In 2011, The Detroit Lions over came being the laughing stock of the NFL and became one of the league’s hottest offences and had a defense that brought the bad boys name back to the Motor City. Detroit finally had a healthy Matthew Stafford, and he didn’t disappoint. Throwing a mind-blowing 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns and to me..." Stafford is in the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.

It's also nice for Stafford that he gets to throw the ball to the league’s most feared wide receiver... the 2012 Madden cover winner.. the freak that goes by the name Megatron, Calvin Johnson. I believe Johnson went into the 2011 season with a little chip on his shoulder after, future hall of famer and ESPN announcer, Cris Carter, said that Megatron wasn’t even in the top 10 receivers in the NFL... (Let’s just say Carter soon back peddled on his words). Calvin Johnson finished the 2011 season with 1,681 yards and a career-best 16 touchdowns and put his stamp on as the NFLs best receiver.


Detroit finished the 2011 season 10-6, which landed the Lions a seat in the playoffs..."PLAYOFFS" (In Jim Mora’s voice).... Yes the Detroit Lions made the playoffs, which they haven't been to since Barry Sanders left in 1999. There has been a lot of talk around the campfire about the Detroit Lions going into the 2012 season. Some good, some bad, and it has some people wondering... can the Lions do it again, in a real tough NFC North. Now I have three questions… concerns for the Detroit Lions this NFL season that really could make or break their season.


3. Running Back- The big question about running back’s for the Detroit Lions going in to training camp, isHealth. Can they stay healthy? Javid Best... great speed, has the ability to open up the field for the Lions, and a nice piece to the Lion’s offence. Best just can’t shake the concessions. Already having the concession cloud over his head in college. Detroit wasn’t concerned with Best's concessions as they traded back into the first round to draft Javid Best in 2010. In just his first two seasons, Best has already had both years end early due to a concession. In this off-season there was some talk coming out of Detroit that Bests career could be over...but Best vows to return in 2012, and put the concessions behind him. Javid Best and the Lion’s training staff is looking into making a special helmet for Best... (Maybe the Lions should just give Best the good ole Don Beebe helmet)
Mikel Leshoure, Detroit’s second round pick in the 2011 draft. Mikel Leshoure has a lot of exceptions for the Lions and to add to that one two punch with Javid Best., but first the Lions just want to see him hit the field. In Leshoure’s rookie year, he tore his Achilles in training camp. Now in year two, Lions’ fans will have to wait until week 3 to see Leshoure, as the NFL has suspended Mikel the first two games of the season for violating the NFLs substance-abuse policy.
Kevin Smith, Detroit resigned Kevin Smith last year and Smith really gave the Lions’ offence a spark. Smith couldn't stay healthy though, and battled through injuries all year. Smith has worked on building up his strength in this off-season... and is expected to compete for some carries.


2. Off The Field Problems- The Detroit Lions have been all over the news this off-season and a big thanks to their 2011 draft class. Let’s start off with the Doobie Brothers  Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley. Mikel Leshoure, who has already been suspended two games by the NFL for his two marijuana related arrests. Leshoure will also be docked two additional game checks, bringing his total salary forfeiture to $109,412 of his $465,000 base salary.
Nick Fairley,was also a two timer with the law. First, with possession of marijuana, then a month later being stopped by a state trooper for reckless driving, no proof of insurance and an open container. I wouldn't be surprised if you see the NFL suspended Fairley two games as well. Let’s just hope that Leshoure and Fairley had a huge wake up call and can leave the character issues behind them, because Detroit needs both of them on the field. The Lions also had offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath arrested with possession of marijuana.
Titus Young, who was not arrested, but was sent home for a week after an issue with safety, Louis Delmes. My only issue with Young is, with his attitude. We saw some of it last year and maybe the Lions are worried about it too… that could be why the Lions drafted wide-receiver, Ryan Bolays in the second round instead of a linebacker. If Young can lose the attitude he can be a big piece in the Lions’ offence. We saw last year that young can make the big catches, and could be a real dangerous weapon in the kick return game.

Then there’s Cliff Avril, in my option the Detroit lions biggest headache. The Lions and Cliff Avril could not.... and still have not agreed to a long-term deal. So Detroit slapped a non--exclusive franchise tag on Avril worth 10.6 million for one year. (Apparently 10.6 million isn’t enough for Avril to live on for a year and Avril must have some concerns on how he's going to be able to feed his family because Avril is holding out and has threatened to stay holding out until he and the Lions get a deal done) Now I understand why players holdout for long-term deals with the fear of getting a career threatening injury.
 Avril’s not making 1.6 million for the year... again it’s a one year deal worth 10.6 million, so in my opinion, “shut up and suit up". Now Avril is a good defensive end, I'm not taking that away from him, but how good would Avril’s numbers be if he wasn’t playing next to Ndamukong Suh? What if Avril played in Oakland or Carolina where there’s no one to protect him? Would Avril still been able to have a career high 11 sacks in 2011? I say “no". Now don’t get me wrong Avril is a real good defensive end, who is a big piece to the defense... I do believe if the Lions lost Avril, defensive end, Lawrence Jackson could step right in and do the job. Plus Detroit would have had that 10.6 million to go spend on some real needs on the team like defensive backs, line-backers and a non-injured running back. Which would have made the Lions a much more potent team?


1. Defensive Back- I can sum up The Detroit Lions defensive backs with one word "JUNK". The defensive back position for Detroit is by far the worst on the team, and just might be the worst in the NFL. I don’t see opposing wide-receivers fearing any Lions’ corner back. Chris Houston who is no better than a nickel back,
 Aaron Berry who is a number four or five corner back with great tackling skills. I think everyone can remember Berry’s elite tackling skills last year, when he was looking more like a high school corner back. Jacob Lacey, who the Lions signed this off-season, played last year for the Indianapolis Colts. Lacey was fourth on the team in tackles with 72 and 1 interception. So on a positive note with Lacey... he can tackle. In this year’s NFL draft, The Detroit Lions drafted three cornerbacks all of them with picks in round 3 or later. The Three corner backs are Louisiana-Lafayette's Dwight Bentley, Albion’s Chris Greenwood and New Mexico State's Jonte Green.
All these guys have some nice potential to help the Lions. Bentley has the best chance to get a starting job out of the three... Now quote me on this “in order for the Lions to even be halfway competitive in the defensive back field they will need Bentley to really step-up and become a starter.” In my opinion Bentley needs to be the number two. I already know what Chris Houston and Aaron Berry bring to the table and it's not good. I would like to see Lacey as the Lions’ one, Bentley as their two and Houston at the nickel were he should be.

I don't understand why the Lions decided to neglect the defensive back position in this off-season. For example… The Philadelphia Eagles let it be known that they were trading veteran corner back, Asante Samuel, and Detroit let him get away. Last year the Lions were pursuing Samuel pretty hard but couldn’t get a deal done. So when the Eagles put Samuel on the trading block again, you figured the Lions would get their guy… but no Detroit sat back while the Atlanta Falcons snuck in and in my opinion, stole Asante Samuel away for nothing… Atlanta gave up their 7th round pick in 2012. So my question to the Lions is… “You made it known that you didn’t want to trade away your third pick, so then why didn’t the Lions give up their fifth or sixth pick then?” Detroit would have had a good veteran corner back that can still shut-down opposing wide-receivers. We know the Lions’ offence will put up points….But the question is, can Detroit’s defensive backs step-up and keep the Lions in the game. If Detroit’s hoping to make it back to the playoffs, the Lions will need them
In 2011, The Detroit Lions overcame being the laughing stock of the NFL and became one of the league’s hottest offenses and had a defense that brought the bad boys name back to the Motor City.

Detroit finally had a healthy Matthew Stafford, and he didn’t disappoint.

Throwing for a mind-blowing 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns and to me, Stafford is in the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.

It's also nice for Stafford that he gets to throw the ball to the league’s most feared wide receiver - the 2012 Madden cover winner and the freak that goes by the name Megatron, Calvin Johnson.

I believe Johnson went into the 2011 season with a little chip on his shoulder after, future Hall of Famer and ESPN announcer, Cris Carter, said that Megatron wasn’t even in the top 10 receivers in the NFL -- let’s just say Carter soon back peddled on his words. Calvin Johnson finished the 2011 season with 1,681 yards and a career-best 16 touchdowns and put his stamp down as the NFLs best receiver.



Detroit finished the 2011 season 10-6, which landed the Lions a seat in the playoffs..."PLAYOFFS" (In Jim Mora’s voice).... Yes the Detroit Lions made the playoffs, which they haven't been to since Barry Sanders left in 1999. There has been a lot of talk around the campfire about the Detroit Lions going into the 2012 season. Some good, some bad, and it has some people wondering - can the Lions do it again, in a real tough NFC North. Now I have three questions… concerns for the Detroit Lions this NFL season that really could make or break their season.

3. Running Back - The big question about running backs for the Detroit Lions going in to training camp is health. Can they stay healthy? Jahvid Best has great speed, has the ability to open up the field for the Lions, and is a nice piece to the Lions' offense. Best just can’t shake the concussions.

Already having the concussion cloud over his head in college, Detroit wasn’t concerned with Best's concussions as they traded back into the first round to draft Jahvid Best in 2010. In just his first two seasons, Best has already had both years end early due to a concussion.

In this offseason there was some talk coming out of Detroit that Best's career could be over...but Best vows to return in 2012, and put the concussions behind him. Jahvid Best and the Lions' training staff is looking into making a special helmet for Best; maybe the Lions should just give Best the good ole Don Beebe helmet.

Mikel Leshoure, Detroit’s second-round pick in the 2011 Draft, has a lot of expectations for the Lions and to add to that one-two punch with Jahvid Best; first the Lions just want to see him hit the field. In Leshoure’s rookie year, he tore his Achilles in training camp. Now in year two, Lions fans will have to wait until Week 3 to see Leshoure, as the NFL has suspended him the first two games of the season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

Detroit re-signed Kevin Smith last year and Smith really gave the Lions’ offense a spark. Smith couldn't stay healthy though, and battled through injuries all year. Smith has worked on building up his strength in this offseason, and is expected to compete for some carries.


2. Off The Field Problems - The Detroit Lions have been all over the news this offseason and a big thanks to their 2011 draft class. Let’s start off with the Doobie Brothers;  Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley. Mikel Leshoure, who has already been suspended two games by the NFL for his two marijuana-related arrests. Leshoure will also be docked two additional game checks, bringing his total salary forfeiture to $109,412 of his $465,000 base salary.

Nick Fairley was also a two-timer with the law. First, with possession of marijuana, then a month later being stopped by a state trooper for reckless driving, no proof of insurance and an open container. I wouldn't be surprised if you see the NFL suspend Fairley two games as well. Let’s just hope that Leshoure and Fairley had a huge wake up call and can leave the character issues behind them, because Detroit needs both of them on the field. The Lions also had offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath arrested with possession of marijuana.

Then there is Titus Young, who was not arrested, but was sent home for a week after an issue with safety Louis Delmas. My only issue with Young is his attitude. We saw some of it last year and maybe the Lions are worried about it too… that could be why the Lions drafted wide receiver, Ryan Broyles in the second round instead of a linebacker. If Young can lose the attitude he can be a big piece in the Lions’ offense. We saw last year that Young can make the big catches, and could be a real dangerous weapon in the kick return game.

Next comes Cliff Avril, in my opinion the Detroit Lions' biggest headache. The Lions and Cliff Avril could not and still have not agreed to a long-term deal. So Detroit slapped a non-exclusive franchise tag on Avril worth $10.6M
for one year. (Apparently 10.6 million isn’t enough for Avril to live on for a year and Avril must have some concerns on how he's going to be able to feed his family because Avril is holding out and has threatened to remain a holdout until he and the Lions get a deal done).

Now I understand why players holdout for long-term deals with the fear of getting a career-threatening injury. Avril’s not making $1.6M for the year... again it’s a one-year deal worth 10.6 million, so in my opinion, “shut up and suit up".

Now Avril is a good defensive end, I'm not taking that away from him, but how good would Avril’s numbers be if he wasn’t playing next to Ndamukong Suh? What if Avril played in Carolina where there’s no one to protect him?

Would Avril still been able to have a career-high 11 sacks in 2011? I say “no". Now don’t get me wrong Avril is a real good defensive end, who is a big piece to the defense... I do believe if the Lions lost Avril, Lawrence Jackson could step right in and do the job.

Plus Detroit would have had that $10.6M to go spend on some real needs on the team like defensive backs, linebackers and a non-injured running back. Which would have made the Lions a much more potent team?


1. Defensive Back - I can sum up the Detroit Lions' defensive backs with one word "JUNK". The defensive back position for Detroit is by far the worst on the team, and just might be the worst in the NFL. I don’t see opposing wide receivers fearing any Lions’ cornerback. Chris Houston is no better than a nickel back. Aaron Berry is a No. 4 or 5 cornerback with great tackling skills.

I think everyone can remember Berry’s elite tackling skills last year, when he was looking more like a high school cornerback. Jacob Lacey, who the Lions signed this offseason, played last year for the Indianapolis Colts. Lacey was fourth on the team in tackles with 72 and 1 interception. So on a positive note with Lacey, he can tackle.

In this year’s NFL Draft, The Detroit Lions drafted three cornerbacks all of them with picks in round 3 or later. The three cornerbacks are Louisiana-Lafayette's Dwight Bentley, Albion’s Chris Greenwood and New Mexico State's Jonte Green.

All these guys have some nice potential to help the Lions. Bentley has the best chance to get a starting job out of the three... now quote me on this, “in order for the Lions to even be halfway competitive in the defensive backfield they will need Bentley to really step-up and become a starter.”

In my opinion Bentley needs to be the No. 2. I already know what Chris Houston and Aaron Berry bring to the table and it's not good. I would like to see Lacey as the Lions’ No. 1, Bentley as their No. 2 and Houston at the nickel were he should be.

I don't understand why the Lions decided to neglect the defensive back position in this offseason. For example, the Philadelphia Eagles let it be known that they were trading veteran cornerback Asante Samuel, and Detroit let him get away.

Last year the Lions were pursuing Samuel pretty hard but couldn’t get a deal done. So when the Eagles put Samuel on the trading block again, you figured the Lions would get their guy, but no -- Detroit sat back while the Atlanta Falcons snuck in, and in my opinion, stole Asante Samuel away for nothing. Atlanta gave up their 7th round pick in 2012.

So my question to the Lions is -- you made it known that you didn’t want to trade away your third pick, so then why didn’t the Lions give up their fifth or sixth pick then?

Detroit would have had a good veteran cornerback that can still shut down opposing wide receivers. We know the Lions’ offense will put up points, but the question is, can Detroit’s defensive backs step up and keep the Lions in the game? If Detroit is hoping to make it back to the playoffs, they will need them to.

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