NFC North: Jake Scott

Detroit Lions cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
Most significant move: There were no surprises for the Detroit Lions and, really, there were few big decisions. We noted earlier that the team decided to preserve a roster spot for No. 3 quarterback Kellen Moore, so the most significant move they did make was placing rookie tight end Michael Williams on injured reserve. The Lions had substantial plans for Williams this season as the third tight end in the jumbo package that lineman Riley Reiff filled last season. They also hoped to develop his receiving skills as veterans Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler enter contract years. Williams had surgery last week to repair a hand injury, and though coach Jim Schwartz said the team had no long-term injuries, Williams is in fact lost for the season. (NFL teams can't start placing players on short-term injured reserve until next week.) As a result, rookie Joseph Fauria -- a much better receiver but less of a blocker than Williams -- is on the 53-man roster with Pettigrew and Scheffler.

The dominoes: The Lions apparently chose veteran Michael Spurlock as their kick returner, necessitating the release of rookie Steven Miller, who could return on the practice squad. Spurlock is also a receiver, and for the now he is one of six on the roster, presumably because of Ryan Broyles' sore knees. The release of veteran Matt Willis means Kris Durham is the sixth receiver. You wonder if the Lions would change directions soon in that regard. The Lions sifted through their big group of veteran defensive backups by tapping Rashean Mathis as a swing cornerback/safety and Rocky McIntosh as a backup linebacker while releasing the rest. John Wendling and Don Carey are the backup safeties for now.

What's next: According to multiple reports, the Lions will place running back Montell Owens on short-term injured reserve. That can't happen until next week, so for now he is part of the 53-man roster. He must miss at least six weeks of the regular season. You would think the Lions will bring back a number of the players they cut Saturday for their practice squad, and it's worth remembering that they are No. 5 in priority for NFL waiver claims. Sunday could be a busy day.

List of players cut: WR: Corey Fuller, Matt Willis. RB: Steven Miller, Shaun Chapas. OL: Rodney Austin, Kevin Haslam, Darren Keyton, Jake Scott. DL: Andre Fluellen, Ogemdi Nwagbuo, Xavier Proctor, Jimmy Sadler-McQueen. LB: Brandon Hepburn, Jon Morgan (waived/injured) Chris White. CB: Ron Bartell, Chris Greenwood. S: Amari Spievey, Tyrell Johnson, Martavius Neloms (waived/injured) P: Blake Clingan.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

As we navigate another summer of drama regarding a former Green Bay Packers player now in a Minnesota Vikings uniform, it's worth noting that in most cases, time heals all (or most) wounds.

Look no further than place-kicker Ryan Longwell, who retired Tuesday as a member of the Packers -- eight years after signing with the Vikings with some admittedly hard feelings. Longwell told reporters in Green Bay: "I know a lot of us have migrated that way, and most of us migrate back."

Quarterback Brett Favre will one day do the same, and Longwell believes that even receiver Greg Jennings will eventually be a member in good standing of the Packers family.

"Everything takes time," Longwell said, "and everything will happen. I have no doubt that Greg is loved here and will be loved here eventually, and Brett, I think that thing is pretty close. I think they’re in a good spot, everybody, and I think time heals everything and everything will be made right when the time is right."

Continuing around the NFC North:
  • Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Longwell is the best kicker in franchise history, based on field goal accuracy, so it seemed only natural for him to return home. And it was apparent the Packers organization, which gave him his first NFL kicking job, and the city of Green Bay still hold a special place in his heart."
  • Packers cornerback Davon House wasn't happy with his performance in last Friday's preseason opener, writes Rob Demovsky of
  • Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sizes up the Packers' roster.
  • Should Packers receiver Randall Cobb have practiced Tuesday? Jason Wilde of takes a look.
  • Vikings coach Leslie Frazier took his team to a movie Monday night. Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tells you which one.
  • The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has put the Vikings' stadium deal on hold while it conducts due diligence into Wilf family finances after the team's owners were found guilty in a civil case in New Jersey. More from Richard Meryhew of the Star Tribune.
  • Joe Webb gives the Vikings versatility as a receiver/quarterback, despite what the team says, argues Judd Zulgad of
  • Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus suggests the Vikings move longtime "under" tackle Kevin Williams to nose tackle. Monson: "A move to NT for Williams would help disguise his lost step, allow quicker DTs on the roster to play in their natural position, and fill the void that Minnesota hasn’t been able to patch since Pat Williams retired all in one act."
  • Getting to the bottom of the Vikings' seeming two-toned purple uniforms.
  • Robert Klemko of investigates what has happened to former Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young.
  • Chemistry between Lions running back Reggie Bush and quarterback Matthew Stafford is improving, according to Carlos Monarrez and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • It doesn't look like the Lions will play Louis Delmas in the preseason. More from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.
  • The Lions continue to give veteran Jake Scott first-team reps at right guard, writes Kyle Meinke of
  • My take on Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's comments on growing up.
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune: "There is no telling yet what the Bears will become on offense this season, but any questions about everyone buying into Marc Trestman's new program were answered sufficiently in nearly three weeks of training camp."
  • Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times: "Say what you will, watch what you want, but this Bears season is about Jay Cutler. And for reasons I'll explain that make me -- and, I'm guessing, you -- very nervous."
  • It sure doesn't look like J'Marcus Webb is going to get his right tackle job back, writes Michael C. Wright of, and he might not even make the team.

Two veteran O-linemen for Lions

June, 4, 2013
Over the past couple of days, the Detroit Lions have added two free agent offensive linemen who have started a combined 170 games in their careers. On paper, at least, the arrival of guard Jake Scott and guard/center Leroy Harris has made for a crowded depth chart in the middle of the Lions' already-transitioning offensive line.

So what's going on here? Are the Lions disappointed with what they've seen in organized team activities (OTAs)? Are they concerned with their right guard situation, which to this point has featured a competition between Rodney Austin, rookie Larry Warford and a few others?

For now, I think it's best to recall what general manager Martin Mayhew said of the offensive line after the draft in April: "We're really young there so we'll look at some veteran guys there I think over the next few weeks."

Scott, 32, and Harris, who turns 29 this week, fit that bill. They are fallbacks if one of the Lions' younger linemen can't earn the starting right guard job. Both spent time with the Tennessee Titans during the time when Lions coach Jim Schwartz was an assistant there, and to be fair, both have seen better times in their careers.

Harris is recovering from a torn ACL suffered Oct. 28, while Scott was out of the league last season until the Philadelphia Eagles signed him for Week 11 and gave him seven starts the rest of the way.

I don't think the arrival of either player is a sign of concern from the Lions. If anything, it's the fulfillment of Mayhew's earlier promise.