I just added a new widget to my blog. As you can see on the sidebar under the links to the other blogs in our community, is a "Lions News" widget. Since I love talking about the Lions, and rarely find time to blog unless I have a specific reason, I put it there in case someone (probably only Matt and Kit) sees something on there they want to talk about, or hear something they want to talk about, I urge you to just comment on the latest post, my email will inform me, and I will make a post answering your question and discussing more things as soon as possible.
On that note, the Lions have made a few free agent signings. They aren't anything HUGE, but they are very good additions. For starters...
-WR Bryant Johnson. Johnson is a good combo of size (6'3", 211 lbs.) and speed. He will definitely compete for the second spot opposite the other Johnson in that position, Calvin, who is 6'5" and disgustingly fast. This is a good thing, especially for a team like the Lions who don't exactly have a franchise quarterback. Obviously, when a receiver is big, it is easier to get them the ball because the range of targeted space is larger than say, a 5'11" speed receiver. Another free agent signing, well, resigning I would love to see from them is Shaun McDonald, the Lions slot receiver from the passed couple years. With two large targets spreading the defense from the outside, and quick McDonald running across the center of the field, it should be easy for projected starter, Daunte Culpepper, to find open targets, especially with an addition they made I am going to talk about next. This addition was much needed since Culpepper never really was known for his accuracy.
-RB Maurice Morris. Maurice is a good veteran running back, who is still quite young at the age of 29. Morris is somewhat of a career backup. For the last 7 years, he has been playing for Seattle. There, he started out backing up Pro-Bowler and one time MVP Shaun Alexander, until last season when he backed up Julius Jones for the same team. I love this signing. I love it because, we have our running back in second year pro, Kevin Smith. Smith proved last year to be a very solid RB and a potential game breaker. Another thing I like about this is Morris' role up until now, a back up. He knows what he is and he knows what he is expected to do. In the NFL, 29 is considered to be the start of decline for a running back because of all the wear and tear on their bodies. But Morris, being a back up his entire career, hasn't received the punishment most backs have. Plus, he has always been a great back up, many times considered to be starting caliber on other teams. We now have a "two-headed" tandem in our backfield. Now we just need to shore up our offensive line.
-We re-signed Kicker, Jason Hanson, enough said.
-DT Grady Jackson. Jackson is huge. I am talking 6'2" 350 lbs. Although he is rather old, 36, Jackson is a great run stopper. One of the best the league has seen. I am pleased because this might mean Cory Redding will go back to his old self when he had another huge nose tackle, Shaun Rogers, commanding a lot of double teams, as will Jackson. The only thing that would make me happier about this signing is if the Lions went out and got Jackson's old running mate, DT Rod Coleman, who is also a free agent and a GREAT run stopper, and a few years younger, 32. This move would allow Cory Redding to move to defensive end, where instead of being a somewhat undersized DT, he will be a powerful, somewhat oversized DE. Leaving our D-Line looking like this DE-White DT-Jackson DT-Coleman DE-Redding. That is a beastly line and would fit perfect in new head coach Swartz's "We must get bigger and stronger" philosophy. This move would also sure up what we would do with out first pick in the draft. We could move second year DE, Cliff Avril, to OLB opposite Ernie Sims, and draft Aaron Curry to man MLB. Aaron curry has been projected by most draft "experts" as the safest pick in the draft, and smartest (in my opinion, too) pick for the Lions. The only downside is the age of the two DT's. But this downside also comes with an upside. We have a young, one time promising DT in Shaun Cody. He is big. 6'2", 310 lbs. He just hasn't really progressed, his only real mentor was Shaun Rogers, who was always so out of shape he would be forced to take plays off. Not a good mentor. Jackson and Coleman are both great veterans and leaders who could teach Cody a few things and hopefully help develop him.
-CB Anthony Henry. I am happy with this acquisition. All we lost was Jon Kitna, and let's face it, his career with Detroit was done last season, so no real loss there. Henry is a solid veteran back who will help sure up our secondary a little bit. Let's just hope we resign Leigh Bodden, whom we cut earlier this off-season for "cap reasons."
I think that's it for now. Any questions, comments of concerns? Just comment and we can discuss.
Here's hoping for the best this off-season...