2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions LBs mix of experience and newcomers

By SCOTT HELD - Associated Press
    2013-08-20 15:16

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions lost one of their three starting linebackers in free agency. His likely replacement will be a familiar face.

Ashlee Palmer, who saw plenty of action on special teams last season, will join Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy in the middle of the defense this fall. He replaces starter Justin Durant, who's now battling for a job in Dallas.

``Some people might not realize I've been here four years now,'' Palmer said Tuesday. ``Being in this system has helped me learn it a lot more.''

The lead trio also has been helping a largely inexperienced group get acclimated this summer. Aside from the presumed starters, only Travis Lewis and Tahir Whitehead were on the field for an NFL snap in 2012.

Palmer led the Lions in special teams tackles last season and got a pair of starts in place of the injured Levy at linebacker. Spending a fourth season in defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham's system has made the transition to a starting job easier.

``It's just knowing the scheme and what we're going to run week in and week out,'' he said.

He was an undrafted rookie free agent with Buffalo in 2009 and the Lions signed him off waivers the following season. Palmer's seen action in every game since.

Coach Jim Schwartz wouldn't say Palmer has locked up the starting job, but added he's done nothing to work his way out of it.

``He certainly has taken the lead,'' Schwartz said. ``He's been consistent through training camp, he's made plays in preseason games, he's played physical.

``He's put together a nice string and he's been consistent and that's what he was working to become as a player.''

Whitehead, a fifth-round selection in the 2012 draft, was mostly a special teams player last year, as was Lewis, a 2012 seventh-round pick.

Rookie Brandon Hepburn, a seventh-round selection in April's draft, also is in camp. The focus for him and the other relative newcomers has been the same.

``Throughout camp we've been working them in for (first-team) reps,'' Palmer said. ``We're just trying to get those guys the reps they need and help them see the plays they need to see.

``It's a good responsibility.''

The Lions host New England on Thursday for the third exhibition game and open regular-season play Sept. 8 against visiting Minnesota.

Notes: Schwartz said it's too early to tell if receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), backup quarterback Shaun Hill and safety Louis Delmas (knee) will play Thursday night. ``Today would be like a Friday in the regular season,'' the coach said. ``A lot of those decisions we don't make until Saturday night before the game. We still have some time.'' . Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, who earned his MLB-best 18th win Sunday, and actor Jeff Daniels watched practice Tuesday. . Detroit officially broke camp Tuesday, but Schwartz said a lot has changed from the days he began coaching in the NFL. ``It used to be sort of a celebrated day in the NFL, breaking camp,'' he said. ``Now they've got to check out of the hotel.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

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