The Detroit Lions answered a few questions today that both explain some of the activities we have seen lately as well as shed light on some future questions. They addressed Nick Fairley, the progress of Larry Warford, Calvin Johnson, and Ezekiel Ansah. Below are some paraphrased excerpts. They are not by any means direct quotes. They are, however, completely accurate paraphrases. Check back periodically as I will be updating this post regularly leading up to Friday’s game against Jacksonville.
On Calvin Johnson
- We can expect to see Calvin Johnson move around a lot this year, inside and outside to get better match-ups for him -Joe Lombardi
- We wont have a set number of times per game that we need to get the ball to Calvin Johnson -Joe Lombardi
- Im not dunking this year. Im not letting Goodell into my pockets –Calvin Johnson
- The receivers and I are working on something different for our celebrations this year –Calvin Johnson
On Joe Fauria
- I have been impressed with Joe Fauria’s blocking. In fact all tight ends have been good in that regard -Joe Lombardi
On Ezekiel Ansah
- He meets with doctors today after practice. He has been doing more and more in practice and I hope he plays Friday -Jim Caldwell
On Larry Warford
- I expect him to be a pro bowl guard this year -Ndamukong Suh
On Nick Fairley
- His demotion was in part due to CJ Mosely playing well but at the same time, Fairley was not playing well -Teryl Austin
- He is more athletically gifted than I am and could become better than I am -Ndamukong Suh
- He has been better since his demotion but still not where he needs to be -Teryl Austin
- He currently weighs 315, and his ideal is 305 -Nick Fairley
- My eating habits have gotten in the way the past couple of weeks -Nick Fairley
- I still hope to be a starter again by the start of the regular season -Nick Fairley
- I hope to be in Detroit beyond this year but I dont know what the future holds -Nick Fairley
- He knows what he needs to to and where he needs to be, and he is working toward that -Teryl Austin
On Jerome Couplin
- He is so smooth in pads that sometimes you can mistake his movements for lack of effort -Jim Caldwell
Teryl Austin also mentioned that the backup linebacker positions are all still open as no one has separated themselves from the pack. The overall gist on what was said about Nick Fairley is that he is not a self motivator and the coaching staff is aware of what needs to be done to get him motivated. They feel that they need him to play well for them. Suh presumably understand that he needs the extra motivation and joined in the encouragement of his line mate. While Fairley says he is comfortable at his current weight of 315, he is working to lose the extra 10 pounds and busting his butt in practice to get back to starter level.
With Calvin Johnson and Ezekiel Ansah getting healthier, the expectation of them playing this week helps to get them game ready for the regular season. Since they need to be ready for the Giants in week 1, getting healthy now is key. While there is still a chance that either one could miss this week’s game, it sounds like the staff is expecting them to play.
While the roster is still anyone’s guess at this point, the praise of safety Jerome Couplin is leading many to wonder if he is on the bubble of getting a roster spot. I would expect that if he doesn’t get one of the 53, he would be a lock for the practice squad if he clears waivers.