Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions

Player News - Lions

Date: Team: Pos:

Lions OC Joe Lombardi said he's counting on second-year TE Eric Ebron being the No. 3 weapon on offense behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.

This is nothing new, but Lombardi is just the latest in a long line of Lions higher-ups to sing Ebron's praises this offseason. Since the season ended, Ebron has been making routine flights to Atlanta to work side-by-side with Matthew Stafford. Everyone involved is expecting a big jump from Ebron.
Mar 31 - 8:13 PM

Lions coach Jim Caldwell is confident Matthew Stafford will continue to "grow and develop."

He praised Stafford's work ethic, intelligence and toughness. "He has all those things in abundance," Caldwell said. "I just think you’ll continue to see him grow and develop." Caldwell's assessment comes despite the fact that he's already on record as wanting to pass less in 2015. Now 27, Stafford has proven to be a quarterback the Lions can win with, but his progress has been frustratingly incremental.
Mar 31 - 2:56 PM

Golden Tate said he's focusing on learning the playbook a little better this offseason.

Tate seemed to know the plays just fine in his first year as a Lion, ranking sixth in the league in catches (99), seventh in yards (1,331) and third in total YAC (691). It will be nearly impossible for him to improve on those numbers with Calvin Johnson shaking off his nagging injuries and Eric Ebron expected to come on as an NFL sophomore. Even if Tate does get more comfortable in Joe Lombardi's scheme, expect a volume regression.
Mar 31 - 8:57 AM

Coach Jim Caldwell expressed confidence in Theo Riddick last week.

With Reggie Bush gone, Riddick is entrenched in his natural passing back role. "We try and give (the ball) to the guys who are going to do something with it, and I think he's going to be one of those guys who's going to force us to give him the ball more," Caldwell said. "I think you're really going to see him come along." Riddick racked up 367 yards and four touchdowns on just 54 touches last season. It's an unsustainable rate but gave PPR owners a glimpse of the ceiling he has. Any role Riddick has in the run game behind starter Joique Bell will depend on what the Lions do in the draft.
Mar 31 - 8:11 AM

Tahir Whitehead is expected to compete for the Lions' strong-side linebacker job.

Whitehead started in place of Stephen Tulloch last year, finishing with 86 tackles and grading out as PFF's No. 14 inside linebacker. With Tulloch healthy, Whitehead will need to beat out Kyle Van Noy for a starting job. Whitehead can also back up at all three linebacker spots.
Mar 28 - 5:53 PM

Lions MLB Stephen Tulloch (knee) is questionable for OTAs.

Tulloch is six months removed from his torn ACL. He has a chance to be ready for spring workouts, but is expected to be held out until training camp. Tulloch will return as Detroit's starting MIKE linebacker when healthy, with Kyle Van Noy and Tahir Whitehead competing on the strong side.
Mar 28 - 5:40 PM

Lions GM Martin Mayhew said he plans to pursue an extension with DT Haloti Ngata.

Acquired from Baltimore minutes before free agency began, the Lions hope Ngata can help fill the void left by Ndamukong Suh. Ngata was resistant to an extension in Baltimore, but is reportedly more open to working with the Lions. The 31-year-old Ngata is scheduled to make $8.5 million in the final year of his deal.
Mar 28 - 11:08 AM

Kellen Moore will compete for the Lions' backup quarterback job.

Moore will be given an opportunity to unseat Dan Orlovsky after spending last year as the No. 3 quarterback. He was non-tendered this offseason for cap purposes and could be in the mix for backup duties with a strong camp. It's perhaps telling the Lions gave Moore more guaranteed money than Orlovsky, who re-signed on a one-year deal. Moore has yet to appear in an NFL game.
Mar 27 - 5:40 PM

Lions coach Jim Caldwell wants to pass less in 2015.

Matthew Stafford attempted 602 passes last season, a four-year low, but also the fifth most in the league. "When I tell you that we're not going to throw the ball any more than we threw it (last year), that's a fact," Caldwell said. "If we do throw it more, that means we're behind, we're struggling, we're not winning, we're not a very good football team, plain and simple." Despite Caldwell's pleas for a more Cowboys-esque offense, we'd be shocked if Stafford didn't again finish in the top 7-8 in attempts.
Mar 26 - 6:47 PM

The Lions expect OT LaAdrian Waddle (ACL) to remain sidelined "for a bit."

Waddle underwent surgery in mid-January. It's obviously not surprising he'll remain sidelined "for a bit," but it's notable that the Lions aren't putting any sort of a timetable on his return. As it stands right now, the Lions' 2014 right tackle is a strong candidate to begin 2015 on the reserve/PUP list, costing him six games.
Mar 26 - 1:37 PM

Lions OL Riley Reiff will remain at tackle for 2015, but coach Jim Caldwell is undecided which side he'll play.

Some teams viewed Reiff as a guard in the 2012 draft, and there's been renewed speculation he'll be kicked inside. Caldwell says it's not happening. "He can play left (tackle) for us, and he played it very well, have no problems with that. He can play right for us and would play it very well. He's that kind of guy." Reiff has been solid, but not elite, in two years on Matthew Stafford's blindside. Were Reiff to be replaced at left tackle, it would likely be via the draft, but Cornelius Lucas and LaAdrian Waddle are two in-house options.
Mar 26 - 1:31 PM

Coach Jim Caldwell is anticipating a "pretty significant rise" in Eric Ebron's performance.

Ebron struggled with drops and the scheme as a rookie, disappointing with a 25-248-1 line. It's not uncommon for first-year tight ends. Ebron has more than enough talent to break out in Year 2. "I'm going to tell you something. His offseason to this point has been pretty impressive," Caldwell said.
Mar 26 - 10:08 AM

Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official website expects OT Riley Reiff's fifth-year option to be picked up.

The fifth-year team option is equal to the average of the 25 highest-paid players at the position, roughly $7.5M in Reiff's case. It's a reasonable deal for a player that has started 32-of-33 possible games the last two years (including playoffs), producing at a serviceable level on Matthew Stafford's blind side.
Mar 24 - 11:41 AM

Lions GM Martin Mayhew said TE Brandon Pettigrew should have a bigger passing-game role in 2015.

Pettigrew had back-to-back 70 catch seasons in 2010-11, but only caught 10 passes last year. "He can catch more balls than that, I think," Mayhew said, "but I don’t see him getting back to a 70-catch season." The additions of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron mean the Lions' offense has a lot more talent than it did in 2011, and Pettigrew was not explosive even when he was being utilized more in the passing game. Pettigrew could see a few more targets in 2015, but he will remain well off the fantasy radar.
Mar 21 - 10:46 AM

Lions re-signed CB Rashean Mathis to a two-year, $3.5 million contract.

Mathis is entering his age-35 season, but has been a huge bargain for the Lions the past two seasons. He's made 29 starts for Detroit, grading out as a top-25 cover corner at Pro Football Focus in each year. The Lions can't bank on Mathis forever, but he's a cheap veteran leader still playing quality ball.
Mar 18 - 1:20 PM

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