The Detroit Lions have now played all of their preseason games, and the roster is about to change quite a bit. About half of the Detroit Lions’ starters sat out the final preseason game to give the young guys a chance to show what they can bring to the team. A lot of the Lions’ reserves were given a shot to make a statement, and they did just that with a 23-0 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
First off, one person impressed whose job was not even on the line. Nate Freese hit 3 field goals, and two of them were from 53 yards. The kid whose power was in question has effectively put that question to rest. Freese did miss an extra point, but he made up for it quickly. He was perfect kicking field goals in the preseason, including going 3/3 from over 50 yards. Nate Freese beat out Giorgio Tavecchio for the Lions’ kicker job, and he looked a lot more comfortable in his first game without his job on the line.
Ryan Broyles looked really good in the Lions’ preseason finale. Broyles caught 3 passes for 31 yards, and he did a great job creating space on his routes. Corey Fuller also played great from the wide receiver position. He also caught 3 passes, but had 48 yards and a touchdown on the night. The position battles at wide receiver may not have gotten the publicity that some of the other position battles had, but it was a tense battle between quality players right up until the last minute.
George Winn solidified his name as a potential running back option for the Detroit Lions. His position battle with Mikel LeShoure has been of note. Winn finished the Buffalo game with 43 yards on 12 carries, and an average of 3.6 yards per carry. Thursday’s performance at Buffalo helped solidify George Winn as a fan favorite to make the Lions’ roster. Winn getting cut at this point would seriously surprise, not only because of his running ability, but because he is also playing very good on special teams.
Mikel LeShoure was unable to capitalize on another opportunity to secure a roster position. Mikel LeShoure‘s meager 18 yards, with an average 2.3 yards per carry was definitely not what the coaching staff was looking for in Mikel. He also caught 2 passes for 0 yards. That is not the way that LeShoure wanted to win the battle for a position as a short yardage back. Now, more than ever, LeShoure’s job could be on the line.
Kellen Moore played very good at the quarterback position, and the Lions now have a more difficult time of deciding whether or not they will keep 3 quarterbacks on their active roster. Jim Caldwell has been unsure as of yet as to whether Kellen Moore will stick around, but if the game against the Bills was a test for Moore , then he passed it fairly well.
A lot of people are unjustly harsh with their expectations of the Detroit Lions’ secondary. They are a young group of defensive backs, and so far they have played outstanding. Although it is only preseason, it is a breath of fresh air to see the Lions defense playing much tighter pass coverage. The scheme that they are playing in is getting them into position to make plays, and as a result the young Lions secondary accumulated 7 interceptions.
I can already hear the, “But it is only preseason,” naysayers that want to take these accomplishments away from the young men of the Lions defense. The fact is that this is a different group than 2013, and they are already improving. The proof is in the game film, whether it is preseason or not.
The story of the Detroit Lions is now what will happen with their talented young players. 22 players will not make the cut, and only 10 of those players will make the Lions’ practice squad. With so many players stepping up in Thursday’s game, some of the players that are cut will have an opportunity to land elsewhere. If Mikel LeShoure is cut like some people believe he will be, then he will probably be scooped off of the waiver wire fairly quickly.