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News » Detroit Lions Notes, Quotes 2008-10-03

Detroit Lions Notes, Quotes 2008-10-03

Detroit Lions Notes, Quotes 2008-10-03
--The Lions released running back Kevin Jones in March mainly because he was coming off his second major injury in two years - a torn anterior cruciate ligament, after a serious foot problem - and his $2.37 million salary burdened the salary cap. Jones signed a one-year deal with the Bears for the minimum of $605,000. He started training camp on the physically unable to perform list, but he has played behind rookie Matt Forte in all four games, with 20 carries for 71 yards. Lions coach Rod Marinelli praised Jones for how quickly he came back. Asked if he would have released Jones if he knew then what he knows now, Marinelli said with a laugh: "I don't know. It didn't work that way. He's a heck of a back. We know that, and hats off to him."

--Jones told the Chicago Tribune he was upset none of his teammates called to check on him while he recovered from his knee injury earlier this year. "I don't have the guy's number," wide receiver Roy Williams said. "I never had his number." Jones also talked about anger turning to relief after his release, how he was surprised the Lions fired president Matt Millen last week because Millen had weathered the storm in the past, and returning to Ford Field with the Lions looking for their first victory. "I guess it is going to be weird," Jones said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "But I don't want to get myself too worked up over it. Most of all I want to beat them. No way I want their first win to be on us."

--Marinelli shares responsibility for the personnel situation, even though president Matt Millen was the only fired last week. Marinelli has had a hand in every personnel decision the Lions have made since his arrival - whom they have kept, cut, drafted and otherwise acquired. The development of some of the draft picks has been troubling. But Marinelli also has been patching holes that were created before his tenure. He has brought in several former Tampa Bay players, and they have been labeled as his guys. But they weren't all necessarily his ideal choices. They were guys who knew the system and culture, and the thought was that they could help in the short term. "We're filling guys in," Marinelli said. "But the bottom line for me has always been that there's no excuses. I've got to get these guys to play better. They can play better. We can play with more energy. To give up big plays like we have, some of the missed tackles, that's inexcusable. ... Of course you'd love to build from the draft up. That's the perfect world. But we've just got to get our guys to fly and do the things we're asking them to do, and we'll play better."

--What changes will the Lions make on offense after the bye? Williams, who has been campaigning for more four-wide receiver sets, did not sound thrilled. "We've got a little something up our sleeve, but it's all the same," Williams said. "Nothing dramatic."

--Rookie running back Kevin Smith declined to comment on his status after sounding off about his demotion to second string Monday. The Lions are still high on Smith, even though veteran Rudi Johnson has taken over the starting spot. "You need two good backs," Marinelli said. "Eventually when things are humming, you'd like to have two good backs playing for you."

BY THE NUMBERS: 32 -- Lions' rank in points allowed, rushing defense, total defense and turnover ratio. They rank 31st in rushing.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm really enjoying the process. I am. I hate to say it, but I am. These guys are fun to coach. I've got to get them to let it go on Sunday. That's why I've just got to keep working at it. And they will. I believe they will." -- Coach Rod Marinelli, on trying to rebound from an 0-3 start.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 3, 2008

Idrees Bashir Name: Idrees Bashir
Position: DB
Age: 29
Experience: 7 years
College: Memphis
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