Saturday, August 11, 2012
Preseason: Sluggish Lions start
By Kevin Seifert
Reviewing Friday's action at Ford Field:
Cleveland Browns 19, Detroit Lions 17
Preseason record: 0-1
Of interest: Coach Jim Schwartz expressed disappointment about the overall play, but I interpreted that sentiment to higher expectations as a franchise. This was a typical, sloppy opening preseason game. … Defensive end Willie Young made a nice early play to strip Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, and rookie cornerback Dwight Bentley had an active and ultimately encouraging outing, recovering from an early 34-yard completion against him to get in position for two interceptions. He made one and dropped another that probably would have gone for a touchdown, but Bentley didn't seem to do anything to threaten his position with the first team. … The safety position remains a weak spot, as Amari Spievey sat out because of concussion-like symptoms. Remember, Spievey missed a portion of the offseason program because of headaches stemming from a concussion he suffered in January. … The first-team offense didn't score in three series, two of which ended in punts and one by a Matthew Stafford interception that should never have been thrown. … Those around the country who are rooting for rookie quarterback Kellen Moore to make the team didn't see a lot to be encouraged by. Moore completed 4-of-14 passes and continues to display an arm that doesn't appear to have enough zip, at least at the moment, to make it in the NFL. … Receiver Titus Young didn't play because of the expected birth of his child. … Say what you want about the Browns' run defense, but the Lions rushed for nearly 200 yards. Joique Bell registered 89 yards on 16 carries, while Keiland Williams added 71 on nine carries.
Local coverage: Schwartz via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "Let's be clear, preseason games, we don't use them as a barometer and they don't count. But you want to play well. Win or lose, you want to play well, and I don't think we played well. We didn't play well on offense, on defense, special teams, from the beginning to the very end. And again, we had a chance." … Early returns on the Lions' offensive backfield were encouraging, writes Rod Beard of the Detroit News. … Schwartz had a tough assessment of Bentley, via Justin Rogers of Mlive.com: "It's too inconsistent play for a cornerback. Give up the deep ball -- that's something that we shouldn't allow to happen -- and we were 50 percent on making interceptions. I don't think that's a good day at all for what he can do. I mean, he has a chance, if he knocks the deep ball away and makes two interceptions in this game, to have done something for himself. Fifty-50 isn't going to get it done." … Don't be concerned about the first-team offense, writes Birkett of the Free Press. … The Lions have stirred up the populace, writes Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News.
Up next: Friday, Aug. 17 at the Baltimore Ravens