Thursday, June 5, 2014
Leftover questions from the Lions chat
By Michael Rothstein
As always, a ton of great questions in this week's Detroit Lions chat -- even after it was temporarily moved from Tuesday to Wednesday this week because of organized team activities getting in the way.
Here's a recap of what you might have missed, along with some more questions answered below. If you want to submit a question for this week's Lions Mailbag, either tweet with the hashtag #LionsMailbag or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now on to your other chat questions.
Jeff (San Antonio Texas): Do you know what precipitated the work between Darius Slay and (Rod) Woodson and is it possible for him to help the other CBs?
That was set up by Slay's agent, Eugene Parker, who also represented Woodson. Parker had Woodson work with Slay leading up to the combine in 2013 and the two stayed in touch since. Slay, who has an understanding of the history of the game and has never been shy about talking about his love of good players, seemed to benefit from the work in 2013. So, they decided to do it again in 2014. Woodson told me when we chatted for the story he's willing to work with Slay again next year as well if Slay is interested. Can't see why he wouldn't be.
Devin (FL): Each year there is one team that comes out of the blue, last year it was KC. If the defense plays above expectations and the offense is as explosive as everyone thinks, I don't see why this can't be the Lions year. Thoughts?
In some way, the Lions are like the Chicago Cubs -- perennially waiting for next year with hopes that it will be better. To be fair to this year's Detroit team, on paper there is a good amount of talent. One of my biggest issues is the schedule. The Lions have a game at Carolina and then home against Green Bay back-to-back in Weeks 2 and 3. There's a potentially winnable three-game stretch after that, but November and December are tough months for the Lions. They have to go to Arizona and New England in back-to-back weeks and close the season on the road at Chicago and Green Bay. The talent is there, but I'm sure you'd understand if I'd withhold much optimism about the Lions closing a season out strong until it actually happens. I'm a big believer of show me before you get me to trust you.
The good thing for every team, of course, is that what things look like on paper and what actually happens are often two different things in the NFL.
Travis (Boston): I like Glover Quin's idea of defense first at home games and his reasoning why. Do you see this happening, assuming the (Lions) win the toss? Fans can certainly change the momentum of the game.
I've always been a proponent of deferring if you win the coin toss, from when I've played Madden and NCAA football as a kid to what happens in real life. Assuming the team doesn't get blown out in the first half -- and how often does that happen in the NFL -- I'd personally rather have a chance to start with the ball after halftime. You have a better feel for what's going on in the game offensively and defensively by then. Haven't talked to Jim Caldwell about his philosophy on that, but I'm sure it'll come up at some point here.
Scott (Westminster, CO): More likely -- we see Golden Tate get 3-5 carries, either by bubble screens or end-around type plays, or Reggie Bush gets 3-5 looks a game from the slot?
I think you could see both. My guess is Bush lines up a bit of everywhere this fall, from in the backfield to the slot to even on the outside in certain packages. Scott Linehan did that with him last season and it makes sense to continue that since he is your most explosive playmaker in space. As far as Tate, I don't know how often you'll see him on end arounds, but he could certainly be effective with screens and short passes to put him in space. You're going to see a lot of variety with this offense and those are two variations of it.
Ashley (Australia): In a scenario where the Lions keep two QBs and put (James) Franklin on the practice squad, meaning (Kellen) Moore gets cut, would the Lions consider giving him a role in the coaches box?
Kellen Moore would still want to play football at that point, even if it were not in Detroit. I couldn't see him making that move immediately -- and if he did want to become an assistant or something like that, there would likely be better immediate opportunities for him in the college ranks or perhaps with Linehan in Dallas. If Moore doesn't make this roster, I anticipate he will continue to try and look for a place to play in the NFL. He's still a pretty young guy.
David (Dearborn): Much has been stated of the BYU connection of (Kyle) Van Noy and (Ezekiel) Ansah. Have you noticed any signs of the rookie being brought along quickly because of the relationship? Do you feel that this side of the defense will jell well given their experience together?
The BYU connection is a nice storyline and something that was an easy and fun thing to write around the draft. Now, it doesn't matter much. Ansah hasn't practiced during the offseason workouts and Van Noy missed Tuesday's open practice with an injury. So they haven't even been able to play together in the same defense yet, let alone use that to their advantage. Just don't see it mattering all that much in the larger scheme of things. It's an interesting story, but that's about it at this point.