<
>

As promised, your Lions mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
We apologize in advance if we didn't get to your question, but here is a good representative sample of the Detroit Lions questions you stuffed the mailbag with:

Los Angeles writes: Kevin, What is your take on Jordon Dizon? He seems to be a little on the small size. Watching the Giants game it seemed that Ahmad Bradshaw was bigger than him. I think he would be better suited at strong OLB.

Kevin Seifert: Dizon is a little shorter than I thought coming in. But he's built himself up well and seems to have enough quickness. Some people might think he would be better suited outside, but for some reason I have it in my head that a shorter guy has a better chance in the middle. Just by eye-balling it, Dizon seems to be about the same height as Zach Thomas, who has had a pretty decent career.


Ryan of Tawas writes: Who are the five safeties the Lions are going to keep. Is Greg Blue one of them?

Kevin Seifert: Ryan, I'm not sure the Lions even know which five safeties will make the team. Greg Blue is definitely a fan favorite. He is such a great hitter. This dates back to his days in Minnesota. I would say he is on the bubble. In the practices I watched, he seemed to be working with the second team behind Gerald Alexander and Dwight Smith.


Brian of Corinth writes: Being a Lions fan is like being a Cubs fan of the NFL. We have had year after year of hopes but no real progress for what seems to be yet another eternity or should I say rebuilding season. What are the chances of the Lions having a winning season or showing some real progress this year?

Kevin Seifert: I liked what I saw of them Wednesday. They were getting after it, showing some real passion and definitely working hard on the running game. They've been down for so long that I wondered what type of atmosphere they'd have at camp. I was pleasantly surprised. Inch by inch, I think Rod Marinelli is making progress. But I would say that a winning season is at the outer regions of the Lions' possibilities this season.


Jason writes: Leon Joe showed some promise in the Giants preseason opener, I just want to know how they're using him in practice and if he's doing anything that might warrant him a position in rotation during the season.

Kevin Seifert: Jason, I picked one of your multiple questions. Joe wasn't working with either the first or second teams during the times I watched the linebackers. He's a guy who will have to make a huge impact on special teams to warrant a roster spot. The Lions aren't exactly set at linebacker, but Joe is definitely on the outside of things from what I could tell.


Jim writes: Ask the Lions how interested they are now to trade with Dallas for one of their LBs and next year's 1st round pick in exchange for WR Roy Williams.

Kevin Seifert: Didn't get around to this question but I can tell you that the Lions really want to keep Williams around. Having a big-time receiver opposite Calvin Johnson is better for everybody. You don't want Johnson getting double- or triple-teamed on every play.


Chris of Charlotte writes: I read Detroit's Newspaper sites daily and one thing the I keep hearing since Marinelli took over is how intense and fast practice is. This is new to Detroit but how does the Lions practice quality and tempo compare to the elite teams of the NFL?

Kevin Seifert: The practices I saw were lively and physical. As far as tempo, I thought they moved quickly, but that's what most teams in the NFL strive to do. It didn't strike me as out of the ordinary.


Jace of Farmington Hills: I was curious if Buster Davis is playing well enough to earn a starting spot. I know the team is high on Dizon but Lennon seems like only a stop gap for the time being. I would think Davis could play strong side with his speed. Any insight would be great.

Kevin Seifert: Davis was working in the middle during the time I watched. He definitely likes to hit. He was the one who got quarterback Jon Kitna all fired up during Wednesday morning's practice. He's an interesting guy at 5-foot-9. I would think the Lions will find some place for him, even if it's special teams. But I don't see him as a starter at this point.


Josh Ingram of Kalamazoo, Mich., writes: Do you think that the Detroit Lions' running game will be better than last years? Also, do you think that Kevin Smith will win the starting RB job over Tatum Bell, and if so when might that happen?

Kevin Seifert: Yes, without a doubt the running game will be better. (Of course, there's nowhere to go but up). I do think Smith will win the starting job. He's already working with the first team during different parts of practices, and he looks like a natural, instinctive runner. I can, honestly, say I didn't notice anything Tatum Bell did in a total of four hours of practice.


Ismael of Bakersfield, Calif., writes: With all the talk of Kevin Smith possibly winning the starting job for the Lions, where exactly does Tatum Bell stand? Bell re-signed with the belief that he was going to be the starter but it looks like Marinelli is really enamored with Smith. What possible scenarios do you see playing out?

Kevin Seifert: I would think the Lions would want to keep Bell around unless he demands to be released. You don't want an unhappy player on your roster. But you also need depth at running back, given the pounding everybody takes. So in the end, I guess it seems likely Smith will start and Bell will be kept for backup and change-of-pace.


Mark of Davisburg writes: Check out Drew Stanton, and how he is matching up with Dan Orlovsky. I'd like to see him win the second QB spot... How's it looking?

Kevin Seifert: There didn't seem to be much difference between the two. And since Stanton was drafted when Marinelli was the coach, maybe that gives him the edge.


Patrick of Orange County, Calif., writes: Hey there Kevin, I haven't heard a single word about Leigh Bodden since his arrival to the Lions. How's he looking thus far? Can he become the lockdown CB that us fans hope he will be?

Kevin Seifert: He didn't really jump out to me, either, but maybe that's good for a cornerback. If you don't notice him, he's doing his job. I did see Brian Kelly return an interception for a touchdown, for what it's worth.