Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 1:55 PM EDT Jun 13, 2019 Nine NFL running backs had at least 60 receptions last season, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say Kerryon Johnson will be a part of that group this fall. Johnson made the highlight play of the Detroit Lions' final organized team activity practice of the spring on Thursday when he caught a long pass down the sideline for a touchdown. Johnson's catch wasn't jaw-dropping in the Odell Beckham Jr. sense, but it was notable for several reasons. First, and I didn't see where Johnson originally lined up on the play, but he had an easy 3 to 5 yards on the nearest defender as he streaked down the sideline. Second, Matthew Stafford underthrew the pass, so Johnson had to cut short his route to make a leaping catch near the goal line as safety Tavon Wilson closed on him from behind. It wasn't an easy catch for any player, let alone a running back, but it was one that Johnson made look simple as he crossed the end … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions OTAs: Kerryon Johnson a receiving threat at RB
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Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 6:00 AM EDT Jun 13, 2019 The Detroit Lions should have a pretty good defense this year. That’s a suggestion a lot of people have made this offseason in explaining why a team that won just six games last year could surprise in Matt Patricia’s second season as head coach, and one I’ve offered up myself as a reason to be optimistic for 2019. But now that the offseason workout program is done – the Lions hold their final organized team activity of the spring on Thursday – it’s time to dive deeper into that claim and see if the biggest reason for hope does in fact match up with reality. More: Devon Kennard: No 'extra expectations' for Lions defense The Lions were a decidedly middle-of-the-pack defense last year under Patricia, though they made indisputable strides as the season wore on. They finished the year 10th in total defense at 335 yards per game and eighth in pass defense (224.9 ypg), but … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions defense: Big expectations, but not a guarantee
Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 5:11 PM EDT Jun 4, 2019 Just when it looked safe to write off Teez Tabor after a rough 2018, the cornerback is making waves again. Tabor has worked primarily with the Detroit Lions' starting defense this spring while Darius Slay has stayed away from the team in hopes of landing a new contract, and the 2017 second-round pick has shown signs of jump-starting his sputtering career. Tabor had an impressive first day of Lions minicamp Tuesday, intercepting a Matthew Stafford pass in a seven-on-seven drill early in practice and showing the catch-up speed — seriously — to knock down a deep shot to Andy Jones later. Now, it must be noted that the Lions are without their top two receivers, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, as they rehab from injuries, so Tabor isn't covering top-flight NFL receivers. But taking the you-can-only-cover-who's-in-front-of-you approach, he's made the most of his opportunities. Tabor declined an … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions minicamp observations: Teez Tabor has good day
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez Detroit Free Press Published 7:08 AM EDT May 11, 2019 The NFL draft is over. The first wave of free agency has long since passed. We’re at the point of the offseason where news has slowed to a crawl and the only thing that matters is that your favorite player makes it through the next month healthy. With that in mind, we figured it was a good time to take stock of what moves the Detroit Lions have made to improve their roster, and discover the work they have ahead. Free Press sports writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez weigh in on five burning Lions questions: Now that rosters are basically set, how do you think the Lions stack up in the NFC North? Dave: The Lions added the best defensive end and slot cornerback in free agency, and the No. 1 tight end in the draft, so they attacked their biggest needs this offseason in meaningful ways. I think Trey Flowers, Justin Coleman and T.J. Hockenson all will have an impact for the … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions: Five burning questions for the 2019 season
Justin Rogers The Detroit News Published 3:10 PM EST Jan 10, 2019 Allen Park — It's all quiet on the offensive coordinator front, so it felt like a good time to do a Detroit Lions mailbag. What is a going on with the OC search? With no news or rumors about it, I am afraid they are just going to hire from within. — @kered316 Understandably, there are a lot of questions about the offensive coordinator opening, and I'm here to tell you I know almost nothing. That's a more difficult thing for me to write than you to read, trust me. The organization is in lockdown in regards to the process, and based on the reporting of others, including those at top national outlets, they're running into the same brick walls with their sources. And coaching is almost always a trickier topic to unearth information. The circles are tighter, the agent information isn't easily accessible, so unless there's a leak from the organization or those being interviewed, we … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions mailbag: What should be done at offensive coordinator?