(A new feature on D4L is a weekly Lions piece from a big time Detroit fan, Joe Dexter. Joe is a Detroit sports blogger and podcaster, who also spends his days working in the radio industry. You can follow him and his ramblings on twitter at http://twitter.com/joedexter.)
Hello, my name is Joe Dexter and I have a problem. Like many of you out there, I suffer from Detroit Lions Euphoria.
Every preseason, I am optimistic.
Whether it be after after an off-season where the Lions drafted another wide receiver in the first round, or the offensive lineman who never developed, the hope of a competing team has still been there. This year, a new coaching staff and new rookies taking on big roles have my dreams revealing utter bliss on the football field.
But when reality sets in, so does the sweaty nightmares of regular season past.
This year is going to be tough. The Lions are who we thought they are. The defense will struggle mightily at times. The special teams will blow coverage schemes. Jimmy Boy Schwartz will make some comments that are Detroit Lions Head Coach Hall of Fame worthy.
As we witnessed in last Saturday’s contest against the Cleveland Browns, this team is just not there yet. Many key starters were left out of the game. Matthew Stafford showed his true rookie colors.
Even in Special Teams Coordinator Stan Kwan still hasn’t figured out that preseason is a time to evaluate. Newcomers, Aaron Brown and Derek Williams, have barely gotten a look as we roll into game number three of the preseason. Meanwhile, Aveion Cason has stunk up the return game. Cason is not Brian Mitchell.
And it is not like opposing kick coverages will fold and allow him to score his first returning touchdown of his career. It’s as plain as day. Opposing kick coverages won’t allow Aveion Cason to take it to the house not once, but twice. Unfortunately, the Lions special teams coverage might.
That is the reality of this 2009 team.
Things are still going in a positive direction. It is possible that in a few years from now, Detroit might have a true contender for years to come. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Brandon Pettigrew could be the new Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark.
Under new defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, we could see some type of resurgence. There is only one place to go for possibly the worst defense in NFL history. This preseason we get to see the new linebacker corps at work. Louis Delmas is quickly becoming a franchise face despite only one tackle in the preseason.
For once the Lions faithful have a real reason to believe in possible success. I just hope that we don’t take it too far. Just as much as anyone, I want to see more wins than losses. I want to witness a competitive team on the field.
I don’t want to throw my beer through my big screen.
But sometimes, situations are just inevitable. Like 4th and long, failed third and shorts, and beer bottles hitting plasma.
Preseason Preview: Detroit vs. Indianapolis-
Despite the upsetting performance against the Cleveland Browns last weekend, this weekend’s matchup is really something to look forward to. For the first time all preseason, Calvin and Bryant Johnson will return to action, which should lead to more consistency in the offense.
Brandon Pettigrew is still battling his knee injury. According to Jim Schwartz:
"He’s limited, but we tried to get him back out here, he’s chomping at the bit. I'd rather have the situation where we’re holding the player back rather than us pushing him back out there too soon. I think that’s where he’s right now. He really benefited from the rest. He has fresh legs, and the only thing we want to be careful of not to extend him to far that he has a setback, the whole object is to avoid setbacks. We will see where he is later in the week and if he stays on track he’ll have a chance to play.”
It will be very intriguing if all of the offensive weapons can get on the field together.
The Colts will begin the road portion of their preseason this weekend without the likes of Bob Sanders, Raheem Brock, and Robert Mathis most likely out. Coach Caldwell said in his weekly press conference that he will play his first units throughout the first half and a series into the third quarter.
Despite it being the third preseason game for the Lions, Coach Schwartz has yet to decide who will be his starting quarterback, while Daunte Culpepper and Matthew Stafford continue to split duties and reps.
Lions MVP Jason Hanson will not play this weekend, but he is on schedule according to his trainers and doctors.
“I want to be back as soon as I can,” said Hanson on Monday. “This is the NFL; you need to be in peak shape so I’d love to kick as soon as I can. I can’t kick until I’m ready, so whenever that is, they’ll let me know. They don’t want to mess it up.”
Swayze Waters, the current place kicker, woke up with a tight hamstring this morning and could possibly miss Saturday’s action. Dan Looker, a receiver recently signed because of injuries could fill in for Waters. Looker was perfect in practice today, even clearing a 43 yard field goal. He will also handle the kickoff duties if Waters isn’t available on Saturday.
Even more to add to yet another weird preseason.