The Detroit Lions just opened preseason training camp in Allen Park, MI and are looking to improve upon 2 wins in 2009 and 0 wins in 2008. The future is beginning to look brighter as Detroit made several key moves in the offseason, not only on defense, but on offense as well. These players that were brought in will be expected to contribute right away and they should be fun to watch as the season goes on.
The first key addition was free agent signee DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, who will shore up a defensive line that has been amongst the leagues worst the past few years. No Lion had over 5 sacks in the 2009 season, where as Vanden Bosch will come in with 43 career sacks and a career high of 12.5 in 2005. He has a great motor and will bring high energy and enthusiasm day in and day out. He will also be a great locker room presence for the young guys and provide leadership on the defensive side of the ball, which has been lacking for the last few years.
The other key free agent signing was that of WR Nate Burleson. He will be taking the place of Bryant Johnson, who was a complete bust, opposite that of Calvin Johnson on the outside. He is being brought in to take some of the heat and pressure off of Johnson and provide some stability as a No. 2 receiver for the Lions. He has the ability to stretch the field and will also help in the return game. He knows exactly why he was brought in and should fit nicely into this role.
The Lions also did well in the Draft, by bringing in 2 players that should make an immediate impact. The first was the 2ndpick overall and still unsigned DT Ndamukong Suh. We all have seen and know exactly what he can do and hopefully this will translate to the league. If it does, he will be a difference maker for many years and a perennial pro bowler. He is strong, has the ability to get through double teams and never gives up on a play. The Lions definitely need to get him into camp so he can get used to the speed and physicality of the NFL. The talks are that he wants more guaranteed money than that of Matthew Stafford, which is ludicrous considering he has not even played a down in the NFL and will make more money than 95% of the league.
The other is RB and first round pick Jahvid Best. He is explosive and has the ability to take it to the house each time he touches the ball. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield and he should be a tough matchup for safeties or linebackers trying to cover him in the slot. He may be too “small’ to carry the ball 20-30 times a game, but he will be utilized in a variety of ways, in a variety of situations. Finally, concussions have been a concern for him throughout his career, so hopefully he can stay healthy to be on the field for all 16 games this season.
The Lions are headed in the right direction and these 4 guys that were brought in will make a difference and keep the Lions competitive in the NFC North. I will keep you updated throughout training camp, but here are a few key dates to remember:
August 14, 2010- 1stPreseason Game at Pittsburgh Steelers
August 31, 2010- Rosters cut down to 75 players
September 2, 2010- Final Preseason Game vs. Buffalo Bills
September 4, 2010- Final roster cuts to 53
About the Author
Written by David Lesmeister