Carlos Monarrez Detroit Free Press Published 7:56 p.m. UTC Aug 20, 2018 Detroit Lions left tackle Taylor Decker knows there’s room for improvement for the offensive line. Maybe even lots of room for improvement. Decker, however, has faith. Lots of faith. On Monday, he balked at assessing whether the offensive line – a unit that struggled last year and that the Lions have made an emphasis to upgrade for two years – was progressing slower than he thought it would at this point of the season. Decker preferred to let coach Matt Patricia pass judgment on the status of the offensive line. “But I think we’re going to be a good unit,” Decker said. “We’ll be just fine. And we’re going to … have things moving forward to focus on, to improve upon and get better. No matter how good you play or if you don’t play so well, you’re always going to have things you can improve upon.” More: Lions cut Cornelius Washington … [Read more...] about Taylor Decker on Detroit Lions’ O-line: ‘Going to be a good unit’
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Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 6:29 p.m. UTC Aug 19, 2018 We’re closing in on the start of the regular season, and fast. The Detroit Lions host the New York Jets in an actual, factual game that counts three weeks from Monday, and this Friday marks the all-important third preseason game, when the Lions visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8 p.m., Channel 2 in Detroit) and suddenly-decent Jameis Winston. Training camp is over, so we won’t get to watch practices, but coming off a disappointing performance in last week’s preseason loss to the New York Giants, here are three things I’ll be keeping tabs on this week: Does Patricia pull back on practice? Patricia has put his team through a physical ringer so far this training camp, with back-to-back weeks of joint practices that quite clearly left his team heavy-legged against the Giants. Maybe it’s a wall players simply have to break through, and maybe he’s seen that happen before – his … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions things to watch: Too much practice? Where’s the offense?
Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 9:33 p.m. UTC Aug 18, 2018 Ball security has long been an issue for Ameer Abdullah. It was in college, it was as a rookie, and after fumbling twice Friday in a 30-17 preseason loss to the New York Giants, it's fair to wonder if it is again. But Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia said in a conference call Saturday that Abdullah has made strides in that area and downplayed any concerns about his fumbling problems going forward. "You can go back to previous years, but I’m just really working on what I know right now," Patricia said. "It’s been really good in training camp. His ball security’s actually improved a lot. There’s some other factors that maybe are involved with, with some of those situations." Abdullah fumbled a handoff on the Lions' second offensive play Friday, though that fumble was officially credited to Matthew Stafford, and he muffed a kickoff later in the first half. The Lions recovered both fumbles, … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah’s ball security has ‘improved a lot’
Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 11:46 p.m. UTC Jul 26, 2018 Things have changed a lot in Matthew Stafford’s 10 years in the NFL. As a rookie, Stafford recalled Thursday, coaches used to give players DVDs of game cut-ups and practice film for them to watch at home in preparation for the next week’s opponent. Now? “Now it’s all shot to you on your wi-fi or whatever and you’re able to watch whatever,” Stafford said. Poorly explained technological advancements aside, Stafford will open training camp Friday under his third head coach and fifth quarterbacks coach but with many of the same questions surrounding his team. Can the Lions finally put together a respectable running game? Do they have enough defensive playmakers to keep Aaron Rodgers and the other stars on their schedule in check? And, above all else, will they ever make any noise in the playoffs? “There’s that mindset to go out there and work to prove people wrong … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions to find out how much difference head coach can make
Nate Davis USA TODAY Published 1:13 p.m. UTC Jul 19, 2018 It's time to dig into those playbooks and hit the ice baths. NFL training camps begin opening this week as veterans for the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears officially report for duty. Summer vacation ends for the league's other 30 teams next week. It won't be long after that until injuries begin to mount, holdouts potentially simmer and flare and other manners of controversy surface. But based on what I know (or think I know) as we embark on the NFL's 99th season, here's my annual prediction of how the season will unfold with record projections for each team based on picking all 256 games, plus a playoff forecast. NFC EAST Philadelphia Eagles (11-5): Underdogs no longer, the champs may be in for a rocky start based on a rough early schedule (particularly October, which includes a Thursday night road game and trip to London) that coincides with Carson Wentz's presumed re-entry from December's ACL tear. Dallas … [Read more...] about 2018 NFL record projections: Detroit Lions will finish 6-10