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Notes, Comments and Grades from the Lions vs. Bengals.

Overall it was a great team win for the Lions. Their #1's dominated the Bengals #1's and in several incidents their #2's also dominated the Bengals #1's. Here are some comments and grades.


  1. A- Jon Kitna Again played great. The only weakness was that on two occasions he locked on his receiver and against better D's that would have tipped them off. Again he audibled and took what the offense gave him.
  2. C Dan Orlovsky The Lions want to run an offense that uses play action and bootlegs. That isn't what Orlovsky does and when it was called he looked woefully inadequate When he stayed in the pocket and threw the ball he looked fine.
  3. B+ Drew Stanton The Lions will be hard pressed next week not to give him reps with the second unit. He threw a TD and ran the play action masterfully. He clearly suits the system they want to run better and has improved the most of any Lion over camp. Had a nice run for TD also.
  4. A+ Calvin Johnson He made the first string of the Super Bowl Champs and the Bengals look silly. He used his body to create separation and ran his routes masterfully.
  5. D Gerald Alexander He has taken a step back from last season. He was out of position several times tonight and he went for big hits rather than tackles and that failure kept drives alive. Very disappointed him him.
  6. B- Alex Lewis Had one incidence of poor technique, but he flew to the ball and looked sharp.
  7. B Leigh Bodden He was very good and had perfect position and technique when a catch was awarded. Lions didn't throw the flag, but it wasn't a catch. He looked very good.
  8. C+ Mike Furrey missed a catch he shouldn't have, but he looked very good and was good on special teams. His routes where also perfect.
  9. B Brian Kelly My concerns last week were simply concerns. He looked very good and has a clear hand of this D.
  10. C+ Kevin Smith Looked good again as he kept attacking the line. His line still didn't open holes, but his attacking style forced the D to watch the run and his running opened up the passing game. He is clearly the #1 back as I told you he would be. He is at the hole so fast, if they can find a way to open some he could be very special.
  11. D- Tatum Bell He is terrible. Tentative at the line and simply makes nothing happen. Even against #2's he couldn't do anything.
  12. C Devale Ellis Played good, but not great. As a guy fighting to make a team, I felt like it was a middle of the road performance.
  13. C+ Aveion Cason in my opinion is the clear #3 back on this team. Not the best runner, but he does attack the line and looks good on special teams. Clearly better than Tatum.
  14. B+ Artose Pinner He attacks the line and makes things happen. He dominated the #2's and #3's that he faced. He broke tackles and looked sharp.
  15. C Paris Lenon Paris made some plays, but I looked for more from him and it wasn't there. I took a second look at some plays and he missed some action out of his peripheral vision and on one occasion missed a tackle with poor foot technique.
  16. A #1 Defensive line. They dominated the Bengal #1's and here are individual grades. Redding A- Dewayne White A- Jared DeVries A- Darby B+ I realize that not one of them has an A, but the sum of the parts certainly does. The play of the night, was DeVries being held (Tyson went to jail for less) and White almost got the sack.
  17. D+ Jon Scott Had poor technique and didn't sustain blocks. On a couple of plays seemed almost clueless on his assignment. For a guy fighting for a shot, he has been a clear disappointment.
  18. B GOZ He looked good at LT and RT. In fact he was flashes of dominance against the Bengals ones and twos. He showed Lions fans tonight what he can be. He will be the starting RT for the Atlanta game.
  19. B- Leon Joe Still learning the schemes, but this young man is turning heads. He has a shot (albeit long) because he keeps making plays and is always around the ball. Marinelli loves play makers and this guys tape doesn't lie.
  20. C+ John Standeford is making a case for the practice squad. He could be a player one day in this league. He isn't a PR or a KR so I don't see him making this team as a true roster guy right now. He is however going to end up on the practice squad if he stays and another team doesn't snatch him up.
  21. D Starting OL The starters only gained 28 yards rushing. Not acceptable. Backus D+ Edwin Mulitalo B+ Dom Raiola B+ Peterman D+ Foster D
  22. B- Michael Gaines got reps at FB and looked like a devastating blocker. Last week he didn't sustain blocks out of the TE spot, but he looked sharp at the FB role tonight.
  23. A+ Nick Harris is one of the best punters in the NFL and was amazing. He is perhaps the most underrated players in the NFL.
  24. B Dave Rayner Missed one FG, but the laces of the ball were in and that isn't his fault. Looked good. Certainly the Lions aren't going to get rid of Hanson, but he sure is showing off for someone.
  25. B- Cliff Avril This youngster continues to show off his speed and talent. He will make the team and will only continue to improve.
  26. B- IAF He was relentless and even though he had a few technique issues, he made up for it with speed and being relentless.
  27. C+ Langston Moore The Bengals ran away from him and his staying with the play got himself a tackle 20-yards down field. That in itself will get Marinelli's attention and that is what he needs to do to stick around.
  28. D- Kalvin Pearson He looked terrible. He was out of position and looks to have lost a step.
  29. F Brian Calhoun Can the Lions just admit this was a mistake. Some guys hearts burn for the game others don't. You can guess where I think his heart is. Why are they wasting reps with the twos on this guy. Please just say: C-Ya!
  30. D+ Greg Blue was out of position and he needs to be shining against 3's and he isn't.
  31. D LaMarcus Hicks made a couple plays, but he like some others I have already mentioned went for hits and not tackles. His trying to make Sportscenter made him look bad.
  32. C- Dovonte Edwards shouldn't be on this team. I said it last week. With that said I have to give him a shout out for a couple of plays. He still made way to many mistakes against 3's and 4's, but he earned a shout out.
  33. C+ Buster Davis He played good, but he made on extraordinary play that sadly many people will overlook. On the goal line he got great penetration and it forced the play outside where the drive ending tackle was made. That was all Buster. This kid has a high motor and he has to just keep fighting.
  34. D- Corey Hulsey He is not an NFL offensive lineman.
  35. C DamionCook * Actually looked good enough to get some looks against more than the 3's and 4's. Who knows if he can stick, but he certainly looked better than the other backups. BTW I don't consider Goz a backup.
  36. C Frank Davis actually played better. He payed attention to his feet and played with some spirit. He looked much better, but still mediocre.
  37. B- Sean McHugh He looked the best (albeit against 2's, 3's and 4's) of all the FB's. He had devastating hits and one play blocked three people. That will get Marinelli fired up.
  38. C- Manny Ramirez He would show something then make a mental mistake. This is his second season and although it is his first with this scheme, I expect more out of him. There is some disappointment with his progress.
  39. C+ Rudolph Hardie is playing for a chance to make the practice squad. He showed some flashes an he has a future. I think he may be an NFL player and they like him. Does that mean he makes it? I don't think he makes the team, but again he is playing for a shot at the practice squad.
  40. C+ Jordon Dizon Made some rookie mistakes, but there is no doubt he is a player and has natural instincts that you can't teach. The mistakes he made weren't technique, they are simply learning issues. That is why his grade was higher. You can't blame him for not knowing all the reads and all the calls.
  41. C Anthony Cannon I still want to see more out a guy that is fighting and his O.K., but certainly not shining.

 *this originally said Joe Dunn who we all know is no longer on the team. It is actually Damion Cook. I am sorry, that I made this mistake. It was very late and it was an error on my part. 

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