By Chris Loud @cfloud on May 22, 2014
Everyone’s super excited about the Detroit Lions getting back to action this week with OTAs, but the excitement has churned the already spinning rumor mill, as usual. Here is a breakdown of some of the rumors circulating as the Lions begin their OTAs.
This rumor is true. He has done and said some strange things in the past, but none stranger than the recent comments about how he could have orchestrated his way out of the Lions draft pick, but didn’t, because he “chose” to be here. He also said he is committed to the Lions, and he is taking part in OTAs. It is still the popular assumption among Detroit sports writers that a deal is not far off, which would keep the Big Strange in the Big D.
So Nick Fairley might be even more out of shape than he already has been. The Lions declined to renew his contract, and he’s missing OTAs because of an undisclosed “procedure”. While it still may be true that he’s out of shape, I don’t think Jim Caldwell would have used the term “procedure” if it was just for some extra personal health and training time. Undoubtedly there are some issues going on, but we don’t know the details yet.
Folks at OTAs are already noticing the potential of first-round draft pick Eric Ebron, so naturally everyone is asking guys like Joe Fauria and even Brandon Pettigrew if they’re nervous about their jobs. It’s my opinion that Ebron will likely play along with Pettigrew and Fauria, so there won’t be a full-on replacement situation, but a little competition might be great for the young Fauria and the under-producing Pettigrew.
CB Chris Houston recently underwent surgery to mend a bum toe he’s been dealing with since last season. He is questionable for the start of camp in July, but what’s more questionable is his future with the Lions. He has under-performed greatly, and Rashean Mathis emerged last season as the team’s top corner. Houston should be back, but if he struggles with a late camp start, he’ll be riding the bench, which could lead to trade talks.
So get this, the talk coming out of the OTAs is not just about Ndamukong Suh or Eric Ebron; it’s about the Lions defense -- in a good way. According to sources observing the OTAs, the defense looks strong, even stronger than the offense. Whether or not it’s wishful thinking, having the defense buy into the new system early and look in good shape in OTAs is nothing but a good sign.
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