NFC North: Mohammed Seisay

DETROIT -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Detroit Lions' 19-7 win over Green Bay.
  • Vaughn
    Cornerback Cassius Vaughn -- one of the long line of Lions' nickelbacks so far this season -- was spotted with a walking boot on his left foot after the game. When he was asked about how the foot was feeling, he responded with a simple "it’s good" before heading on his way. Vaughn missed two practices this week with what was listed as an ankle injury. The Lions have played six players at nickel this season: Bill Bentley, Nevin Lawson, Vaughn, Don Carey, Danny Gorrer and Mohammed Seisay. Carey re-injured his hamstring in the first quarter Sunday.
  • Linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who injured his knee in the game, had posted on Instagram earlier in the day about the death of his former teammate in Tennessee, Rob Bironas. Tulloch played with Bironas for five seasons and said the two went to country music concerts together. "It hurt me big time, man," Tulloch said of the news.
  • The Lions didn’t seem to be making a big deal about beating Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the first time in his career, when he played a full game. Instead, they brushed it off as just another win early in a season. That is a mantra Jim Caldwell started in his postgame news conference when he said "I didn’t pay much attention to it."
Kevin Ogletree began training camp for the Detroit Lions as one of their starting wide receivers.

Now, he’s out of a job.

Ogletree was cut by the Lions on Saturday, according to colleague Field Yates. The Queens, New York, native was inactive for the Lions’ first two games of the season, having been passed on the depth chart by Jeremy Ross and Corey Fuller.

Detroit cut Ogletree to make room for cornerback Mohammed Seisay, who is being promoted from the Lions’ practice squad after an injury to cornerback Cassius Vaughn.

This leaves the Lions with five wide receivers on the roster: Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Ross, Fuller and Ryan Broyles. In the first two games of the year, the Lions only kept four receivers active -- Johnson, Tate, Ross and Fuller -- leaving both Ogletree and Broyles inactive on game days. This made one or both expendable when injuries piled up in the secondary.

Detroit likely kept Broyles over Ogletree because he is a former second-round draft pick of the club in 2012 and he had an impressive preseason coming off an Achilles injury.

The 27-year-old Ogletree signed with the Lions last season after being released by Tampa Bay after four games. He caught 13 passes for 199 yards last year.

In 62 career regular-season games, Ogletree caught 78 passes for 999 yards and six touchdowns.
The Detroit Lions will be without their third starting slot cornerback in as many weeks.

Cassius Vaughn, who was slated to take over for Nevin Lawson after he took over for Bill Bentley, is out Sunday against Green Bay with an ankle injury after missing practice Thursday and Friday.

He is one of three players ruled out for Detroit, joining linebacker Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (calf). This is the second straight game Waddle has missed with the injury.

In Vaughn’s place, Detroit will do one of three things: Start recently-signed cornerback Danny Gorrer in the slot, start safety Don Carey in the slot or move outside cornerback Rashean Mathis into the slot, moving Gorrer to the outside.

The Lions also are planning to promote rookie cornerback Mohammed Seisay from the practice squad, according to his agent. Seisay was signed as an undrafted free agent from Nebraska.

Garrett Reynolds will likely start his second straight game at right tackle for Detroit.

The Lions’ secondary issues go beyond the slot corner. Safety James Ihedigbo is doubtful for the second straight game with a neck injury. Detroit’s biggest defensive free agent signing, Ihedigbo has yet to play a game this season.

Fullback Montell Owens, a special-teams stalwart, is also doubtful with a hamstring injury.

Starting defensive linemen Ezekiel Ansah (knee) and Nick Fairley (biceps) are questionable, along with rotational defensive end George Johnson (groin).
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- It appeared as if the Detroit Lions would have starting safety James Ihedigbo back in the lineup Sunday against Carolina.

Now it might not be that guaranteed.

Ihedigbo, who is battling what is listed as a neck injury, and what he said is more of a shoulder issue, was listed as doubtful by the team= Friday afternoon. This comes a day after Ihedigbo said he believed he was pretty close to playing against the Panthers.

“I definitely expect to play,” Ihedigbo said Thursday. “I expect to get my body ready to play. That’s the goal moving forward and trying to make that happen.”

It is still a possibility, but Ihedigbo was listed as doubtful for the season opener against New York as well and did not play. If he is unable to play, expect to see Isa Abdul-Quddus again starting opposite Glover Quin in the secondary. This could also affect whom the Lions promote from the practice squad between safety Nate Ness and cornerback Mohammed Seisay -- a decision that has yet to be announced.

The Lions are also now officially without safety Don Carey (hamstring) and right tackle LaAdrian Waddle (calf) on Sunday against Carolina, but that news is not a surprise. Waddle and Carey have not practiced at all this week and Lions coach Jim Caldwell even indicated they are still making a decision at right tackle between Garrett Reynolds and Cornelius Lucas against the Panthers.

Running back Reggie Bush (knee) and tight end Brandon Pettigrew (foot) are both listed as probable for Detroit.

Lions Camp Report: Day 5

August, 1, 2014
8/01/14
8:00
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ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Detroit Lions training camp:
  • Rough day for the first-team offense during a two-minute drill situation. Defensive ends George Johnson and Darryl Tapp -- neither of whom is expected to be a first-team defender this season -- had touch sacks of Matthew Stafford. Stafford and the offense also went three-and-out on one possession with the quarterback being forced to throw away multiple passes when no one was open. Not surprisingly, Ndamukong Suh was also causing havoc up the middle. The second team fared better, scoring a touchdown and having Giorgio Tavecchio also make a 41-yard field goal to close practice. Jim Caldwell didn't seem too concerned, though, with any of the issues the first-team offense was having.
  • Why not? Well, the first-team offense still has Calvin Johnson, who made two exceptional catches Friday to show why he is the top receiver in the game. He grabbed a touchdown in 7-on-7 after the play was whistled dead, but the way he plucked it was exceptional. There was another play in which a Stafford pass looked like it was headed nowhere, then Johnson came out of his break, dove perfectly on the low ball and caught the ball in front of Chris Greenwood in 11-on-11. It was one of those plays that no defensive back can do anything about. And that has nothing to do with Greenwood, as other cornerbacks will attest to.
  • This was perhaps the best day for Detroit's kicking competitors thus far. Combined, Nate Freese and Tavecchio went 11-for-11, including Tavecchio's 41-yarder to end practice in a two-minute situation. Both also made field goals from 53 yards during a special teams section of practice. Meanwhile, Sam Martin is having a great camp punting. He continually boots punts of more than 65 yards and appears stronger than his rookie season already.
  • Among the defenders who stood out was rangy cornerback Mohammed Seisay. The Nebraska product, whom I wrote about more in depth here, is still a longshot to make the roster. However, with uncertainty in the final one or two cornerback spots, a strong camp could make him a consideration. He read a pass to tight end Eric Ebron perfectly during one-on-ones and broke the play up well. He wasn't the only defensive back to grab attention, as Darius Slay continued to have a strong camp, including a good pass breakup in the one-on-one session.
  • Mentioned Kevin Ogletree on Thursday and he put together another good practice, but Corey Fuller is starting to catch some notice as well among wide receivers. He caught a long pass in the two-minute drill from Dan Orlovsky after easily beating Greenwood. He also had nice catches during the receiver-vs.-defensive back session on both Nevin Lawson and Cassius Vaughn. He is a much more confident player than he was a season ago and looks like a completely different one -– an assessment he said he agreed with following practice.
  • The Lions return to practice at 10:30 a.m. Saturday for their final day of the first week before taking Sunday off. Like Friday, Saturday is expected to be a fully-padded practice.
Here are some day-after thoughts on how the Detroit Lions did in the 2014 draft, with some time to sleep, reflect and also see the entire board of what they were trying to do.
  • The best pick the Lions made is probably second-round linebacker Kyle Van Noy. He fills an absolute need and Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew all but said Saturday night that he’ll be a starter in the fall. That probably means Ashlee Palmer’s job is in definite trouble as the third linebacker. But Van Noy gives Detroit some defensive flexibility. In person, he is a lot bigger than I initially anticipated. He’s put together pretty well.
  • I panned the Eric Ebron pick throughout the draft -- not because Ebron won’t be a good player, but because of who the team passed on at the point. Detroit desperately needed secondary help entering the draft and still needs help leaving the draft. Frankly, they needed defensive help overall, but they took care of some of those other needs later on -- including Van Noy. But Ebron felt more like a luxury. That said, if he becomes more of a wide receiver, which is entirely possible, it could end up being a very strong pick.
  • Speaking of the secondary -- this was probably Mayhew’s biggest failing during the three-day period. Of the team’s eight picks, Detroit used only one on its back seven -- in the fourth round on cornerback Nevin Lawson. Mayhew lauded Lawson’s speed, but his height stands out. For months, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin explained how important tall cornerbacks were and in his history, he has often preferred players over 6-foot. Lawson is 5-foot-9. When asked about that, Mayhew said he was a short defensive back, so he can’t be prejudiced about that. Nine corners went off the board in the fourth round before Detroit picked Lawson -- and one wonders how many of those were higher up on the Lions' board.
  • Fourth-rounder Larry Webster could end up being a good one -- but it won’t be for a couple of years. He played at small-school Bloomsburg and has a good pedigree since his father played in the NFL. But even Mayhew acknowledged he is very raw at the position. He seems like an ideal candidate to learn for a year before being counted on for anything.
  • Drafting kicker Nate Freese in the seventh round likely means either John Potter or Giorgio Tavecchio probably won’t be long for Detroit. The other will compete with Freese for the Lions’ kicking duties.
  • Really like the addition of Caraun Reid. He is probably a bit of a developmental project as a defensive tackle coming from a small school, but he is an extremely intelligent and well-rounded person having gone to Princeton. As with many late-round guys, he’ll make the team because of special teams at first -- and that is where he might excel. He appears to have a knack for blocking kicks, as he did that seven times at Princeton.
  • T.J. Jones could end up being a surprise as well. He’s a receiver from Notre Dame who had 70 catches for 1,108 yards and nine touchdowns last season -- and was targeted 109 times by Irish quarterbacks. He will likely put pressure on Ryan Broyles and Jeremy Ross in the slot for a roster spot and playing time.
  • Good chance third-round pick Travis Swanson won’t play much this season on offense, but he was drafted to be the team’s starting center of the future -- unless he ends up as a starting guard. It’s a fair bet he replaces either current center Dominic Raiola or left guard Rob Sims by 2015.
  • If Detroit can get some production out of its third-day players like it did out of the 2013 draft, the Lions’ draft will likely look a lot better in retrospect than it does right now. But that’s the thing with all of this. Until teams get on the field, this will all be speculation at best. A bit more informed speculation than before the draft, but we’ll see how some of these players fit.
  • The Lions’ undrafted free agents and tryout camp players won’t be official until at least Monday and things can change quickly, so until it is official, be wary. But former Missouri quarterback James Franklin tweeted he will be joining the Lions -- and since the Lions did not draft a quarterback this weekend, that seems like a pretty safe bet. Among the other players who tweeted they will be a part of either the Lions’ roster or rookie camp are Nebraska cornerback Mohammed Seisay, Appalachian State wide receiver Andrew Peacock, Kansas State offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas, Tennessee offensive lineman Alex Bullard and Oklahoma cornerback Gabe Lynn. The Detroit Free Press is reporting William and Mary safety Jerome Couplin, Robert Morris offensive lineman A.J. Dalton and Louisiana-Lafayette tight end Jacob Maxwell will also be undrafted free agents.

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