2015 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

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

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