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News » Detroit Lions Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-30


Detroit Lions Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-30


Detroit Lions Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-30
The Lions cut defensive tackle Langston Moore and signed fullback Darian Barnes. They needed a fullback because rookie Jerome Felton is out at least a week with a high ankle sprain. Moore could return and Barnes could be cut when Felton is ready to play.


Moore's departure could mean one of the Lions' rookie defensive tackles - Andre Fluellen or Landon Cohen - could play Sunday at Chicago. But coach Rod Marinelli wants to dress eight defensive linemen and rotate seven. The eighth needs to contribute on special teams. So it's far from certain Fluellen or Cohen will play.

PLAYER NOTES

--DT Chuck Darby did not practice Wednesday because of a calf injury. He likely will be available Sunday at Chicago.

--LB Jordon Dizon did not practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury. His status is uncertain.

--FB Jerome Felton did not practice Wednesday because of a high ankle sprain. He will not play Sunday.

--TE Casey Fitzsimmons did not practice Wednesday because of a rib injury. He said he felt better and wanted to see how he felt Friday. He still hopes to play Sunday.

--DT Cory Redding did not practice Wednesday because of a groin injury. His status is uncertain.

--S Dwight Smith did not practice Wednesday because of a foot injury. He likely will not play Sunday.

--G Damion Cook was limited Wednesday because of a knee injury but said he will play.

--G Andy McCollum was limited because of a finger injury. His status is uncertain.

GAME PLAN: The Lions have faced a huge deficit in five of their seven games, and the biggest came against the Bears - a 31-0 deficit in a 34-7 loss Oct. 5. The Lions must get off to a good start. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky must take more calculated risks to get the ball downfield and score, and the defense must pressure Bears QB Kyle Orton, who shredded the Lions last time. When the Lions blitz, they must get home.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Lions pass defense vs. Bears QB Kyle Orton - Detroit ranks second to last in pass defense. Orton posted a career-best 121.4 passer rating against the Lions on Oct. 5. He has posted a rating of 100 or better four times in his career. Two have come against the Lions. One of the others came in his last game, against Minnesota. The Lions must pressure him. When they blitz, they need to get home. When they have a chance to make a play on the ball, they must make it. The Lions have only one interception this season, worst in the NFL.

Lions run defense vs. Bears RB Matt Forte: The Lions' rank second to last against the run. Forte posted season lows in carries (15) and rushing yards (36) against the Lions on Oct. 5. The Lions did a good job last time against Forte and Kevin Jones, who had only 36 yards on 10 carries. They must do so again. If they must use eight men in the box, that leaves their vulnerable pass coverage even more vulnerable.

Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs. Bears pass defense: Johnson had his worst game of the season against the Bears on Oct. 5 with two catches for 16 yards. The Bears' pass defense is ranked 29th in the NFL. The Bears might rank so low against the pass simply because teams don't want to run against them. The Lions must get the ball to Johnson more often. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky must take more calculated risks and find Johnson even when he isn't wide open.

INJURY IMPACT: TE Casey FitzSimmons hopes to protect his ribs and play, but he likely would not be close to 100 percent. If Dwight Smith cannot play, the Lions will be thin at safety again. Kalvin Pearson will start and LaMarcus Hicks will need to contribute.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 30, 2008

Ron Bellamy Name: Ron Bellamy
#19
Position: WR
Age: 26
Experience: 1 years
College: Michigan
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