Detroit Lions General Thread

Don Wassall

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The much maligned Alex Anzalone had a very nice 7-2 game Week One. I haven't seen snap counts yet but Malcolm Rodriguez appears to have started next to Anzalone, and of course Aiden Hutchinson is an immediate starter, so the Lions with a semi-miraculous three, count 'em three, White starting defenders this season!
 

Phall

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The much maligned Alex Anzalone had a very nice 7-2 game Week One. I haven't seen snap counts yet but Malcolm Rodriguez appears to have started next to Anzalone, and of course Aiden Hutchinson is an immediate starter, so the Lions with a semi-miraculous three, count 'em three, White starting defenders this season!
I counted three, as well. Happily surprised that Malcolm Rodriguez was so heavily involved. It was hard to believe that I had to learn some jersey numbers to keep track of who was who!

The defense is still not a “good” unit, though. I’m hopeful that Hutchinson will adapt quickly and sniff out a couple of those Jalen Hurts scrambles next time around.
 

Flint

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I counted three, as well. Happily surprised that Malcolm Rodriguez was so heavily involved. It was hard to believe that I had to learn some jersey numbers to keep track of who was who!

The defense is still not a “good” unit, though. I’m hopeful that Hutchinson will adapt quickly and sniff out a couple of those Jalen Hurts scrambles next time around.
Yeah Hutchinson did not play well, one tackle, a big whiff, and non-factor otherwise. Hopefully not a sign of things to come.
 

Leonardfan

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DL John Cominsky was also in quite a bit for the Lions. Hutchison will be fine, he just played out of control - have to imagine first game jitters more than anything.

Goff started off slow, had one bad pick but then got into a rhythm. There were several dropped balls by the Lions. Rooting for Goff to have a strong season as he has been identified as the weak link and needing to be replaced by a magical negro QB.
 

Flint

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Lions elevate Brandon Zylstra WR from practice squad to active roster.
 

white lightning

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Lions elevate Brandon Zylstra WR from practice squad to active roster.

This is good news. I was sad when the Vikings let him go. Just another in a long list of white receivers that finds
it almost impossible to get a fair chance to play enough to show what he can do!
 

Phall

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This is good news. I was sad when the Vikings let him go. Just another in a long list of white receivers that finds
it almost impossible to get a fair chance to play enough to show what he can do!
@Flint

Lions vs Cowboys at 1pm is perhaps the top caste matchup of the day, especially as Dak Prescott re-inherits his starting spot in front of the very effective Cooper Rush, who has either played himself into trade bait or secured a lucrative, multi-year "second-string" deal next year for generational wealth.

Will Brandon Zylstra and Tom Kennedy be active at the same time? I might actually prefer the Lions to get blown out early so Goff can spread the ball out on 60 throws.

I am hoping that Hutchinson ate his Wheaties this past evening, as he's been hit or miss so far at best.
 

Don Wassall

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This article notes how Alex Anzalone played very well in 2022, and even had a high grade from Cris Collinsworth's controversial PFF, and then waits until the end to apply the Caste-speak kicker. Seems Anzalone had a terrific season but the Lions still need to "upgrade" his spot with someone who has more "talent." Amazing how that works, isn't it?:

Career year for Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone backed up by PFF

by Brad Berreman

Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone just had the best season of his career, and the improvement in his Pro Football Focus grade backs it up further.

With Alex Anzalone and Jalen Reeves-Maybin both hitting free agency last offseason, if they were going to bring one of the linebackers back, the Detroit Lions made the fairly easy choice of Anzalone on a second straight cheap one-year deal.

Anzalone delivered a good season in 2022, with a career-high and team-leading 125 total tackles. He delivered solid all-around production, with 1.5 sacks, six pass breakups, seven tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits and 10 pressures.

As the “green-dot” guy for the Lions’ defense, his role in the unit’s turnaround over the last 10 games of the season shouldn’t be discounted.

Off his career-best season Anzalone has hinted he’s eyeing a multi-year deal to stay with the Lions, and presumably elsewhere as he explores the open market for his services. Lions coaches have talked up his intangible value, and he delivered some tangible impact this past season.

Based on their year-over-year grades, Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus named the most improved player on each NFL team for the 2022 season.

DETROIT LIONS: LB ALEX ANZALONE
2021 PFF Grade: 35.4
2022 PFF Grade: 59.2
Improvement: 23.8
A third-round draft pick in 2017, Anzalone played his most snaps in a single season and delivered a solid performance overall. There were some rough moments throughout the year, but he also had four games with a PFF grade higher than 80.0.

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Frankly, Anzalone’s PFF grade couldn’t have been a whole lot worse in 2021. According to Pro Football Reference, he cut his missed tackle rate by over half in 2022 (7.4 percent; 16.1 percent in 2021). His improvement in PFF grade went from pretty awful in 2021 to passably average in 2022.

From a pure talent point of view, the Lions should be looking to upgrade on Anzalone this offseason as the starter next to Malcolm Rodriguez. That doesn’t mean he won’t be re-signed, necessarily, but another team could be willing to give him a deal more befitting a locked-in starter.

 

Flint

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For many years the Lions have drafted LB's with unlimited athleticism only to see them flail away helplessly and get beat repeatedly. Finally they get a guy that is playing well but he's not the right color so fans and media clamor for an "upgrade" that never happens. They are a perennial loser and this is a big part of the problem.

I will say that coach Dan Campbell likes Anzalone and talks him up, but that never seems to be enough in the NFL.
 

Phall

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Detroit Lions re-signing Alex Anzalone to a 3-year deal​

The Lions are bringing back the veteran linebacker with a significant raise.

Alex Anzalone is back with the Detroit Lions and he’s returning to a significant raise. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions are re-signing Anzalone to a three-year deal worth $18.75 million.

That represents a significant raise for Anzalone, who re-signed with the Lions last year on a one-year, $2.25 million deal.

That said, Anzalone is coming off his best year in the NFL, and he was extremely well-liked by Detroit’s staff and peers.

“He’s playing at a high level, he’s the quarterback of our defense,” coach Dan Campbell said back in December. “He’s versatile, he’s a really good athlete. He’s smart, he knows exactly what (Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG’s looking for. He knows the situations that come up. He gets everything in order and he’s another guy, man. He’s a big locker room guy, man, the guys love him, and he knows – they know he’d do anything for them. So, he’s playing at a high level and I’m glad we got him.”

Yeah, buddy! Anzalone aced his "prove it" deal last year.

The Lions are keeping their three white defensive starters and seem likely to make John Cominsky a decent offer, too. Any chance they could land Bryan Bresee, Drew Sanders, or Riley Moss? They might as well go whole hog at this point.
 

woody39

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Great signing, good for him and good to see the lions rewarding performance and an essence of fairness on defense dare I say.
 

Don Wassall

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Great to see, Anzalone has been as disrespected as any productive White LB in recent years.
 

Flint

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Yes! I was pretty sure he was going to sign as Dan Campbell really likes him, but that has never been a guarantee before.
 

Don Wassall

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Cominsky resigned, at a bargain price. It's official -- the Lions will be a team to root for this year, at least on the defensive side of the ball.

Lions re-signed EDGE John Cominsky to a two-year, $8.5 million contract.​

Cominsky was claimed on waivers this past offseason and had a career-high four sacks for the Lions in 556 defensive snaps. It appears he didn't do enough to draw a ton of attention in free agency, but he profiles as decent depth for Detroit on the defensive line.
 

Phall

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Cominsky’s snap count last year was pretty high for a rotation player, and he made a bunch of strong plays. I think he wanted a bit more money but decided to keep a good thing going when no other team ponied up.

WR Tom Kennedy signed another futures deal with the Lions so he can once again lead the NFL in preseason receiving before getting cut from the final roster. Maybe this will be the year Lucy let’s him kick the football…
 

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As mentioned elsewhere, the NFL suspended five players for gambling, including four Lions players (three of which are wide receivers). Stanley Berryhill is practice squad fodder, but Quintez Cephus was on the depth chart and Jameson Williams was last year's #12 pick. This can only help the fortunes of Tom Kennedy, who usually has to wait for black injuries to see playing time.

The news comes a week before the draft, and the Lions are now expected to add WR's to their draft board. After whiffing with Williams and trading TJ Hockenson mid-season, I'm hoping the front office is smart in adding "weapons" for pro bowl QB Jared Goff.
 

Don Wassall

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I don't know how authoritative this site is but for what it's worth this article lists Anzalone, Rodriguez and the first round rookie Campbell as starting linebackers on its depth chart for the Lions, which would obviously be the best scenario for the upcoming season. It also leaves off John Cominsky as a starter, who started at DE last year along with Aiden Hutchinson. Our Lads still lists Cominsky as a starter.

 

Phall

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I don't know how authoritative this site is but for what it's worth this article lists Anzalone, Rodriguez and the first round rookie Campbell as starting linebackers on its depth chart for the Lions, which would obviously be the best scenario for the upcoming season. It also leaves off John Cominsky as a starter, who started at DE last year along with Aiden Hutchinson. Our Lads still lists Cominsky as a starter.


ESPN put up that same lineup this past week, as well. I’m pretty sure that it’s just outsider speculation, but an all-white linebacking corps would be incredible to see. Since Cominsky is newly re-signed, I would expect he’ll see plenty of snaps regardless. This should still be hands-down the whitest defense in the NFL, maybe in some number of years.
 

jphoss

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We all know the 20% rule but taking an optimistic look there is definitely some high end white talent from this past draft class. Between LaPorta, Mayer, and Kincaid we’ll continue to put a stranglehold on the te position despite the caste system’s best efforts. Iowa coming through with Jack, Riley, and Van Ness who have the look as perennial pro-bowlers at non-preferred white positions.
 

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Snow Plow

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I'd like to see both Sam LaPorta and Dalton Kincaid have big rookie seasons. The current myth is that rookie tight ends don't do well, but there's no reason they can't, especially when they're used mostly as receivers. It's no different than rookie receivers, some do very well their first year.

Shockey and Kelce had 800+ yards, Gronk had 500+ with 10 tds and then took off the next season.

I would think LaPorta has around 700 yards with 6 tds. Kincaid has Knox, so might not hit those marks. Overall, Hockenson, Andrews, and Kelce will lead the position. Total domination in 2023!
 

Snow Plow

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Shockey and Kelce had 800+ yards, Gronk had 500+ with 10 tds and then took off the next season.

I would think LaPorta has around 700 yards with 6 tds. Kincaid has Knox, so might not hit those marks. Overall, Hockenson, Andrews, and Kelce will lead the position. Total domination in 2023!
Sorry, Kelce missed his rookie year with a knee injury.
 
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