™t think Jared has ever looked this good.â€Â I get a lot of email with people asking me if the OL is that bad or if the DEâ€™s are that good.Â I can say that the OL is disappointing at this point, and that the DEâ€™s I am sure look better because of it.Â I can also say that they are good.Â The Browns game will tell us a lot.Â Especially when we have the 1â€™s on the 1â€™s.Â If the DL looks good in that game then Lions fans will have some hope.Â That game will tell us the story.
- Â None of us know for sure what is going to happen with the LBâ€™s, but I know that offensive and defensive players like Buster Davis and his intensity.Â One Lions player told me early this afternoon when I asked him about the Kitna/Davis ruckus, â€œI like to see guys on our defense with some bite.Â I want to see that.Â We have guys on that side of the ball now who care.Â I wasnâ€™t upset and I donâ€™t know anyone other than Kit who was.Â We all have wanted some fire from that side of the ball, I am sure not going to complain about it now.â€
- Dwight Smith is a classic example of the fire that player was talking about in the previous point.Â He was talking smack to the TEâ€™s during the Wednesday practice.Â He, along with Bodden and Kelly have brought a swagger that I havenâ€™t seen in the Lions DBâ€™s in a long time.Â Smith took time with rookie RB Kevin Smith on Wednesday to talk about seeing and reading the DBâ€™s.Â His experience in this league along with Kelly and Bodden are just additions to the coaching staff and canâ€™t hurt.Â I raised some issues after the Giants game about Kelly in run support.Â I am a lot less worried now and I canâ€™t wait to see the Browns game.Â Yes people, I know there is a Bengals game, but that third game tells the story.