2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions coach Schwartz focuses on few bright spots

    2013-08-17 19:12

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Given a couple days to cool down after Detroit's lackluster performance in Cleveland, Lions coach Jim Schwartz was ready to move on and focus on the few bright spots.

Getting All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson back on the practice field and adding three veteran defensive players to the roster helped further brighten the mood on a sunny afternoon at the team's training facility.

Schwartz didn't back off his postgame comments that the Lions played ``poorly in all three phases'' during a 24-6 loss Thursday night in their second exhibition game, but did find good things to say about the team's pass rush and the play of running back Reggie Bush (five receptions, 44 yards) against the Browns.

``It's been said a lot of times that preseason games don't count and don't matter. It matters how you play,'' Schwartz said. ``There were a bunch of situations where we didn't play well enough. ... I don't want to take away from a lot of the good things that happened because I think there were some very bright spots in there. But we need to execute better and we derailed too many times with penalties, particularly on special teams.''

Besides Bush, the Lions' first-team offense struggled without Johnson, who missed the Cleveland game and practice leading up to it because of a bruised knee. He and quarterback Matthew Stafford connected on several long pass plays Saturday and the three-time Pro Bowl selection is on track to play when the Lions host the New England Patriots on Thursday night.

Schwartz said getting his star receiver on the field in the preseason is important because the way teams defend him significantly impacts the rest of the offense, but that it's ``not a deal-breaker,'' noting offensive coordinator Scott Linehan ``has a good handle for how people play Calvin.''

``You want to have all the pieces, because they all uniquely fit and it affects defenses and the way they have to defend them,'' Schwartz said. ``I think that's important.''

The Lions added four new faces to their defense Saturday, including three NFL veterans. They signed outside linebacker Rocky McIntosh and cornerback Rashean Mathis earlier in the day and also welcomed defensive tackles Justin Bannan and John Drew, who signed Friday.

McIntosh played six seasons for the Washington Redskins before starting nine games for the St. Louis Rams in 2012. Mathis, a 2006 Pro Bowl selection, played all 10 of his NFL seasons in Jacksonville and holds the Jaguars' franchise interception record with 30.

Bannan is an 11-year veteran who started 15 games for the Denver Broncos last season. Drew was an undrafted rookie free agent out of North Carolina Central.

Schwartz said the mid-camp signings weren't necessarily a message for the current roster.

``The only message we're sending is that we're going to keep on trying to add good football players,'' Schwartz said. ``It wasn't a reaction to anyone's play, more an opportunity to get those guys.

``Those are three veteran players, guys that played a lot of football in the NFL. We've got to get them up to speed pretty quickly, but all of them have a proven track record in the NFL,'' Schwartz said.

Mathis, who said he worked out for the team at 12:45 p.m. and was signed in time for the 3:15 p.m. practice, has NFL experience at the safety, cornerback and nickel back position. The former Pro Bowl selection was limited by knee injuries the past two seasons, but says he is 100-percent healthy.

``They're trying to find something that works. They're trying to find some veteran guys who know how to play football,'' Mathis said of the Lions' additions. ``I know the quality of play that good football players can play when they're healthy, and that can be a plus to the ballclub.''

NOTES: Among the players held out or limited in practice were defensive tackle Nick Fairley (illness), safety Louis Delmas (knee) and quarterback Shaun Hill (rest). ... Schwartz said the Lions are experimenting with rushing defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley from the outside because ``both of those guys have end athletic ability.'' He said the package gives the team flexibility along the front line and ``has a chance to be a nice part of our rush package.'' ... To make room on the 90-man roster for the new defensive additions, the Lions released cornerback Conroy Black, defensive end Braylon Broughton, linebacker Adrian Moten and safety Trevor Coston.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dane FletcherMay 27 02:33a

Free-agent LB Dane Fletcher (Buccaneers) has returned to the New England Patriots on a one-year contract.

Devonta FreemanMay 26 09:53p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman worked with the first-team offense during organized team activities Tuesday, May 26.

Charles SimsMay 26 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims has a solid chance of beating out RB Doug Martin for Tampa Bay's starting running back gig, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com.

A.J. JenkinsMay 26 01:02p

Free-agent WR A.J. Jenkins (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, May 26, according to a source. Jenkins was the 30th overall pick by the San [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 26 08:43a

Updating an ongoing story, the Dallas Cowboys have moved on from the idea of trading for Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, despite persistent rumors, according to The Dallas Morning [ More ]

A.J. McCarronMay 25 10:37p

Cincinnati Bengals QB AJ McCarron (shoulder) is healthy and hoping to push QB Andy Dalton in 2015. 'We wanted him in our building so bad and it happened and [ More ]

Ray McDonaldMay 25 04:42p

Updating previous reports, Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald has been released Monday, May 25, just hours after being arrested for alleged domestic violence and child endangerment.

Adrian PetersonMay 25 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson still wants to be traded, according to a source. Peterson intends to skip all organized team activities, which would cause him to lose $250,000 in workout bonuses.

Adrian PetersonMay 24 09:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has informed head coach Mike Zimmer that he will not attend the optional practices that begin Tuesday, May 26, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Tom BradyMay 22 04:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will have the appeal of his four-game suspension heard by commissioner Roger Goodell after the NFL rejected a motion by the NFL Players [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 22 03:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension has not been scheduled at this time.

Ray RiceMay 22 11:42a

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) could be a consideration for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, speculates The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota. He cites Cowboys owner and general [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 22 09:52a

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains in pursuit of being traded or receiving a new contract and remains away from the organization during voluntary workouts. [ More ]

William BeattyMay 21 12:02p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty (chest) underwent successful surgery Thursday, May 21, to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Beatty will need approximately five to six months of recovery time.

Derek CarrMay 20 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) will not need surgery on his injured finger and may be able to throw again before the end of offseason workouts, according to his agent.

Joseph RandleMay 20 09:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is the most likely option to lead the team's running back by committee approach in 2015. Randle has the most experience in the system, [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:53p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty's (pectoral) torn pectoral will require surgery and Beatty's recovery time is expected to be around five months. Beatty suffered the [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) tore his pectoral while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source, and will undergo surgery. One [ More ]

Josh HillMay 20 03:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is slated as the starting tight end this season with TE Jimmy Graham now in Seattle. TE Benjamin Watson could give Hill a run for his money, however.

William BeattyMay 20 03:13p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) suffered a potentially serious shoulder injury while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source. Surgery is a possibility.

Geno SmithMay 20 03:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith is the starting quarterback and will not see competition in training camp, according to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Tom BradyMay 20 03:03p

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal will not be affected by the team's decision to accept their sanctions. Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to [ More ]

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group