Shark Bites

1 month ago

The Lions have signed FB Jed Collins to a 1-year deal.  Collins spent the past 3 seasons in New Orleans with Joe Lombardi, who's now running the offense in Detroit.  Collins ranked just 17th among FBs in Pro Football Focus' 2013 grades, but he was 9th in 2012 and 2nd in 2011.  His addition is another sign that we'll see a greater emphasis on the running game under the Lions' new coaching staff.  It's especially good news for RB Joique Bell.

Lions OC Joe Lombardi confirmed that his offense will resemble the one he worked with in New Orleans.  "There will be a lot of similarities (to the Saints' playbook)," Lombardi said. "You are going to see some difference, but the playbook that we are starting from is the Saints' playbook, so it will certainly be very similar."  That's obviously good news for QB Matt Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson.  Detroit might have a poor man's Jimmy Graham in TE Joseph Fauria.  We'll see if Lombardi deploys a backfield-by-committee like the Saints.  RB Reggie Bush is obviously familiar with the scheme after starting his pro career in New Orleans.

3 months ago

The Lions have hired Joe Lombardi as their new OC.  He's the grandson of Hall-of-Fame coach Vince Lombardi.  Joe spent the past 7 seasons in New Orleans under HC Sean Payton -- 2 as offensive assistant and 5 as QBs coach.  Hopefully Lombardi brings some of Payton's offensive acumen to Detroit.  It's unclear if Lombardi or HC Jim Caldwell will call plays for the Lions.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Lions have hired Jim Caldwell as their new HC.  He was their top option after losing out on Ken Whisenhunt.  Caldwell has 3 years of head-coaching experience, compiling a 26-22 record with the Colts.  He went 14-2 and lost in the Super Bowl in his 1st season, and followed that up with a 10-6 campaign.  Caldwell lost Peyton Manning in 2011 and went 2-14.  He was fired that offseason and latched on with Baltimore.  Caldwell was promoted to OC late in the 2012 season and remained in that position in 2013.  While not an exciting name, Caldwell is regarded as a disciplined, no-nonsense coach.  It's exactly what the Lions need.

3 months ago

The Lions have fired HC Jim Schwartz.  Detroit lost 6 of its final 7 games to choke away the NFC North title.  Schwartz's 5-year run finishes with a 29-51 record and just 1 playoff appearance.  We'll see if the Lions' new HC decides to keep OC Scott Linehan around.  Detroit finished 2013 ranked 6th in total yards and 13th in scoring.

Update: The Lions have also fired OC Scott Linehan.  QB Matt Stafford will have a new offense to learn this offseason.

5 months ago

The Lions will have S Glover Quin and DE Ziggy Ansah on defense today against the Bucs.  Quin entered Sunday questionable with an ankle, while Ansah had climbed back to probable after missing last week with his own ankle sprain.  He'll be a high-risk IDP option at least until he proves that ankle's all the way back.

1 year ago

A #2 WR is at or near the top of the Lions' wish list, according to insider Carlos Monarrez.  They have the best receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson.  But WRs Nate Burleson and Ryan Broyles are both coming off injury and are better off in the slot.  Titus Young was supposed to be the long-term answer opposite Megatron, but those plans crashed and burned.  Detroit has shown interest in free agents Darrius Heyward-Bey and Domenik Hixon.  They could also add a WR in the middle rounds of the draft.  Whoever lines as across the field from Johnson this year will carry intriguing fantasy potential as part of Detroit's pass-heavy offense.

1 year ago

Lions HC Jim Schwartz threw out the old "RB-by-committee" term when discussing the team's 2013 backfield plans.  Schwartz said that Reggie Bush, Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell will all "have a role" in the attack.  "There will be plenty of touches on the offense for everybody," he added.  It's easy to see Bush and Leshoure coexisting, with Bush as the "space" and pass-catching guy and Leshoure in a short-yardage, goal line role.  We'll be keeping a close eye this summer on exactly how that split will work.  Bell, meanwhile, figures to have his role drastically reduced.  He hauled in 52 balls last year, but most of that action figures to go Bush's way in 2013.

1 year ago

The Lions signed free-agent DT Jason Jones today and re-signed starting CB Chris Houston. Jones entered the league with the Titans back when Lions HC Jim Schwartz led the defense there. Jones saw his most productive days as a DT there before the staff played him at DE too much in his final couple of Tennessee seasons. Jones spent 2012 with the Seahawks, where injuries kept him from contributing much. Jones brings strong interior pass-rush skills and figures to spell starters Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Houston is a decent corner: not special in coverage or fantasy terms but also not terrible in either arena. Detroit can return to decent fantasy defense status by improving the rest of its secondary and adding a pass rusher.

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