Dan Campbell comments on bubble players
After a 26-17 preseason victory over the Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, and general manager Brad Holmes are faced with difficult decisions. The challenge? Reducing a talented 90-man (technically 89 at game time) roster down to 53. Campbell expressed that parting with “really good players” is tougher than ever, indicating the growth and increased talent pool in the team. The performance during the Panthers game, especially from several bubble players, has made some roster decisions clearer but muddied the waters in other areas.
Which Detroit Lions Bubble Players Stepped Up?
Cornerback Khalil Dorsey was spectacular, tying for the team lead with five tackles, a 62-yard kick return, and forcing a pivotal fumble before halftime. Another cornerback, Chase Lucas, made a game-altering interception, setting up the go-ahead touchdown. On the offensive side, running back Craig Reynolds led the team with 41 yards on 11 carries, while wide receivers Dylan Drummond and Antoine Green made impressive catches throughout the game, notably Green's 70-yard touchdown. The game was punctuated with Campbell's commendations for each player, emphasizing their significant contributions.
What Did Dan Campbell Say?
“I mean, we’re going to have to let go of some really good players, and that’s tough,” Campbell said after the Lions' 26-17 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers. “That’s tough to do. But it also means that there’s growth and the talent level has gone up, and that’s a good thing for your football team. As long as it’s the right guys you’re keeping, we feel pretty good about everybody on this team that’s in this crop. But it’s always tough this time of year.”
On CB Khalil Dorsey: “Dorsey, that was a heck of a kickoff return. It was a big turnover he created, takeaway that we had right before halftime, that he was responsible for, good in coverage.”
On CB Chase Lucas: “You’re in one of these dogfights, we’re going back and forth and you just, you know if you can get one it can change the game and sure enough, man, that was a heck of a play by Lukey. And it did, it really flipped the tide. You could argue that was a 13-point swing, between that and the other turnover that we got (on Dorsey's forced fumble). So to be able to score 10 points with about 50 seconds left at the end of the half, that’s huge. That gives you some momentum going into halftime. But I did feel like man, that kind of changed the game for us. It was big.”
RB Craig Reynolds: “Craig has not changed one bit. He’s just steady. And he just handles his business and he knows what he’s doing. We have a lot of trust in him and he’s just, he’s a reliable player. He’s a reliable player.”
WRs Dylan Drummond and Antoine Green: “The receiver position, what was most encouraging was, man, those contested catches we weren’t coming down with (last week), or defenders around (us), we're getting these drops. This week, boy, we made plays. I thought Drummond made some critical catches and I thought Green really showed up. And that catch he had where he ran through the dagger for a touchdown, that was big. And that was a hell of a throw by Teddy (Bridgewater). But it was good to see. It was encouraging. That’s what we needed to see.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Dan Campbell faces tough roster decisions following the Lions' preseason win against the Panthers.
- Khalil Dorsey, Chase Lucas, and Craig Reynolds stood out, with commendable plays that might have sealed their places.
- Receivers Dylan Drummond and Antoine Green made critical plays, enhancing the team's offense.
Bottom Line – Lions' Roaring Tough Decisions Ahead
The Detroit Lions are, once again, at a crossroads, faced with decisions that could shape their season. It's a tough business, this game of football. And as they say in Detroit, when the going gets tough, the tough get roaring. Buckle up, Motor City; the next chapter promises to be a page-turner. (Ok, that sounded a bit sappy, but you get the point! The cuts are coming!)